Joe Rogan’s Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Protocol

Joe Rogan, an ardent advocate for overall health and wellness, regularly speaks about the food and supplements he takes. In particular, Joe has been one of the few influential voices in the fitness space that has admitted to using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). He has challenged other prominent personalities to do the same as a show of transparency with their fans. On various forums and at different times, Joe has provided hints and explanations of his TRT protocol. Let’s take a closer look at these.

When and Why He Started TRT

Joe is in his mid fifties now but his journey to TRT started in his late thirties. At the time, he had started feeling a significant dip in his energy levels. Initially, he thought the same thing most of us would – it was a temporary slump he would eventually snap out of. When there seemed to be no reprieve and following a conversation with his doctor, Joe underwent tests to assess his testosterone levels. 

It turned out his testosterone levels were lower than they should be. As a result, he received a TRT prescription at the age of 40, a move that was just the solution he needed. Joe has insisted that TRT has enhanced his physical performance, energy levels and overall health. He credits it for maintaining his physical health and performance despite his age.

Moving from Creams to Injections

Joe started out with TRT creams. I would consider that the natural place to start. Creams are pain-free and easy to administer. But they do have some notable downsides. First, they can be inadvertently wiped or washed off before the right dosage is fully absorbed. Second, they can have an irritating effect for persons with sensitive skin. Third, they are not immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. 

After a while, he noticed he was no longer getting the testosterone lift he expected from the creams. So he transitioned to weekly TRT injections under doctor’s supervision. Injections deliver the target dose in its entirety and results in much quicker absorption into the body. While there is some pain, injections are less likely to cause skin irritation.

Current Protocol

Joe states that his TRT and HGH intake has helped restore his hormone levels to where they were in his late 20s. His current protocol is as follows.

TRT

On a 2021 episode of the JRE podcast with Andrew Huberman, Joe mentioned he gets TRT injections every three days. He uses an insulin needle which is typically smaller than standard injection needles. The switch to a three-day cycle is meant to align more closely with the body’s natural testosterone production cycle.

HGH

HGH is a protein naturally produced in the pituitary gland. Production is highest during sleep though levels also increase following exercise and trauma. HGH levels peak at puberty then start to drop from middle age which can cause or worsen fractures, muscle loss, lethargy and cardiovascular illness. 

Joe disclosed during a 2021 interview on the More Plates More Dates podcast with Derek, that he takes 0.33 mg (or 1 IU) of human growth hormone (HGH) daily.

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Lifestyle Changes Before Treatment 

From the outset, Joe has been unequivocal in stating TRT cannot fix an unhealthy lifestyle. Before getting onto TRT treatment, dropping negative habits is critical. Testosterone decline may be triggered or accelerated by unhealthy practices including:

Poor diet

An unbalanced diet increases the risk of low testosterone This is more so for diets that lack sufficient amounts of zinc, boron and magnesium. magnesium, zinc and boron are vital for testosterone production.

Vitamin D deficiency due to insufficient sunlight or supplementation

Vitamin D3 supports multiple processes in the body including testosterone production. Joe has mentioned he does take 125 mcg (5,000 IU) of a vitamin D3 supplement daily.

Drinking alcohol

Studies show excessive alcohol consumption can cause short and long-term effects on testosterone production. The suppressing effect takes place in as little as 30 minutes after the first drink.

Poor sleep quality

Inadequate or irregular sleep is proven to lower amounts of free testosterone. Some studies have found the reverse is also true – low testosterone can cause or aggravate insomnia.

Stress

Cholesterol is a precursor to both testosterone and cortisol (the stress hormone) which leads to an inverse correlation between the two. The increased production of one may lead to the depressed production of the other. Increased stress (and thus cortisol) is therefore associated with low testosterone.

Sedentary lifestyle

Resistance training and other forms of vigorous exercise increase testosterone levels. Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle is associated with low testosterone.

To first rule out any of these as the root cause for declining testosterone, Joe says doctors will often recommend making lifestyle changes first. Testosterone levels are then monitored for the weeks and months that follow as different lifestyle and hormone adjustments are made to test what works, what doesn’t and what may be the cause of low testosterone. It’s only when lifestyle changes do not result in meaningful improvement to testosterone levels that one would become a suitable candidate for TRT.

Joe frequently talks about his commitment to a positive lifestyle. He is particular about the foods and nutritional supplements he takes. Further, he has drastically reduced the amounts of alcohol he takes. He sticks to a strict sleep routine and follows an elaborate fitness regimen that combines cardio exercises, weightlifting and martial arts (Joe holds black belts in taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). The end goal is to increase flexibility, endurance and strength as well as boost testosterone levels.

Restoring Youthful Hormone Levels, Not Elevating Beyond Normal

Joe has frequently stated the goal of TRT is to restore testosterone levels back to normal and not to exceed them. Without pre-testing before prescription, one would be in danger of high testosterone levels and all the side effects and long-term risks that comes with. He has discouraged men aged 40 and below from taking TRT unless expressly recommended by a doctor as a last resort.

For younger persons, he instead suggests opting for herbal remedies like fadogia agrestis and tongkat ali. Fadogia agrestis is a plant native to West Africa that has traditionally been used for the treatment of a wide range of health conditions including low libido and inflammation. Tongkat ali is a shrub found in Southeast Asia and is used in traditional medicine to prevent or manage various health conditions. 

I have seen multiple studies that have found Fadogia agrestis and Tongkat ali could both help naturally improve testosterone production.

Importance of Medical Supervision and Testing

TRT treatment is a prescription-only solution. It is effectively the administration of a synthetic steroid. As with any steroid treatment, there are health risks. The need for doctor’s supervision cannot be overemphasized. Joe insists TRT use must be preceded by testing to confirm testosterone deficiency. I would expound that testing should encompass blood testing for nutrient sufficiency and cardiovascular health.

The same applies to HGH. Usage should only occur when there is a proven deficiency. HGH injections may lead to: carpal tunnel syndrome, fluid retention, elevated blood sugar, as well as muscle and joint pain.

Wrapping Up

Studies show normal testosterone levels drop with age by about one percent each year. In Joe’s personal experience, TRT is the quickest way to increase your testosterone levels. It is not without risks though which is why he cautions that it must only be administered under a doctor’s supervision. That requires regular monitoring to check for adverse effects and to confirm blood testosterone levels do not exceed safety bands. Remember, what works for me might be disastrous for you – and vice versa.

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About the Author

Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

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