7 Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels
While testosterone levels in men naturally decline with age, there are things you can do to raise and maintain your levels of this vital hormone without resorting to expensive (and potentially dangerous) hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Keep reading to discover the symptoms of low testosterone, how your lifestyle and diet can affect hormone levels, and 7 ways to optimize your natural testosterone levels for:
- More energy
- More muscle
- Higher libido
- Better performance
What is Testosterone?
In men, testosterone is the hormone that is critical for both sexual and reproductive development.
Testosterone has a positive effect on many aspects of your health, including:
- Reducing fat and building muscle
- Increasing libido, erection quality, and sexual performanc
- Fighting off diseases like Alzheimer’s and heart disease
- Maintaining cognitive function
- Improving mood
- Strengthening bones
As levels decline with age, illness or poor lifestyle and diet choices, you may begin to experience the symptoms of low testosterone (low-T).
Symptoms of Low-T
- Men with low-T report fatigue and decreased energy levels. You might have low-T if you feel tired all of the time despite getting enough sleep or it’s harder to get motivated to exercise.
- Low-T may cause increases in your body fat levels. You’ll see more fat on your hips and buttocks and appear ‘softer,’ in more extreme cases; men sometimes develop enlarged breast tissue (gynecomastia).
- Testosterone strongly influences mood and mental capacity. Research suggests that men with low-T are more likely to suffer depression, irritability, and a lack of focus.
- Studies have shown testosterone influences muscle mass. Because of testosterone’s role in building muscle, low-T can cause a significant decrease in muscle mass.
7 Ways to Increase T Levels
1) Cut Sugar and Eat Healthy Fats Instead
- A diet rich in processed grains and sugars chronically elevates your blood glucose levels
- This causes your pancreas to work overtime producing insulin to transport sugar from your bloodstream into the cells to be metabolized for energy
- Exposing your cells to insulin for extended periods will create insulin resistance; causing type II diabetes
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that type II diabetics are twice as likely to develop low T-levels. Most men with low-T eat too many carbohydrates, so start adding lots of healthy fats to your diet.
Healthy fats include; coconut and olive oil, saturated fats (found in meat), and fish oils.
A study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry examined the effects of diet on hormone levels in healthy men. The results showed that when they decreased their healthy fat intake, blood levels of testosterone also decreased.
2) Try Short-term Fasting
Research published in the Acta Endocrinologica confirms that short-term fasting (missing as few as two meals) resulted in a 67% increase in circulating testosterone levels in men of normal weight.
3) Get More Vitamin D
One of the most important factors in boosting testosterone levels is vitamin D.
A study published in the journal Hormone and Metabolic Research claims that vitamin D boosted testosterone levels naturally in overweight men by up to 30%. Additionally, research shows that vitamin D can also help to prevent and even treat cancer.
Vitamin D deficiency will profoundly reduce your testosterone levels. Try to get out in the sun for at least 20 – 30 minutes every day and take a quality Vitamin D supplement for the fall and winter seasons when days are shorter, and your UV exposure is reduced.
4) Lose Weight
There is a proven correlation between reducing body fat levels and a subsequent increase in testosterone. The Asian Journal of Andrology has this research study demonstrating that higher body fat levels will lower testosterone, but that weight loss reverses this effect.
5) Get More Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the most effective ways to naturally raise your testosterone.
The body’s circadian rhythm resets itself every night by releasing chemicals like cortisol, which helps maintain the overall hormone balance that prevents low T-levels. Sleep is also when testosterone levels naturally peak.
A lack of quality sleep time will negatively impact your T levels.
To keep your testosterone levels optimized try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
6) Get Rid of Stress
When you’re chronically stressed, your body gets stuck in the condition where it’s producing cortisol (‘stress’ hormone) nonstop. Research shows that when cortisol is elevated – testosterone will be elevated as well, but afterwards goes down far lower than pre-stress levels!
Stress will severely disrupt your body’s ability to produce testosterone, and make you susceptible to a whole host of illnesses. If you want to keep your T at healthy levels; you need to find ways to de-stress.
You can try:
- A relaxing hobby
- Create a ‘quiet place’ away from people and distractions
- Actively mitigating the stressors in your life (avoid stressful people/areas, change jobs, etc.)
7) Strength Training to Increase T Levels
Your body produces the bone and muscle-building testosterone that it feels you need for optimal performance.
Spend your days sitting at a desk or laying on a couch, and your T levels will suffer. Your brain gets the signal that you don’t need very much to strengthen your muscles and bones.
Recent studies show that high-intensity resistance training will seriously ramp up the production of testosterone in healthy men. The same research discovered that ‘steady state exercise’ like long distance running or other endurance sports actually reduced T levels!
So if you want to keep your T levels at their best, exercise by:
- Using High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Lifting heavy weights
- Practicing short sprints instead of long jogs
The Benefits of Increasing T levels Naturally
Increasing your testosterone levels using HRT can carry certain risks:
- Blood clots
- Sleep apnea
- Breast enlargement
- Potentially severe acne
By using the natural methods discussed in this article you can rest assured that you’ll enjoy the benefits of increased T levels without any risk to your long-term health.