5 Ways to Naturally Boost Testosterone
Despite the fact that both men and women produce testosterone, when we hear or read about it, it is in regards to men’s health. While testosterone is responsible for actions throughout the entire life cycle, it begins to decrease in production around the age of 30 in most men.
In men, low testosterone often leads to:
- Increased stomach fat
- Development of breast tissue
- Decreased sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low muscle mass
In women, low testosterone results in:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Decreased sex drive
There are a number of supplements on the market that make claims of being able to boost testosterone. Most of them are relatively ineffective and/or expensive. There are also a few strategies for taking a cold shower in the morning that have caught on with little to no evidence of effectiveness. However, there are a few ways that have been shown in the research to actually boost your testosterone levels naturally.
There are a number of health benefits to general exercise and resistance training. For most men, there are many different forms of exercise that will increase testosterone in the short term. However, when we look at testosterone production over a long period of time, there is evidence that high-intensity workouts and workouts involving heavy weight lead to better testosterone production. In fact, endurance workouts will actually lead to a decrease in testosterone over a period of time. Along with boosts in testosterone, strength training has also been shown to improve cognitive function in a 2014 study.
Eat Healthy Fats
When it comes to our diets, there is often times still a stigma associated with dietary fat. When we talk about increasing fat intake in your diet, we need to be very specific in that we’re talking about healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, butter and raw nuts like almonds. Studies show that testosterone will actually decrease when your diet consists of less than about 40% fat on a daily basis.
- Fish Oil
- Dark Chocolate
- Coconut Oil
- Palm Oil
You can get vitamin D in three different ways:
- From your diet
- From nutritional supplements
- Through your skin.
Considering that many of us don’t spend enough time out in the sun year-round, and we don’t always eat the way we’re supposed to, it’s not uncommon to be somewhat deficient in vitamin D. While I generally recommend trying to meet all your nutritional needs through the foods you eat, vitamin D is one case where I highly recommend using a supplement. The recommended amount of vitamin D is continually increased and the easiest way to meet those standards is by taking a liquid vitamin supplement. In a study of 200 participants, they found that vitamin D might increase testosterone levels in men.
In the 1800’s, the average person consumed about 4-6 pounds of sugar per year. Currently, the USDA reports that the average American now consumes anywhere from 150 to 170 pounds of sugar in a year. The World Health Organization in their guidelines on sugar consumption points out that sugar is a major concern when it comes to the prevention of noncommunicable diseases, which are the leading cause of death.
When you consume sugar, insulin levels spike. When insulin spikes it leads to a decrease in testosterone. The benefits of eliminating sugar from your diet not only related to testosterone, but increased sugar can also lead to diabetes, and now, research is telling us it may be related to Alzheimer's disease, in what some researchers refer to as “Type III Diabetes.”
I probably could have and should have listed this first, but how boring would that have been? In a study that looked at almost 900 middle-aged men with low testosterone, they found that after a 1-year lifestyle modification program of 150 minutes of exercise per week, along with reduced calorie diets, 50% of participants had increases in testosterone. One of the reasons for improvement has to do with the fact that obesity and type 2 diabetes are linked to low testosterone.
Again, there are a ton of products on the market that claim to boost testosterone, but the methods listed about are actually evidence-based. Aside from the recommendation to supplement with vitamin D, they also all involve simple modifications or elimination of habits, so they shouldn’t break the bank.