Boost Testosterone with D-Aspartic Acid
What is D-Aspartic Acid?
It is a non-essential amino acid which is eminent for playing a major role in the synthesis of testosterone by its regulation. It collects in the testes and plays an important role in the biosynthesis of sex hormones, especially testosterone in the body. The D-Aspartic acid supplements continue to produce testosterone even after stopping its use.
Benefits of D-Aspartic Acid as a Testosterone Booster
D-Aspartic acid has the following effects as a testosterone booster:
- It regulates and stimulates the release of testosterone in the body
- The synthesis of testosterone continues for some time even after stopping the use of the supplement
- D-Aspartic acid accumulates in the testes and continues to produce testosterone in the absence of the supplement
- It is more effective and efficient than L-Aspartate in increasing testosterone
- It can treat male infertility
- Increased libido
- Increased sperm count
By increasing testosterone levels in the body, D-Aspartic acid can have the following effects for body building:
- Increased muscle strength
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased exercise endurance
- Improved physical performance
- Increased energy
How Does It Work?
D-AA is mainly found in the brain (where it works as neurotransmitter) and in the testes. It is present in abundance in the leydig cells of the testes, where it also serves as a signaling molecule. It receives signals from the pituitary gland and then stimulates the leydig cells to form testosterone from cholesterol.
Some other benefits of D-Aspartic acid are as follows:
- Improves brain function
- Helps in memory and learning
- It may play an important part in neurotransmission
- It may have a significant impact on sight
- It works as a neuromodulator
- It helps in the release of certain hormones such as LH (luteinizing hormone), growth hormone and follicle stimulating hormone
- It works as a signaling molecule
It is found in many fruits and vegetables such as avocados, oysters, asparagus, sprouts, molasses and meat. For body building and increasing testosterone levels, it is wise to take D-Aspartic acid supplements as they have been proven to be effective for both.
In a study (source), 23 men were given D-Aspartate for a period of 12 days, while another group of 20 men received a placebo. Meanwhile, an animal study was also carried out on rats. Two groups of 10 rats were either given a solution of D-Aspartic acid, or a placebo for 12 days.
At the end of the study, it was found that D-Aspartic acid plays a role in pituitary gland and testes in the synthesis and regulation of testosterone (both in humans and rats).
D-Aspartic acid may be taken in the range of 2-5gm per day. If you are working out to build muscle, it is recommended to take the supplement an hour or 30 minutes before workout.
There are no serious side effects of D-Aspartic acid, but some people may experience the following side effects of D-Aspartic acid:
- Enhanced libido
- Increased appetite
- Increased hair growth
- Enhanced levels of aggression
- Mood swings
D-Aspartic acid is commonly present in the pituitary gland and testes where it works as a neurotransmitter and signaling molecule. For men with low testosterone, such as older men, D-Aspartic acid serves as a remedy by boosting testosterone. It stimulates the production of testosterone in the leydig cells of the testes, when signaled by the pituitary gland. By increasing testosterone, D-Aspartic acid has also become a popular supplement among men who are aiming to build muscle and increase their muscular strength. Before starting on D-Aspartic acid as a supplement, either as a treatment or for enhancing your workout sessions, you must consult with your doctor to ensure your health safety. Although, there are no serious side effects of D-Aspartic acid, but refrain from exceeding the recommended dosage as certain health implications might occur as a consequence.
The Common Mistakes of Chest Training
It is every guy’s dream to build a huge chest with an impressive set of pectoral muscles that are visible through his shirt but only a few are able to achieve it. Every guy works out his chest, whether he is a teenager, a young adult or a guy in his 50s; however many of them make mistakes when it comes to chest training. Here are five common mistakes of chest training.
This word is often heard when talking about fitness and bodybuilding. Most people train their chest with a higher intensity than any other muscle group, but quite frankly, this is totally unnecessary. Overtraining the pectoral muscles leads to exhaustion, tearing, and even injury.
Therefore, it is important to maintain a balance in your workout regimen. You don’t need to give your chest a top priority; unless you are really young. Instead focus more on compound exercises that will stimulate muscle growth all over the body, including the chest.
