Testosterone is a hormone that’s super important to men. We need normal levels of it to build muscle, keep our body fat levels low, have lots of energy and a positive mood, and keep our sex drive healthy. Unfortunately, levels of it can decrease as we get older. Scientists believe this decline can cause many negative side effects including: depression, weight gain, and even heart disease. Low T as the commercials call it, is definitely something us men don’t want to suffer.
Fortunately there are several things that may be able to help prevent this age related decline. In this article I provide 8 tips that research shows can help to increase your body’s production of this hormone. Give them a try to help give yourself a natural boost.
1. Lose Weight
This is perhaps the most important thing to do to increase your testosterone levels. Studies show that losing weight can increase levels significantly. When you lose weight you’ll also decrease your risk of several other health conditions that are associated with low testosterone levels including high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Solution: Eat fewer processed carbohydrates like sugar and wheat flour. Replace them with fruits and vegetables, eat enough protein to build muscle, and fats.
2. Lift Weights
Studies show that regularly lifting weights boosts testosterone levels. The key to maximize the amount your body makes is to train heavy and intensely. This means doing exercises like deadlifts, kettlebell snatches, and squats with a weight that you can use for 5-8 reps per set. Minimizing the amount of time you rest between sets helps too. Studies show testosterone output is greatest when you keep your rest periods between 90-120 seconds.
Solution: Perform 3-4 total body workouts every week.
Another way to boost your testosterone levels through exercise is by sprinting. In one study, the testosterone levels of subjects performing 6 second sprints increased significantly. Levels remained high even after they recovered from the workout.
Solution: Perform several sprints after lifting weights or on your days off. You can do them by running on a track, riding a bike, or sprinting up hills. Do this 2-3 times a week for optimal results.
4. Get Your Daily Dose Of Vitamin D
A recently published study finds that men with sufficient blood levels of vitamin D have higher levels than those with lower measurements. You can get your daily dose by taking a nutritional supplement or the sun. High blood levels of vitamin D are also associated with improved athletic performance.
Solution: Most experts recommend getting 2000-5000 IU of vitamin D3 from supplements daily to bring your levels to within a normal range. Your doctor can check your levels to help you determine your daily dosage.
5. Reduce Stress
Stress, whether it’s because you are getting too little sleep, your job, personal life, or rush hour traffic is a testosterone killer. That’s because it increases production of the hormone cortisol. When increased, it prevents your body from making testosterone.
Solution: You can remedy this by doing something relaxing every day. This includes reading, meditating, and taking a nap. Learning to not sweat the small stuff, while not always easy is helpful too.
6. Cut Back On Sugar
Eating foods rich in sugar (bread, candy, cookies, pasta, soda, etc.) causes rapid increases in your blood sugar. This, in turn makes your testosterone levels plummet. Studies find that one sugar rich meal can cause testosterone levels to decrease by as much as 25%. Do this repeatedly and you’re likely to have chronically low levels.
Solution: Learn to ditch the sugar rich foods and choose carbohydrate rich foods that don’t cause rapid increases in blood sugar levels. Vegetables and low sugar fruits (i.e. apples and berries) are great choices.
7. Eat The Right Fats
Your body synthesizes testosterone from the fats that we eat. Certain fats are better than others for building testosterone. The best type of fat for this purpose are monounsaturated and saturated fats. Studies show that a men following a diet that contains approximately 40% their calories from fat have higher testosterone levels than those eating less.
Solution: Eat more fat. Aim to eat a food containing a moderate amount of monounsaturated or saturated fats at every meal. Think avocados, almonds, olive oil, red meat, and whole eggs.
8. Take Branch Chain Amino Acids Before Your Workout
Studies show that taking a branch chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement before, during, and perhaps after your workout can help increase testosterone levels. Taking a BCAA supplements are also shown to decrease post-workout muscle soreness and help you get stronger, faster too.
Solution: Take 5-10 grams of BCAAs with water before, during, and after every workout.
You now have 8 scientifically proven ways to boost your body’s production of testosterone. Since they can help your body make more testosterone you don’t have to worry about the negative side effects that can occur when you inject synthetic testosterone into your body. Give them a try and let me know what you experience in the comments section of this article.
(Photo credit: Testosterone Blocks via Shutterstock)