Whether you’re a bodybuilder, or just an average man or woman, DHEA is vital to your well-being. Your body’s adrenal glands produce this hormone, and it helps provide other hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, both of which have impacts on your overall health.
Unfortunately, DHEA production peaks in your mid-20s and then, for most people, begins to decline with age gradually. When that happens, your testosterone or estrogen production can also start to decrease and cause a multitude of health issues, including depression, acne, infertility issues, low libido, a weaker immune system, and hair loss (or facial hair growth for women). It can also make it more difficult to gain muscle, which can be a big problem for bodybuilders, or anyone else interested in weightlifting.
Thankfully, DHEA supplements may help your body start producing the appropriate levels of these hormones again (and can increase them, if you are looking to up your testosterone for bodybuilding).
Before you begin taking a DHEA supplement, there are a few essential things to know:
While DHEA can be well-tolerated by many, it’s important to remember that it is a potent hormone and should be treated as such. Because of that, it’s best to plan a visit with your doctor first, to make sure it’s safe for you to take DHEA.
Many people are concerned with where synthetic hormones are sourced from. If you’re one of these, you may be comforted to know that DHEA can be produced from wild yam or soy.
If you’re a competitive athlete, you’ll want to be aware that DHEA supplements may be on a banned list for your sport, since it may raise testosterone levels.
The risks of side effects from DHEA increase with the size of your dosage, so be mindful of that if you notice any unpleasant symptoms.
Curious about what the best DHEA supplement brand for you may be? We’ve gathered a list of our ten favorites, so picking out your perfect option will be a breeze!
Best DHEA Supplement
Zhou Nutrition’s DHEA
As we age, both men and women often lose the ability to produce as much DHEA; this can be worsened even more if you suffer from another stress (and these days, who doesn’t?) to fatigue your adrenal glands. If your hormones are out of balance, whether due to healthy aging or extraordinary stress, you may be wondering what is the best dhea supplement? Zhou Nutrition DHEA may be a good option for anyone looking to rebalance their hormone and feel more like themselves again.
One of the reasons Zhou Nutrition’s DHEA is strongly recommend is how thoroughly they test their products. Their DHEA supplement is faced with a strict selection of process, documentation, and procedures that help confirm that each bottle has the proper strength, quality, composition, and ingredient identity. You want to be sure of exactly what you are getting, and Zhou Nutrition’s DHEA takes extra steps to make sure you feel confident in them.
While their capsule is reasonably large, it is also designed to be relatively easy to swallow, so the size may not prove difficult for everyone. Also, the dosage is strong enough that you only need one pill a day, which is a relief for anyone who does have an issue swallowing any medicine (or who doesn’t enjoy it).
Pros and Cons
- Easy to swallow
- Undergoes strict quality testing
- May cause water weight gain
- Not vegetarian
EBYSU DHEA states that they are unwilling to compromise on quality, safety, or efficiency, which is something everyone should demand from any company producing health supplements. They work with medical partners that are leaders in their industry who develop a proprietary formulation that they claim sets them above the rest, and makes them potentially the best DHEA supplement for men and women who demand more.
EBYSU DHEA promises that their ingredients are sourced from only the most highly-reputed and accountable sources, and refuses to work with cheaper, less effective partners. They also offer a pure formula, which is free of artificial ingredients, chemicals, preservatives, and even GMOs. It’s also vegan, so you can improve your hormone levels while also sticking to your ethical or health-focused diet.
On top of being made in the USA in a GMP and FDA-registered facility, EBYSU DHEA also laboratory tests each batch to check for quality assurance, so that you can rest easy, knowing that each dose is likely as safe, effective, and pure as the last.
Pros and Cons
- Made in the USA
- Can’t be added to protein shakes
BulkSupplements Pure DHEA Powder
Serious about gaining lean muscle mass and already downing at least one protein shake a day? Then BulkSupplements Pure DHEA Powder may be your ideal option. This clean, pure powder formula can be added to your favorite protein shake, so you don’t have to worry about adding a capsule to your routine and can keep doing what you already love doing.
