Increase your testosterone
Testosterone, a hormone produced naturally in the human body, is widely believed to be the epitome of manliness; what picks out the males from the alpha males. This assumption is not far from the truth, with this hormone being responsible for functions such as sexual and reproductive function, muscle mass, and hair growth, and other humble activities like maintaining bone density and the level of red blood cells in the body.
Around the late twenties, the testosterone production of the body starts decreasing, which is why there is even a need to talk about increasing the amount of this hormone in the human body. If you are undergoing weight training, this is especially important for you as, without testosterone, your body will be unable to add any muscle mass, making those strenuous hours at the gym useless.
Here, we will outline ways through which you can counteract this problem, and maintain that manhood for as long as possible.
Natural ways to increase testosterone
- Lose weight
Research has shown that overweight men have lower levels of testosterone as compared to others. Thus, finally shedding that baby fat will help regain your manliness. The way to do this would be by removing sugar from your diet- effectively cutting out any soda, processed food or even fruits that are laden with sugar. Even refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods should be given the ax and replaced with healthy substitutes like vegetables and natural saturated fats.
- High-Intensity Exercise (Especially Combined with Intermittent Fasting)
Testosterone levels have shown elevations corresponding to times of intermittent fasting and short intense exercise. Fasting increases the expression of satiety hormones including insulin, leptin, adiponectin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), cholecystokinins (CKK) and melanocortins, all of which are known to potentiate healthy testosterone actions, increase libido and prevent age-related testosterone decline.
By high-intensity exercise, we ideally mean something like this-
- Warm up for three minutes
- Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 whole seconds. After this, you must feel like you can’t go one for even a microsecond more.
- Recover at a slow to moderate pace for 90 seconds
- Repeat the exercise and recovery 7 more times
So, effectively, this entire session is for just twenty-odd minutes! What better than to maintain your testosterone levels with just twenty minutes of effort everyday!
- Strength Training
Strength training is known to boost testosterone levels as well, provided that it is done with enough intensity. So, you’ll want to increase the weight and lower your number of repeats, and then focus on exercises that work a large number of muscle groups at the same time, such as dead lifts or squats. If you so desire, you can accelerate your weight training by going slower. This turns it into a high-intensity exercise by allowing your muscle, at the microscopic level, to access the maximum number of cross-bridges between the protein filaments that produce movement in the muscle.
- Reduce Stress
When you yourself are under a lot of stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This blocks the effects of testosterone in the body, probably because testosterone-associated behaviors (mating, competing, and aggression) lower the chances of survival in an emergency (hence, the “fight or flight” response is dominant). In current day’s urban world of chronic stress, this effectively means that testosterone is blocked for long periods of time.
Some tools to relieve stress would be acupuncture, prayer, meditation, laughter, breathing skills and yoga.
- Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet
Sugar leads to a high insulin level, which also contributes to low testosterone in the body. Thus, remove packaged and processed from your diet and add generous amounts of vegetables and non-sugary fruits.
- Eat Healthy Fats
By healthy we not only mean mono and polyunsaturated fats, like what is found in avocados and nuts, but saturated fats as well. Conclusive research has shown that a diet with less than 40 percent of energy as fat (and that mainly from animal sources, i.e. saturated) lead to a decrease in testosterone levels.
Foods that increase testosterone
There are certain food items whose consumption has shown to increase the amount of testosterone in the boddy, such as-
- Oysters.Oysters are rich in zinc, which apart from increasing testosterone, also adds to muscle growth, physical endurance, and sperm production. Other similar food items would include chicken liver and pumpkin seeds.
- Broccoli.Increasing a number of cruciferous vegetables in your diet, aka broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, frees the body of excess estrogen, thereby increasing testosterone. A study found out that diets that are high in indole-3-carbinol, which is present in all cruciferous vegetables, increase the excretion of estradiol (one of the most important estrogen hormones) in men by up to 50 percent. Crucifers are also high in fiber, which helps with weight control. Losing weight is also known to increase your body’s production of testosterone.
- Garlic.Studies conducted at Japan’s Kobe’s Women’s University established successfully that garlic boosts testosterone levels in the body when combined with a high-protein diet for a month. Garlic contains the chemical diallyl disulfide, which fuels the body to release a hormone that propels the production of testosterone.
- Bananas.Bananas contain an enzyme called bromelain, which is said to boost a man’s libido. They are also rich in vitamin B, which are essential for the manufacture of testosterone.
- Brazil nuts.Brazil nuts are rich in magnesium, which helps increase testosterone levels. A recent study found that athletes who were administered about 750 mg of magnesium daily for four weeks increased their free testosterone by 26% at the end of it. Another Italian study found that older men who had low levels of magnesium in their body had corresponding lower levels of testosterone than men who had higher magnesium levels.
- Eggs. Eggs are rich in vitamin D, which is essential for maintaining optimal testosterone levels in the body. One study found that men who were lacking in vitamin D had lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of estrogen than men who weren’t deficient. Although vitamin D supports the production of testosterone, researchers believe that it also hampers the conversion of testosterone into estrogen in men (called aromatization). A second study was conducted where gave vitamin D supplements were given to men whose suffered from vitamin D deficiency and low testosterone levels. At the end of a year, the men who were given vitamin D saw their testosterone levels rise by 20% when compared to the group that was administered a placebo.
Thus, these are some ways that you can adopt to naturally boost your testosterone levels. Apart from that, natural supplements remain a viable option.