Male testosterone levels peak during adolescence and then begin to decline. After the age of 30, the average man’s testosterone production rate tends to decrease at a rate of 1% per year. This can lead to symptoms such a lack of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, poor concentration, depression, and a bad memory.
Although this drop in hormone production is a normal part of the aging process, there are some natural ways to increase testosterone without using drugs or undergoing risky testosterone replacement therapy.
There are some natural supplements to increase testosterone but this article looks at some of the more rudimentary approaches.
6 Ways to Safely Boost Testosterone
1. Lose Weight
Men who are overweight or obese are susceptible to greater decreases in testosterone than men who have leaner physiques. A number of research studies show this to be so. The results of one study, involving 1,667 men, aged 40+, suggests each one-point increase in BMI may result in a 2% decrease in testosterone.
There is no shortage of evidence to support this unhealthy connection between bodyweight and testosterone. So any man who is serious about addressing his flagging testosterone level would do well to take the necessary steps. Losing weight is never an easy task, but it’s always worthwhile and benefits the health in numerous ways.
2. Start Weight Training
Research also shows resistance training is one of the better natural ways to boost testosterone. However, swinging around light weights won’t cut the mustard. A commitment to intense training is required.
A weight lifting routine that is primarily aimed at boosting testosterone needs a combination of heavy weights and low reps. Performing the exercise slowly is also a good way to guarantee success.
Exercises like squats and deadlifts may be particularly beneficial because they work a large number of muscles at once. Of course, this type of workout is also excellent for muscle development and growth.
3. Try to Avoid Stress
Stress elevates cortisol. Apart from being released during times of stress, cortisol is also part of the fight or flight response. This is a self-preservation mode that occurs during times of danger. Distractions could be fatal in a life or death situation so fight or flight shuts down functions that could cause them. Hunger is one example. It has been speculated that, by reducing testosterone, part of the role of cortisol in fight or flight may be to prevent distractions of a sexual nature.
However, understanding the whys and wherefores behind cortisol’s relationship with testosterone is a job best left to scientists. The important thing to know is the hormone has this ability. Avoiding stress is one of the best natural ways to increase testosterone. The fact is important, why it’s the case, not so much.
4. Add Some Testosterone Boosting Foods to Your Diet
Making a few smart food choices is also one of the better ways to increase testosterone in a natural manner. Many foods have this ability and, in many cases, the testosterone boosting capabilities of the foods in question can be traced to the nutrients the foods provide.
For instance, apart from having a longstanding reputation for boosting libido, oysters also increase testosterone. Obviously, both these abilities are related and it seems likely that the elevations in testosterone are due to the oysters’ high zinc content.
The relationship between zinc and testosterone is no secret, so taking zinc tablets or eating foods that contain it are two natural ways to increase testosterone. Other foods that are rich in zinc include red meat, pumpkin seeds, eggs, and peanuts. Eggs can be particularly good because the yolks provide Vitamin D, whichis a testosterone booster in its own right.
5. Don’t Starve Yourself of Sleep
Lack of sleep can also cause abnormally low levels of testosterone. The problem is, the pressures of modern day living and work commitments cause a lot of men to try and burn the candle at both ends.
Apart from directly influencing testosterone production for the worse, lack of sleep affects testosterone in an indirect manner as well. Weariness and lack of sleep make people more prone to stress and high cortisol levels.
A great deal of research has been conducted in this area and some of the studies produced some telling data. Restricting sleep to just five hours a night can reduce testosterone levels by 15%. However, each additional hour of sleep can elevate testosterone by the same amount. So more sleep equals more testosterone and a better quality of life.
6. Cutback on Alcohol
Most people like to relax and unwind with a glass of wine, a beer, or some other alcoholic drink from time to time. However, when time to becomes too much of the time, testosterone levels can take a hit. There’s a lot to be said for following government guidelines and “drinking sensibly”.
As with lack of sleep, too much alcohol affects testosterone production both directly and indirectly. It affects it in a direct manner by interfering with the pituitary-gonadal axis (responsible for development, reproduction, and aging).
Too much of the party spirit can muck up a man’s testosterone levels in an indirect way by increasing cortisol. Yep! It’s that bad-boy stress hormone again. Presumably, this time it’s putting in an appearance to prevent the risk of contracting STDs at a time when moral judgment is likely to be affected. Who knows. The only important thing to know is one of the best ways to stop cortisol crashing the party is to limit alcohol consumption.