The GQ Guide to test boosters: which ones work, which ones don’t?

 Are they hormonal alchemy, or simply quackery?

If the bulk of bro science and gym talk is to be believed, Testosterone is, basically, the key to all human male happiness. It makes you more aggressive, it makes you more imposing and confident, and helps you work out better, grow faster, recover quicker and, in the immortal words of Anthony Bourdain, get your dick harder.

And before we get anywhere, yes, there is research to support heightened testosterone levels can be responsible for all these things, hence why pure testosterone (or one of its derivatives) is one of the most commonly used performance-enhancing drugs in the worlds of both amateur and professional sport, from sprinting to bodybuilding.

Of course, in the world of health and fitness, where there’s a real pharmaceutical solution to something, there are also a ton of legal, often herbal, natural solutions out there – some based in actual clinical research, and often far more based in “traditional medicine”, pseudoscience and straight-up bullshit.

The world of Testosterone supplements, commonly referred to as test boosters is one of the places where these two worlds intersect more than any other, with a whole host of products awash in the market aimed at helping enhance test levels so you can lift and make love at more intense levels than ever. Then get up the next day and do it all over again.

But which ones work, and which ones don’t? Here’s some research on the most commonly found test boosters out there, and what they can (or can’t) do for you.

Testosterone Injections

Straight out of the bat, it’s worth mentioning that the easiest and most effective way to raise your testosterone levels is to fill yourself with more of the hormone than you can naturally make.

Of course, we can’t advocate that you do this, but if you feel like testosterone supplementation could help you in a number of areas, consult your doctor. A little blood work may find that your test levels are down anyway, which should get you a green light to start taking the hormone anyway. However, not all of us are that lucky or need it, which is why supplement shop-grade test boosters exist, including…

Tribulus Terrestris

Most commonly referred to as Tribulus (or Trib), Tribulus Terrestris is the scientific name of a plant also known puncture vine, also called Gokshura, caltrop and goat’s head. It’s been used for thousands of years in traditional remedies for libido and sexual potency, leading supplement companies to purport it as one of the strongest natural test boosters out there.

But does it work? Probably not, according to this clinical review from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, which looked at a 45-year span of studies on the effects of the plant on hormone levels.

“Analysis of phytochemical and pharmacological studies in humans and animals revealed an important role for TT in treating erectile dysfunction and sexual desire problems,” it reads, “however, empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that these desirable effects are due to androgen enhancing properties of TT is, at best, inconclusive, and analysis of empirical evidence from a comprehensive review of available literature proved this hypothesis wrong.”

ZMA

ZMA is basically a mixture of zinc monomethionine/asparate and magnesium aspartate, aimed at increasing Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6 levels in the body. It’s become a pretty popular supplement recently, with some claiming it has benefits as a sleep aid (and you do get some pretty crazy dreams when you take it, we’ve found), while some marketing has also advocated that it can help support testosterone levels and speed up recovery. However, the effects of ZMA on test levels seem to be inconclusive at best.

According to a study performed by the German Sport University of Cologne, ZMA supplementation had no effect on levels of serum testosterone in the body on people who already ate enough Zinc anyway.

Another study, conducted at Baylor University on 42 experienced lifters, threw up results that “do not support contentions that ZMA supplementation increases zinc or magnesium status and/or affects training adaptations in experienced resistance trained males with normal zinc status.” The effects on people with lower Zinc levels may be different, but eat enough Zinc, and for the most part it seems that you can do without ZMA.

Fenugreek

Aside from largely being delicious in a herb mix sprinkled on chips, the jury is still very much out on whether Fenugreek, which has long been sold as a natural test booster, is any more useful for boosting testosterone than a bottle of Masterfoods Italian Seasoning.

A number of studies [1] [2] [3] [4] have found that proprietary extracts of fenugreek seeds improved free testosterone levels in middle-aged men, largely between the ages of 35 and 70, while another study from Baylor University found that over an 8 week training period, a “proprietary Fenugreek extraction had a significant impact on both upper- and lower-body strength and body composition in comparison to placebo in a double-blind controlled trial.”

