The 7 Best Testosterone Supplements of 2023, According to a Sports Dietitian
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Find out which vitamins, minerals, and herbs can really help boost testosterone
Medically reviewed by Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDNFact checked by Rich Scherr
Testosterone supports overall health for both men and women, and it has an impact on weight, body composition, bone health, fertility, energy levels, libido, and exercise performance. “Testosterone is a sex hormone made from cholesterol in the body. It’s the main sex hormone in males, produced in the testes. Women also produce testosterone in the ovaries and adrenal glands,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN, co-author of The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Managing Hormones, Health, and Happiness.
People at risk for low testosterone levels include women going through perimenopause and menopause, older men, and those with certain chronic conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Additionally, diet and lifestyle factors like exercise, alcohol, and diet can also contribute to testosterone levels.
To maintain healthy testosterone levels, always consider what foods you can add to provide the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals the body uses to make and regulate hormones. Lifestyle modifications to boost testosterone including adequate sleep, stress management, exercise, and a balance of healthy fats, proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables.
When selecting our list of testosterone boosting supplements, we chose products with researched-backed efficacy from trusted brands that are third-party tested.
Our team of registered dietitians reviews and evaluates every single supplement we recommend according to our dietary supplement methodology. From there, a registered dietitian on our Expert Review Board reviews each article for scientific accuracy. Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine, to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.
If you are experiencing potential symptoms of low testosterone including decreased sex drive, fatigue, reduced muscle mass and increased fat deposits, we recommend consulting a healthcare professional—ideally an endocrinologist (a specialist in hormone producing glands and organs). In some cases, low testosterone may be due to a hormonal disease or other underlying issues and may require hormone replacement or other medical treatment. In these cases, supplements may not be adequate to optimize testosterone levels. Additionally, the symptoms of low testosterone are similar to that of other hormonal imbalances, so getting lab work to accurately diagnose any deficiencies is an important first step.
Best Overall: AG1 by Athletic Greens
NSF Certified for Sport
Contains most nutrients needed to make testosterone
Contains ashwagandha, which may support testosterone
AG1 by Athletic Greens is our top pick because it contains various nutrients such as B-vitamins, zinc, antioxidants, and ashwagandha that all may help to boost testosterone levels. Think of this product as a multivitamin from plant-based ingredients that can fill in nutritional gaps in your diet with added herbal blends, digestive enzymes, and probiotics.
We like that AG1 is third-party for purity and potency and is NSF for Sport, so you know the product is free from harmful additives and stimulants. It is also free from herbicides and pesticides, artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, gluten, corn, eggs, and peanuts and is vegan-friendly.
AG1 contains at least 100% of the recommended intake for all B vitamins and zinc— two important nutrients in testosterone health. B-vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, is involved with synthesis of testosterone. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb that may help support the way the body handles stress. Some studies have shown ashwagandha may increase both testosterone and DHEA, a hormone that helps to produce testosterone.
It is important to note that this product does not contain vitamin D, and has only 6% Daily Value for magnesium. These nutrients are also involved with maintaining testosterone levels. If you are deficient in either of these nutrients, you may need additional supplementation.
Price at time of publication: Starting at $79 for 30 servings ($2.63 per serving)
Form: Powder | Type: Supplement | Dose: 1 Scoop (12 g) | Third-Party Certified: NSF Certified for Sport | Servings Per Container: 30 servings
Best Vitamin D: Nature Made Vitamin D3 2000 IU
No artificial sweeteners or colors
Contains some calcium
Only beneficial for those deficient in vitamin D
Research shows that low vitamin D levels may correlate to low testosterone levels. However, vitamin D supplementation may not boost testosterone levels in healthy adults without a deficiency. Therefore, a vitamin D supplement may best support healthy testosterone only if you are deficient in vitamin D. A healthcare professional can help determine if you have a vitamin D deficiency through a blood test.
