Will a testosterone-boosting supplement work for you?

Coach Jon
A balanced diet can provide all of the nutrients you need, but supplements are good options as well. (Getty images)

It is quite natural that men want to be more manly. In fact, hormone-related manliness is part of what makes us males take more risks, stress ourselves to work harder, and in general, do sometimes amazing, yet incredibly dangerous things like this.

But for those of us who simply want to reverse the effects of aging, gain lean muscle and burn fat faster, the male hormone testosterone is also incredibly important.

Many drug or supplement companies may take advantage of this need, and produce a testosterone "boosting" supplement that will make you into Rambo, Superman and the Incredible Hulk all rolled into one.

Here is why it won't work, and some sound habits and actions that will.

Why most testosterone boosting supplements fail.

1. They are distributed by big retail chains. Most of these places have HUGE overheads, especially in Singapore. Rental, staffing and storage costs are astronomical. This means a lot of your money goes into these overheads, rather than high product quality. So in general, if it can be bought at a store you find at a shopping mall, it's not the best value for you.

2. Linking on to point 1, is that many of the testosterone-boosting supplements use herbs as their active ingredients. This is GREAT news as there are really herbs that do help testosterone production, as well as reduce stress hormones (which steal the raw material for testosterone making in your body).

However they often put these herbs into a "proprietary formula" which means they won't tell you exactly how much is in there. A formula can claim to have a truly useful herb but at 1/1000th the required dose. Yet ad campaigns can still claim to have this herb in the supplement.

In addition, herb quality, and freedom from pesticides is always questionable when it's not from a reputable source.

3. They don't care how fat or stressed you are. Imagine you are building a house, and you are paying for bricks, wood and tiles. Now along the way, thieves steal your bricks, and your workers decide to build a ice cream store instead of a house with the remaining bricks.

You will never have a house built!

This is what happens with many testosterone-boosting supplements. Being overly fat increases the chances that your raw materials are converted into female hormones. This is like making an ice cream store instead of a house.

And being stressed means that the raw materials are simply stolen to make stress hormones. This is like having thieves steal your bricks. This video explains more.

So, unless you are already lean, and have great lifestyle habits, testosterone boosting supplements are not likely to give you the intended benefits. How many Singaporeans are already lean and unstressed? I don't know many. Do you?

So what are the REAL ways to boost testosterone?

1. Clear out excess estrogen. These female hormones are the "anti-male" components of your hormonal makeup. You need to get rid of the bad ones ASAP. Good ways to do this are to:

  • Make sure your bowels move smoothly (1-2x per day, no blockage, easy to clean)

  • Take enough fiber. Flax hulls are excellent for estrogen detox

  • Take in cruciferous vegetables

  • Take nutrients like sulphorophane and DIM which can help clearance speed.

2. Get leaner. If you can't see your abs, you are too fat to be trying to boost testosterone with any herbs. You should work on getting leaner first. Remember, fat converts male hormones to female ones. A good place to start is with choosing the right carbohydrates for your fat level, and activity level.

3. Use proper herbs, under a healthcare practitioner's guidance

If you are going to use testosterone boosting herbs, get them from a healthcare practitioner - and I don't mean your aunty who just joined a MLM company! At least those brands will have clean, high quality herbs.

4. De-stress

  • Stay away from commonly intolerant foods such as diary, wheat and soy

  • Do something relaxing every day.

    • prayer

    • family time

    • journaling

    • having a thankful attitude

    • listening to relaxing music are good choices.

  • Doing what many people do to de-stress i.e. Drinking lots of alcohol while listening to people shouting over loud trance music playing at a club is NOT a good choice.

  • Do some form of physical activity

  • Sleep well.

While this article is mostly for males, in today's overly estrogenic and stressed world, many ladies can do well following these guidelines as well!

Coach Jonathan Wong has a Doctorate of Science in Holistic Medicine, and is the author of "The Happy Body - Getting to the root of YOUR fitness, health and productivity". He is also the Founder and CEO of Genesis Gym Singapore, which aims to provide the best personal training and fitness services in Singapore.