Not feeling a shake today? BulkSupplements Pure DHEA Powder may also be taken directly under the tongue. While this may cause a temporary bitter taste, it is suggested that this may be the most effective way to make a DHEA supplement so that it may be well worth it.
BulkSupplements Pure DHEA Powder is also offered in a convenient foil zip pouch, which means you can quickly take it to the gym with you without worrying about spilling powder all over your locker (been there, done that, wouldn’t recommend it).
Pros and Cons
- Lab-tested in the USA-Can be taken under the tongue or in shakes-No Fillers
- Expensive-Made in China-Can be difficult to measure
Swanson Ultra DHEA
Many in the medical field and the nutrition industry are only recently catching on to just how powerful and essential hormones can be in our overall health. While this has resulted in a lot of new products, which can be great in some ways, it can also make it confusing, as many new brands are popping up—and it can be difficult to tell whom to trust.
Because of this, Swanson Ultra DHEA may be the best dhea supplement on the market for someone who wants to purchase from a brand they can feel confident about. Swanson has been a well-respected leader in the nutrition industry for years, so you can feel secure that they are experts in their field and that they take your health seriously.
While the 100mg dosage of Swanson Ultra DHEA may be a bit strong for some (at least to start out with), it can be a huge plus for those who both benefit from and well tolerate DHEA, as the healthy dosage only needs to be taken once a day and can have a substantial impact on severe cases of DHEA loss.
Pros and Cons
- Inexpensive-Respected company-Follows GMP guidelines
- Dosage may be healthy for some-May take awhile to notice results
Especially if you’re a bodybuilder or athlete, you likely take what goes into your body very seriously (as well all should, even those of us who couldn’t do a push-up). Pure Encapsulations – DHEA feels the same way and claims to make a safe, genuine, and consistent product their absolute top priority.
On top of that, they’re designed to be hypoallergenic and appropriate for even the most sensitive individuals. They avoid the use of GMOs, wheat, egg, peanuts, wheat, magnesium stearate, artificial sweeteners and colors, additional excipients, and even hydrogenated fat (to help keep your heart healthy).
While this may be nearly the best DHEA supplement, reviews do suggest that it may cause heartburn, so be mindful of that if you are prone to it yourself.
Pros and Cons
- GMO-free-Pure Encapsulations-Manufactured in the USA
- May cause heartburn-Expensive
Sheer Health DHEA Extra Strength
Sheer Health DHEA Extra Strength could be the best DHEA supplement for women or men, as it focuses on the many different health issues that insufficient DHEA can cause (and doesn’t view it as a bodybuilding supplement, even though their formula is still a good option for that). Whether you are suffering from lack of fertility, wrinkles, fatigue, low libido, weight gain, depression, or anxiety, Sheer Health DHEA Extra Strength may be the potent formula that could help.
Keeping in mind that DHEA is, first and foremost, a medical supplement (and not just a nutritional supplement—as powerful as those can be), Sheer Health DHEA Extra Strength is clinically dosed and aims to provide long-lasting results (instead of short-term improvements).
They all suggest that many other DHEA supplements are underdosed, and at 100mg, this is highly unlikely to be an issue with Sheer Health DHEA Extra Strength. (In fact, it may be too intense for some, so be careful.) If they don’t work for you, Sheer Health DHEA Extra Strength offers a full money back guarantee, so you can feel confident in trying them out.
They’re also produced in the USA in a GMP-certified facility and are free of GMOs, binders, fillers, preservatives, dairy, soy, peanut, egg, gluten, and many other hidden ingredients that are often found in less-reputable DHEA supplements.