If a vitamin D supplement has been recommended for you, we suggest Nature Made D3. Nature Made is a trusted supplement company, and it's included in Verywell Fit’s top 2023 vitamin brands. This product contains 250% Daily Value for vitamin D. We like that it provides more than 100% Daily Value without exceeding the upper limit of 4000 IUs for adults. It’s also third-party tested for purity and potency, as it is USP Certified.
Price at time of publication: $11 ($0.04 per serving)
Form: Tablet | Type: Supplement | Dose: 1 Tablet | Third-Party Certified: Yes | Servings Per Container: 250
Best Zinc: Thorne Research Zinc Picolinate, 30 mg
NSF Certified for Sport
Dairy, gluten, and soy-free
More than 100% of daily value of zinc
May only help those not getting enough zinc in the diet
Zinc is an essential mineral that research shows may impact testosterone levels, as low zinc is related to low testosterone. Correcting a zinc deficiency through supplementation may help to raise testosterone levels.
Vegetarians and vegans may also benefit from taking a zinc supplement because plants contain phytates—a compound that can bind to zinc and other minerals—prevent the absorption into the body.
We suggest Thorne Research Zinc Picolinate if you would benefit from a zinc supplement. Throne is a reputable brand that collaborates with the Mayo Clinic and other academic institutions for research and content, and is third-party tested. It contains 30 milligrams of zinc, which is 273% Daily Value. Note that the upper limit for Zinc is 40 milligrams, so if you consume high amounts of oysters or meat products, you may not need to take this supplement daily.
Price at time of publication: $17 ($0.28 per serving)
Form: Tablet | Type: Supplement | Dose: 1 Tablet | Third-Party Certified: NSF Certified for Sport | Servings Per Container: 60
Related:The Best Vegan Multivitamins & Supplements of 2023
Best Magnesium: Nature Made Magnesium Citrate
No artificial colors or dyes
Have to take multiple tablets to meet 100% of recommended daily intake
Research suggests about half of Americans are not getting enough magnesium in the diet. Having a deficiency in magnesium may negatively affect testosterone levels because magnesium is involved with the production of anabolic (body-building) hormones which includes testosterone.
We like Nature Made Magnesium Citrate if you need a magnesium supplement. Nature Made is a trusted brand that is third-party tested for purity and potency and USP Certified. Two tablets contain 250 milligrams of magnesium or 60% of the recommended daily intake. Depending on your needs, a higher dose may be recommended for you.
Magnesium citrate is better absorbed and less likely to cause diarrhea at higher doses compared to other magnesium formulations. It is important to note that the upper limit for magnesium from supplementation is 350 milligrams. Higher levels than this may cause negative side effects including diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping.
Price at time of publication: $23 ($0.38 per serving)
Form: Table | Type: Supplement | Dose: 2 Tablets | Third-Party Certified: USP | Servings Per Container: 60
Related:The 8 Best Magnesium Supplements of 2023
Best Multivitamin: Thorne Basic Nutrients 2/Day
Contains 100% of most vitamins and minerals
Absorbable form of nutrients
Higher doses of certain nutrients may be needed to correct deficiencies
More expensive than other multis
A multivitamin can be a helpful way to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet and prevent potential deficiencies that may negatively affect testosterone levels. For a multivitamin that provides most nutrients needed to support healthy testosterone levels, we recommend Thorne Basic Nutrients 2/Day. It contains at least 100% of the Vitamin B-complex, Zinc, and Vitamin D, but it should be noted it is lower in magnesium with only 5% Daily Value. We like that Thorne has the most absorbable form of nutrients in this multi, like using the D3 form of vitamin D and chelated minerals.
Taking a multivitamin can be an easy way to help boost many nutrients that are needed to make testosterone, but if you take other supplements or medications you should consult a healthcare professional before taking this.
