If you find that you’re lacking in the testosterone department, don’t despair! There are plenty of safe, natural, and highly effective ways to boost your levels and get you back on track.
As men age, their testosterone levels will naturally decrease. This decrease can lead to a slew of issues over time, so it’s best to keep those levels on the rise using natural methods instead of through injections and medications that can potentially be harmful to your health.
Effects of Low Testosterone Levels
Testosterone, though found in very small amounts in females, is typically known as the male sex hormone. It’s responsible for male characteristics such as facial and body hair, a deepened voice, and even promotes bone strength and muscle growth.
Having too low of testosterone levels can give you some unwanted effects such as:
- Reduced libido
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Weakened bones
- Balding and decreased overall bodily hair
- Sleep disturbances
Make A Few Changes In Your Lifestyle and Boost Your Testosterone
Making changes in your daily habits can sometimes be tough, but it’s possible to increase your testosterone levels by doing so.
If You Are Overweight, Try to Decrease Your Weight
If you have excess body fat, shedding those pounds can increase your testosterone. That’s because lowered testosterone levels have been linked to obesity according to a European study on men. Over 75 percent of overweight men had lowered testosterone levels.
Perform HIIT A Few Days Per Week
Hiit, or high intensity interval training, increases the testosterone levels naturally and the best part about it, is that it only takes around 20 minutes per session and 3 days per week.
Hiit is a mix of intense exercises such as burpees, mountain climbers, plank jacks, etc that you would perform for around 30 seconds, followed by a rest period. The rest period should either be a low intense exercise such as walking in place, or standing still and recovering for about minute. You would repeat that pattern for up to 20 minutes for best results.
Hiit can also be done with cardio exercises such as peddling on an elliptical machine or even sprinting.
Double Up On Your Zinc
Zinc can play a big role in the production of testosterone. It’s been proven in studies to increase levels tremendously when taken regularly.
You can get zinc from foods you eat such as fish, milk, cheese, beans, and kefir. Or, you can also take it as a supplement. Try to stay under 40 milligrams per day if you decide to take it as a supplement, otherwise it can interfere with the absorption of certain other minerals.
Take Up Strength Training
Strength training is well known for giving the testosterone levels a rise. You just have to make sure that each strength exercise you perform is done with intensity.
When you are strength training to boost your Testosterone levels, the best route to take is heavy lifting with a lower rep count. You’ll also want to make sure that you are doing more compound exercises. These are exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time such as deadlifts, or rack squats.
You can also intensify the exercises by slowing down your reps and keeping the muscles under tension for a longer amount of time. Shoot for 4 seconds in the concentric (lifting) phase, and 4 seconds in the eccentric phase (lowering).
According to a study performed at The University of Extremadura a group of beginners were set up to do 3 days per week of strength training that included exercises such as the bench press and leg press doing 3 sets of 10 reps at 75 percent of their 1 rep max for a total of 4 weeks. The study concluded that the subjects had increased their testosterone levels by a significant 40 percent.
The study also showed that the subjects cortisol levels had decreased by 24 percent. That’s a a big drop!
Reduce Your Stress Levels
This statement is definitely easier said than done, but if at all possible, try to decrease the amount of stress in your daily life as it can result in numerous health issues.
Stress increases the amount of cortisol in the body. This stress hormone is one of the culprits in increasing body fat, especially around the mid section (belly). Not only does it promote body fat, but it also can block the effects of testosterone in the body.
Reducing stress is not the easiest thing, especially with how fast paced everything in today’s world can be. You can’t exactly quit your job if it is stressful, then you would have no money to pay the bills and that would cause even more stress. So what do you do? Unwind! That’s right, take some time for yourself each night. Even if it is only for a short amount of time, it’s important to be able to just calm down and relax.
Try taking a hot bath, putting on some relaxing music, and performing a few relaxing stretches after the bath has warmed and prepared your muscles to do so.
Another way to reduce your cortisol levels is to get more sleep at night. Sleep time is when the hormones kind of reset themselves and everything in the body gets a chance to recover and recuperate.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Sometimes this can be hard to do because it seems that sugar is in almost everything and most people are highly addicted to it.
After eating sugar, your testosterone levels are decreased. This is due to the spike in your insulin levels, which is a factor in the reduction of testosterone.
A few ways to reduce your sugar intake is to make most of your meals at home, trade in sweet beverages such as sodas and sugary juices for water and tea which you can sweeten with stevia leaf extract. Stevia is a zero calorie, all natural sweetener that has no effect on the blood sugar levels but will help you satisfy a sweet tooth as you can add it to certain dessert recipes as well.
Try and eat fruit instead of getting your sugar from junk food. Sugar is sugar, yes, but getting sugar through eating fruits does not cause the same quick spike in blood sugar levels as it contains fiber which slows down the digestion process and allows your body to slowly process the sugars.
Also, switching to fruit instead of refined sugars is beneficial as fruit contains less calories and less sugar by volume than sweet treats. For instance, a slice of frosted cake is about the same size as your average apple. Yet the cake (a 2″ X 2″ slice) will cost you about 300 calories and contains as much as 40 grams of sugar, whereas a medium sized apple only contains about 95 calories and 19 grams of sugar.
Eat Healthy Fats
Most people that are trying to lose weight get scared of the word “fat”, but it’s not dietary fat that needs to be worried about, especially if you are eating the healthy kinds, which can actually promote weight loss.
Mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like those found in avocado and nuts are healthy, but the body also requires saturated fats like those found in plant and animal products like dairy, meat, specific oils, and even coconuts.
A diet that contains less than 40 percent of these types of fat, provides conditions for lowered testosterone levels.
When people think of weight loss, they tend to go on a low-fat diet. This is not a sustainable way to lose weight. In fact, it can cause more harm than good as the body needs fat for many processes that go on.
Studies show that a low fat diet can dramatically reduce the production of testosterone. All the more reason to eat your healthy fats.
As you can see, there are many ways to boost your testosterone levels without the use of injections or prescription pills. Boosting the testosterone by means of a healthy lifestyle is not only beneficial for your hormones, but it will benefit you in many other ways as well.