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Are Testosterone Boosters Steroids?

If you’re trying to deal with low testosterone, you’ve probably heard of testosterone boosters and steroids and you’re probably wondering what the difference is? 

A lot of people will tell you that they’re the same thing and it’s important to know that they are not. 

So, let’s clear this up once and for all and examine the important differences between testosterone boosters and steroids. 

What Is A Testosterone Booster?

Testosterone Booster

Almost all men hit their maximum level of testosterone production at around the age of 30 and as their testosterone levels diminish, they may also lose muscle mass, feel tired, undergo emotional trauma and find themselves facing sexual dysfunction.

This is when a testosterone booster (like the ones on our list of the best testosterone boosters) can be useful. 

It’s very important to know that  a testosterone booster contains no testosterone or any form of hormone.

Instead, it is made out of all natural products that are meant to help the body produce more testosterone in its own right. 

This can really help with muscle gains at the gym during strength training, for example.  

What Are Steroids?


Steroids are an artificial and chemical reconstruction of testosterone. 

They are prescribed by doctors to help treat severe cases of low testosterone or other conditions such as hypogonadism. 

They will come in many different forms such as pills, injections, creams, gels, and implants. 

Sadly, within the weight lifting and gym scene they are often sold illegally to help build muscle and improve endurance. 

It’s worth noting that if you compete in any sport, steroid use, if found in a drug test, is likely to get you banned from competing. 

Testosterone Boosters How They Work

Low testosterone is a real problem. It has a list of serious symptoms in men (and sometimes, women too) and it’s something that most of us would prefer to avoid if we could.

Testosterone boosters help to increase the production of testosterone in your body. Their impact is not as dramatic as some of the clinical treatments but this also means, there are no side-effects and for many folks with low T, the impact of boosters is enough. 

Some of the common active ingredients are:

  • Tribulus terrestris. It’s said to be linked to better libido and performance, though the exact impact on testosterone production isn’t fully understood. Bodybuilders have been using it for long periods of time without negative effects, which means it’s super safe.
  • ZMA (Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6). This definitely boosts testosterone, thanks to the zinc supplementation and magnesium is good for reducing stress and the Vitamin B6 helps your body absorb the minerals.
  • D-aspartic Acid. This amino acid is linked to testosterone production in the testes.
  • Vitamin D. Everyone should take a vitamin D supplement if they’re not getting large amounts of natural sunlight and one thing it does is boost testosterone.
  • DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone). This is a natural hormone which mimics testosterone, it’s not proven to work but many people report feeling better when using it. 

Steroids How They Work

Steroids are a powerful hormone that bind to specific androgen receptors in the body and then they start producing higher levels of proteins than they usually do.

They are very good at helping people to increase muscle mass because of this and sadly, this often leads to abuse of steroids in gyms.

It’s worth noting though that steroids also have many valid medical uses, if a doctor prescribes them, it’s fine to use them for the period of prescription.

The Abuse Potential Of Steroids

The biggest concern with steroid use is that it can lead to abuse and when you obtain steroids without a prescription, you may also be committing a criminal offense. 

Mood swings

In fact, there’s a thriving black market in steroids due to their profitability and a general lack of interest in policing this trade.

However, before you decide to experiment on your own with steroids, be aware, firstly that you don’t know if the substance you buy from a gym buddy is safe or even really a steroid.

Secondly, you should be aware that all of the following are potential symptoms of steroid abuse, and that, in general, these are not worth a little easy muscle gain:

  • Loss of fertility
  • Shrinking testicles
  • Mood swings
  • Urination pain
  • (In women) increase volumes of facial hair
  • (In men) baldness
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low sperm count
  • Heart disease

We strongly recommend that if you take steroids that you only do so with the aid of a physician and that you keep your exposure time to a minimum, these side-effects are no joke.

Final Thoughts

So, testosterone boosters are categorically not steroids. They are a natural supplement designed to gently stimulate testosterone production and are 100% safe and do not require a prescription.

In contrast, steroids should be prescribed and can have a wide-range of unpleasant side-effects.

Stephen Oliver
Stephen Oliver
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