Testosterone Replacement Therapy is an androgen (hormonal) therapy; a proven medical treatment that reduces symptoms of low testosterone and boosts it (when done correctly).
On the other hand, testosterone boosters are over-the-counter supplements with natural ingredients that claim to boost T-levels. Yet, there is limited evidence supporting their efficacy and has little to no medical endorsement. Manufacturers also often lie about their ingredients.
If they don’t work or just a little, then they should be safe alongside TRT, correct?
The answer is no. While their ingredients are safe in most cases and can have positive effects on energy, libido and health, they require caution and understanding while on TRT. That’s as the result of their inconsistent quality, varying ingredients and effectiveness, potential side effects in some individuals, and unreliable reviews.
To avoid risks, you should always get medical advice instead of solely relying on these supplement’s recommendations.
Whether you are driven to explore this combination to enhance your results, overcome plateaus in your therapy or heard a common misconception that more is better; or you just want a more natural addition to your therapy with added benefits, understanding the potential synergy and risks is crucial.
This handy guide has everything you need to know about whether you can take testosterone boosters while on TRT, safety considerations, the key differences between the two and alternative, healthy ways to boost your testosterone.
Table of Contents
The Key Differences Between TRT and Testosterone Boosting Supplements
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a well-established option for those with low T-levels. It’s a clinically prescribed, medically controlled and monitored treatment with higher risks of side-effects when done incorrectly(unapproved) in some individuals. Yet, it’s been highly effective, legally approved in the United States since the 1950s.
DID YOU KNOW: 87.8% men with low T were not receiving treatment, despite adequate access to care?
This may be as some individuals are looking for some more natural way of treating testosterone, like these Testosterone booster supplements. They are made of natural ingredients like ashwagandha and others to support testosterone production. Yet, they are supplements and aren’t intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases. Even if the products state so!
Although herbs, spices and plants have been used as ancient medicines to treat several medical issues. So they can be good plant-based, natural testosterone boosters along with other methods we will mention below. This applies, if the product is FDA approved, tested, and genuine.
You should always check with your doctor whether to supplement your treatment with these supplements, especially if you have any cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, symptoms from TRT, or other medical background, as any taken supplement can have a negative effect on your health.
Here is a table of the major differences between TRT and testosterone booster, that can help you understand their effects better, so you can make informed decisions.
|Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
|Nature of Treatment
|Medically Prescribed Treatment
|Synthetic testosterone in the form of injections, patches, gels, or pellets. Androgen Therapy
|Natural ingredients without synthetics (hers) as an alternative or additional T-level boost.
|Medically controlled and monitored.
|Can vary by products and its content of ingredients.
|Treats clinically diagnosed low testosterone levels
|Aims to support or supplement natural testosterone production
|Natural herbs, minerals and vitamins like ashwagandha etc..
|Efficacy and Consistency
|Varies by individuals
|Regulation and Quality Control
|Lack of quality control or loosely regulated
|Risk of side-effects
The Risks and Potential Benefits of Combining TRT and Testosterone Boosters
Let’s get into details about the pros and cons of TRT and T-boosters together.
TRT and testosterone boosters have benefits individually and together, just like improved mood, energy, muscle mass and strength maintenance, increased libido, concentration, quicker recovery, better sleep and improved bone density. Yet TRT is physically monitored, much more intense and effective in boosting T-levels. It’s also FDA approved. While T-boosters offer reduced side effects, they can be pricey and less effective.
Combining both enhances the results beyond what each offers individually, amplifying the benefits of TRT and testosterone boosters mentioned earlier.
A study discovered that testosterone replacements could reduce the potential for heart attack and stroke among men. Out of the 44,000 tested individuals 33% were found to be of lower risk, than those who received no hormone therapy at all.
Another paper, with a focus on insomnia, reported that after 12 months of testosterone treatment, there was a significant improvement in the quality of sleep.
However their effects vary for each person, especially when used combined. It’s important to seek personalized medical advice to assess suitability based on your symptoms, testosterone levels, treatment, and medical background. Without being open about it to your physician, you can not 100% guarantee their safety, while on TRT.