Excessive Bench Pressing
The bench press is an extremely popular exercise in chest training. However the majority tends to overdo it. Unless you are a powerlifter and are looking to increase your strength gains, bench pressing is not the only exercise that will build your pectoral muscles.
Flat barbell bench presses can strain your shoulders which results in should injury. This is because the shoulders rotate while lifting a barbell. To prevent injury, use free weights such as dumbbells to reduce the rotation of your shoulders and allow more rotation in the hands. This technique reduces the strain and causes the pectoral muscles to work out.
Too Much of Shoulder Rotation
Gyms are filled with eager individuals who rush to the chest machines and the flat bench presses blindly without realizing the damage they are doing to their shoulders and limiting their chest development. Performing a bench press looks easy but it involves a lot of complex movements.
As discussed earlier, you don’t need to do a lot of bench presses. Any kind of chest press involves the rotation of the shoulders which weakens the structures around the AC joints, resulting in shoulder injury plus you are making less use of your chest muscles in lifting the weight.
To correct this issue, the amount of shoulder rotation can be reduced by retracting your shoulder blades during the course of the movement. This will ease the burden on your shoulder and increase the involvement of your pectoral muscles in lifting the weight.
Note: Along with chest training, check our Gynectrol Review, if you have man boobs problems.
Neglecting the Upper Chest
This is something which people often ignore and favor the flat bench press instead. However training the upper chest is a major key component of an effective chest training regimen. If you want to create a split between your lower and upper pectoral muscles, be sure to implement incline chest presses which are more effective than the regular flat chest presses. A flat bench press, if done incorrectly will exert more stress on the shoulders than the pectoral muscles.
Not Carrying Out the Full Range of Motion
If you want to build some serious mass on your chest, then you need to realize the potential benefits of a full range of motion while lifting weights. More than often, it is omitted or rather left out because of the use of overly heavy weights. This can limit the development of your muscles.
Try to perform chest exercises with lighter weights that will allow a full range of movement; for example, don’t turn your attention towards an area where it is hard to stretch under a 100 pound barbell. Instead, pick up a pair of 40 pound dumbbells and start lifting away but ensure that you do the correct exercises.
Fenugreek – Does it Really Work to Boost Testosterone?
What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek is an herb which is found in the Mediterranean regions and is used as a treatment for many medical conditions in different parts of the world such as Europe and South Asia. The leaves and seeds are used as a spice, and seeds are known to contain different nutrients such as diosgenin (has estrogen like properties), niacin, vitamin C and potassium. Other active compounds include the amino acids L-tryptophan and lysine as well as some alkaloids and steroidal saponins.
Benefits of Fenugreek as a Testosterone Booster
Fenugreek is known to increase testosterone levels which help in building muscle through:
- Increased exercise performance
- Increased fat loss
- Increased muscle mass
- Increase in muscle glycogen after exercise
- Increased muscle strength
How Does It Work?
The testosterone which is present in your body is not available for muscle building because it normally exists in combination with a protein, which restricts its use for building muscle. Fenugreek helps in muscle building by increasing the production of testosterone in your body. There are many amino acids present in fenugreek which help in the maintenance, repair and synthesis of muscle tissue.
Some health benefits of fenugreek are as follows:
- Treatssore throat, bronchitis and asthma
- Improves digestion and treats digestive disorders like constipation and stomach upset
- Cures acid reflux
- Treats hormonal disorders
- Reduces menstrual pain
- Helps in inducing labor
- Treats reproductive disorders
- Increases libido
- Combats symptoms of PMS and menopause such as mood swings and hot flashes
- Cures skin problems such as boils, rashes and wounds
- May be effective for the treatment of diabetes
- May have cardiovascular benefits
- May reduce heartburn
- Helps with weight loss
- May serve as a treatment for gout
A study (source) conducted on 46 resistance trained men studied the effect of fenugreek extract for increasing strength. A placebo or a 500mg fenugreek was given to the volunteers randomly. The subjects went on a resistance training program for 4 days a week for a period of 8 weeks. At the end of the study, it was concluded that 500mg of fenugreek significantly increased the upper and lower body strength. No side effects were observed during the study.