Price at time of publication: $30 ($1 per serving)
Form: Capsule | Type: Supplement | Dose: 2 capsules | Third-Party Certified: Yes | Servings Per Container: 30 servings
Related:The 7 Best Multivitamins for Men of 2023
Best Ashwagandha: Nature Made Calm & Relax
Have to take 2 tablets
Nature Made Calm & Relax is one of the few ashwagandha supplements that is third-party tested and USP Certified. This product also contains 71% of your magnesium needs or 300 mg with two tablets, which may be beneficial for those that are magnesium deficient.
Ashwagandha, also called Indian Ginseng or Poison Gooseberry, has been used for thousands of years by Indians for traditional medicine. Preliminary research evidence shows that Ashwagandha may increase testosterone and improve sex drive, but more evidence in larger scale studies is needed to confirm this and the best dose for these effects.
Price at time of publication: $27 ($0.90 per serving)
Form: Tablets | Type: Herbal Supplement | Dose: 2 tablets | Third-Party Certified: USP certified | Servings Per Container: 30
Best B Complex: Kirkland Signature Super B-Complex with Electrolytes
Contains at least 100% of all B vitamins, including vitamin C
Contains only B-vitamins
Kirkland Signature Super B-Complex is our top pick because it has at least 100% of all of the B vitamins and is USP certified. This means it is third-party tested for purity and potency.
Vitamin B6 in particular may play a role in promoting healthy testosterone levels. Preliminary studies done in rats and humans show that low vitamin B6 may result in decreased testosterone. Therefore, it appears adequate intake of B6 is necessary to optimize levels of testosterone in the body. Vitamin B1 and Pantothenic Acid may also play a role, but the research is even more scarce and would require more studies for validity in its role in testosterone levels.
Price at time of publication: $37 ($0.07 per serving)
Form: Table | Type: Supplement | Dose: 1 Tablet | Third-Party Certified: USP Certified | Servings Per Container: 500
Is a Testosterone Boosting Supplement Beneficial?
Most healthy individuals do not need a boosting testosterone boosting supplement. “The supplement industry is loosely regulated, so testosterone-boosting supplements carry many risks. One review looked at 109 different types of testosterone-boosting supplements and found that less than 25% had research showing an increase in testosterone,” says Manny Prieto, RDN, CSCS.
Ultimately, ensuring you are not deficient in certain nutrients including vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins, can best help support adequate testosterone levels. Additionally, there is some limited research showing that adaptogens, including ashwagandha, may have testosterone boosting effects which is why we did include this.
There are certain populations that may benefit from testosterone boosting supplements such as the older men and women, and those that are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins. Additionally, individuals with an obese BMI may be more susceptible to low testosterone, as research shows that high body fat percentages correlate with lower testosterone levels, possibly as a result of higher estrogen levels. Also, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is higher in obese populations, so checking your levels may be beneficial to see if vitamin D supplementation is indicated.
Who May Not Benefit From Testosterone Boosting Supplements
In general, healthy individuals with normal vitamin and mineral levels likely will not benefit from a testosterone boosting supplement. Additionally, some populations may not benefit from ashwagandha supplements, specifically, including:
Diabetes. If you have diabetes and are taking medications that lower your blood glucose or are at risk for low blood glucose, then you shouldn’t take Ashwagandha or testosterone-boosting products containing this herb, as it may cause blood sugars to drop.
High blood pressure. If you’re taking blood pressure medications, Ashwagandha supplements may not be suitable because they may cause hypotension or low blood pressure.
Thyroid issues. Ashwanga may increase thyroid activity, so if you know of a thyroid issue or are at risk for thyroid disease, follow up with an endocrinologist before taking this supplement.
How We Select Supplements
Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here.
We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent, third-party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab.com.
It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.
Experts we interviewed for best testosterone supplements include:
Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN, co-author of The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Managing Hormones, Health, and Happiness
Emily Werner, Ph.D., RD, CSSD, sports dietitian specializing in disordered eating
Manny Priteo, RDN, CSCS, personal trainer and sports dietitian
What to Look For in Testosterone Supplements
Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it’s important to note:
Third-party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications.
Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing.
The third-party certifications we can trust are ConsumerLab.com, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations.
Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies, it does not mean it’s a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement.
Testosterone supplements can contain many different vitamins, minerals, or herbs, The following nutrients are ones we have included in supplements we recommend because they have the most research showing they benefit healthy testosterone levels. Further, we recommend these nutrients in the following forms.
Vitamin D: Compared to Vitamin D2, D3 is more efficacious at raising Vitamin D levels in the blood.
Zinc: Compared to zinc citrate and zinc gluconate, Zinc picolinate is absorbed the best into the body.
Magnesium: Magnesium in the aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride forms are easily absorbed versus magnesium's oxide and sulfate versions.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 has three forms pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine. Although some research shows that the active form is more bioavailable, in general, Vitamin B6 is highly absorbable in any form.
Ashwangdha: There is not enough evidence on the best form of Ashwangdha to take.
Ingredients & Potential Interactions
It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included, relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.
Ashwagna has interactions with medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune depressants, and hormones.
Vitamin D has interactions with some weight loss drugs, statins, and diuretics.
Zinc supplements interact with antibiotics medications and medications used for Wilson’s Disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Magnesium supplementation has interactions with potassium-sparing diuretics, antibiotics, and medications used for osteoporosis.
Vitamin B6 could have interactions with cycloserine, an antibiotic.
Supplements We Don’t Recommend
DHEA, or Dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone produced by the body that is a precursor for hormones including testosterone. They peak in early adulthood and then taper off as you get older. However, there is no evidence that shows that supplementation is safe or effective treatment for any disease. The United States Anti-Doping Agency, The World Anti-Doping Agency, and National Collegiate Athletic Association bans its use in and out of sport season.
Prohormones are another supplement that is banned by most athletic organizations. Prohormone supplements may claim to help boost testosterone, but they can have side effects and can cause some undesired hormonal changes.
Testosterone Boosting Dosage
The below are the daily recommended intakes for key testosterone related vitamins and minerals. It is important to note that if you are diagnosed with a deficiency in any of these nutrients, a healthcare professional may recommend a higher dosage to correct the deficiency.
Vitamin D: 600 IU for men and women
Zinc: 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women
Magnesium: 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 mg for women
Vitamin B6: 1.3 mg for men and women
Ashwagandha: The National Institutes of Health doesn’t have a recommendation for the intake of herbal supplements. Research suggests up to 600 mg per day, but more research is needed for specific populations.
How Much is Too Much?
Below is a list of the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for the vitamins and minerals covered in this article. Note that the UL for magnesium is from supplements only, while the others are from both food and supplements.
Vitamin D: 4000 IU (from both food and supplements combined). High intakes of Vitamin D can cause high calcium levels in the blood resulting in nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, excessive thirst, and kidney stones.
Zinc: 40 mg (from both food and supplements combined). Too much zinc may cause copper deficiency and neurological diseases.
Magnesium: 350 mg (from supplemental magnesium only). Consuming too much magnesium may cause low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, depression, and lethargy before progressing to muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, and in severe cases, cardiac arrest. If you have kidney issues, the toxicity of magnesium in the blood will occur quicker.
Vitamin B6 - 100 mg (from both food and supplements combined) - Toxicity is unlikely because Vitamin B 6 is a water-soluble vitamin. Long-term use of 1000 mg per day is the only likely chance that it will cause toxicity. Symptoms include the inability to control your body. Other symptoms include lesions on your skin, stomach and intestinal issues, nausea, and heartburn.
Ashwangdha - 4-6 grams/day—Excess amounts may cause stomach or intestinal issues, vomiting, diarrhea, and in rare cases, liver injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which vitamins increase testosterone the most?
Zinc, vitamin D, magnesium, and B vitamins are essential for maintaining healthy testosterone levels. Which vitamins will increase testosterone the most will be most impacted by which (if any) you are deficient in. For herbs, ashwagandha has been tested in men the most regarding increasing testosterone.
What foods hurt testosterone?
