- The Importance of Testosterone in Men
- The Effects of Low Testosterone
- How to Naturally Increase Testosterone
- 1) Exercise More
- 2) Decrease Body Weight
- 3) Watch Your Protein, Carbs, and Fat
- 4) Lower Your Stress Levels
- 5) Get More Sunshine/ Vitamin D
- 6) Sleep More
- 7) Avoid Estrogen-Like Products
- 8) Avoid Bad Habits
- Take Natural Testosterone Supplements
Testosterone is a sex hormone that is produced in men’s testicles and affects more than just your sex drive.
In fact, both men and women need to have proper levels of testosterone for their bodies to function correctly. However, testosterone levels naturally decrease with age.
In addition to this, testosterone levels, in general, are dropping across the population. Fortunately, there are ways to increase testosterone levels without having to take prescription medication. Here are nine proven ways to naturally boost testosterone levels.
The Importance of Testosterone in Men
Since testosterone is a sex hormone, it’s no surprise that it plays a significant role in regulating men’s libido.
It is also what is responsible for men’s voices to become deeper, their bodies’ hairier, and to have increased muscle mass once they hit puberty. However, testosterone in men is responsible for more than sexual health.
Free testosterone is used in the body to increase the production of red blood cells, help with fat distribution, help increase muscle mass, muscle strength, and bone mass, and improve sperm count.
Testosterone also improves insulin resistance in healthy men and those with diabetes. Good testosterone markers are also a sign of a man’s health. Men with proper testosterone levels are often less likely to develop heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression.
The Effects of Low Testosterone
When men’s testosterone levels are low, it can affect them in many different ways. A decrease in sex drive is one of the main symptoms. Low testosterone can also cause sleep disturbances, feelings of sluggishness, hair loss, low fertility, and even hot flashes. Men may also have erectile dysfunction if they have low testosterone levels.
Testosterone also affects your body composition. When testosterone levels are low, muscle mass decreases, and body fat increases. Bone mass also decreases, which can lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Mood changes are also a side effect of low testosterone. Finally, low levels of this sex hormone can also affect your memory. Men who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease often have low levels of testosterone.
How to Naturally Increase Testosterone
Since testosterone plays such a significant role in a man’s health, it’s essential to know how to increase testosterone levels. Here are some ways to boost testosterone.
1) Exercise More
Exercise is a great way to increase testosterone levels. Studies have shown that men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels than those who do not exercise often. Obese men can boost their testosterone levels much higher by becoming physically active, rather than focusing on diet
There are multiple ways to increase testosterone through exercise. The first is to build muscle through strength training or resistance training. The second is to do high-intensity interval training.
Building muscle leads to short bursts of vitality and testosterone production. However, it also has long-term effects on testosterone production in men’s bodies.
When doing resistance training, it’s crucial to lift heavier weights and push your body to build muscle mass. Try always to lift more weight each time you go to the gym. It’s the best way to build muscle! Aim for 30 – 60 minutes sessions three times per week.
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) can involve a mix of cardio and resistance training. However, even if your HIIT exercises are only cardio, they still have a similar effect on the body as resistance training.
The key is to work very hard during the work sessions and rest during the breaks. Alternating these intense sessions with short breaks will not only increase testosterone production but also help you lose weight. This leads us to our next point.
2) Decrease Body Weight
Weight loss is another critical way to boost your testosterone levels. Having high body fat levels almost always corresponds with low testosterone levels. And when body fat is reduced, testosterone levels always increase.
This is due to an enzyme called aromatase that converts testosterone into estrogen. Estrogen will then reduce the amount of testosterone produced in the body.
Fatty tissue produces aromatase, so the more fatty tissue the body has, the most aromatase it has. This is one reason why overweight men have a lower sex drive than those in healthy weight ranges. Fortunately, when fatty tissue is reduced, testosterone levels automatically increase.
Losing weight can be done through both diet and exercise. Fortunately, high-intensity interval training is a great way to lose weight.
So, incorporating this into your fitness routine is a win-win for testosterone production. Building muscle mass can help you lose weight, as well. Steady-state cardio is also an excellent way to lose fat since it helps you burn more calories.
