Testosterone is the male sex hormone. In early life, it’s the hormone that takes little boys and turns them into men. Those first attempts to grow a beard and the deepening of the voice are both signs that testosterone is doing its job.
Unfortunately, after adolescence is out of the way, the body starts to power down its testosterone production rate. By the time the average guy is in his 20s his testosterone levels are likely to considerably less than they were a few years previously when he was busy trying to decide if he preferred a goatee to a mustache. Then, after the age of 30, testosterone levels continue to decrease at a rate of 1% per year.
Low testosterone is a big problem for many men and its one that can take the joy out of life by causing a number of undesirable health issues including infertility and erectile dysfunction.
Although this drop in testosterone is part of the basic human programming, certain things can hasten the decline. Some of them, such as injury or disease, are largely unavoidable. Others, like alcoholism and obesity, can be remedied by making the necessary lifestyle changes.
In fact, making a few, simple lifestyle changes is one of the best ways to increase low testosterone levels. It’s also one of the most natural ways.
Lose Weight and Gain Testosterone
Research shows overweight men are likely to have lower testosterone levels than men of a similar age who have leaner physiques. The results of one study paint a particularly damning picture. The study group consisted of 1,667 men. All of them were aged 40 or older. The data from the study suggests each one-point increase in BMI causes a 2% decrease in testosterone.
Being overweight is bad for the health in many other ways as well and is especially dangerous for the heart. There are plenty of reasons ditching the excess flab makes a lot of sense. The fact that it can help increase low testosterone levels is just one of them.
Start Weight Training and Feel the Pump
Research shows hitting the gym on a regular basis and lifting weights can also help boost testosterone levels. There’s a catch though. You need to go heavy. It’s the extra resistance that makes the difference. The best thing to do is choose the heaviest weight you can handle, do low reps, and keep it slow. This is an excellent way to pack on extra muscle too.
If your only lifting weight to increase low testosterone levels, exercises that involve multiple muscles work best. Deadlifts and squats are a couple of good options.
Don’t Let Stress Bring a Downer to Your Day
Stress can also make testosterone levels plummet. It’s the stress hormone cortisol that’s the problem. When cortisol increases, testosterone decreases. If you’ve ever had a really stressful day then pushed your loved one away because you weren’t “in the mood”, you have first-hand experience of the power of cortisol.
Removing stress from your life is a very good way to increase low testosterone levels. Learning to cope with stress better is a good second choice. Research shows exercise is a good stress buster. Yoga, Tai chi and meditation are also good. Music can have a calming effect as well. Just remember to avoid Slayer and other “heavy” options.
Eat Testosterone Boosting Foods
Yes, strange as it may sound, some foods really do have the power to increase low testosterone levels. Foods that are high in zinc or vitamin D can be good options. Research shows both nutrients have this ability, though zinc is probably the biggest hitter.
You’ve probably heard that eating oysters is a good way to boost libido and increase sexual pleasure. Oysters boast an unusually good zinc content. Once you know this the secret of this aphrodisiac is out of the bag. Eggs are also a good source of zinc. They contain Vitamin D too. Of course, taking zinc capsules or a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is an option too.
Take Advantage of the Replenishing Power of Sleep
If you want to increase low testosterone levels, getting more sleep is another good way to do it. Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. It’s only a nursery rhyme, but testosterone production increases during sleep. That means men who get to bed early each night really are more likely to be early to rise.
Lack of sleep also makes people more susceptible to stress and the testosterone lowering powers of cortisol. Some research shows each extra hour of sleep may increase testosterone levels by as much as 15%.
Don’t Be a Boozehound If You Want to Be a Bull in the Bedroom
Alcohol is an excellent social lubricant. It’s great for bringing people out of their shells and getting the party started. On the other hand, it can be equally good for helping people to drown their sorrows. The problem is, alcohol mucks with a man’s pituitary-gonadal axis and can really screw up his testosterone production rate. On top of this, alcohol increases cortisol.
The question is do you drink to unwind or to get drunk. If you drink alcohol with the aim of getting drunk, you may need specialist advice and help getting to grips with the underlying problem. However, if you only drink to unwind it may be worth decreasing your overall alcohol intake or switching to low or zero alcohol alternatives. Low testosterone and brewers droop can turn a man into the ultimate party pooper.