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6 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

Low testosterone is no joke. Did you know that testosterone levels in men have been on a steady decline since the 1980s?

One study found that men of past generations had far more testosterone than we do today. Perhaps even more disturbing is that the trend of lower testosterone levels overall has nothing to do with the normal age-related one-percent decline that an average male will experience. [1]

Guys with lagging t-levels experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms including weight gain and depression. Luckily, there is plenty that you can do to stop the decrease in testosterone and get it back to healthy levels.

Let’s take a closer look at testosterone, why it’s so important for men’s health, and proven ways to naturally increase it.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a sex hormone that is responsible for physical development in both genders but it’s more prevalent in males than females. Testosterone plays an essential role in the following:

  • Sex organ development
  • Sperm production
  • Sex drive regulation
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Lean muscle growth
  • Bone density
  • Weight management
  • Mood stability
  • Red blood cell production

Normal ranges of testosterone for men fall between 270 to 1070 ng/dL (Nanograms Per Deciliter) with an average level of 679 ng/dL. The gold standard of determining your level of testosterone is with a blood test. [2]

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

When a man’s testosterone levels fall below 270 ng / dL, he officially has hypogonadism, better known as low testosterone. Symptoms of low testosterone include the following:

Muscle Loss and Weight Gain: Men with low testosterone levels tend to lose hard-earned muscle mass. Even worse, they are also more likely to gain fat mass. [3][4]

Decreased Mental Health: The mention of testosterone might call to mind the stories about guys who take too much testosterone in the form of anabolic steroids and develop “roid rage.” Men with low testosterone experience just the opposite, usually depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue.[5]

Poor Sexual Health: Low testosterone levels are linked to a diminished or absent sex drive as well as erectile dysfunction. [6]

Longevity and Mortality: Studies suggest that men with hypogonadism tend to have shorter life spans. [7]

How to Naturally Increase Testosterone

There are several ways to naturally increase your testosterone levels before seeking more extreme measures such as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Here’s what you can do today to support healthy testosterone production.

Cut Out Foods that Lower Testosterone

If you want to naturally increase testosterone levels, it all starts with changing your diet and incorporating more foods that boost testosterone. First, let’s focus on the several types of food that can harm your testosterone levels. You’ll want to cut these out:

  • High-sugar foods (e.g., candy)
  • Trans fats foods (e.g., boxed processed snacks)
  • Heavily processed foods (e.g., frozen dinners)
  • Foods treated with high amount of pesticides (e.g., conventional strawberries)
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

Choose Healthier Options: Eat More Organic Foods

Once you’ve cut back or cut out most of those items, you can replace them with whole food, preferably organic options:

Vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Beet root
  • Carrots

Low-Sugar Fruits:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Organic Meat:

  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Grass-fed Lamb

Fatty Fish:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines

Healthy Oils:

  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Nuts and Seeds:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts [8]

Increase Daily Physical Activity

Men who engage in daily physical activity and exercise have higher levels of testosterone. Physical activity isn’t limited to hitting the gym. Going for a walk, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, or doing lawn work are all ways of getting up and moving around.

The Center for Disease Control recommends the following:

  • 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise

OR

  • 75 minutes per week of high-intensity exerciser

OR

  • A combination of both

Looking for a workout program to get you started? Check out these home bodyweight workouts.

home-bodyweight-workouts
Bodyweight workouts you can do at home are free, convenient, and safe.

Hit the Weights

For guys who prefer the weight room, studies show that men who engage in resistance training such as weightlifting have higher levels of testosterone than men who only meet the minimum requirements of activity set by the CDC. [9]

One study found that a resistance training program of 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions with 90 seconds of rest in between sets produced a significant hormonal response. This also falls in line with acute variables for muscle growth. [10]

Consider Taking Testosterone Supplements

Although diet and exercise should be the foundation of your attempts to increase testosterone, you can also consider using natural testosterone supplements. There are several proven ingredients found in testosterone boosters that can help you naturally increase your testosterone levels:

  • Zinc
  • Longjack extract
  • Coleus forskohlii
  • Magnesium
  • Stinging nettles [11][12][13]

Sleep 7 to 9 Hours Each Night

Arguably the easiest thing you can do to increase testosterone levels is to get enough sleep each night. The research is pretty clear: Skipping on sleep means you’re missing out on testosterone. It’s during the night – particularly between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. – that your body produces the most growth hormone. [14]

It’s still recommended to get no less than 7 hours per night. The more active you are, the more sleep you probably need.

Looking for a Testosterone Booster?

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References

  1. Thomas G. Travison, Andre B. Araujo, Amy B. O’Donnell, Varant Kupelian, John B. McKinlay, A Population-Level Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels in American Men, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 92, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 196–202, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2006-1375.
  2. “Evaluation and Management of Testosterone Deficiency (2018).” Testosterone Deficiency Guideline – American Urological Association, 2018, www.auanet.org/guidelines/testosterone-deficiency-guideline.
  3. Fui MN, Dupuis P, Grossmann M. Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management. Asian J Androl. 2014;16(2):223–231. doi:10.4103/1008-682X.122365.
  4. Traish AM. Testosterone and weight loss: the evidence. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2014;21(5):313–322. doi:10.1097/MED.0000000000000086.
  5. Carnahan RM, Perry PJ. Depression in aging men: the role of testosterone. Drugs Aging. 2004;21(6):361-76.
  6. Rizk PJ, Kohn TP, Pastuszak AW, Khera M. Testosterone therapy improves erectile function and libido in hypogonadal men. Curr Opin Urol. 2017;27(6):511–515. doi:10.1097/MOU.0000000000000442.
  7. Shores MM. The implications of low testosterone on mortality in men. Curr Sex Health Rep. 2014;6(4):235–243. doi:10.1007/s11930-014-0030-x.
  8. Hu TY, Chen YC, Lin P, et al. Testosterone-Associated Dietary Pattern Predicts Low Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadism. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1786. Published 2018 Nov 16. doi:10.3390/nu10111786.
  9. Hawkins VN, Foster-Schubert K, Chubak J, et al. Effect of exercise on serum sex hormones in men: a 12-month randomized clinical trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40(2):223–233. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e31815bbba9.
  10. Craig BW, Brown R, Everhart J. Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. Mech Ageing Dev. 1989 Aug;49(2):159-69.
  11. Prasad AS, Mantzoros CS, Beck FW, Hess JW, Brewer GJ. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition. 1996 May;12(5):344-8.
  12. Talbott SM, Talbott JA, George A, Pugh M. Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013;10(1):28. Published 2013 May 26. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-28.
  13. Henderson S, Magu B, Rasmussen C, et al. Effects of coleus forskohlii supplementation on body composition and hematological profiles in mildly overweight women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005;2(2):54–62. Published 2005 Dec 9. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-2-2-54.
  14. Wittert G. The relationship between sleep disorders and testosterone in men. Asian J Androl. 2014;16(2):262–265. doi:10.4103/1008-682X.122586.