Are Testosterone Boosters Actually Natural? Exploring the Facts

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: August 11, 2023
Testosterone Boosters Natty

For gym-goers looking to raise their testosterone levels, testosterone boosters have become an increasingly popular option.

Interestingly, even natural bodybuilding competitions allow the use of these supplements, classifying them as “natty,” or natural, in such contexts.

While the long-term effects of testosterone boosters are still under investigation, they have been shown to potentially increase muscle mass, improve mood and cognitive function, and enhance sexual health.

Are Testosterone Boosters Natty?

Bodybuilding has become increasingly popular over the years, and with it, the use of steroids and supplements to enhance one’s physique.

However, there is a growing movement within the sport that emphasizes the importance of natural bodybuilding and abstaining from the use of these enhancements.

Those who follow this mindset declare themselves ‘natty’, a term used to describe individuals who do not utilize steroids and supplements to improve their appearance.

While testosterone boosters are allowed in natural bodybuilding competitions, there is a small subset that believes that no supplements should be taken.

For bodybuilders who do use steroids, testosterone boosters can be a crucial tool in helping their bodies recover and maintain muscle mass.

What Does Natty Mean?

When it comes to the term ‘natty’ in the bodybuilding world, there are differing opinions on its definition.

Some believe that it means no supplements at all, but this perspective overlooks the fact that many supplements are derived from natural substances found in food and beverages, such as amino acids and caffeine.

However, the majority agree that a ‘natty’ bodybuilder is someone who has built their physique through a combination of a proper diet, resistance training, and supplements that are approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Understanding what it truly means to be ‘natty’ can help aspiring bodybuilders develop a healthy and sustainable approach to achieving their desired results.

Are Testosterone Boosters classified As Steroids?

Steroids have become a popular topic of conversation in the weightlifting community, with many individuals seeking ways to increase their strength and size.

Anabolic steroids like Deca, Dianabol, and Anadrol are often referred to in this context because they can provide significant benefits.

These synthetic versions of male testosterone can aid in muscle growth and recovery.

However, it’s essential to note that not all supplements that boost testosterone levels are classified as steroids.

Testosterone boosters made with natural herbs like tongkat ali and ashwagandha can provide similar benefits without the side effects associated with anabolic steroids.

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It’s crucial to understand the difference between these two types of supplements and seek expert advice before incorporating them into your fitness routine.

Are Testosterone Boosters Drugs?

The definition of a drug appears to be somewhat ambiguous, with different sources providing varying explanations.

According to, a drug is a chemical substance used for medical purposes, such as treating or preventing illnesses or enhancing physical or mental wellbeing.

However,’s definition is more specific, defining a drug as a chemical substance that affects the central nervous system and can cause changes in behavior and addiction.

Considering these contrasting definitions, it is understandable that there may be debates about whether testosterone boosters are considered drugs.

Ultimately, the definition of a drug is subjective and varies depending on how one interprets the word.

Are Testosterone Boosters Banned Substances?

Testosterone boosters, which are supplements designed to increase testosterone levels in the body, are not banned substances in themselves.

However, due to their potential performance-enhancing effects, authorities like the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) typically advise against using them, particularly for athletes.

Certain ingredients found in some testosterone boosters might be on the prohibited list of substances for professional sports organizations. For example, anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone, are commonly banned substances in professional sports.

While optimizing testosterone levels naturally is not banned, any substance or method that artificially enhances performance could potentially violate anti-doping regulations.

It’s important to note that dietary supplements, including testosterone boosters, are not well regulated, and there can be a risk of them containing prohibited substances not listed on the label. Athletes should therefore exercise caution when considering the use of these products.

4 Examples of Unnatty Bodybuilding Substances

Here are brief descriptions of these four substances that are commonly used in unnatural (or “un natty”) bodybuilding:

Hormone Precursors

These are substances that the body can convert into active hormones. An example is DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), which can be converted into testosterone or estrogen. They are often marketed as natural dietary supplements, but their use can lead to increased levels of hormones beyond normal ranges, potentially resulting in adverse health effects.

Growth Hormones

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) naturally occurs in the body and plays a critical role in cell regeneration, growth, and maintaining healthy human tissue. However, synthetic HGH is often used in bodybuilding to increase muscle mass. Long-term use can have serious side effects, including heart disease and diabetes.

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Anabolic Steroids

These are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. They promote the growth of skeletal muscle and the development of male sexual characteristics in both males and females. It’s illegal to use anabolic steroids without a prescription in most countries, and they’re banned in most sports due to their potential to give users an unfair advantage.


Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) are drugs that are designed to have the same effects as testosterone. They’re often marketed as dietary supplements for bodybuilding, but they’re not approved by the FDA for medical use due to concerns about their safety. Long-term health effects are unknown, but short-term side effects include hair loss, mood changes, and liver damage.

These substances can provide quick results in terms of muscle growth and fat loss, but they also carry significant health risks and ethical considerations, particularly in competitive sports.


Overall, it is important to understand the difference between natural and unnatural bodybuilding substances, as well as their potential risks.

Natural supplements like testosterone boosters can provide similar benefits without the side effects associated with anabolic steroids.

However, athletes should be aware that some ingredients in these products might not be permitted by professional sports organizations and exercise caution when considering their use.

Ultimately, those looking to build muscle mass and achieve better performance results should focus on developing a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and regular physical activity.

Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.