Testosterone is primarily a male sex hormone that begins to increase during puberty and starts to decline after the age of 30. Often associated with sex drive, testosterone plays a crucial role in determining masculinity. But that’s not all—it also affects the way men’s bodies store fat, bone, and muscle mass, and aids in red blood cell production. Fluctuations in testosterone levels may also affect mood.
Increasing Testosterone Levels Naturally
There are positive changes you can make to your overall health that could also benefit your testosterone levels. Here are ten proven ways to increase your testosterone levels naturally.
- Exercise: Getting the right amount of exercise is important in supporting healthy Testosterone levels quickly adapt to your body’s needs. Too little exercise and your body doesn’t manufacture as much testosterone to boost your bones and muscles. Going to the gym every day is beneficial, but too much high endurance exercise can actually lower testosterone levels. For that reason, many workout routines incorporate the use of break days.
- Get Enough Sleep: Make an effort to get the right amount of sleep. Insufficient sleep can lower your testosterone levels in as little as one week. To maintain healthy levels of this hormone, you need around 7-9 hours of sleep. The exact amount will depend on how tired you are and the quality of your sleep. If you snore a lot and are sleepy during the day, you may have sleep apnea and should see your doctor since it can lead to other problems like high blood pressure. Going to bed and getting up at consistent times also supports your natural circadian rhythm. Improve your sleep by keeping your phones, TV, tablets, and computers out of the bedroom, since these light sources confuse the brain’s signals that it’s time to rest.
- Balance Your Diet: Pay attention to your long-term calorie intake, as constant overeating or dieting can disrupt testosterone production. Maintain a healthy balance of fat, protein, and carbs to optimize testosterone levels and support long-term health. Make whole foods a mainstay of your diet and avoid processed and refined foods.
- Reduce Stress: Keep the stress in your life to a minimum and your testosterone levels may increase. Your body reacts to stress by producing a hormone known as cortisol, which leads to storage of fat and breakdown of muscle tissue. Cortisol also interferes with the production of testosterone. Manage your stress levels by meditation, yoga, regular sleep and exercise. Try to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Get Plenty of Vitamin D: Almost half of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient. As well as being essential for fighting disease, supporting bone health, and balancing moods, this vitamin may also act as a natural testosterone booster. If you’re not spending enough time in the sun to replenish your vitamin D levels, then take a daily supplement.
- Reduce Your Sugar Consumption: A high sugar diet will quickly lower your levels of testosterone. Studies show that each time you consume sugar, your testosterone levels drop 25 percent for up to two hours after the meal. If you cannot completely eliminate sugar from your diet, limit it as much as possible. Replace it with natural sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup.
- Eat Healthy Fats: Eating healthy fats doesn’t only mean eating mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts and avocados, but also eating the right amount of saturated fats. According to research, a diet with less than 40 percent of energy from fat may lead to decreased testosterone levels. Get a combination of fat types from whole, unprocessed, high-quality foods like chicken, lamb, beef, and low-fat dairy products like Greek yogurt.
- Consume Plenty of Zinc: This mineral is vital for the healthy functioning of hormone, enzyme, and immune systems. A zinc deficiency can quickly cause depleted testosterone levels. Your diet is the best source of zinc. Natural sources include red meat, poultry, oysters, whole grains, and legumes.
- Consume Enough Magnesium: Just like zinc, magnesium is another vital mineral for balancing testosterone levels. You need to keep an eye on your magnesium intake if you work out on a regular basis, as it can be lost through sweating. Good dietary sources of magnesium include nuts and seeds, legumes, spinach, whole grains, bananas, figs, and fish. Take a magnesium supplement if you think you may be deficient; this can also improve your sleep quality.
- Take a Natural Testosterone Booster: Many testosterone metabolism supplements boast a wide range of herbs that support the production of testosterone, but few of them have been clinically tested. The ones that have been shown to be effective include ginger, ashwagandha, horny goat weed, and Tongkat ali.
A balanced diet, daily exercise, and a regular sleep pattern are the best ways to maintain healthy testosterone levels. If you make progress in implementing these ten natural ways to boost testosterone, you’ll also reap many other benefits such as having lower blood pressure, healthier cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Adding a daily testosterone boosting nutritional supplement to your wellness regime is also a good way to ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to make testosterone.