Testosterone, the male sex hormone, is important for the development of muscle mass, red blood cell production, and healthy sexual development. So boosting your testosterone levels comes with several advantages.
Testosterone aids the production of red blood cells from the bone marrow. It can also help maintain your cardiovascular health, which allows your heart to resume pumping blood efficiently, providing your muscles and bones with sufficient oxygen.
Oxygen fuels muscles and bones, allowing them to reach their full functioning capacity.
Testosterone also increases bone mineral density, making them stronger and offering better support for muscles and organs. It also helps with growing muscle mass, aiding with weight control, the decrease of fat mass, and gives you energy boosts. Stronger bones and increased muscle mass can significantly improve athletic performance.
Several studies have also found testosterone to be linked with quicker processing speeds, reduced risks of Alzheimer’s disease, verbal and spatial memories, as well as many other thinking abilities.
Testosterone can also improve overall mood, quality of life, and well-being. People with lower testosterone levels are more prone to the development of depression, irritability, exhaustion, and fatigue. However, boosting your testosterone levels may come with many side effects if not done correctly.
Side effects may include fluid retention, acne, and skin irritation if you are using patches, and mood swings if you are using intramuscular injections. This is why you should opt for natural ways to increase your testosterone levels. Read through this article to find out what you can do to safely boost your testosterone levels.
Weight-Lifting and Exercising
Not only can exercise improve your overall health, quality of sleep, boost your mood, and prevent you from developing various diseases, but it is also proven to boost your testosterone levels.
Weight-lifting and other types of resistance training are the best exercise methods to boost your testosterone. High-intensity interval training is also extremely effective. This is because a combination of compound movements, rather than isolation movements, stimulates the release of testosterone through the use of several muscle groups.
Compound movements are exercises similar to chest presses, rows, and squats. Since the ability to lift weights is subjective, you should lift weights that are too heavy for you to lift for more than 12 reps. You should lift them for at least 3 sets. Try to lift heavier sets even if it means that you can only do 6 to 8 reps per set.
It is important to rest each group of muscles for at least 48 hours, and pursue balanced exercising habits. This is because exercise can be stressful for the body, which raises the stress hormone, cortisol, and actually lowers your testosterone levels.
Chronic endurance exercises like running and cycling that take place for several hours can also be associated with lower testosterone levels because of the higher stress levels that they place on the body. Signs of lower testosterone would be decreased muscle mass, disrupted sleep, and irritability. To ensure that you are getting the best out of your exercise sessions, you should balance your diet with lean proteins, healthy fats, and avoid refined carbohydrates, added sugar, and saturated fats.
Nutrition for Boosting Testosterone
Nutrition, and pursuing a healthy, balanced diet, is important when it comes to attempting to increase your testosterone levels. This is why you should place much focus on your diet plans and strategy, as well as calorie intake.
Focusing on calorie intake is important because frequent dieting and overeating may disturb your testosterone levels. You should make sure that you are getting enough protein, introduce moderate amounts of unrefined carbs, and consume a sufficient amount of healthy fats. Try to balance carbs, fats, and proteins, and eat whole foods to optimize both, your health, and hormone levels.
You should monitor your intake of foods that contain phytoestrogens, or compounds that are similar to estrogen, the female hormone, as they can hold you back from achieving your desired testosterone levels. It is important to limit your exposure to these compounds or chemicals, as well as your exposure to BPA, parabens, alcohol, and drugs that are either prescribed medications or for recreational purposes.
These are all factors that can affect your testosterone levels. Eat foods that are rich in zinc and vitamin D as they are antecedents for testosterone production. These foods include tuna, egg yolks, oysters, fortified cereals, shellfish, beans, and beef.
Cortisol Levels and Stress
As mentioned above, stress can elevate cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol levels can reduce testosterone levels by disturbing its biosynthesis pathways, which disrupts the hormone’s production process.
Both hormones are negatively correlated and cannot co-exist; so when one increases, the other decreases. Moreover, increased stress and cortisol can increase the amount of food that you consume, cause weight gain, and store harmful fats around your organs. This all affects your testosterone levels, causing them to drop.
To reduce stress, you can try to organize your activities and manage your time, making sure that you are leaving time for yourself to unwind. You can meditate and attempt progressive muscle relaxation, or spend more time doing things that you love and feel at peace doing. Good quality of sleep and achieving an overall balanced lifestyle can help maintain and boost your testosterone levels.
Sunlight and Vitamin D
In addition to the various health benefits, like regulating the amounts of calcium and phosphates in the body which are needed to protect the body and keep it healthy, vitamin D is proven to boost testosterone levels.
This is because it acts as a precursor to testosterone production. Several studies showed that receiving 3000 IU of vitamin D every day for 12 months can elevate testosterone levels by nearly 25%. Salmon, herring and sardines, canned tuna, cod liver oils, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified foods are very high in vitamin D. You can try to maintain regular sun exposure or take daily vitamin D3 supplements to boost your testosterone levels.
