Testosterone is the most important male hormone. And while it’s NOT natural for testosterone levels to decline as a guy gets older, it is common. Low levels of testosterone can lead to weight gain, especially around the waist and chest. And as testosterone levels dip, it can also affect sex drive, lead to erection problems and kill your motivation.
The good news is that there are steps that you can take to slow, and perhaps reverse, the process. Here are 7 proven ways to naturally boost your testosterone.
Exercise. That’s right… Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent and overcome a lot of health issues… Even low testosterone. One study found that people who exercise regularly had higher testosterone levels. Even older men showed a significant boost in testosterone levels, overall fitness levels and reaction time. And new research in overweight men suggests that exercise combined with dietary changes was much more beneficial on boosting testosterone levels than diet alone.
Resistance training in particular stood out as the best type of exercise to raise testosterone levels. And that was true both in the short term and the long term. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be very effective. Bottom Line… While, exercise of any kind has the potential to boost low testosterone levels. Weight lifting and high-intensity interval training seem to add the most benefit.
Eat Protein and Fat
Your diet has a huge impact on your testosterone levels. And other hormones too. Which is why paying attention to your diet is so important. Constant dieting AND overeating both can disrupt your testosterone levels. And eating plenty of high quality protein can help. Protein helps with fat loss which stimulates testosterone production. Carrying too much extra weight especially in the belly can suppress testosterone due to the secretion of estrogen. But it’s not just protein.
Carbs play a role in testosterone production too. However, research shows that fat plays an even bigger role. And getting plenty of healthy fat can help naturally boost testosterone levels. But when protein, carbs and fats are balanced… Healthy testosterone levels are much easier to maintain.
Minimize Stress and Cortisol Levels
Doctors are always warning us about the health damaging effects of stress… And where there’s stress. There’s cortisol. And high levels of cortisol can quickly squash testosterone levels. It’s like a teeter totter When one goes up… The other goes down. And constant high levels of cortisol, can snuff out testosterone production long term.
Stress can also make you overeat and drink which can also lead to weight gain. And like I mentioned earlier, carrying too much weight around the midsection can also suppress testosterone. To optimize your health and your hormone levels, you need to reduce the amount of stress in your life. I know that’s easier said than done… But here are a few tips…
Focus on a diet based on whole foods, regular exercise, good sleep, get together with friends and take some time out for yourself. All of these can have a positive effect on both stress and cortisol. My next testosterone booster is easy…
Get Some Sun or Take a Vitamin D Supplement
Vitamin D is critical for good health for a variety of reasons. And testosterone production is no different. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with low testosterone. And the problem is… A lot of people are deficient. And a lot more have suboptimal levels.
In a recent 12-month study, researchers found that supplementing with around 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone levels by around 25%. And in older men, vitamin D and calcium also optimized testosterone levels, and led to a decreased risk of falling.
To bump up your vitamin D and boost testosterone try to get regular exposure to sunlight or take around 3,000 IU of a vitamin D3 supplement daily.
Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Although the benefits of multivitamins are often debated… Certain vitamins and minerals may help. One study found zinc and vitamin B supplements increased sperm quality by 74%. Zinc also boosts testosterone in athletes and those who are deficient in zinc. Other studies also suggest vitamins A, C and E can play a role in testosterone levels too. But vitamin D and Zinc seem to be the most researched and proven. A good multivitamin can help, just make sure it has plenty of zinc and vitamin D3. My next testosterone booster is…
Get Plenty of Restful, High-Quality Sleep
Lack of sleep can be a testosterone killer. One study from the University of Chicago found that testosterone levels can drop dramatically in men who do not get enough sleep. In fact, researchers found that after only 1 week of restricted sleep, daytime testosterone levels dropped by up to 15 percent. That’s why sleep is so important. You should aim to sleep at least 7 to 8 hours each night.
Follow a Healthy Lifestyle and Avoid Estrogen-like Compounds
There are lots of factors affecting your testosterone. Remember earlier how I mentioned that it’s NOT natural to have low testosterone as you age? It’s true… Even though it’s common it’s not the way we’re built.
Instead, there are tons of external factors that can wreak havoc on our testosterone production. And exposure to estrogen-like chemicals is one of them. Things like BPA, parabens and other chemicals found in some types of plastic are just examples of the estrogen-like chemicals we’re exposed to on a regular basis.
And while it’s impossible to eliminate these chemicals completely… Doing your best to limit your exposure can do wonders for your testosterone. Bottom line…there's plenty of evidence to suggest that dietary and lifestyle changes both can help optimize your testosterone.