Although there may be benefits, it is super important to consider the potential risks and complications of combining TRT with testosterone boosters. TRT itself requires prescription and its potential side effects and contraindications are higher.
Yet the product information on testosterone boosters can be lacking or inaccurate with unknown dosage amounts, which can together lead to more testosterone boost, than you need or other health risks. Even the effects of boosters aren’t very intense, neither is it an androgen or hormonal therapy and their side effects are low; yet better to be safe than sorry!
Firstly, excessive testosterone levels can have multiple negative side effects.
Several studies from across the country have reported that the overuse of testosterone replacements or boosters can lead to cardiovascular problems, blood clots, acne, hair loss, mood swings, lower sex drive, and increased risk of stroke and organ damage.
One study also linked excessive testosterone use to the rare blood disorder polycythemia. This is also why you should not use any non-prescription versions. They aren’t only illegal, but might not contain the actual hormone or you risk the wrong dosage leading to the above mentioned symptoms.
So, why would you take these supplements? Despite the potential side effects, there are many advantages of combining TRT and testosterone boosters.
Should You Take a Testosterone Booster While on TRT?
Although there are many advantages to increasing your testosterone levels through combined TRT and booster use, this does not mean your treatment should go unchecked. Upsetting your delicate hormonal balance is no joke, and combining TRT and testosterone boosters to excess may compromise their effectiveness and could lead to further side effects or serious illnesses in some cases.
Hence, it’s crucial to inform your doctor about your plans and dosage intentions beforehand. However, your doctor might advise against this approach if they deem it risky or potentially harmful to your treatment and health.
That’s because, despite the clear and well-researched benefits of increased TRT use, there is little to no evidence backing the efficacy of testosterone boosters. A study discovered that out of 50 of the most readily available boosters online, only 25% of them even had data to support their claims.
In fact, testosterone boosters have been proven to increase the negative side effects of TRT in some cases.
Researchers in 2008 found that 13% of annual acute liver failure came from testosterone supplements or boosters. Further studies reported that many of the boosters on the market not only lied about what was in them but actively included harmful compounds! For example, out of 112 supplements found in Australian stores, more than one in 20 had failed to declare androgenic steroids on the label.
This was particularly bad as these steroids are known to cause cardiovascular disease, liver damage, brain damage, and embolism.Expert opinion has therefore largely been that further research is required on the benefits and harms of testosterone boosters before they can be recommended by healthcare professionals.
Consider sticking to the prescribed TRT therapy for a safer approach.
Alternative Ways to Boost Testosterone
Instead of jumping back to budget treatments backed by zero research, try one of the many natural methods to boost your testosterone levels.
When combined with TRT, these healthy lifestyle changes will work wonders!
1. Eat testosterone-boosting foods.
Tuna, egg yolk, beans, oysters, beef, fortified cereal, shellfish, and low-fat milk with vitamin D have all been proven to increase your testosterone. Focus on your proteins, fats, and carbs
Lifting weights and running have been linked to higher testosterone. A study found that increased physical activity was more effective in boosting testosterone than calorie reduction.
3. Minimize stress
High levels of stress can lead to the production of the hormone cortisol. Sudden cortisol spikes have a ‘seesaw’ effect on testosterone, lowering it almost instantly.
4. Consume zinc-based products
Researchers in 2021 discovered that zinc supplementation worked wonders to boost testosterone. This is because zinc encourages the development of helpful, testosterone-producing enzymes and hormones in the body
5. Sleep more
Good sleep is key to maintaining a healthy testosterone level! In fact, a study reported that 5 hours of sleep was linked to a 10%-15% percent drop in testosterone in teenage boys.
6. Avoid alcohol
Not only is it a good rule of thumb for all things health, but reducing your consumption of alcohol is great for your testosterone levels too. In fact, studies have proven that excessive alcohol intake decreases testosterone as quickly as 30 minutes after you drink. While moderate alcohol intake has various effects on it.