Men fairly new to the fitness industry are naturally curious about dietary supplements and especially testosterone pills in particular. There are also concerns regarding safety. Are testosterone boosters safe? People can’t help but wonder after all those reports of bodybuilders dropping dead from heart or other organ failure in their 40s or 50s. We’ll explore this highly debated topic and offer our two cents.
We know you want a straight yes or no answer. Unfortunately, like so many questions in life, we can’t provide a straightforward answer one way or the other without going into all the “ifs” and “buts.”
Are testosterone supplements safe? It depends. It certainly can be safe, and it certainly can be dangerous. Ultimately, its safety comes down to the ingredients.
With respects to natural testosterone supplements, “natural” being the keyword, then yes, T enhancement products are safe to consume. This is because the compounds are derived from ingredients found in whole foods, herbs, or spices.
Common natural testosterone compounds include zinc, magnesium, boron, and glycine just to list a few. As long as a product doesn’t stray from natural active ingredients, then you can rest assure the supplement is safe and mostly side-effect-free.
Remember, most of these ingredients are also readily available as standalone dietary supplements. Most are even found in your run-of-the-mill multi-vitamin tablet. Obviously, nobody second-guesses the safety of a vitamin pill, nor should they.
Our own Testro-X also contains the above ingredients with zero synthetic ingredients. It meets the definition of a safe supplement.
Testosterone pills enter the danger territory when they contain synthetically derived compounds. This means ingredients formulated in a lab and not found in nature. This includes anabolic steroids and even medically prescribed treatments like testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). In fact, a 2013 study found that TRT elevated the risk of heart attack and stroke. Men on TRT with preexisting cardiovascular disease were especially at risk. Another study published in the American Heart Association Journal revealed a strong association between anabolic-androgenic steroids and cardiovascular toxicity.
We also mentioned in passing earlier about the prevalence of bodybuilders dying prematurely. One of the more recent cases was the sudden death of bodybuilder Rich Piana in 2017. While the exact cause of death was inconclusive, his massive weight put him at grave risk for sudden cardiac arrest. He was only 46.
Did anabolic steroids play a role? We can’t say for certain, nor can we say testosterone pills and injections played a role in every instance of premature bodybuilder death. Let’s dive deeper into the issue of synthetic testosterone boosters.
Are testosterone boosters safe? In regards to the type of ingredients and products we’re going to discuss, the answer is a “Hell No.” What are some of the T boosters that pro bodybuilders are injecting into their veins behind the scenes?
Common synthetic compounds include:
Also known as Dbol, this is perhaps one of the oldest and most commonly abused steroids. Its origins date back to the 1950s just as the bodybuilding industry was beginning to take shape. Dbol use is known to cause high blood pressure and aggression, often resulting in violent outbursts or “roid rage.” Dianabol is also illegal and has been banned since 1990 under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act.
This is the same artificial hormone farmers use to quickly add bulk to livestock. It’s also reportedly five times more anabolic than normal testosterone due to containing a double bond at the 9th and 11th atom at the molecular level. At least one documented instance exists of a young man being rushed to the ER for myocardial infarction (fancy term for heart attack) due to trenbolone acetate use.
Other common compounds that warrant a mention include anadrol, winstrol, oxandrin, durabolin, deca-durabolin, and depo-testosteron.
None of these are safe. Are they effective for building muscle? Yes, they are. In fact, they’re more effective than natural testosterone supplements by a long shot. The truth is, you’re probably not going to develop the muscle mass of a pro Mr. Olympia competitor using a natural T booster. While bodybuilders may endorse natural testosterone pills in muscle magazines, they’re injecting themselves with Dbol and trenbolone outside the public sphere.
While synthetic compounds are super effective for building muscle mass, you have to ask yourself whether the short-term muscle gain is worth it. Is it worth the acne, balding, voice change, and the urge to bash someone’s head in for just even looking at you the wrong way? More importantly, is it worth potentially sharing the same fate as Rich Piana and other bodybuilders that died well before their time?
Here’s a helpful rule of thumb: if a testosterone product requires administration via injection, or if you can only acquire it through the black market, then avoid it like the plague. We also recommend staying away from anything requiring a doctor’s prescription. In this case, that would be TRT.
Testosterone enhancement is and should be an endeavor for all men in their 30s and beyond. The good news is that nature provides all the ingredients you need for building functional muscle. In this sense, natural testosterone supplements can play a key role with zero risks. Once you delve into the anabolic steroid territory, though, you’re playing with Pandora’s box.
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