You can alternate the type of exercise you do so that your body gets a break from intense training. This will reduce the stress on your body and help you recover so that you can both build muscle mass and lose weight.
While many people believe that following a low-fat diet is key to weight loss, it’s not the best choice for men who want to increase their testosterone levels.
In addition to this, the significant calorie restriction can lead to decreased testosterone levels, probably due to the increase in cortisol, a stress hormone. So, it’s crucial to approach dieting while trying to raise testosterone with care. Let’s talk about how diet can boost testosterone next.
3) Watch Your Protein, Carbs, and Fat
Your diet plays a big role in your testosterone levels. And one of the easiest ways to increase testosterone levels is to eat a certain percentage of macronutrients. Macronutrients are the three main components that makeup food: fat, protein, and carbs.
Fat is actually a testosterone booster and should be consumed often. Therefore, avoiding a low-fat diet is vital for men who have low testosterone levels.
In fact, 40% of your calories should come from fat. The best fats to eat are saturated fats and monounsaturated fats. These types of fatty acids are found in avocados, nuts, meat, and olive oil. Avoid polyunsaturated fats found in oils like soybean, flax, and corn.
High-fat diets are often high in cholesterol, which may be concerning for some men. However, our bodies actually need cholesterol to make testosterone! Therefore, having high levels of “good” cholesterol (or LDL cholesterol) is essential for improving testosterone levels.
Protein should also be consumed, but it doesn’t need to be eaten consistently. Instead, it should be eaten in moderation, along with carbs. Consuming carbs does not affect testosterone levels.
Deficient levels of it can harm testosterone production! However, that doesn’t mean that all carbs are a healthy choice. The best way to consume carbs is through fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
4) Lower Your Stress Levels
Lowering your stress is one of the best ways to boost testosterone. When you are stressed, your body produces a stress hormone called cortisol. This hormone is important when facing stressful situations because it ignites our “fight or flight” instincts. However, when you are stressed for long periods, your cortisol levels never decrease.
This can lead to weight gain, muscle weakness, fatigue, high blood pressure, and irritability. It can also lead to lowered testosterone levels! This is because testosterone and cortisol are both made from pregnenolone, a precursor hormone.
Your body cannot make both at once, so testosterone levels and cortisol levels are always inverse. Therefore, the higher your testosterone, the lower your cortisol.
Stress also reduces your body’s ability to recover from exercise. As a result, the benefits of exercise are muted, including the production of testosterone.
While short amounts of stress are good for your body and can keep you safe, chronic stress must be dealt with. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage stress, one of which is exercise, which we talked about above. You can also manage stress through meditation, deep breathing, talk therapy, and reducing responsibilities.
If you struggle to maintain your stress levels, it’s essential to talk to your friends, family, and doctor. They can help ease your stressors so that your cortisol levels are lower, and your testosterone level can increase.
5) Get More Sunshine/ Vitamin D
A simple way to increase your testosterone is to increase your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is actually a hormone and is used by your body in a variety of ways. One of those ways is to help produce testosterone. When your Vitamin D levels are low, testosterone levels will be low too.
Your body cannot naturally produce this vitamin, so you must get it from outside sources. The sun is an excellent source of Vitamin D. Spending 20 minutes outside can give you enough exposure to begin the process of making Vitamin D.
Unfortunately, it can be challenging to get outside for long enough to get these benefits. After all, most men don’t have time to hang out outside with their skin exposed during the day!
Plus, too much sun exposure can also cause serious problems, like cancer. Therefore, supplementing with Vitamin D is an excellent choice for most men. Taking 2000 – 3000 IU of Vitamin D3 has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men by up to 25%.
6) Sleep More
Believe it or not, sleep is another great way to boost your testosterone levels. When we sleep, our bodies get a chance to balance hormone levels and produce the hormones and enzymes necessary for it to function properly.
Nearly all of your testosterone is created while you sleep. Hence, a lack of sleep will lead to lower testosterone levels. In fact, getting less than five hours of sleep per night can lead to young men getting 15% less testosterone. However, increasing sleep can reverse those numbers and raise testosterone.
