For men, testosterone is the magic hormone that dictates everything in their life, from their overall confidence and sexual health to their performance in the gym and life in general. It can even help you bench-press hundreds of pounds. Testosterone came into existence 500 million years ago when our single-celled ancestors evolved into distinct male and female organisms.
As a result, when this gem of a hormone starts decreasing in males, they start becoming fat, lazy, unmotivated about their hobbies and everything else around them as well. There can be a ton of reasons due to which T-levels may drop in the body but its fix always revolves around a set number of factors.
Therefore, today we will discuss different ways of increasing testosterone levels in your body to keep you fit, agile and at the top of your game.
Any activity that recruits multiple muscles in our body generates testosterone. Compound exercises like squats, burpees result in increased testosterone. The best part is that you don’t even need a gym to keep your T-level high throughout the day. Sprinting, running or jogging move major muscles in your body and hence are perfect to get a testosterone pump.
However, hormonal gain through training is temporary and tends to wear off when your body cools off after an intense workout. Additionally, training excessively hard is also detrimental to testosterone production. For a more sustained Testosterone level, this next method is more suitable.
Lower fat diets decrease T-levels. People on a 20% fat diet had lower T levels than those on a 40% over the course of the study.
Individuals with a low-fat diet tend to have lower testosterone levels. For instance, an individual that consumes 20% fat in his diet will have lower testosterone as compared to someone that consumes 40% fat.
Also, it goes without saying that not all fats are “good.” To maintain a healthy testosterone level you’re looking at a diet that’s rich in Monounsaturated fats, Saturated fats and low in Polyunsaturated fats. Diets that contain a high amount of PUFA like Soybean Oil, Processed Oil, Sunflower Oil that’s rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6, tend to result in low T levels.
Meanwhile, Saturated Fats like grass-fed meat, butter, cheese that are also rich in dietary cholesterol results in higher testosterone levels.
Additionally, if you’re getting your carbs from junk food like cake and doughnuts that have no micronutrients or minerals, you’re going to mess up your testosterone. Instead focusing on getting your carbohydrates from whole foods like Olives, Avocados, Oats Beans and Quinoa will not only enrich you with micronutrients but prevent that lazy feeling which people get after eating a lot of junk food.
For the uninitiated, Xenoestrogen is a type of Xenohormone that mimics estrogen. We ingest a lot of this hormone when we drink or eat from plastic utensils. The hot coffee you’re chugging in that plastic cup is full of Xenoestrogen and you want to avoid it at all costs. The water bottle that was left in your car parked under the sun is also full of Xenoestrogen.
Avoiding Xenoestrogen is difficult because we’re surrounded by plastic. It’s in our clothes, our chair, our car and in everything we see and touch. The way men can avoid exposure to Xenoestrogen is by ditching plastic utensils. Always only eat or drink from steel/ceramic plates or cups.
This is one of the easiest ways to increase testosterone in your body, so remember to separate your food from plastic.
Zinc is an essential mineral and consuming it increases testosterone in your body. Zinc lowers DHT or Dihydrotestosterone which is also known as the hair loss hormone and is also related to prostate growth and cancer.
Zinc reduces DHT levels by working as an enzyme called mild 5-Apla reductase inhibitor. Additionally, excess fat cells in the body also release estrogen through aromatase, which reduces testosterone. Thankfully Zinc reduces estrogen as well.
Some really great sources of Zinc include oysters, grass-fed bison beef, and also other supplements. An average human is required to take 15-50mg of Zinc per day to see beneficial results.
Magnesium, exercise and testosterone also have a direct effect on each other. In a recent study, Magnesium contributed to increased free and total testosterone values in sedentary individuals as well as athletes. Testosterone increase was obviously more in athletes as compared to individuals who sat on the couch all day but both of them had higher T levels than before.
Meanwhile, Vitamin D, the one we generate after exposure to sunlight, is known to increase testosterone by around 60-70%. According to a study, an hour of sunlight exposure increases testosterone levels by 69% in males. It is important to sit in the sun for a longer duration because acute exposure between 10-20 minutes is not enough to increase testosterone levels.
It sounds like a no-brainer but stress kills your gains by also reducing your testosterone. The relationship between stress and testosterone is a vicious cycle. If you produce less testosterone you’ll have more stress and if you take more stress you’ll produce less testosterone.
The only way to get out of this rut is through small lifestyle changes implemented over a long period of time. In earlier days, our body produced cortisol and adrenaline when it detected any physical danger in our vicinity. These chemicals prepare us to run away or fight the said physical threat. As a result, when we burned ourselves out through physical labor our stress also reduced.
However, in the modern world stress is more because of mental issues and societal problems instead of predators. But tiring ourselves out still works as a great way to reduce stress.
Other small lifestyle changes that you must incorporate include an 8-hour sleep schedule, a high fat and protein diet that’s also rich in whole foods, vitamins, minerals etc.
If none of these methods work and testosterone is chronically low, doctors can also prescribe exogenous testosterone to some patients as well.
Nonetheless, testosterone is a hormone without which we cannot live a healthy life. It might not be an exaggeration to say that it is majorly responsible if we succeed in this life or not. So take care of it by taking care of yourself and enjoy the multitude of benefits it has to offer.