D-Aspartic Acid

D-AA is an amino acid that’s commonly found in test booster concoctions and estrogen blockers, with pretty abundant research finding that the acid can have a pretty marked effect on hormone levels in lab rats, largely due to the fact that its role as an amino acid works in the endocrine (hormone production) system as opposed to that of building muscle. In humans, however, scientists are not so sure.

A team of Italian scientists found that “in humans and rats, sodium D-aspartate induces an enhancement of LH and testosterone release”, while researchers from UWS found that daily dose of six grams of d-aspartic acid actually decreased levels of total testosterone and free testosterone (D6), without any concurrent change in other hormones measured, while three grams of d-aspartic acid had no significant effect on either testosterone markers.

However, D-AA may be good for Sperm potency, with another team of Italians finding that supplementation increased the sperm count of tested individuals by over 50%.

[Via GQ]

The post The GQ Guide to test boosters: which ones work, which ones don’t? appeared first on GQ South Africa.

Local film dominating in AMAA Awards

Local film, Five Fingers For Marseilles has bagged numerous award nominations at this year’s African Movie Academy Awards.

The African film industry will have all eyes and ears over at Kigali Rwanda in September, where the award show will be taking place.

Now in its 14th edition, the awards aim to celebrate and recognise the excellence of professionals in the African film industry. 

Five Fingers is nominated for nine awards including OUSMANE SEMBENE Award for Best Film in an African Language, Award for Achievement in Production Design, Achievement in Costume Design, Award For Achievement In Make-Up, Award For Achievement In Cinematography, Award For Achievement In Screenplay, Award For Best Film going head to head with another local film, Siembamba. 

Vuyo Dabula, lead actor of the film is also nominated for Best Actor In A Leading Role.

Other Mzansi films nominated include documentaries, Winnie, When Babies Don’t Come, We Came In Sprint Carts, animated film Belly Flop and comedy The Adventures Of Supermama.

Full list of nominations below: 

OUSMANE SEMBENE Award for Best Film in an African Language

  • Mansoor – Nigeria
  • Five Fingers For Marseilles – South Africa
  • Icheke Oku – Nigeria
  • Agwaetiti Obiuto – Nigeria
  • Nyasaland – Malawi
  • Tunu – Tanzania

Award for Best Documentary

  • Bigger Than Africa – Nigeria/USA
  • Winnie – South Africa
  • Boxing Libreville – Gabon
  • Silas – South Africa/Kenya
  • When Babies Don’t Come – South Africa
  • Uncertain Future – Burundi
  • We Came In Sprint Carts – South Africa

Award For Best Film

  • Isoken – Nigeria
  • Five Fingers For Marseilles – South Africa
  • In My Country – Nigeria
  • The Blessed Vost– Algeria
  • Cross Roads – Nigeria
  • Road to Sunshine – Malawi
  • Siembamba – South Africa
  • Hotel Called Memory – Nigeria
  • Sidechic Gang – Ghana
  • Lost Café – Kenneth Gyang

Award For Best Actor In A Leading Role

  • Vuyo Dabula – Five Fingers For Marseille
  • Richard Mofe Damijo – Cross Roads
  • Sam Dede – In My Country
  • Sani Bouajla – The Blessed Vost
  • OC Ukeje – Potato Potahto
  • Chris Attoh – Esohe
  • Oros Mampofu – Lucky Specials
  • Frank Donga – Hakkunde

Award For Best Actress In A Leading Role

  • Kate Henshaw- Roti
  • Reine Swart – Siembamba
  • Okawa Shaznay –In My Country
  • Dakore Egbuson – Isoken
  • Nana Ama McBrown, Lydia Forson and Sika Osei – Sidechic Gang
  • Mariam Phiri – The Road To Sunrise
  • Tunde Aladese – Lost Café
  • Joselyn Dumas – Potato Potahto

Award For Best First Feature Film By A Director

  • My Mothers Story –Flora Suya- Malawi
  • Ogwuetiti Obiuto – Onyeka Nwelue – Nigeria
  • Five Fingers for Marseilles– Michael Mathews- South Africa
  • Isoken – Jadesola Osiberu- Nigeria
  • 18 Hours – Njue Kevin – Kenya
  • Banana Island Ghost – BB Sasore- Nigeria
  • The Blessed Vost – Sefia Djama – Algeria

