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Physical Wellness

Optimize Your Testosterone Levels the Natural Way

Low testosterone levels are a key contributor to the loss of energy, strength, muscle mass, and sex drive that is commonplace in western society. Increasing your body’s natural production of testosterone is the key to reversing these effects. In this article, I present 5 ways to naturally increase testosterone levels.

Male Hormones

Your body is controlled by hormones. Men and women have the same hormones, but they vary in the rate at which they are produced. This primarily affects sexual characteristics. In men, the key sex-related hormone is testosterone. Testosterone levels are usually about 20 times higher in men than women.

What is Testosterone? – OpenLearn from The Open University

Men produce testosterone in the testicles, whereas women do so in the ovaries. It is vital to the production of sperm and is a key determinant in the amount of muscle and bone mass that a person has, as well as their level of strength. Testosterone levels dramatically increase during puberty and then steadily decline after the age of thirty.

Low testosterone levels may lead to a loss of sex drive, loss of energy, weight gain, loss of muscle and bone mass, and loss of body hair.

There are a number of ways to naturally increase your body’s production of testosterone. Here are five of them.

1) Resistance Training

There is a growing body of research confirming that high intensity weight training with weights into the 75+ percentage of one rep max range will significantly boost testosterone levels. To benefit from this hormonal response, after doing a warm up set, do 4–8 reps for 5–6 sets per exercise. Focus on compound moves and, in order to perform at your strongest, rest for 2–3 minutes between sets.

Muscular African-American man taking efforts to lift weight barbell in fitness center, boosting his testosterone levels.
Weight Training For Fat Loss Will Also Help To Boost Testosterone Levels. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Increasing your intensity levels with such techniques as drop sets, supersets, and pre-exhaustion training will also help to maximize the testosterone-boosting effect of your workouts.

Weight training for fat loss will also help to boost testosterone levels. The less body fat you are carrying, the more testosterone your body will produce. Follow a program of weight training that makes use of compound exercises that work multiple muscles at once, with reps between 12 and 20.

2) Sleep

Sleep is an essential element in the muscle building equation. In recent years, there has been a growing appreciation for its ability to elicit a hormone response. The majority of your testosterone production occurs while you are sleeping. So, too, by the way, does human growth hormone. However, if your sleep is interrupted, then you will compromise the release of both of these hormones.

Man sleeping on his bed.
Testosterone Production Occurs While You Are Sleeping. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

There are lots of great tips on how to get better sleep. In order to maximize your testosterone and HGH release overnight, be sure to ease into your sleep pattern smartly. Give yourself a gap of at least two hours between your last meal and going to bed. If you don’t, your gut will still be engaged in digestion when your head hits the pillow. That will make it impossible to get to sleep.

Get into a regular, consistent nighttime pattern. That includes retiring at the same time each night. Do your best to make your bedroom environment dark, quiet, and relatively cool. Keep all technology out of the bedroom—you don’t want anything to stimulate your mind when you are trying to get to sleep!

You must also stop drinking at least an hour before you go to bed. If you don’t, you’ll be up in the middle of the night to relieve yourself!

3) Stress Control

High levels of stress trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response. This, in turn, causes a flood of the cortisol hormone to flood the body. Cortisol and testosterone are competing dominating hormones. They cannot both be high at the same time. When cortisol levels are high, your testosterone levels will be suppressed.

Man feeling stressed at work.
High Levels of Stress Triggers the Body’s Fight-or-Flight Response. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

There are a number of lifestyle changes that everyone can make to reduce their levels of stress. These include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Reduce caffeine consumption
  • Get 7–9 hours of sleep each night
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Practice mindfulness

4) Well Balanced Diet

Your body’s hormonal response is largely reliant on what you put in your mouth. It should come as no surprise, then, that your nutritional habits can affect your testosterone production. Here are a half dozen eating practices that have been shown to help raise testosterone levels.

  • Have more frequent, smaller meals—aim for 5 meals, spaced 3 hours apart.
  • Include all three macros—protein, carbs, and fats—at every meal you eat.
  • Counting macros for a few days will help you get the right balance.
  • Avoid processed foods that contain sugar.
  • Consume 88 oz of water each day.
  • Do not miss breakfast.
  • Have one cheat meal weekly.
Nutritional Habits Can Affect Your Testosterone Production. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

The higher your protein intake, the more testosterone your body will naturally produce. The best protein-based foods to do that are those that are also high in vitamin D. An excellent choice is tuna. Just select tuna that is packed in water as opposed to oil. Other excellent protein options to heighten testosterone levels are chicken, red meat, eggs, and dairy.

5) Stay Away from Proven Testosterone Killers

There are a number of foods that lower testosterone levels. You need to stay well clear of them. Here are three of the worst offenders.

Licorice

People seem to either love or hate licorice. If you are wanting to increase your testosterone levels, it doesn’t matter which of these camps you are in—you need to stay away from the stuff. That is due to a compound called glycyrrhetinic acid. Studies have shown that this compound blocks the production of testosterone.

Flax Seeds

If your main goal is to boost your omega 3 fatty acids, then flax seeds are a smart choice. But not if your focus is on boosting T levels. That’s because a compound known as lignons actually enhances estrogen while depressing testosterone release. In one study, people who took just 30 grams of flax seeds for 30 days experienced a 10% drop in testosterone production.

Flax seeds and a wooden spoon.
Lignons From Flax Seeds Enhances Estrogen While Depressing Testosterone Release(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Vegetable Oils

Some vegetable oils are ok. The ones you need to avoid are those that are high in polyunsaturated fats. These are the fats that can cause a whole host of health problems. Among other things, they decrease testosterone production.

Final Thoughts on Testosterone Levels

You do not have to resort to unsafe methods in order to increase your testosterone levels. Follow the tips provided in this article and you will boost not only your testosterone levels, but also your quantity of growth hormone and other anabolic hormones. At the same time, you’ll be lowering your cortisol levels. This combination will make you healthier, stronger, and more muscular.

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