How To Increase Testosterone Naturally
When we think of testosterone, the main conclusion people usually come to is that it is a male sex hormone. While this is correct, in parts, the purpose of testosterone goes much further than just libido. In the developmental years of puberty, testosterone is the main hormone responsible for physical changes like a deeper voice, hair growth and an increase in muscle. In adult years, it is important to maintain healthy levels of testosterone for overall good health, sexual function and lowering the risk of diseases.
Interestingly, although testosterone is a predominantly a male hormone, women have it too. It helps in maintaining a healthy sex life, muscle mass and so much more. As we age, the levels of testosterone tend to decrease and with that decrease there comes the risk of many varied health and well-being issues. There are supplements you can take to boost your testosterone levels but increasing them naturally is always a better option. We’ll take a look at 10 tips that will help increase your testosterone levels naturally, and help you improve your overall health.
1. Eating The Right Foods
For decades, nutritionists told us to eat a low-fat diet and fat become public enemy number one. While polyunsaturated fatty acids are bad news and should be avoided, saturated fat is your friend. Surprisingly, cholesterol is found in saturated fats and is also the main building block of testosterone production.
Carbs are another food source that should not be neglected. During resistance training, carbs can help to optimize the levels of testosterone which will help you get the best out of your workout. When consuming carbs, try and keep them to whole food sources like whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Processed carbs tend to have little or no nutritional value and overconsumption of these can lead to obesity.
The bottom line is moderation. While proteins, fats and carbs all work amazingly well in increasing testosterone levels, you can go overboard. It’s fine to eat things like beef, bacon and eggs but learn to control your portions. Also, keep in mind that if you are heavily overweight this is playing a huge part in decreasing your testosterone levels. Losing weight is not easy but once you get started, you’ll find it difficult to stop. Once you start to lose the weight, you’ll find the motivation you need to exercise more and this too will increase testosterone.
2. Regular Exercise And Weight Training
One of the most effective ways to boost your testosterone levels is with regular exercise. There have been countless studies that have shown that people who do perform any type of regular exercise have higher testosterone levels. Other results of studies in older people have shown that these higher testosterone levels have a positive effect on the general health and fitness of those who participated in the studies, and interestingly, it was also shown to keep the mind sharp and alert into a ripe old age. While any form of exercise is effective, weightlifting and high-intensity interval training produce the best results. So what are you waiting for? Put your workout earbuds on and hit the gym!
3. Don’t Underestimate A Good Night’s Sleep
We all have that one friend that claims to only sleep a few hours each night and that is more than enough for him. While it is obvious the ideal amount of sleep varies from one person to another, research has shown that people who only sleep five hours or less each night tend to have significantly lower levels of testosterone than those who sleep just a few hours more. The same research has shown that anything from 7 – 10 hours of sleep will keep testosterone levels at a healthy level.
Another interesting aspect of the research is the quality of sleep. There is absolutely no point in going to bed at 10:00 pm and getting up at 6:00 am if you are tossing and turning all night. When we talk about sleeping for health benefits, we are referring to good quality sleep. Try to go to bed around the same time every night. Make sure the temperature in the room is neither too hot, nor too cold and sleep in loose, comfortable sleepwear (or none at all). Also, avoid caffeine and heavy foods before bed as these will also have an adverse effect on the quality of your sleep.
4. Get Out Of The House
Did you know that Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin? It’s actually a steroid hormone that is essential to the production of testosterone and for the development of healthy sperm. Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle has resulted in an alarming drop in Vitamin D levels. We seem to be spending all of our daylight hours indoors working and this is the main reason for the increase of Vitamin D deficiencies.
The simplest and best way to increase Vitamin D levels is to get out of the house or office. Exposure to sunlight is the best way to boost these levels and you don’t need to be outdoors for too long either. 20 – 30 minutes of sunlight per day is enough to get your Vitamin D levels back to a healthy level and the more skin you expose, the better. Of course, this can be a little more difficult in winter, but get out as often as you can. It is so easy to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. Take your lunch break outside, park a little further away from the office and walk the rest of the way, or make power walking or jogging part of your exercise routine.
5. Eliminate Stress
One thing we all need to realize is that stress is not good for anyone. That may not be groundbreaking news, but it’s a fact. Life today has us constantly running around and our workloads seem to be overloaded to the point where we can’t sleep, we overeat and we just don’t seem to be able to do anything properly. High-stress levels tend to trigger the increase of cortisol levels. High cortisol levels generally result in us increasing our food intake, and that food is usually unhealthy. This inevitably leads to weight gain. Then we also stress about the weight so we just go around in a vicious circle and all of this results in lower testosterone levels.