The effect of two enzymes – 5α reductase and aromatase, which are found in fenugreek was evaluated in a study. The effects were observed in 20 resistance trained men who either received a placebo or fenugreek extract. The study lasted for a period of two months in which the subjects endured resistance training for four days per week. The study reported increased testosterone levels, increased performance for weight-lifting areas of the body and reduced body fat in the men who received fenugreek extract.
Fenugreek is safe to consume in the amount found in foods. When taken as a medicine, following mild side effects may occur:
- Stomach upset
- Facial swelling
- Low blood sugar
- Allergic reactions in hypertensive people
- Wheezing and coughing
- Bloating and gas
- Nasal congestion
- Maple syrup odor in sweat and urine
A word of caution
For pregnant women, it is advised to avoid the use of fenugreek because it may cause early contractions and cause an unusual odor in the newborn. There is not much evidence to show the safety of fenugreek during breastfeeding so it’s better to stay away from fenugreek in these conditions.
Also, for diabetics, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be a consequence of fenugreek intake. It is advised to monitor your blood sugar regularly and consult your doctor if you are a diabetic before starting on fenugreek as a supplement or medication.
Fenugreek has a variety of benefits – from serving as a spice for Mediterranean cuisines to increasing the libido and building muscle mass. Through research, it is shown that fenugreek when taken in doses of 500mg per day, can lead to reduced fat, increased exercise performance and more muscle mass. If you are planning to start on fenugreek supplement to build a toned and muscular body, consult your doctor first so as to avoid any complications which might occur otherwise. Also, make sure to take note of the side effects, allergies and contraindications for fenugreek before you augment this supplement to your diet for your resistance training and workout.
Panax ginseng – The King of all Herbs
What is Panax ginseng?
Panax is a Greek word meaning ‘all-heal’, which refers to the healing properties of this herb as evident from its use in the treatment of various diseases and health conditions. This plant grows in far eastern Siberia, northeastern China and Korea. The root of the plant is extensively used for medicinal purposes as compared to any other part of the plant. There are other species of ginseng such as Siberian ginseng, American ginseng or Panax pseudoginseng. Just make sure you don’t confuse Panax ginseng with any of these other varieties.
Benefits of Panax ginseng as a Testosterone Booster
Panax ginseng is used as a testosterone booster because it is known to increase testosterone levels, which can have the following benefits for bodybuilding:
- Improves physical stamina
- Prevents damage to muscles from vigorous exercise
- Increases athletic endurance
- Increases muscle mass and strength
- Enhances exercise performance
- Promotes building of lean muscle
How Does It Work?
The male hormone, testosterone, is synthesized under the stimulation of luteinizing hormone (LH). Increase in testosterone levels increases libido and can have the above mentioned benefits for body builders. Ginsenoside is the active compound found in Panax ginseng, which is responsible for increasing the serum testosterone levels in men.
Some other uses of Panax ginseng are as follows:
- Used in the manufacturing of cosmetics and soaps
- Used to combat stress
- Used as a flavoring agent in beverages
- Can be used as a treatment for premature ejaculation, increasing libido in women, infertility problems in men and hot flashes due to menopause
- Can be used to slow down aging and treat wrinkled skin
- Used for anxiety and depression issues
- Used as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), general fatigue and cystic fibrosis (lung disease)
- Can improve efficiency at work
- Can enhance sexual behavior and treat sexual dysfunction
In an animal study (source) conducted on rats, it was found that feeding rats with 5% Panax ginseng in their diet for 60 days, led to significant increase in testosterone levels. But the same effect was not observed with the dose of 1% Panax ginseng.
A clinical trial (source) was performed that involved 66 participants, who received an extract of Asian ginseng. It was found that Asian ginseng could significantly increase LH, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and free as well as total testosterone.