Lack of sleep also increases the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. As discussed earlier, cortisol leads directly to decreased testosterone. It also contributes to weight gain, another factor that reduces testosterone production.
Getting good, restful sleep can be difficult. However, making sleep a priority is incredibly important for a man’s health. Aim for at least 7 hours per night. Set an alarm for regular bedtimes and wake up times. Try to avoid napping and exercising too late in the day. Avoiding caffeine can also help you sleep better. Turning off electronic distractions and keeping your bedroom cool can also help you sleep better at night.
7) Avoid Estrogen-Like Products
Another way to boost testosterone is to avoid products that have estrogen-like substances. Some products that we use in our daily lives have estrogen-like chemicals in them, and these can affect your testosterone levels.
These include BPA, parabens, and phthalates. These substances are called endocrine-disruptors and can make a big difference in how your endocrine system works. This, in turn, leads to lower testosterone levels.
Estrogen-like products are also called xenoestrogens since they are close to estrogen. Our bodies react to them like estrogen, which makes them difficult to get rid of, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. These xenoestrogens also play a big part in lowering sperm count. So, infertile men should avoid them as much as possible.
To increase testosterone levels in men, they should avoid plastic containers and try to use glassware, especially when heating food mostly. Eating organic foods and avoiding pesticides is also a great way to prevent these xenoestrogens.
It’s also a good idea to check the ingredients of household items like shampoo, conditioners, toothpaste, and deodorants. Always choose natural products that don’t use these harmful substances.
8) Avoid Bad Habits
Another important way to increase your testosterone is to avoid bad habits. While these may be fun and considered stress-relievers, these bad habits are bad for your body. These habits include drinking alcohol, taking recreational drugs, and smoking cigarettes.
Others include excessive caffeine intake and poor sleep hygiene. These habits wreak havoc on your body’s hormone levels and lead to imbalances, like low testosterone.
Another bad habit is overeating. Since having a higher body fat percentage is linked with low testosterone levels, avoiding overeating is key. One way to do this is by practicing intermittent fasting. This way of eating helps to keep your eating in check and can help you lose weight. It also gives the body a chance to recover during the fasting period, leading to an increase in testosterone.
In addition to avoiding bad habits, try taking on some new ones that help you relax and feel happy. Laughter is a great way to reduce stress, which will lower cortisol and increase testosterone.
Success in life also increases testosterone levels. Whether it’s winning a game of cards or cheering on your favorite sports team, your body will react by producing more testosterone!
Take Natural Testosterone Supplements
You can also boost your testosterone levels by taking natural testosterone supplements. While it’s always best to get the vitamins and minerals you need from whole foods, there are often gaps in our diet. And unfortunately, the minerals that are often missing from our diets are necessary for testosterone production.
These testosterone boosters include magnesium and zinc. Zinc is incredibly essential for testosterone production, so if you are deficient in this mineral, it is vital to supplement it.
Magnesium not only helps produce testosterone, but it also enables you to relax and sleep, two things that are important to testosterone production.
Further natural testosterone boosters include:
- Red ginseng
In addition to these important vitamins, you can also supplement with a few other macro and micronutrients. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, then whey protein is an excellent supplement, especially when you are strength training.
Omega 3 fish oil is also a great supplement for men who do not get enough fatty acids in their diet. Finally, Vitamin B6 can help your body use testosterone more efficiently.
Knowing how to increase testosterone levels is some of the most important information you can learn.
Testosterone is critical to a man’s health, even though it is often dismissed as “just” a sex hormone. Infertile men, and any man who suspects they may have low testosterone levels, should visit their doctor to find what their testosterone levels are. This blood test can help you understand what changes you may need to make.
If you find your test levels are low, that’s okay. Instead of taking prescription drugs or hormones, you can use these natural remedies instead.
You can increase your testosterone levels by eating a diet full of saturated fats and monounsaturated fats, strength training regularly, sleeping well, and reducing stress.
Supplementation with vitamins like D3, zinc, magnesium, and avoiding endocrine-disruptors will also help you improve your testosterone levels. These tips may be overwhelming, so take them one at a time. Identify what areas you need to adjust and work on that. Once you have developed that area, move on to the next.