About a month ago I ordered the Original Testosterone Stack by Powder City. It contains several supplements that, as the name implies, may act on testosterone or other hormones.
I assume it is actually meant to increase sex drive or aid in other conditions associated with low testosterone and that it can’t actually increase testosterone. (It’s a complicated subject.)
I was also curious as to why Powder City had a “regular” Testosterone Supplement Stack and the Original Testosterone Stack, but I ordered the original just to try it out. Overall I wasn’t disappointed by its effects.
Supplements Included in the Original Testosterone Stack
For $23.49 (as of this post) you get a 30-day supply of the following supplements:
Tongkat Ali (Longjack)
Tongkat Ali/Longjack/Malaysian Ginseng/Eurycoma Longifolia are all different names for the same thing. This herb is touted for its pro-fertility and aphrodisiac effects which may be in part due to its anti-estrogenic properties. There is little evidence it positively affects testosterone in healthy men however.2
Tribulus terrestris is an herb revered in Ayurveda for its aphrodisiac and adaptogenic properties. Evidence is limited that it directly increases testosterone levels and brain 3, however it’s believed that its mechanism of action is via increasing DHEA levels, though the experiment was only a rat model.4
Agmatine is a decarboxylated byproduct of L-arginine (arginine being similar in mechanism of action to citrulline and involved in the same pathways). Presumably it could have an effect similar to arginine and citrulline, however it has many other effects that must be researched in greater depth.5
Stevia and Citric Acid
Both are included for flavor. I recommend doubling up on the stevia sweetener as the longjack and tribulus are fairly bitter.
Benefits of the Original Testosterone Stack
I’ll be blunt and say this stuff isn’t powdered testosterone, or steroids or hormone replacement therapy. These are just herbal and nutritional supplements.
However, based on well over a month of personal use of the stack, I found it to have some marked (subjective) effects on testosterone characteristics, namely an increased sex drive and a performance and a willingness to just do physical things that translated well to the gym.
I didn’t perform any better than I would have in terms of reps or weight lifted (I think the pre-workout works better for that), but soreness was reduced in my estimation.
After I’ve taken the stack for a while, maybe a week or so, I feel it’s best to take a few days off it. I only make sure to take it if I beat myself in the gym, or if I just had a romp in bed.
Side effects and Disadvantages
On Powder City’s page for the stack, it suggests cycling off it after use for several weeks. Perhaps this is because it can lose its effectiveness over time in healthy individuals.
The herbs tribulus terrestris and Longjack are very bitter. As I mentioned before, double up on stevia when you take it.
One other thing I noticed after I began taking this stack: I had a few pimples pop up.
I very rarely get pimples, but these were very red and angry ones so it was easy to put two and two together.
I assumed this was related to an increase in DHT activity6 through the purported increase in DHEA caused by one or more of the supplements, so I began taking a capsule of fenugreek when I dosed. Since then I have had no further issues with pimples.
Fenugreek has been reported to prevent testosterone from converting to DHT (as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor).7 This can be good or bad depending on your needs. Though DHT is more strongly associated with the effects of testosterone and is beneficial in some regards, it isn’t without its faults.
Also, due to the agmatine in this stack, I would avoid combining with arginine, citrulline or anything else that may increase NO levels.
Verdict on the Original Testosterone Stack
In spite of the clear disadvantages that are in all likelihood present with any testosterone enhancing supplement or herb, the stack itself isn’t bad.
I didn’t notice much difference in the gym compared to their pre-workout stack (including SJ’s version) but it has a notable aphrodisiac effect. If you suspect that you are low in testosterone or sex drive you may notice an overall difference when taking this stack. If you are a healthy male, you may not notice much but the aphrodisiac effects.
Examine.com – D-Aspartic Acid ↩
Examine.com – Eurycoma Longifolia Jack ↩
PubMed – Sexual effects of puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) extract (protodioscin): an evaluation using a rat model. ↩
Examine.com – Agmatine ↩
PubMed – An update on the role of the sebaceous gland in the pathogenesis of acne. ↩
International Journal of Exercise Science – Fenugreek Extract Supplementation Has No effect on the Hormonal Profile of Resitance-Trained Males ↩