Hormones play an essential role in our body, and testosterone is a big one that can change everything for us. Testosterone is a sex hormone that is found in men and women and is responsible for a variety of important bodily functions.
Testosterone In Men
When it comes to Men, testosterone is involved in regulating men’s sex drive, bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm.
However, as men age, their testosterone levels tend to decrease. Testosterone levels peak during early adulthood and then can drop by up to 1% per year beginning around age 40.
This decline in testosterone levels can have various effects on men’s health, including decreased muscle mass and bone density, reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction etc.
The decline in testosterone levels is a natural part of ageing and can be influenced by lifestyle factors such as being overweight, lack of exercise, diet, sleeping habits, challenges in life, stressors and much more.
Below I’ll give you practical things you can do or use to increase your testosterone levels significantly and just before we start I’ll answer the question:
What is the ideal testosterone level and what is too low?
I cannot answer this question with an answer that will fit everyone and you might find that unfortunate but I can give you good guidance on how things work and how to figure it out yourself.
The problem is that the optimal testosterone levels for everyone are unique. There are men in their 80s with the levels of a 25-year-old male and there are those whose levels drop rapidly after the age of 35 and never go back up.
”Testosterone Usual Levels: 300 – 900 units – Super physiological levels: 1200 – 1600 units”
You might think that those with higher testosterone are always in a better position but it’s not only the quantity that’s important but the balance between estrogen, testosterone and other hormones like SHBG. We have testosterone that’s attached to proteins and Free Testosterone which is the one we can measure with a blood test.
So after you understand that I’d suggest the best way to figure out where you stand with your testosterone is to do a test in a clinique that specialises in human hormones. They’ll tell you most accurately what’s the situation and if there’s any room for improvement.
Assuming that you want to increase your testosterone which most men nowadays want you can continue reading below.
Things That Affect/ Reduce Testosterone Levels
As with any decent approach for physical performance optimisation, we have to make sure we optimise the minimum basic requirements before we jump into adding supplements or applying ”magic” techniques.
Here is what you should take care of first before you dive into anything else.
A lack of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D3, Zink and Magnesium can reduce the sex hormone levels including Testosterone.
To check if you have the right amounts you can do a blood test and also do your own research about the right levels for each of these nutrients in https://examine.com/
Also, I must mention that testosterone is produced by the body using Saturated Fats which will surprise some of you because there are too many myths about saturated fats and that we should not consume them. That can’t be further from the truth, we need them and without them, we’ll struggle to produce enough testosterone.
Little tip: adding Butter to your diet every now and then will help you maintain healthy levels if you don’t get it from other sources. (Assuming you have a well balanced diet)
Lack of consistent and high-quality sleep can also reduce testosterone levels significantly. Do your best to create decent sleep hygiene by going to bed on time undisturbed and sleeping at least 6-7 hours per night. You can read this for another 12 Tips To Optimise Sleep.
Constantly elevated cortisol levels affect health in many ways and also suppress the production of testosterone in males. If you live in a high-stress environment you should try to mitigate that with any technique that is suitable to the situation.
Opioids Reduce Testosterone Levels
And lastly, I’d say that opioids are something you want to stop if you’re already using them. Things like painkillers and other medicine prescribed by your doctors might be reducing your testosterone levels but that doesn’t mean you should just stop them. Make sure you discuss that with your doctors and take the necessary steps to overcome the need for the medications first.
Moderate obesity predominantly decreases total testosterone due to insulin resistance-associated reductions in sex hormone-binding globulin SHBG. More severe obesity is additionally associated with reductions in free testosterone levels due to suppression of the HPT axis
Natural Techniques To Increase Testosterone
The most recent research shows us that things like cold showers, sexual desires, exercising and challenges, in general, can increase testosterone levels.
Lack Of Ejaculation
Yes, I know it’s a weird topic but science shows us that if you do not ejaculate via sex or masturbation for a week or 2 can increase your testosterone levels up to 4 times.
Watching porn or participating in sex increases testosterone but after ejaculation, we release another hormone called Prolactin which has other important functions but also suppresses the release of extra testosterone and it mitigates the increase.
Heavy Resistance Training
Science shows that heavy weight or challenging body weight training leads to a significant increase in testosterone. Just to spice it up it seems that if we don’t go to a complete failure we’ll experience higher increases in testosterone.
Endurance Training/ Cardio
Cardio also helps increase testosterone But we need to be careful of taking it too far. If we do cardio for too long we get a too-high increase of Cortisol (Stress-Related Hormone) which suppresses the production of testosterone.
Science shows that if we stay under 75 minutes for most people that would be a golden zone.
Cardio or Weight Training First? – Science shows that to get the best results in testosterone increase we should do weight training first and cardio after.
Winning Increases Testosterone
Living in a challenging environment of any kind can significantly increase your testosterone which is one of the many scientific proofs that being challenged is good for men.
What is also important to say is that if you’re being challenged and you never win that will have the opposite effect so it’s logical to assume that we want to be in that optimal environment where we’re challenged well but we also win or simply achieve at times.
You can probably see the correlation between this information and all sports champions, business leaders and winners in general.
Supplements/ Nutrients That Increase Testosterone Or The Effects Of It
Here is a little list of supplements that are known to increase testosterone or its effects, but none of them is conclusively researched. There is still much more to research and you should always approach them with caution.
Creatine, Tongkat Ali, Eurycoma Longifolia Jack, Fadogia Agrestis, Turkesterone, Shilajit, Boron
I’m sure that this is not the full list but its names that gained popularity over the last couple of years.
If you want to explore more I suggest you always do deep research by checking all the studies published about these products taking into consideration all the factors within them. It’s best to work with a professional but I also suggest you do your own study.
They’re the best out there at the moment and you can do your own research about each supplement individually.
Testosterone is not something we’re used to paying attention to but perhaps we should. The impacts of healthy high levels of testosterone in men’s life are significant and tangible.
As a Men’s Fitness Coach, I’m fully aware of the importance of testosterone for my clients and I’m continuously expanding my knowledge so I can have the best chance possible for making a lasting change in their life.
I believe that every human should be proactively educating themselves on their own physiology if we want to have better lives, and hormones are for sure one of the most fascinating topics.
It was hard to write this article and I hope it inspires you to make positive changes to your lifestyle for the sake of better health and life. Do your research and speak to professionals when you’re not sure about things.
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