In general, a balanced diet that incorporates a variety of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, legumes and whole grains, will help to support optimal testosterone levels. Too much trans and saturated fats, added sugars and alcohol may negatively affect hormone levels including testosterone.
Research shows that excess trans fats and alcohol specifically seem to correlate with lower testosterone levels:
Trans Fat: Trans fat is found in animal products and dairy. Also, trans fat is found in hydrogenated oils, fats, and margarine. Research shows that trans fat intake and testosterone levels have an inverse relationship. The higher the trans fat levels are, the lower the testosterone levels. High levels of trans fat intake have demonstrated a 15% decrease in testosterone. Werner says, “Focus should be on at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, then a moderate amount of whole grains and unsaturated fats to round out a well-balanced diet.”
Alcohol: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than one serving of alcohol for women and two servings of alcohol for men. A low-to-moderate alcohol intake actually increases testosterone. Excess alcohol intake, however, will lower your testosterone levels, especially when consumed chronically.
Does coffee increase testosterone?
Coffee is a source of antioxidants, and some research shows that coffee may help to increase testosterone levels. Coffee may also play a role in lowering risk for prostate cancer, although more research is needed for the recommended amount of coffee for these potential benefits.
It should be noted that more is not always better for coffee even for boosting testosterone. The caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary but is generally around 100 mg per cup. Everyone’s tolerance to caffeine is different, but a general recommendation is about 400 mg of caffeine or less per day. Going above this recommendation just to try to boost testosterone is not recommended. Too much caffeine can interfere with sleep or have other unpleasant side effects.
How do I know if my testosterone is low?
A blood test ordered by a physician can determine your testosterone levels. A second test may be administered if the test results show low testosterone levels. Normal results may differ slightly from one facility to the next. Normal labs values for testosterone are:
Male: 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or 10 to 35 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)
Female: 15 to 70 ng/dL or 0.5 to 2.4 nmol/L
How else can I boost my testosterone levels?
Emily Werner, Ph.D., RD, CSSD says, “The first thing to do is assess your current lifestyle for things that may lower your testosterone. This includes a sedentary lifestyle or the far opposite (overtraining), a habitual diet that includes alcohol, excess calories (leading to unnecessary weight gain), is high in refined sugars and saturated fats, is low in the antioxidants and flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables, and poor sleep habits.”
Adequate sleep is essential to optimize your testosterone levels. Research shows that inadequate sleep can cause reduced testosterone levels. So, how much sleep should you have? The Sleep Foundation recommends at least 7 hours of sleep per night. “Assess your current bedtime habits and sleep hygiene, then see where you can make improvements (e.g., darker, cooler sleeping room, reduce screen time before bed, etc.),” says Werner.
Cortisol and testosterone have an inverse relationship, probably because cortisol is a “breaking down” hormone versus testosterone is a “building up” hormone. Long-term stress levels that maintain higher levels of cortisol will maintain reduced testosterone. Helping to maintain stress will optimize your testosterone levels.
Research shows that resistance and strength training increases testosterone, and the effects last longer to help increase muscle growth and decrease muscle damage. Archer says, “High-intensity interval training may increase free testosterone levels.” However, long-term endurance training, and potential over-training may cause reduced testosterone.
Testosterone is a hormone made from cholesterol, which is made from fat. Fat is essential in the diet, just make sure it’s not saturated. “Dietary fat is important for hormone production, so it should not be less than 25% of your total daily calories,” says Prieto. Aim for incorporating healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty cuts of fish (like salmon) and limiting trans and saturated fats.
Why Trust Verywell Fit
Jonathan Valdez, RDN, CDCES, CPT, has been a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified personal trainer for eight years. He has also been on the nutrition and fitness medical review board for VeryWell Fit since 2019 and is an avid runner and tennis player.
When examining and recommending supplements he always looks for third-party testing that’s easily visible such as USP, NSF, ConsumerLabs.com, or Informed Choice.
His favorite product brand is Nature Made because it’s affordable and mostly all of the products have USP certification.