Insomnia is a common side effect of Panax ginseng. But the following side effects may also be experienced by some people:
- Low blood pressure
- High blood pressure
- Nose bleed
- Increased heart rate
- Menstrual problems
- Vaginal bleeding
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Breast pain
There are few conditions which are quite uncommon with ginseng, but are reported nonetheless. They include:
- Severe allergies
- Damage to liver
- Stevenson Johnson Syndrome – a kind of severe rash
A word of caution
It is unsafe for infants and children. Due to lack of research, expecting and lactating mothers are advised to avoid the use of Panax ginseng. Additionally, the following people need to exercise proper caution if they want to use ginseng:
- It can increase the response of immune system, interfering and possibly worsening auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, etc
- Panax ginseng may interfere with blood clotting so people with bleeding conditions should avoid its use
- The herb might lower blood sugar excessively in people with diabetes. So it is advised to monitor your blood sugar if you are diabetic and taking Panax ginseng
- Avoid use of this herb if you are having an organ transplant because it can increase the activity of the immune system
- Due to its estrogen like effects, people who are suffering from conditions that might worsen with increase in estrogen should avoid its use. These include ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer, uterine fibroids or endometriosis
Panax ginseng, often referred to as ‘the King of all herbs’ possesses healing properties and has been in Chinese medicine for ages. It is used for the treatment of many sexual, skin, emotional, mental, chronic and respiratory diseases. It possesses a compound which can increase testosterone levels, so this herb has also found its way among the supplements for bodybuilders. The increase in testosterone levels lends many benefits for bodybuilding such as increased muscle mass and enhanced exercise performance. However, proper caution should be exercised before starting on Panax ginseng because it can cause many side effects as well as worsen already existing health problems. Make sure to consult your doctor before you start on this herb so that you can avoid any unnecessary health complications.
Leucine – The Crucial BCAA for Building Muscle
What is Leucine?
Leucine is a branched chain alpha-amino acid which is utilized by the body in the biosynthesis of proteins. It is an essential amino acid – meaning that the human body is incapable of producing leucine, therefore it has to be obtained from other sources such as diet or supplements. Leucine is naturally synthesized by plants and other microorganisms. It is actively utilized in the adipose (fat) and muscular tissues.
Benefits of Leucine for Body Building
Following benefits of leucine are backed by research:
- It promotes formation of proteins
- It spares muscles during weight loss
- It targets fat for cutting down weight
- Increased muscle growth
- Enhanced amino acid uptake
- Prevents muscle breakdown
How Does It Work?
Leucine directly stimulates the synthesis of muscle proteins. The mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) pathway is one of the most widely researched muscle building pathway. Leucine activates the mTOR complex, unlocking the pathways for muscle building. mTOR gets disabled in low leucine levels. When sufficient leucine is present, the protein synthesis in the muscles is switched on which causes muscle growth, and also prevents muscle degradation.
Leucine has also been shown to regulate cholesterol in rats. In clinical studies conducted on animals, it was found that the rats that were given leucine supplements had increased HDL (high density lip protein) levels – the good cholesterol.
Leucine can be obtained from diet to get the required amount of leucine for your body. However, if you are planning on building muscle, you will have to turn towards leucine supplements for help.
Some natural food sources of leucine are beef, eggs, chicken, milk, cheese, yoghurt, fish, etc.
Eight male participants completed a three-trial research study in which they performed lower body workout for 45 minutes. The three trials were spaced at one week intervals. The trials focused on three separate diets:
- carbohydrates and protein
- carbohydrate, protein and leucine
The results from the trial including leucine reported a significant insulin response in the patients. Increased insulin response leads to increased uptake of amino acids and decreased breakdown of muscle proteins. Both these effects increase the rate of protein synthesis in muscles.
Another study (source) was performed in older men, in which the participants were provided a combination of whey protein, and leucine or milk protein. Both the groups consumed the same number of calories but it was found that the group consuming leucine experienced increased rates of muscle protein synthesis.
The upper limit of the dose for leucine is 35g/day or 500mg/kg/day for adult healthy men.
- If taken over 30 gm/day by normal adults, leucine can interfere with the absorption of vitamins B6 and B3. This can lead to deficiency diseases.
- It can lower blood sugar levels by interfering with insulin levels in diabetics. People on diabetic medications should monitor their blood glucose regularly if they wish to start on leucine supplements.
A word of caution
If taken in excess, leucine may cause pellagra, which has the following symptoms:
If a dose greater than 500mg/kg/day is taken, then it causes hyperammonemia.
Leucine toxicity can also occur as a consequence of high doses of leucine, as seen in decompensated maple syrup urine disease (MSUD), which can be a life-threatening situation.
How to Maximize Leucine Benefits?
