Testosterone is a hormone produced in the body that plays a large role in impacts sexual and reproductive function, muscle mass, hair growth and energy. There are a number of things that can lower your testosterone from medications to exposure of estrogen-like compounds from food, water and the environment. A decrease in testosterone can lead to an individual who may experience any of the following:
- Gradual or recent weight gain or inability to lose weight
- Inability to build muscle despite going to the gym throughout the week
- Needing to take naps during the day or going to sleep very early
- Having low libido or experiencing erectile dysfunction
- Infertility issues
- Not having the same vigor as they once did
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to increase your testosterone naturally and prevent having a poor quality of life.
When you are under a lot of stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol that blocks the production of testosterone. Finding an outlet for your stress such as playing sports, working out, running, yoga, meditation, etc. will help decrease cortisol and increase your testosterone production.
High Intensity Exercise
High Intensity Exercise, also known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), has been shown to boost testosterone levels. This type of exercise consists of going all out for 20-30 seconds and then recovering for 90 seconds. The process is repeated about 7 more times totaling for a 20 minute workout routine. Most routines use bodyweight exercises but kettlebells and other equipment can be added. Since little equipment is needed these routines can be done at home or at work.
If you are like me and don’t like coming up with your own fitness routines you can visit Fitness Blender for free workout routines on HIIT training.
Another form of exercise that has been shown to be great for boosting testosterone levels is strength training. The key to doing strength training properly for boosting testosterone is to increase the weight you use, decrease the amount of reps you perform, slow down your movement as much as possible. By doing these three things, you turn your strength training into a high intensity workout. Be sure to work a large number of muscles, deadlifts and squats are great for this.
Limit Refined Sugar
Testosterone levels tend to decrease after you eat sugar.Consistently eating sugar everyday leads to high levels of insulin, another hormone in our body used for sugar regulation, which can lead to weight gain and low testosterone levels. Limiting your sugar intake will do wonders for making you feel great and boosting your testosterone levels.
Eat Healthy Fats
Once you have limited sugar, you are going to need to replace that energy source with a different one. Eating healthy fat not only means the polyunsaturated fat found in avocados and nuts but also the saturated fat found in animal meat. Individuals who eat a diet low in healthy fats have been shown to have decreased testosterone levels. Some sources of healthy fats that can give your testosterone a boost include:
- Olive oil
- Coconut Oil
- Raw nuts such as walnuts or almonds
- Organic Omega-3 Eggs
- Grass-fed meats
- Nut oils such as walnut oil
- Grass-fed butter
By consuming more healthy fat throughout the day you will help to replace sugar as your main energy source and increase your testosterone at the same time.
Intermittent fasting is a type of scheduled eating plan where you restrict your normal daily eating to a 6-8 hour window of time without cutting calories. It has been shown to burn fat, reduce overeating, reduce weight gain and increase testosterone levels. A typical schedule may be waking up at 6 AM, working out and then fasting until 11 AM – 5 PM where you eat lunch and dinner, then fasting again until the next morning. If you prefer to have breakfast you can switch the schedule to eat breakfast and lunch but avoid dinner.
Following this schedule for 1-2 weeks every few months will help boost your testosterone levels and prevent you from forming any bad eating habits.
Shed the excess pounds
All of the previous tips will help you shed excess pounds. Testosterone gets converted into estrogen in our fat cells (adipose tissue). The more overweight an individual is the lower their testosterone is more likely to be. The best way to combat this is by shedding the excess weight. This is typically easier said than done, but using the tips above it is possible.
If you find that you are still struggling or would like to speed up the process, you may require medical attention to make sure you don’t have other odds stacked against you.