Article edited for scientific accuracy by Illuminate Labs Blog Editor Taylor Graber MD
Nugenix is a supplement company with products targeted to men. Their most popular product called “Total-T” claims to boost testosterone (T) levels, which is a bold claim since not many botanical products have been effective in medical research in increasing T.
In this article we’ll review the formulation of Nugenix Total-T, as well as the formulation of Nugenix Testosterone Booster and Nugenix GH-Boost. We’ll analyze the ingredients and dosages based on medical research to determine if these products are likely to be effective, and provide some alternatives we believe are superior.
Nugenix Total-T Review
The first two ingredients in Total-T are Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. We haven’t seen any medical research suggesting low levels of vitamin supplementation aid testosterone production. One medical trial found that 1,500 micrograms (mcg)/day of Vitamin B12 supplementation, or 625 times the amount in Total-T, had no influence on testosterone. We can assume these ingredients are ineffective.
Zinc is the third ingredient in Total-T, and this mineral has been shown to be mildly effective for improving testosterone levels, but the dose of 1 milligram (mg) in Total-T is incredibly low.
A medical review on zinc for low T levels found that 220 mg of zinc was an effective dosage, which is 220x higher than that included in Nugenix. We do not recommend taking 220 mg of zinc for safety reasons; we only reference this one study to illustrate how far Total-T may be from an effective dose of zinc.
Boron is another mineral included in this formulation which is commonly included in T-boosting supplements (like Umzu Testro X which we recently reviewed). The 10 mg boron in Total-T appears to be an effective dose, since one of the most well-cited studies on boron supplementation for testosterone used 10 mg and found a positive effect.
This product contains citrulline malate, which seems like a totally ineffective ingredient in our opinion since this compound is typically used for cardiovascular benefit. We haven’t seen any research suggesting it boosts T levels, and Nugenix doesn’t publish any so we’ll assume it’s ineffective in this context.
Longjack (Eurycoma longifolia) extract is an effective ingredient for T-boosting supplements, but appears to be underdosed in Total-T. There’s only 100 mg in this product, while a medical review of several studies on longjack for T found that all studies contained a minimum dosage of 200 mg. The review did find longjack to be effective at that dosage.
There’s a patented botanical extract in Total-T called “elevATP” which has been studied for athletic performance improvements, but we can't find any studies linking it to improved T levels. This appears to be another ineffective ingredient for improving T.
The final ingredient in this formulation is fenugreek extract at 600 mg which is an effective dose. A meta-review of fenugreek extract found a “significant effect” on serum testosterone levels, and most of the studies included used slightly less than that in Total-T.
Overall this is a decent formulation and much safer than some of the other T-boosting supplements we’ve reviewed like Vintage Muscle. However we still wouldn’t recommend it because at least half of the ingredients are ineffective for increasing T based on our review of medical literature.
Taking the effective ingredients in isolation like fenugreek extract at 600 mg and longjack extract at 200 mg would be more cost-effective than buying this product and paying for many ineffective ingredients as well.
Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster Review
This product has a similar formulation to Total-T, but unfortunately includes a proprietary (prop) blend called “Nugenix Free Testosterone Complex” which makes it harder to analyze. Companies use prop blends to protect their formulations, because this labeling method includes the total dosage of certain ingredients instead of listing each dose individually.
Prop blends are bad for educated consumers (and researchers like us) because they make it challenging to assess whether the product is likely to be safe and effective.
Free Testosterone Booster contains Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 at similar doses to the previous product, so we can assume these ingredients are ineffective based on our review above.
This formulation also includes zinc at the exact same dosage, which we’ve already concluded to be ineffective and underdosed.
The prop blend contains citrulline malate, which we’ve determined to be ineffective for increasing T, as well as fenugreek and tribulus.
If we assume the fenugreek dosage is similar to that in Total-T, this is likely to be an effective ingredient.
Tribulus extract is the only new ingredient here, and a thorough medical review found that supplemental tribulus extract is ineffective in increasing testosterone levels in humans.
This formulation is worse than Total-T as it only contains one ingredient which appears to be effective for boosting T levels. We don’t recommend this product, and taking the one effective ingredient (fenugreek) alone would be much more cost-effective for naturally enhancing T status.
Nugenix GH Boost Review
Nugenix makes a pretty bold claim with this product, stating that it boosts growth hormone (GH) levels over 100%.
GABA is the first listed ingredient, and is typically used for stress relief, not growth hormone increase. Interestingly, medical research does show that GABA is effective in increasing GH levels both at rest and post-exercise at the dosage used in GH Boost.
Glutamine is the second ingredient, and has been shown in a medical study to increase GH levels at exactly the dose in GH Boost.
Three amino acids (l-lysine, l-arginine, l-ornithine) are also all effectively dosed based on medical studies. A study in the Nutrition Journal found these three amino acids to stimulate growth hormone production when administered orally.
Glycine at 100 mg is the sixth ingredient, and has also been studied for GH secretion. It does appear to be effective, but seems to be underdosed in this formulation. We haven’t come across any studies showing glycine to aid GH production at such a low dose.
A-GPC is the final ingredient and like glycine is an effective ingredient choice but seems quite underdosed. The studies on A-GPC for GH production use around 600 mg/day or more, and there’s only 25 mg per serving in this product.
Overall this appears to be an effectively formulated product, but we have some questions about long-term safety, specifically in regards to GABA which doesn’t have very many safety studies which include such a high dose.
We also find it strange that Nugenix claims this product has no artificial flavors or fillers, while it contains sucralose which is an artificial sweetener with questionable health effects. It also contains “natural flavors” which is an essentially unregulated term we recommend avoiding because without knowing the exact chemicals used it’s impossible to determine if the formulation is safe.
Nugenix's T-boosting formulations aren't very well formulated, while their GH-boosting formulation does appear to be effectively dosed for the most part. We still don't recommend any of their products due to safety concerns. We’d like to see the company publish long-term safety trials of their products, specifically their GH-Boost product, and then we’d consider recommending it.
We recommend that consumers speak with their doctor and get hormonal testing before taking OTC supplements that can alter hormonal function.
Even if hormonal support is validated to be necessary through medical testing, we believe that taking single-herb extracts like fenugreek, which are well-established T-boosters in scientific studies, would be more effective and cheaper than taking blends which haven’t been clinically proven.