The 30-Second Review

The big question for testosterone boosters: Do they actually boost? We pored over labels, reviewed scientific research, and consulted with doctors, fitness and nutrition experts, and professors of endocrinology and biochemistry, to discover the answer: “not really.” In the unregulated supplement industry, even the best testosterone booster can only increase testosterone slightly and momentarily — the human body is just too good at self-regulating — while the worst can include downright dangerous ingredients, like caffeine anhydrous (pure caffeine powder). We found the three safest formulas with the most promising ingredients, like zinc and maca, to deliver at least some performance benefits.

Best Overall

Just over 3 grams of D-aspartic acid, enough zinc to restore low T levels to normal, plus a bit of longjack for libido and ashwagandha for recovery.

Runners-Up

Less D-aspartic acid, more oyster extract.

Athletic Edge APE Libido
High doses of maca and longjack.

  • January 12, 2018 - We've updated this page to include more recent information and a clearer methodology. We’ll be doing a complete overhaul of this review in the coming months to delve deeper into beneficial ingredients and the difference between boosting and restoring testosterone.

The Best Testosterone Booster

Amid a sea of acronyms, exotic ingredients (like deer antler velvet and horny goat weed), and sensationalist promises to pump up both your muscles and your sex life, T-boosters can feel as much magic potion as dietary supplement. These over-the-counter pills and powders promise to help increase testosterone production in the body and abracadabra: greater muscle mass and power output, improved athletic performance, and elevated mood and libido. Tenuous projections of vigor and virility aside, though, the actual contents of many of these supplements pose some serious health and safety concerns.

But the reality is: Testosterone boosters are legal, accessible, and in demand. So we set out to comb through the questionable ingredients and false claims to find which formulas are the safest to consume and have the best chance at giving you at least some of the results you’re looking for.

Our Top Picks for the Best Testosterone Booster

Best Overall

Axis Labs Hypertest XTRPacks a wide variety of vitamins, herbs, and minerals into its bright-orange capsules.

With just over 3 grams of D-aspartic acid (2-3 grams per day is recommended) and a bevy of vitamins, herbs, and minerals, Axis Labs Hypertest XTR is a T-booster with benefits. The biggest of those benefits is ZMA, a patented formula combining efficacious levels of zinc (30 mg), magnesium (450 mg), and vitamin B6 (10.5 mg), which work together to help strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, and regulate metabolism. Zinc is the cornerstone of that trio. Deficiencies in zinc, which can result from excessive exercise and sweating, are associated with low testosterone; supplementing with high doses (24–40 mg) has been shown to bring low testosterone levels back up to normal. (There’s a difference between boosting and restoring, which is what zinc can do. Boosting indicates breaking that testosterone axis, the equilibrium that your body regulates, whereas restoring helps your body regain that axis if you’ve overdone it.)

Close-Up of Hypertest XTR Testosterone Booster

One serving of Axis Labs Hypertest XTS is spread across six distinctly colored capsules.

It also contains an herb particularly beneficial for athletes: ashwagandha. This herb can increase muscle strength and aid in recovery, while stinging nettle serves as an anti-inflammatory. Another bonus: while longjack doesn’t boost testosterone, it has been shown to increase libido and aid erectile function, albeit by subjective (read: self-reported) measures.

Runner Up

TestofuelLook past the gimmicky name and you'll find solid ingredients like D-aspartic acid and fenugreek.

If we were judging by name alone, TestoFuel would get nothing more than an eye roll. But it really is packed with good stuff: a mix of 2,300 mg of D-aspartic acid and 100 mg of fenugreek, plus tons of vitamins and minerals. Panax ginseng has immune-boosting and antioxidant properties. Vitamin K2 (the natural form of vitamin K that’s made in the body) regulates blood clotting and improves bone density. It also works well with vitamin D (included in TestoFuel as vitamin D3, the natural form of vitamin D that your body synthesizes in the sun), which is also good for bone health. Important to note: As with zinc, deficiency in vitamin D can cause low testosterone, and supplements can help restore it to normal levels.