Because leucine is proven to promote protein synthesis and muscle growth, you can use leucine to supplement your training workout sessions at the gym. Follow the tips below to maximize the benefits of leucine:
- Take 2.5gm of leucine in the first 30 minutes of exercise training. This will act as an anabolic stimulus
- After work out, add an additional 5gm of leucine in your protein shake
- Before going to bed, take 5gm of leucine for the recovery and strength of your muscles in response to intense workout
- To enhance your protein synthesis, take leucine in-between meals to accelerate muscle recovery
Leucine is one of the essential amino acids which cannot be produced by our body, but nonetheless, is very important for muscular growth and protein synthesis. Research has backed the effects of leucine for promoting and stimulating the synthesis of proteins in the muscles. If you are planning to supplement your daily workout with leucine supplements, then you will experience increased rates of muscular growth as well as increased muscular strength. Just make sure to consult your doctor before starting on leucine supplements so as to avoid any unforeseen health complications.
Nettle Leaf Extract – Does it Increase Your Testosterone?
What is Nettle Leaf Extract?
Commonly called as stinging nettle, it is a weed plant whose leaves, flowers and stem are used for medicinal, food and herbal purposes. It has many active biological compounds such as flavonoids like quercetin that possess antioxidant properties. The consumption of nettle fights against different kinds of allergies and its leaves are dried to make an herbal tea. The leaves and roots of nettle are also used to make extracts which can be used for medicinal purposes. But it is strongly advised not to self-diagnose and self-treat any of your existing medical conditions and take the opinion of your doctor before starting on nettle leaf extract.
Benefits of Nettle Leaf Extract as Testosterone Booster
Nettle leaf extract is known for:
- Boosting free testosterone levels
- The increased testosterone leads to increased muscle mass
- Increasing muscle strength
- Enhancing exercise performance
- Inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone)
How Does It Work?
Nettle increases the muscle mass and builds muscle by effecting the levels of testosterone in the body. Testosterone is normally bound to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) but in this arrangement, testosterone is of not much use. Nettle is believed to bind to SHBG, leaving the testosterone free to circulate and perform useful functions such as building muscle.
Other benefits of nettle leaf include:
- Used in cheese making
- For making herbal tea
- Used in many recipes and cuisines in Asia and Europe
- In making alcoholic nettle beer
- Steeped nettle leaves are used for making drinks and beverages
- Has been used in traditional medicine for gastrointestinal and cardiovascular disorders
- Other conditions of kidneys, skin, hemorrhage, gout, rheumatism and influenza are also treated
- Fiber from nettle is used for making clothes
- It is also used to treat multiple allergies, pain and osteoarthritis
- It is also used for skin care and hair growth
- It may lead to weight loss
- Possess anti-fungal and antibacterial properties
- Detoxification of the body
In order to increase testosterone levels, the standard dosage of nettle extract is 400 to 1200 mg per day of a 95% nettle extract. Just make sure to consult your doctor before starting with this supplement.
Nettle leaf is safe to take as food and as medicine. However, in some people following mild side effects can occur:
- Skin irritation on touching the plant
- Stomach complaints
- Interference with other prescription drugs
A word of caution
For people having different medical conditions, nettle leaf is unsafe to use without consulting with a doctor or a health professional. For the following, it is best to avoid nettle leaf:
- Pregnant and lactating women – It may stimulate premature uterine contractions leading to a miscarriage.
- Hypo-tension – for people with low blood pressure, the blood pressure may fall too low. Never start on nettle leaf without consulting your doctor first.
- Diabetics – Nettle leaf may decrease blood sugar levels and they may be too low if you don’t monitor your blood sugar regularly.
- Kidney problems – Nettle leaf can increase urine flow. As kidneys are the organs that produce urine, taking nettle leaf while suffering from any kind of kidney problems may not be a wise decision. Consult your doctor before starting on nettle leaf.
More than fifty compounds have been isolated from the nettle plant. These compounds are responsible for the various health benefits of nettle extract. Apart from being used in food and medicine, the nettle leaf extract is also used to build muscle and enhance exercise performance. But like all supplements, there are side effects and contraindications for nettle extract as well. Make sure to consult your doctor before you start on nettle leaf extract to supplement your exercise routine to build muscle mass. If you have existing medical conditions, take extra caution and care while using nettle leaf extract and monitor your health regularly while taking the recommended dosage of nettle leaf extract.