Award For Best Director

  • Frank Rajah Arase – In My Country
  • Safia Djama- The Blessed Vost
  • Oluseyi Siwoku – Cross Roads
  • Shemu Joyah- Road to Sunshine
  • Darrell Roodt- Siembamba
  • Akin Omotosho- Hotel Called Memory
  • Peter Kofi Sedufia – Sidechic Gang
  • Kenneth Gyang- The Lost Café

EFERE OZAKO award for Best Short Film

  • Dem Dem – Senegal/Belgium
  • Zenith – Cameroun/USA
  • It Rains on Ouga – Burkina Faso
  • In Shadows – Kenya
  • Coat of Harm – Nigeria
  • Tikitat Soulima – Morocco
  • Nice, Very Nice – Algeria
  • Visions (Shaitan, Buruja, Brood) – Nigeria
  • Fallou – Senegal
  • Still Water Runs Deep – Nigeria/USA

Award for Best Animation

  • Group Photo – Nigeria
  • Belly Flop – South Africa
  • Untitled – Ghana
  • Crush– Nigeria

MICHAEL ANYIAM OSIGWE Award for Best Film by an African living abroad

  • Minister – Nigeria/Italy
  • Alexandra – Nigeria/USA
  • Low Lifes And High Hopes – Nigeria/Austria

Award for Best Diaspora Short

  • Torments of Love (Guadeloupe)
  • Baby Steps (USA)
  • Intercept (USA)

Award for Best Diaspora Documentary

  • Evolutionary Blues (USA)
  • Barrows: Freedom Fighter (Barbados)
  • Sammy Davis Jr. – I’ve Got To Be Me (USA)

Award for Best Diaspora Narrative Feature

  • Angelica (Puerto Rico)
  • Love Jacked (Canada)
  • Charlie: La Vie Magnifique Charlie (USA)

Award for Achievement in Production Design

  • Kada River
  • Five Fingers For Marseille
  • Tatu
  • In My Country
  • Cross Roads

Achievement in Costume Design

  • Icheke Oku
  • Cross Roads
  • Esohe
  • Five Fingers For Marseille
  • Isoken

Award For Achievement In Make-Up

  • Siembamba
  • Icheke Oku
  • Five Fingers For Marseille
  • Esohe
  • The Road To Sunshine

Award For Achievement In SoundTrack

  • The Road To Sunshine
  • Tatu
  • Hotel Called Memory
  • Isoken
  • Siembamba

Award For Achievement In Visual Effect

  • Siembamba
  • Icheke Oku
  • Lucky Specials
  • Esohe
  • Kada River

Award For Achievement In Sound

  • The Lost Café
  • The Road To Sunshine
  • Hotel Called Memory
  • Pop Lock ‘N’ Roll
  • Sidechic Gang

Award For Achievement In Cinematography

  • The Road To Sunshine
  • Five Fingers For Marseille
  • The Lost Café
  • The Blessed Vost (Les Bienheureux)
  • Siembamba

Award For Achievement In Editing

  • Hotel Called Memory
  • Pop Lock ‘N’ Roll
  • Lucky Specials
  • The Blessed Vost (Les Bienheureux)
  • Siembamba

Award For Achievement In Screenplay

  • The Women
  • Potato Potahto
  • Ojukokoro
  • Five Fingers For Marseille
  • Hakkunde
  • The Lost Café

Ayiam Osigwe Foundation Award For Best Nigerian Film

  • Cross Roads
  • In My Country
  • Isoken
  • Hotel Called Memory
  • Ojukokoro
  • Lost Café
  • Icheke Oku

Award For Best Young/Promising Actor

  • Patrick Dibuah – Banana Island Ghost
  • Austin Enabulele – In My Country
  • Cindy Sanyu – Bella
  • Anine Lansari – The Blessed Vost (Les Bienheureux)
  • Maurice Paige – Pop Lock ‘N’ Roll
  • Nichole Ozioma Banna – Icheke Oku
  • Zainab Balogun – Sylva

Tony Elumelu Award For Best Comedy

  • Sidechic Gang – Ghana
  • Banana Island Ghost – Nigeria
  • The Adventures Of Supermama – South Africa
  • Koko: The Box TV – Nigeria

Award For Best Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Seun Ajayi – Ojukokoro
  • Lionel Newton – Pop Lock ‘N’ Roll
  • Akah Nani – Banana Island Ghost
  • Richard Lukunku – Lucky Specials
  • Gideon Okeke – Cross Roads

Award For Best Actress In A Supporting Role

  • Sika Osei – In Line
  • Sivenathi Mabuya – Lucky Specials
  • Rahama Sadau – Hakkunde
  • Toyin Abraham- Esohe
  • Joke Silva – Potato Potahto

 

The post Local film dominating in AMAA Awards appeared first on GQ South Africa.