So how do we lower stress levels when our lives are so jam-packed and fast-paced? The first thing we need to do is slow down and take a deep breath. Lowering stress levels doesn’t mean we need to take a month off from our hectic lives. We can take simple steps to lower our stress levels and increase testosterone levels. Focus on eating healthy whole foods, get some exercise and plenty of sleep and get together with your friends and have a laugh. Learn to live a little and enjoy life and the stress will slowly, but surely disappear.
6. Understand And Avoid Estrogen Compounds
The problem may not actually be in your lifestyle, particularly if you are practicing good health habits. You may need to look at the quality of your fresh ingredients and what your food and drinks are packaged in. As an example, much of the animals bred commercially for food are fed a chemical cocktail of hormones which contain estrogen. Then there are also packaging containing harmful plastics full of parabens, BPA (bisphenol-A) and other chemicals commonly found in the linings of canned foods and another plastic packaging. All of these substances have been proven to lower testosterone. If you must use plastic containers, don’t heat food in them as the heat releases these toxins. Also, stick to fresh produce and know where you butcher gets his meat from and you can avoid these substances.
7. Soy No More
Soy products are everywhere these days and you may not even be aware that you are consuming them as soy is also used as a filler in many processed meat products such as sausages, but it can also be found in sauces, cereal products and so much more. Soy contains plant estrogens called phytoestrogens. Overconsumption of soy can have a devastating effect on testosterone levels so avoid soy, and soy products whenever possible.
8. You Can Have A Drink
This is a surprising tip considering alcohol generally has a negative effect on testosterone but as it turns out having a drink can actually cause a spike in total and free testosterone levels. The other positive is that small amounts of alcohol can have a positive impact on libido which is also good news for testosterone increases. However, before you rush off to the pub for a beer with your buddies there is one important thing you need to know. The hops in your favorite beer have estrogen type substances and that will have the exact opposite effect on your testosterone levels. If you really are a beer lover, go ahead and have a drink, but stick to one glass and not too often.
9. Focus On Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium is one of those nutrients that can do so much to improve our health and yet, so many people are deficient in magnesium these days. It can help with sleep and can help spike our energy levels. Both of which can then, in turn, increase testosterone levels but even on its own it is great for testosterone level. Getting enough magnesium isn’t that difficult. Magnesium is present in green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruit, legumes, seafood, and many more. One of the most popular sources of magnesium is dark chocolate so you even get to indulge in something that isn’t usually seen on a health food list. If all else fails you can take magnesium supplements, but your body absorbs magnesium more readily when it comes from natural sources.
10. Give The Boys Some Free Time
Have you ever wondered why testicles just hang there and aren’t tucked into the body somewhere? Testicles do not like heat. When it becomes too hot for them, sperm production is low and that also causes testosterone levels to decrease. By hanging outside of the body they can keep cool so give the boys a little freedom. Obviously, you can’t air them out all the time but you can keep them cooler in a number of ways. Avoid wearing tight under or even switch to wearing boxer shorts or briefs so your testicles have a little room to move. You should also use cold showers as much as possible, and whenever possible, sleep naked. An added benefit of sleeping naked is that being in close proximity to your partner may motivate you to get a little amorous and a healthy sex life is one of the best ways to keep testosterone at healthy levels. Playtime is just as important for the boys as free time.
The bottom line is we all need testosterone for more than just sexual function. Low levels have exposed us to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and can contribute to other conditions such as fatigue, depression, low libido, erectile dysfunction, and less clarity. Healthy testosterone levels, on the other hand, can do wonders for mental and physical health. It helps with bone density, muscle growth and helps decrease fat mass. Studies have also shown that healthy levels of testosterone help in improving memory and our ability to concentrate.
If you are worried about your hormone levels, particularly your testosterone levels, book yourself in for a full medical check-up. Your doctor will be able to best advise you on getting your testosterone levels back to a healthy range. There are hundreds of supplements that you can take to increase your levels, but you should look at a proactive approach to your health and seek natural alternatives. There are some great natural methods for increasing testosterone levels and once these levels get into a healthier range, you will see you general health improve as well as your sex drive.