Boost Muscle Recovery with Isoleucine
What is Isoleucine?
Isoleucine is a branched chain alpha-amino acid which is utilized by the body in the biosynthesis of proteins. It is similar in structure to leucine, and is an essential amino acid – meaning that the human body is incapable of producing isoleucine, therefore it has to be obtained from other sources such as diet or supplements. Isoleucine is naturally microorganisms (such as bacteria) and plants. It is actively utilized in the adipose (fat) and muscular tissues for muscular recovery, as well as in the clotting of blood at the site of injury.
Benefits of Isoleucinefor Body Building
Isoleucine has the following benefits for muscle building:
- Increased muscle endurance
- Faster muscle recovery after exercise
- Boost in energy levels of the body
- Regulating blood sugar levels
- Encourages blood clotting at the site of injury
- Increased glucose tolerance, leading to a leaner body
- Increased metabolism
- Reduced body fat
How Does It Work?
All the three BCAAs (valine, leucine, isoleucine) help in the recovery of muscles after strenuous exercise. Isoleucine being one of them, is highly important for body builders and athletes, as it helps in increasing muscular endurance for exercise, as well as helps in clotting of blood. It is broken down in the muscle cells for energy and also boosts the body’s energy by regulating sugar levels in blood. A deficiency of isoleucine triggers symptoms like that of hypoglycemia, some of which include:
Isoleucine does not only help in muscle building, but also in the synthesis of many structural and functional proteins, such as:
- Antibodies – which strengthen the immune system
- Other hormones – which help in regulation of various body mechanisms
In addition to proteins, isoleucine is also used by the body to manufacture glucose and ketone bodies.
- When your blood sugar is low, such as during exercise, the body produces glucose from other compounds, such as amino acids (one of which is leucine), through a process called gluconeogenesis
- Ketone bodies are also broken down by the body to produce energy. They are produced in various organs of the body, such as, the heart
Isoleucine can be obtained from diet to get the required amount for your body. However, if you have plans for muscle building, you will have to take isoleucine supplements.
Some natural food sources of leucine are meat, lentils, eggs, chicken, seeds, soy protein, peas, fish, etc. If you have a deficiency of isoleucine, consult your doctor for the dose of isoleucine supplement.
A study (source) was conducted to evaluate the effects of BCAA on muscle loss and power in people trekking at high altitudes. According to the results of the study, BCAAs supplementation synthesizes muscular tissue, and can prevent loss of muscle mass during hypoxia (low levels of oxygen in the body).
In another study (source), resistance trained participants were provided with a 14g supplement of either:
- Whey protein
- BCAAs, or
- Carbohydrate placebo
The study went on for 8 weeks and all the participants also took part in a strength training routine. At the end of the study, it was found that the BCAA group had significant changes as compared to others. They had a 4 kg increase in leans mass and 2% loss in body fat.
A dose of 68-144mg/kg of body weight is considered optimal for healthy adults.
High levels of BCAA in blood may cause:
- Mood swings
- Sleep problems
A word of caution
- People who are suffering from any kidney or liver diseases, or impaired functions, should avoid taking isoleucine as unmonitored doses may worsen these conditions.
- For people suffering from chronic alcoholism, high levels of isoleucine may lead to liver and brain damage.
- Consuming isoleucine supplements may interfere with surgery and post-surgery recovery. It is recommended to stop the use of isoleucine supplements two weeks prior to scheduled surgery.
- For ALS patients, it is recommended to steer clear of isoleucine as it may cause lung failure and even death.
- In people are suffering from branched-chain ketoaceduria, high levels of isoleucine can cause seizures and severe mental retardation.
As isoleucine is one of the three BCAAs, it is crucial for muscle growth, repair and endurance. It helps in regulating blood glucose and increases the strength of muscles by increasing muscle endurance. Isoleucine is generally taken along with leucine and valine; the two other BCAAs. The ratio of BCAAs in the body needs to be maintained, and any upset or increased levels may lead to health implications and serious damage to the body. If you want to start on isoleucine or BCAA supplements, keep the contraindications in mind, and do consult your doctor to avoid any negative health consequences of this supplement.