WATCH: DJ K-$ talks gender, music and fashion

Taking over music festivals and dancefloors around the country, K.dollahz is a force to be reckoned with.

Kalo a.ka K Dollahz is becoming a household name in the South African music industry. If you haven’t heard of him by now, you better ask somebody

Kalo Canterbury, 25, from Cape Town, oozes an effortlessly-cool sense of style.  With one of the most popping Instagram pages to follow right now, Kalo also uses this platform to educate his followers about his journey as a trans man, living his truth and sharing glimpses of his relationship with model and makeup artist Syndey Davy. Kalo is unapologetic and real and we are obsessed.

Watch as we sat down at H&M Studio with K Dollahz to talk gender activism, music and fashion.

Kalo was kind enough to cook up a killer mix for you to bump your head to while you’re stuck in traffic, prepping dinner, or while you’re ready to hit the town.

Listen here: 

Videographer / Editing: Robin Jones @Robinpartyjones
Producer: Junaid Samaai @Jsamurai
Photographer: Kyle Strydom @koncept.kyle 
Clothes by H&M South Africa

To find out if K Dollahz will be playing a set in your area code, follow him on IG – @K.Dollahz and Twitter – @kdollahz

The post WATCH: DJ K-$ talks gender, music and fashion appeared first on GQ South Africa.

Is Afropunk planning to do better?

This year’s Afropunk line-up is somewhat underwhelming and we have questions.

When the announcement of the headliners for the second instalment of the Afropunk festival in this here Mzansi was made, we skimmed through it and wondered what’s behind the more, and the special guest yet to be unveiled.

Although most of our favs are in it, Kaytranada, The Internet, Thandiswa Mazwai aka King Tha, Moonchild Sanelly, Dope Saint Jude and FAKA to mention a few, it’s still underwhelming.

South Africa has an abundance of talented musicians, why are we seeing only a handful of them on a festival that’s taking place in their home soil?

Furthermore, in the wake of alleged transphobic and homophobic behaviour and views of local rapper, YoungstaCPT who forms part of this supposed celebration of complete identity and championship of discrimination-free and safe space, when is the organisation going to address this issue?

Local DJ Olwee brought to light the said allegations on Twitter following the announcement.

Local musician, Muzi confirmed these allegations but both Afropunk and Youngsta’s team are still mum on these allegations.

An event boasting a theme, The People Resist, a call for action against all kinds of hate and intolerance.

Are we meant to sit back and hype up an event that is not addressing pertinent issues at a time where suicide is rapidly growing among the youth, particularly victims of discrimination?

How about we demand better. We need better. We deserve better. Afropunk needs to do better.

The post Is Afropunk planning to do better? appeared first on GQ South Africa.

Joseph a. Adesunloye is making the kind of movies we all need to see. 

Joseph a. Adesunloye is the one filmmaker you should definitely know.

Award-winning British-Nigerian filmmaker Joseph a. Adesunloye films havea strong undercurrent of identities and sexuality running throughout his films. He was nominated for the BFI IWC Schaffhausen Filmmakers Bursary Award at the 60th BFI London Film Festival in 2016. In 2017 Joseph was longlisted ‘Best Debut Screenwriter’ for the prestigious BIFA Awards (British Independent Film Awards) where his film White Colour Black was longlisted for a total of two Awards including the category of ‘Most Promising New Comer’ for the film’s star Dudley O’Shaughnessy.

Off the back of the success of his first international feature film White Colour Black, we sat down for an exclusive interview with Adesunloye. His first for any publication on the African continent to discuss his thought-provoking and challenging new film Faces starring Terry Pheto.

