So make the most of your lunch break. Conveniently, vitamin D, a steroid hormone essential for testosterone, cell development and healthy sperm, is also found in abundance through exposure to the sun. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent many lifestyle-related diseases. Not only that, but it can also increase your testosterone levels.
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. The unattractive truth is that increasing testosterone naturally simply boils down to making some long-term dietary and lifestyle changes.
As you'll see, what I did to increase T largely boils down to eating better, exercising smarter, and sleeping more. But as with most things in life, the problem is in the details, so I'll share with you exactly what I did and provide research that explains why the things I did helped me increase my testosterone. When it comes to increasing testosterone, quality of sleep, physical activity and weight management come first. Some supplements can help maintain healthy testosterone levels, but most supplements that are marketed as testosterone boosters don't work, although some may make you think so by increasing your libido.
Middle-aged and older men see their testosterone levels drop by 0.4% to 1.6% per year, and many men experience lower than average levels even in their 30s. If you eat junk, don't exercise, and don't get enough sleep, no amount of supplements will help your testosterone levels reach optimal levels. Some men want to replace testosterone when their levels are within the normal range to relieve symptoms of hypogonadism. But dedicating time to cardiovascular and strength training in your weekly exercise routine gives you the best chance of increasing your testosterone levels, adds Dr.
Despite what some companies or websites tell you, there is nothing that will naturally increase your testosterone in the long term. Some studies have found that low levels of vitamin D may be associated with a decrease in testosterone levels. Interestingly, studies involving adolescent boys and young men have found that testosterone levels can be used to predict alcohol dependence or the onset of alcohol consumption. For example, a study that examined men's daily step counts and their testosterone levels found that those who took more than 4,000 steps a day were significantly lower likely to have lower total testosterone levels than those who took fewer steps.
And while there are treatments for low testosterone levels, many men prefer to start by making healthy lifestyle changes that can naturally improve their testosterone levels. Sleep not only increases testosterone, but it also helps control cortisol, a stress hormone that has been shown to wreak havoc on testosterone levels when present in large amounts. It's important to get enough, high-quality sleep to maintain healthy testosterone levels and optimize overall health. It's best to moderate alcohol consumption, as excessive drinking can have a negative effect on testosterone levels and testicular health.
First, it's important to note that these tactics and practices to increase testosterone naturally probably won't work for men who have underlying health problems, such as hypogonadism. Those that are inherent to aging are most likely due to a decrease in brain signaling to the testicle (through a hormone called LH) or to a decreased ability of the testicles to produce testosterone. . .