Testosterone is the main male hormone. Now, having optimal levels is not only important during puberty but also through adulthood and especially into old age. Interestingly it also plays an important role in female sexual health and wellbeing as females have a small amount of testosterone as well. So, in this article I’m looking at five evidence-based ways to naturally increase your testosterone levels.
Exercise & Lift Weights
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent certain lifestyle-related illnesses and interestingly it’s one of the most effective ways to increase your testosterone. A large review study found that people who exercise regularly had higher testosterone levels and in the elderly, exercise increases testosterone levels, fitness and reaction time. Recent research in obese men suggests that increased physical activity was even more beneficial than a weight loss diet for increasing their testosterone levels.
It’s clear that resistance training or weightlifting is the best type of exercise to increase your testosterone levels both short and long term. Interestingly, taking caffeine and creatine monohydrate as a supplement may increase your testosterone levels further when combined with a weight training program.
Eat Protein, Carbs & Fats
What you eat has a major impact on testosterone as well as other hormone levels. Therefore you must pay attention to your long-term calorie intake and diet strategy. Constant dieting or overeating may disrupt your testosterone levels. Eating enough protein can also help maintain healthy levels and aid in fat loss which is also associated with your testosterone.
Carb intake also plays a role with research showing carbs can help optimize testosterone levels during resistance training.
And sufficient healthy fats are also beneficial for testosterone and health. So, a diet based on mainly whole, unrefined foods is best. It needs to be well balanced with healthy fats, protein and unrefined carbs. Following an eating pattern like this will optimize your testosterone levels and your overall health.
Get Some Sun Or Take A Vitamin D Supplement.
Research has indicated that supplementing with vitamin D can act as a kind of natural testosterone booster in those who have low levels. A 12-month study found that supplementing with around 3,000 international units of vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone levels by around 25%.
In the elderly, vitamin and calcium also optimized testosterone levels which led to a reduced risk of falling. So, to boost testosterone levels, and of course get the other benefits of having optimal vitamin D levels, either try to get regular sunlight or supplement with about 3,000 international units of vitamin D3 per day.
Minimize Stress And Cortisol Levels.
Research always highlights the dangers of long-term stress which can cause elevated levels of the hormone cortisol. Unnatural elevations in cortisol can quickly reduce testosterone. These hormones work in a seesaw-like manner, as one goes up, the other comes down. Now, stress and high cortisol can also increase food intake, weight gain and storage of harmful body fat around your organs.
In turn, these changes may negatively impact your testosterone levels. For both optimal health and hormones you should really try to reduce the sources of repetitive stress in your life. So, that might mean addressing a major issue in your life that you’ve been avoiding.
Get Plenty Of Restful, High-Quality Sleep.
Getting good sleep is just as important for your heath as diet and exercise and it turns out that it may have a major impact on your testosterone levels as well. Probably due to the effect that it has on stress like I just mentioned. The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person but one study found that sleeping only five hours per night was linked to a 15% reduction in testosterone levels. Other long-term studies support this. One calculated that for every additional hour of sleep you get, testosterone levels rise 15% higher on average. Although some people do find with less sleep, research indicates that optimal amount of time is between seven and 10 hours of sleep per night for overall health and testosterone levels.