Pros and Cons
- Clinically Dosed-Money back guarantee-Low cost
- Some noticed increased acne-May cause worsening depression
It’s also designed with the goal of increasing absorption, which grants this DHEA a unique feature: it’s incredibly low dose of the only 5mg. VitaMonk Opti-DHEA claims that their formula is engineered well enough that your body gets the same benefits from a low dose that it can get from other, higher-dosed options on the market. As higher doses carry with it increased risks for unpleasant side effects, this may make them the best DHEA supplement if you’re worried about causing side forces while trying to fix your other health issues.
If the low dosage doesn’t work for you, don’t worry; VitaMonk Opti-DHEA offers a 100% money back guarantee. They’re also blended, encapsulated, and tested in the United States so that you can feel more confident in their safety and quality.
Pros and Cons
- Formulated by licensed doctors
- 100% money back guarantee
- Large capsules
MRM Micronized DHEA
On top of that, you can feel secure in the quality of what you are taking, MRM Micronized DHEA is HPLC-tested for purity and potency. It’s also micronized, which may help to promote increased absorption of the hormone, meaning you get more benefits from a smaller amount.
It’s also an excellent choice for those who suffer from allergies, as MRM Micronized DHEA is free from all common allergens, as well as artificial colors. It’s also vegetarian, which is often difficult to find in a DHEA supplement since the capsules are very often made from gelatin.
Pros and Cons
- Contain no common allergens
- Some report safety seal was broken
- May throw off your menstrual cycle
If you’re a vegetarian, it can be surprisingly difficult to find a DHEA supplement that is appropriate for your diet. (I know that feeling too well; I’ve been disappointed by so many labels!) It’s very common for DHEA supplements to be packaged in a capsule made from pork or bovine gelatin, which makes it impossible for vegetarians (and those that may avoid pork or beef for other reasons) to take them.
Luckily, Natrol DHEA is 100% vegetarian, so you don’t have to compromise on your ethical, environmental, or health-conscious choices to work to improve your hormone levels. This well-reviewed formula may help your body produce testosterone and estrogen to healthy levels, which can make you feel at your absolute peak physically.
Note that these capsules must be taken with a full meal. I tend to find that taking my supplements with a meal makes it easier to remember to take them (I’ll consider it part of my breakfast each day), so this can be a benefit if you tend to be forgetful of your supplements.
Pros and Cons
- Must be taken with a meal
- May cause mental fogginess
Jarrow Formulas 7-Keto DHEA
If you’re someone who experiences side effects from DHEA supplements, you may find yourself unable to take them—but may still require something to help regulate or elevate your hormones. That’s where Jarrow Formulas 7-Keto DHEA comes in. 7-Keto is a metabolite of DHEA that occurs naturally, so it can offer many of the same hormone-producing benefits of DHEA without triggering the same side effects.
If you’re eager for the best seven keto DHEA supplement so that you can improve your health without suffering from side effects, Jarrow Formulas 7-Keto DHEA may be your perfect option, as the brand is well respected and offers an extensive line of other nutritional products, so you can feel confident in choosing them.
While some only need a single pill a day to see the kind of benefits they crave, if you take the maximum dosage, Jarrow Formulas 7-Keto DHEA can run out within fifteen days, which could end up becoming costly. However, avoiding the side effects of DHEA may be well worth the increased cost and shopping frequency.
Pros and Cons
- Avoids typical DHEA side effects
- Trusted brand
- May only need one a day
- If you take the maximum dose, the bottle lasts only 15 days
- May cause weight gain
Whether you’re trying to build lean muscle mass as an athlete or bodybuilder, if you want to feel like you did in your twenties again (and wouldn’t we all love to feel that way?), or if you have a specific hormonal health issue you’re looking to address, DHEA supplements may help improve your quality of life.
Thanks to this helpful list, you can feel confident that you are choosing from the best of the best, as starting a DHEA supplement is a severe medical condition. Be mindful, be selective, and treat your body to the best DHEA supplements on the market.