Peluciofoto

GQ: Your new movie Faces just had a successful debut at the Durban Film Festival, did you envision how people would respond to it when you were making it? 

JA: To be honest I was very surprised by the reception of the film at DIFF. Of course, you want your film to get a reaction from an audience, but this was on a scale I didn’t expect. People came out from the City and the Townships to see the film and their react afterwards was humbling. I love being in Africa and sharing the work here.

GQ: What is Faces the movie about?

JA: Faces  is a bold multi-narrative film set across four storylines that follow a group of characters as their lives begin to unravel. Aisha (Terry Pheto) is in a marriage that has become stale, when her wish to get pregnant finally becomes reality, she receives some very unexpected news. Louie and Gaspard (Matthieu Charneau) are a male couple who are happily in love but when Louie’s female financée (Oreka Godis) suddenly shows up in the picture, all that they hold dear begins to fall apart. Adam and Luke are best friends, but an attack on Adam at a party threatens to create a schism between them. Sindiso runs a charity for women to which she has dedicated herself. When the centre begins to have financial troubles with the real risk of closing, Sindiso played by Shingai Shoniwa must question her fundamental motivations. In the middle of the bustling city we watch as their worlds begin spiralling apart.

GQ: And what is Faces about to you from a personal stand point as the Director? 

JA: First, I have to give a special mention to the UK organisation NAZ who commissioned the film. The work that they do to highlight inequalities and fight stigma is remarkable.

For me, Faces was a way to look at some very difficult truths that still exist in our societies especially across Africa and confront them. I believe in people’s right to live life without stigma, fear, to have the freedom to whatever faith they choose and freedom to love whomever they want; this stretches across gender and ethnic groupings.

GQ: Tell is about your journey to getting into film, how did it all start, when did you discover you had a passion to tell stories? 

JA: As a child I always loved storytelling and I loved story time which was part of my childhood growing up in Nigeria. I loved films. My mother would get all kinds of films from across the world from her travels and from colleagues returning from various destinations at the airline she worked, so I was exposed to a lot of various kinds of storytelling and I knew fairly early on that I wanted to be part of the stories that took me to many places. I got into ‘film’ straight from secondary school. I knew I wanted to make films. So, I went through a classic route into film. I studied English Literature and Films Studies at the University of Aberdeen and then I went to film school at the London Film Academy. I was always interested in film holistically and I couldn’t separate myself from writing and directing.

GQ: The movie industry seems to be more open to black stories, well at least as far as we can see. But, we are on the outside, for you whose on the inside and is a black film maker is this the reality and how has this helped your own story telling? 

JA: I think there has certainly been a shift in the Western film industry for the need to also tell black stories and we have seen that the successes of Black led films like Moonlight, Get Out and Black Panther have wetted the appetite of executives. These remarkable filmmakers have laid to bed the lie that black led stories don’t sell. We Black people have found a way for a long time to tell our own stories; only that it wasn’t as well resourced and hopefully now that the industry is catching up, we will begin to see the change be sustainable. The reality is that we need resources to make film and I have always operated in a manner where I knew I had to make films come what may, what has changed since my first feature White Colour Black and now my second feature Faces is I am now getting meetings with film executives in a more meaningful way than in the past.

GQ: Away from the film industry who is Joseph? What makes him happy, sad and what motivates him? 

JA: Well I am an only child which means in many ways I learned to be happy in my own company so I don’t fear being alone. But I have a lovely tight group of friends who are my family. I like the theatre a lot. I don’t know if I can truly be away from the film, because cinema makes me happy, I am very keen to watch a lot of work from around the world. But I have a particular love for African, European and Asian cinemas. What makes me happy is very hard to quantify but life makes me happy. I try to live life in a way that keeps me contented. It terms of what makes me sad? Well, there are a lot of things happening in the world at the moment that makes me sad. The way refugees are being treated globally but especially in Europe and America makes me deeply sad. To some extent, I just wish people would just remember our shared humanity. Things have become too insular in many places. But hopefully, we will turn a corner.

GQ: How was it like working with Terry Pheto and how did that come about? 