Photo of TestoFuel bottle and serving size for Testosterone Booster

If you want one full serving of TestoFuel, you’re going to have to swallow the red pill — four of them, actually.

Zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 all show up in TestoFuel as well — although at 10 mg, the zinc is on the low side. TestoFuel’s inclusion of 100 mg of oyster extract makes up for it. Essentially dried oyster meat in powder form, it’s a powerhouse of nutrients, rich in zinc, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and calcium.

Runner Up

Athletic Edge APE LibidoAPE Libido's ingredients could improve not only athletic performance, but also libido.

At $1.43 per serving (as opposed to Hypertest XTR’s $1.50 and TestoFuel’s $2.17 per serving), Athletic Edge APE Libido ekes out the best value of our top picks — and it’s the one most likely to improve libido. In addition to 500 mg of T-boosting fenugreek (the amount recommended to see results), it includes high doses of libido amplifiers maca and longjack.

APE-Libido-Close-Up for Testosterone Booster

It may be the least flashy capsule among our top picks, but Athletic Edge APE Libido does manage to pack a full serving into just two pills.

On the “athletic edge” side of things, we’ve got vitamin D3, vitamin B6, and zinc, as well as vitamin B12, which plays a role in regulating metabolism, and folic acid, which can reduce muscle pain.

Others to Consider

In total, 35 testosterone boosters made it through our cuts — they are safe to use and clinically proven to at least maybe work. They just didn’t have as many of the excellent additional ingredients to push them into our top picks.

Did You Know?

“Low T” is a part of getting older — but it can be a sign of something more serious too.

Testosterone levels are at their highest during puberty and early adulthood, and from age 30 on, they decline by about 1 percent a year. While that gradual decline is a natural part of aging, there are a slew of medical conditions that can cause low testosterone in men of any age. Obesity, diabetes, and prostate cancer are a few culprits. Alcoholism and thyroid disorders can also contribute to low levels.

What’s tricky is that symptoms of low testosterone — ranging from decreased sex drive and lower energy levels to infertility and impotence — are associated with so many different root causes. If your libido is low and you feel tired all the time, you could be suffering from depression. Or your body could be failing to produce sufficient amounts of testosterone (hypogonadism). Or something else entirely! Either way, no amount of boosting will be a cure. Only a blood test can determine your actual levels of testosterone. From there, your doctor can help figure out the right next steps.

There are ways to increase testosterone naturally.

Exercise induces temporary boosts in testosterone as quickly as 15 minutes after a workout, although the levels recede to their pre-workout baseline within a few hours. Studies show that when you exercise can make a difference too, as testosterone levels vary throughout the day (they’re highest in the morning, lowest in the afternoon). Resistance-training workouts, specifically, have more of an impact on testosterone when completed in the evening. Overtraining can have the opposite effect: drops in testosterone.

Lowering both mental and physical stress, can reduce the body’s release of cortisol, which has a negative correlation with testosterone (one goes up; the other goes down). High levels of stress are also known to have a negative physiological impact on the body, causing many of the same symptoms as low testosterone, such as decreased energy and libido. Keeping your stress levels in check, and not undersleeping or overtraining, might kill two birds with one stone.

What about steroids?

Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone that induce supraphysiological levels of testosterone in the blood — meaning they really do “boost.” “A person is actually taking synthetic testosterone, not trying to induce the production of it. Steroids bypass the tightly regulated testosterone axis in the body,” according to Dr. Darryn Willoughby. They are illegal without a doctor’s prescription, and illegal for a doctor to prescribe to improve athletic performance. While they do increase strength and muscle mass, they also cause a whole mess of puzzling, dangerous side effects. People who take them can become manic and super aggressive (we’ve all heard of “‘roid rage”). Men can grow breasts and their testicles shrink. Steroids are also known to increase blood pressure, create tumors, and cause liver disease and heart attacks. In short: stay far, far away.

The Best Testosterone Booster: Summed Up

Testosterone Booster
The Best...
Axis Labs Hypertest XTR
Best Overall
Testofuel
Runner-Up
Athletic Edge APE Libido
Best for Libido