Boost Testosterone (Naturally) With These 7 Tips
Many men find that they feel too tired, too busy or too distracted to find time for sex. As they age, they find that their sex drive is just not what it used to be.
The libido is driven by more than just testosterone, as you can see in the case of women, where arousal comes from a far more complex set of emotional and hormonal interactions. But in the case of men, testosterone is a major player, even if it is not the entire story. Unfortunately modern lifestyles are generally a killer for testosterone levels.
Experts have coined a new syndrome termed Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS) that is the result of a lack of testosterone.
IMS involves far more than just a low libido, and includes aggression, lack of motivation, emotional withdrawal, anxiety, and personality changes. It also leads to self-destructive behaviour like alcoholism, workaholism, and gambling.
If any of this sounds familiar then don't worry, because you are not alone. A study in the US showed that at least 13.8 million men are affected by low testosterone, with a large number of them being men in their 30s.1
Low testosterone has effects beyond just mood or sex drive issues. It can also lead to higher rates of type 2 diabetes, bone fractures, and cardiovascular disease, with estimated costs to public health services running into the hundreds of billions.2
A lack of testosterone can also increase the chances of death for a man.3 A study that tracked 800 men for over 50 years demonstrated that the group who had the lowest levels of testosterone had a 33% higher chance of dying from all causes compared to the group with the highest testosterone level. Another study demonstrated that testosterone deficiency can increase your chances of death by 88% compared to men with normal levels.
So how can you gauge your testosterone levels? If you notice symptoms of IMS, such as fatigue, weight gain, muscle loss, changes in libido or male pattern baldness, then it is time to get yourself tested by a doctor, who will determine the root cause of the problem.
While some men may opt for hormone replacement4, the men who follow these seven simple steps are usually able to increase their testosterone levels, kickstart their sex drive, and address the many other symptoms of low testosterone.
1. Stay Trim
Obesity and belly fat are major killers of your testosterone levels. A recent study demonstrated that teen boys who are obese suffer from up to 50% less testosterone compared to their peers who are not obese.5
The reason for this is suspected to be that fat cells contain more aromatase: an enzyme that converts testosterone into oestrogen. Even worse, low testosterone and obesity exist in a reinforcement loop, which can lead to a depressing spiral of hormone imbalance and weight gain.
Fortunately, the reinforcement holds true in the opposite direction as well!
2. Get Eight Full Hours of Rest
A recent study demonstrated that only one week of five hours of sleep per night led to 15% lower levels of testosterone.6 Many men believe that sleeping very few hours makes them tough, but it is actually draining their testosterone levels.
Recharge your body with a good night's sleep for optimum hormone restoration.
3. Avoid Harmful Toxins
Parabens and phthalates that are found in personal care products like shaving creams and lotions, as well as in plastic bottles or on store receipts, are anti-androgens, which means that they disrupt your ability to produce and use a number of hormones, including testosterone.7
Try to go green in your bathroom cabinet, rely on re-usable water bottles, and just skip the receipts at the store.
4. Learn to Relax
It comes as no surprise that stress is a major contributor to low levels of testosterone. Your thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones are all interconnected, and what affects one will affect all of them.
"Cortisol steal" is a process associated with stress that leads to an imbalance of hormones, where testosterone production is decreased and cortisol production is increased. Stress will also increase the production of 5-alpha-reductase and aromatase: two enzymes that work to break down your testosterone.
If you take the time to relax, meditate, perform breathing exercises, do yoga or boost the parasympathetic nervous system in other ways, even for only a few minutes each day, you will give your hormones the opportunity to rebalance and reboot, which will lower cortisol and increase the production of testosterone.
5. Eat Fish Oil and Avoid Statins
Statin drugs have a negative impact on your mitochondria, which are the energy generators for your metabolism, and they have also been shown to lower total and free testosterone. This result is likely due to the interference with cholesterol, which is the basic unit of all your steroid hormones.
Getting an appropriate amount of fish oil can help to achieve lower levels of inflammation, and will help support your production of healthy types of cholesterol. As an added bonus, fish oils will also help to lower the globulin that binds to sex hormones, which will mean more freely available testosterone.
6. Get All Your Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium all act like fertiliser for testicular function.8 It is very easy to miss many of these key nutrients by following poor modern diets. The use of nutritional supplements is a safe way to ensure that you get all your essential nutrients, but you can also eat more shellfish for selenium and zinc, carrots and kale for vitamin A, and sunflower seeds and almonds for vitamin E.
7. Enjoy the Sun
Vitamin D has been proven to increase overall levels of testosterone.9 Vitamin D deficiency is a sad and easily avoidable epidemic in many Western countries. If you are not sure whether you are getting enough vitamin D, you can get tested for it. However, almost everyone could use a little more sunshine in their day, so just get outside and enjoy yourself.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding these natural testosterone boosting techniques, please feel free to reach out to me and I will be more than happy to help you answer any questions you might have!