Testosterone Precursors and Alternatives

With all the new testosterone precursors becoming the rage among the supplement industry, there is a great amount of products that are being released.   How can one tell which are the best herbal testosterone boosters and alternatives? Along with this large amount of products, there comes a greater degree of confusion for the customer.  With product names like 4-dione, 5-diol, and 19-Nor-4-diol, it is very easy to get confused.  These products might have similar names, but they don't give similar results.  I am going to attempt, with this article to shed some light on what is currently out there, what these products do, when to take them, the suggested dosage (in my opinion as well as what the manufacturer claims), and what kind of gains you can expect.  Hopefully, you will leave with a better understanding as to what these products are all about. 

DHEA Products


This was the first of the hormone precursors to be sold and is currently available.  DHEA is a hormone that is naturally produced by the adrenal glands.  It is two steps away from testosterone in the conversion process.   It will first convert to androstendione and then from there is converted to testosterone. 

Androstendione Products

4-Androstene 3,17-dione

Andostendione is a metabolite of DHEA that serves as a direct precursor (one step removed) in the bio-synthesis of testosterone.  A 100 mg dose of androstendione can cause a 24% increase in normal blood testosterone levels within 90 minutes of its consumption.   Other effects are often seen as well such as increased energy, enhanced recovery and growth from exercise, heightened sexual arousal and function, as well as a greater sense of well being. 

Andro Banned

Senate Bill 2195 also called the Andro Ban was passed by unanimous consent in the United States Senate on October 8th, 2004 and has been signed into law by President Bush.

By passing this bill, the Congress has amended the Controlled Substances Act to include virtually all of these supplements and stacks such as Andro, 4 Androstenedione, Nor Androstenediol, etc. The Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1990 and at that time all steroids were classifed as "Schedule III" substances and were put in the same category as heroin, cocaine and other similar narcotics. Now, with the passage of Senate Bill 2195, they have added andro supplements and prohormones to the Controlled Substances Act.

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This product is just like androstendione except for one big difference.  Instead of converting to testosterone in the body, it will convert to nor-testosterone instead.  This is desirable for those that would like the increase in blood testosterone levels without the added side effects that are present with androstendione.  An analogy can be drawn to steroids.  Testosterone cypionate for example has much greater side effects than deca-durabolin does.  Deca is nandrolone. 

Androstendiol Products


5-Androstenediol is good for helping to boost the immune system but is lousy as far as helping you get your blood testosterone levels increased.  It's ability to convert to testosterone is weak. They have not been proven to be effective in the conversion to testosterone. 


4-Androstenediol is a hormone precursor that is one step away from testosterone.  4-Androstenediol uses a different enzyme for the conversion to testosterone than androstenedione does.  This makes it a nice choice to stack with androstenedione since they are not competing for a limited supply of that enzyme.   This product convert to testosterone 300% more efficiently than 4-Androstenedione does.  This is good for users wanting an increase in testosterone.  This product has the greatest chance to convert to the highest amount of free blood testosterone that is currently available.  If you could only afford to buy one product, then this would be the one to try.  The only negative about this product is that is has greater side effects than 4-androstenedione since it has a higher conversion rate.


These products will convert to nortestosterone about 300% better than the regular norandrostendione products do.   This product is very similar to the Androdiol products that are out there except it converts to nortestosterone instead of testosterone in the body.  This is the best hormone precursor that converts to nandrolone in the body.  This would be a good product for you to try if you are interested in the higher conversion rates to nandrolone without the harsher side effects that are present on products that convert to testosterone.

Do I want to take the testosterone precursors with meals?  If so, why? 

It is very important to take the testosterone precursors with meals.  Taking these supplements with meals that are balanced in carbohydrates as well as protein is beneficial since the conversion of these supplements to testosterone is dependent upon ATP levels in the body.  It takes a large amount of energy to make the conversion to testosterone or nandrolone in the body.  With low ATP levels, which would be present if you just took the supplement between meals, this conversion process will not happen as well.  In effect, you are wasting part of what you could gain by taking the supplement without a meal.  I would recommend taking all the testosterone precursors with meals though just to be on the safe side. 

What can I expect out of these products? 

With the testosterone precursors, you can expect to put on between 3-7 lbs.  Anyone that claims 20 lbs of weight gain is full of it. You will definitely feel better while on the stuff and have more intense workouts. 

Bottom line, they are nice for the pumps and intensity, if you are looking to stay natural though and want a little bit of an edge, I would say to try them. 

How much of these things should I take? 

The current general rule of thumb for most people is to start out with 100 mg of whatever you are wanting to take.  Increasing the dosage and the frequency of the dosages has a duel effect.  You will get more results with the higher and more frequent doses, but conversely, you will also get more of the undesireable side effects from them.   You just have to find the happy medium by increasing dosage until you come to a point where the side effects are more undesireable than what you are getting out of these supplements. 

You want to take these products for a minimum of 4 weeks to see results and take them no longer than 8 weeks at the recommended doses. 

What kind of side effects can I expect from these testosterone/nandrolone precursors? 

You can expect the same side effects as with taking testosterone shots albeit at a much lower level unless you are taking big doses of these supplements.  You can get any of the following side effects: 

  • acne
  • possible hair loss
  • oily skin
  • gyno at higher and more frequent doses

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