Credit Peluciofoto

JA: Working with Terry was such a delight. Terry’s such a powerhouse of a performer and actor.  After first meeting Terry in London at the BFI London Film Festival in 2016 at the gala of the premier of her then new film A United Kingdom, we met again in South Africa when I was at the Johannesburg Film Festival for the African premier of White Colour Black. We became friends and stayed in touch. And when the chance to make Faces came Terry was the first person on my mind. I desperately wanted to work with her and it is such a privilege to call her a friend.

GQ: Who or what inspires you?

JA: A lot of things and people inspire me, beautiful paintings and amazing photographs can really transport me to places. Other Creatives also motivate and inspire me. If I had to name a few people who inspire me, then there’s a few but at the top of the list has got to be Wong Kar-wai, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and my dear friend Sindiso Khumalo.

GQ: Three of the biggest highlights of your career?

JA: I have been fortunate to have highlights and pin-points which have moved my career forward. The first major highlight of my career was in 2014 when my short film Beyond Plain Sight premiered at the Raindance Film Festival where it was nominated Best British Short Film. That really moved my career forward. Then White Colour Black being shot in Senegal was a great privilege for my first feature film and then having the film premier at the BFI London Film and with it the nomination for the BFI IWC Bursary Award. The third highlight was a series of meaningful meetings in LA earlier this year, where I am currently in consideration for a major American feature.

GQ: Your favorite film genre? 

JA: I like various genres and would love to make films across various genres. But I have a special place in my heart for dramas because I associate a great importance to telling human stories. Sadly, major dramas are struggling to be made at the moment and to be seen in global cinema, but I think these things ebb and flow and dramas will always be a cornerstone of cinema.

GQ: The best advice you have ever received? 

JA: Work hard and never give up.

The post Joseph a. Adesunloye is making the kind of movies we all need to see.  appeared first on GQ South Africa.

Drake’s In My Feelings video features Dua Lipa and Will Smith

Drake recruited Will Smith, Dua Lipa and more for his promo for his latest single ‘In My Feelings’.

The Canadian rapper released the visuals for his latest track from his chart-topping album Scorpion, which sees the ‘God’s Plan’ hitmaker get famous faces to take part in the viral dance challenge for the track, which has seen fans take to social media sharing clips of them doing dance moves to mirror the lyrics.Part of the video sees Drake wake up in a trailer, saying: ‘I had this dream that I made this song, and then this kid from New York did some dance to it … and then the world did the dance. And Will Smith was there. No-one would stop. It was terrible.’

The ‘Men in Black’ star, ‘New Rules’ hitmaker and R&B star make cameo appearances alongside the likes of rapper DJ Khaled, American television personality Ryan Seacrest and the cast of the reality series ‘Queer Eye’.

The dance craze’s creator, Shiggy, also features.

Besides referencing the viral challenge, Drake pays homage to New Orleans and addresses his relationship with his first love, ex-girlfriend Keshia Chante.

The ‘In My Feelings’ promo follows the video for ‘I’m Upset‘, which features several of his former castmates from his days in the Canadian drama TV series ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’.

Scorpion follows Drake’s EP Scary Hours, single ‘Nice for What’ and the mixtape More Life from March 2017.

Watch the video below:

The post Drake’s In My Feelings video features Dua Lipa and Will Smith appeared first on GQ South Africa.

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Australian advises the team he will leave at the end of the 2018 season.

Having joined the Red Bull family in 2008 as a member of the Red Bull Junior Team, with whom he won numerous junior titles, Ricciardo made his F1 debut in 2011 at the British Grand Prix. After two seasons with Scuderia Toro Rosso, Ricciardo joined Red Bull Racing in 2014 and to date has brought the team seven victories, 29 podium finishes, two pole positions and 904 championship points.

Commenting on Ricciardo’s decision, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner said: ‘We fully respect Daniel’s decision to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and we wish him all the best in his future. We would like to thank him for his dedication and the role he has played since joining the Team in 2014, the highlights, of course, being the seven wins and the 29 podiums he has achieved so far with us.

‘We will now continue to evaluate the numerous options available to us before deciding on which driver partners Max Verstappen for the 2019 season. In the meantime, there are still nine races left in 2018 and we are fully focused on maximizing every opportunity for Max and Daniel for the remainder of the season.’

The post Daniel Ricciardo to leave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing appeared first on GQ South Africa.