Natural Testosterone Boosters
Some natural testosterone boosters are actually supported by a variety of scientific studies. While testing the correlation between these natural substances, it was conducted that many of them showed significant increases in testosterone levels. Besides, these natural testosterone boosters are proven to have several other health benefits. Ashwagandha, an ancient medical herb, is recognized for its many benefits. It helps improve the performance of the brain and the body, it also aids your body in its ability to manage stress, it can elevate the function of the brain, lower cortisol, and blood sugar levels, and helps reduce and fight symptoms of anxiety and depression. All of which are reasons behind its ability to significantly increase testosterone levels.
Several studies noticed ashwagandha’s ability to increase testosterone levels by up to 15%, and decrease cortisol levels by 25%.
D-Aspartic acid is a natural amino acid that increases follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone levels. The luteinizing hormone stimulates Leydig cells, which are located in the testes, to produce more levels of testosterone. Moreover, D-Aspartic acid can enhance the transportation of testosterone and luteinizing hormones around the body. Many studies also prove fenugreek to be a natural testosterone booster.
The manufacturers at Testogen suggest looking for natural-based supplements that consist of the best testosterone boosting ingredients including vitamin D, D-Aspartic Acid, and fenugreek. Ginger, which is commonly found in many households, is a powerful herb that can reduce nausea, muscle pains, controls cancer growth, and boost testosterone levels as well. A 30-day long study showed ginger to increase testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels by nearly double the amount.
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA hormone, is mainly produced in the adrenal gland. It is a hormone that aids in the management of estrogen and testosterone hormones. DHEA supplements, or anabolic steroids, can be used to boost testosterone levels. However, the usage of DHEA supplements is prohibited if you are practicing a professional sport.
Zinc levels are correlated to fertility, sexual health, and testosterone levels. This is because zinc is a mineral that is vital when it comes to the performance of over 100 chemical processes in the body. Zinc supplements can significantly boost testosterone levels when consumed in 220 mg, twice a day, from 1 to 4 months.
The Effects of Sleep on Testosterone Levels
Insufficient sleep and poor quality of sleep can drastically affect testosterone levels. A recent study showed that men who were getting 5 hours of sleep or less, displayed significantly low testosterone levels in comparison to those who got adequate hours of sleep.
Skipping sleep can basically have the same effects on your testosterone as aging 10 to 15 years would. This is because poor sleep quality and insufficient sleep hours can act as endocrine disruptors. This study showed that 5 hours of sleep per night for just one week can dramatically reduce testosterone levels by about 10% to 15%. Another study found out that with one extra hour of sleep your testosterone levels can rise for up to about 15%.
Poor sleep and disrupted sleeping patterns can also have many disturbing effects on the body and the brain, health, and overall well-being, some of which are even associated with decreased levels of testosterone.
Poor sleep quality and inadequate amounts of sleep can result in poor concentration, irritability, low energy, mood swings, decreased libido, and fatigue, which are all signs of low testosterone levels. This is why when it comes to a way of boosting testosterone levels and the improvement of general health, sleep is just as important as exercise and nutrition. According to research, to maintain your overall health in the long-term, and to maintain or boost your testosterone, it is suggested that you get an average of 7 to 10 hours of quality sleep at night.
Mineral and Vitamin Supplements
Multivitamins are widely used for their many health benefits and are made of different compositions of vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients like fatty acids, amino acids, and herbs, depending on their type and brand.
They offer nutrients that are essential to our health, maintenance, and regulations of body functions and processes, growth, and reproduction. They can reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the risk of colon cancer, improve mood and memory, and slow the progression of pre-disposed blindness. Since multivitamins contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, they can be correlated to a rise in testosterone levels.
Another study suggested that vitamin B and zinc supplements lead to an increase in sperm quality by nearly 74%. Zinc is an antecedent to testosterone production. Therefore, low levels of testosterone can be linked to hypogonadism, a condition that can be a result of insufficient zinc levels in the body.
For proper cell division and a fully functioning immune system, zinc is needed. It aids in the breaking down of nutrients and foods by enzymes. Zinc also helps enzymes that build proteins. This is why a zinc deficiency can cause a drop in testosterone levels. To increase zinc levels, consider taking vitamins or supplements.
Other studies, which need more research and expansion, claim that vitamins A, C, and E can also affect testosterone levels, as well as sex hormones. Zinc and vitamin D supplements are recommended if you want to boost your testosterone levels but appear to be showing signs of vitamin deficiency.
The testosterone hormone is held responsible for the development of a male’s sexual characteristics. While this is very important, testosterone is also proven to be quite beneficial in many other health aspects.
Testosterone can help improve your general health and brain functions. It is recognized for its ability to regulate the mood, reduce irritability and fatigue, fight signs of depression and anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, increase bone density and muscle mass, reduce fat mass, and enhance spatial and verbal memories. It can help boost your athletic performance, make you stronger, and help you with your concentration. It has significant contributions to our quality of life and well-being.
The best way to increase testosterone levels in the body would be through using natural methods. These methods include carrying out the right exercises, following a balanced diet, making sure that you are receiving the right nutrition through vitamin and mineral-rich foods or the use of supplements, reducing stress and cortisol levels, and getting adequate, quality sleep.