Testosterone is arguably one of the most important hormones for growth and development in men. If you’ve been following our blog, you already know the significance of the hormone in your body.
Testosterone is an androgen (sex hormone) responsible for the growth and development of male sex organs and secondary sexual characteristics like facial hair and a deep voice. However, testosterone impacts more than just the reproductive system. Its functions include the maintenance of:
- Muscle mass
- Bone density
- Fat deposition
- Red blood cells
A deficiency of the hormone thus affects almost all body systems, making the increasingly common diagnoses of the condition a problem for men of all ages globally. Somewhere between 10% to 40% of men the world over are deficient in testosterone.
A few ways testosterone deficiency manifests are:
- Decreased energy and fatigue
- Lower sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced muscle mass
- Decreased bone density
- Weight gain
- Depressed mood
- Hair loss
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPG) axis in men regulates androgen and sperm production. Factors that affect the HPG axis will affect testosterone levels; these include body weight, diet, the amount and quality of sleep, and stress.
If you’re worried about being diagnosed with low-T, you can boost your hormone levels naturally in several ways. Following a healthy lifestyle is the first step to ensuring not just normal testosterone levels but also overall fitness and well-being.
How Diet Influences Testosterone
A balanced diet is important for optimal sexual health and functioning. Any type of nutrient deficiency, especially of zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and polyphenols affects the HPG axis, which in turn decreases testosterone.
Magnesium is essential to maintain healthy testosterone levels. As it decreases oxidative stress, magnesium has been proven to boost testosterone bioactivity. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between your body’s antioxidant defenses and free radicals. Antioxidant and magnesium-rich foods fight oxidative stress and inflammation that lower testosterone levels, making it important to include antioxidant foods in your diet.
Another factor that can disrupt the HPG axis is obesity. Obesity causes changes in the communication between the brain and hormone-producing glands which can lead to a decrease in testosterone levels and sperm count.
To boost declining levels of testosterone, avoid diets high in sugar and saturated fats. Add these foods to your diet to prevent nutritional deficiencies that can cause low-T:
- dark, leafy vegetables
- berries and cherries
- unsweetened cocoa powder or cocoa products
Exercise, Particularly HIIT, Increases Testosterone Levels
Physical activity plays a huge role in testosterone production and maintenance. Men who engage in regular physical exercise have higher levels of testosterone and healthier semen production compared to men who are sedentary.
Intense physical exercise significantly influences resting levels of blood cortisol (stress hormone), testosterone, and their ratio. Regular aerobic exercise with high-intensity interval sessions (HIIT) such as circuit training increases testosterone levels, improves general well-being, and reduces age-related health effects in men.
- leg press
- knee extension
- leg curl
- bench press
- lat pulldown
- biceps curl
- elbow extension
- abdominal crunch
While HIIT training provides several benefits to men’s health and fitness, it’s important to keep the intensity to the level your body can safely endure, as expending too much energy can actually lead to a decline in testosterone levels.
Herbs: Fenugreek seeds and Ashwagandha Root Boost Testosterone
Certain herbs and herbal extracts increase testosterone concentrations in men. Research into herbs to boost testosterone is still evolving but currently, the strongest evidence of effectiveness is for fenugreek seed extracts and ashwagandha roots and leaves.
These herbs are thought to improve male fertility through three mechanisms: their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, decreasing the main counterregulatory hormones of testosterone, such as cortisol, or changing the activity of enzymes associated with testosterone production.
Though adding herbs to your diet might be good for your testosterone, it should never be done without consulting a medical practitioner first as some herbs can negatively interact with certain medications or cause an allergic reaction.
Better Sleep Means More Testosterone
In men of all ages, the secretion of testosterone depends on the circadian pattern, with the maximum levels often occurring in the early morning hours. Most of the testosterone release occurs during sleep. Sleep duration and quality thus have a direct effect on T levels.
Research has shown that testosterone levels increase with increasing sleep duration up to 9.9 hours, after which it decreases. According to another study, sleep restriction to 4-5 hours in healthy males resulted in a 10% to 15% decrease in daytime testosterone levels. Getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily is crucial to maintain healthy testosterone levels.
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Drug and alcohol abuse is associated with reduced testosterone levels. Alcohol is a known toxin for the Leydig cells in the testes that produce testosterone. It disrupts the enzymes involved in androgen synthesis while also causing oxidative damage to the body which further limits testosterone secretion.
Several other drugs including opioids, amphetamines, cocaine, and cannabis have been proven to alter the HPG axis which results in decreased testosterone levels. If you want to enhance your testosterone levels and maintain a healthy balance of the hormone in your body, it is necessary to cut down and eventually eliminate the consumption of alcohol and other drugs.
The Fastest and Most Efficient Way to Boost Testosterone is…
While natural ways to boost testosterone can be helpful, often severely deficient men with clinical hypogonadism require testosterone replacement therapy to fix their low-T levels. The treatment can be administered through injections, patches, gels, and more, but its effects depend on factors such as age, weight, and health history. For starters, you can try our Testosterone Gel 1% to treat your low testosterone with an easy, daily application.
The proper use and administration of any forms of supplemental testosterone need to be prescribed and monitored by a medical professional. You can start your consultation with one of our medical professionals to see if TRT can help you by clicking here.