Mix cardiovascular exercise with strength training and vice versa. Low testosterone (also called hypogonadism or low T) affects 40% of men age 45 and older, according to the Cleveland Clinic. That can mean problems for men's physical and mental well-being. It can cause weight gain, fatigue, bone loss, depression, and even cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
Research published in the journal PLoS One reveals that total testosterone in men is low before puberty, increases around age 11 and peaks at the end of adolescence. However, other research indicates that testosterone peaks between the ages of 30 and 40 before it begins to decline steadily, between 1% and 2% per year. Low testosterone levels can also have a serious impact on your cardiovascular health. Experts are still investigating the connection between testosterone and heart health.
They know that men with low (and extremely high) levels are more at risk of heart attacks and strokes. However, when symptomatic men with lab-confirmed low testosterone levels receive testosterone therapy, their risk of cardiovascular events decreases. In one study, men under 55 with symptomatic low testosterone levels had a 25% lower risk of heart attack and stroke when they received adequate testosterone therapy. Men over 60 had a 15% lower risk.
If you need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider about the best plan for you. Some research shows that low-fat diets can actually lower testosterone. Talk to your doctor about including healthy fats in your diet, such as olive oil and avocados. In addition to its ability to help you lose weight, exercise has also been shown to increase testosterone.
In a study comparing men and women who lifted weights or used weight machines for a total of eight weeks, men who used free weights had a greater increase in what is known as “free testosterone” (testosterone that doesn't bind to proteins and can connect to testosterone receptors in cells) than men who used weight machines. Testosterone levels increase while you sleep, which may explain why men with chronic sleep deprivation may have lower testosterone levels. One study examined testosterone levels in young, healthy men after sleeping eight to 10 hours for a series of nights and then restricted sleep to five hours a night for eight nights. Overall, men's testosterone levels dropped by 10 to 15% after eight days of restricted sleep.
In one study, subjects who received vitamin D supplements showed significant increases in testosterone compared to those in the control group. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that men with low testosterone levels consume 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D a day and also 11 milligrams of zinc, another mineral that increases testosterone, per day. You can choose to eat more zinc-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, seafood, whole grains, beans and nuts, or take a zinc supplement. Both vitamin D and zinc supplements are available without a prescription.
Research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine analyzed five T-boosters found on Amazon. The researchers conducted a literature search to analyze the effectiveness of the 10 most common ingredients used in the five supplements. Only 19% of those studies were conducted even on humans. Of these, 30% showed an increase in testosterone levels, 3% a decrease, 46% had no effect and 22% were undetermined.
Researchers found that after just 1 week of restricted sleep, daytime testosterone levels dropped by up to 15 percent. Anyone concerned about their testosterone levels should see their doctor to get a testosterone test, but also to talk about lifestyle changes and whether testosterone therapy or supplements can help. A study published in the journal Biological Trace Element Research found that taking supplements for at least 1 month could increase testosterone in all people. Research has long shown that eating well is essential for maintaining testosterone levels and overall health.
Women also produce testosterone in the ovaries and adrenal glands, but they produce significantly lower levels than men. Resistance training, such as weight lifting, has been shown to increase testosterone levels in the short term (1). Healthy testosterone levels are also important for people to whom a woman is assigned at birth, along with other key hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. Making healthy lifestyle changes and eating a healthy diet can do a lot to increase testosterone levels, help you feel better, and improve your overall health.
In one study, zinc supplementation increased testosterone levels and improved sexual function in postmenopausal women with low blood zinc levels (3). Interestingly, a study involving older men found that an increase in sleep duration of up to 9.9 hours was associated with increased testosterone levels. Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced mainly in the testicles, but also in other parts of the body, such as the adrenal glands. If you haven't been able to normalize low testosterone levels with lifestyle measures, your doctor may recommend testosterone replacement therapy.
For starters, a healthy sex life plays an important role in regulating levels of sex hormones and testosterone (4). Judging by the selection on the shelves of health food stores, testosterone boosters (or T-boosters) are big business. . .