It’s no secret that testosterone is the holy grail of male hormones. Here’s how to boost your T-levels naturally and safely.
The power of testosterone is almost mythical, and no wonder; it can boost muscle and burn body fat in addition to a whole heap of other benefits, including improved mood, sleep, libido, energy, overall health, and quality of life. Unfortunately, most men experience a slow decline in testosterone after they hit the age of about 30, putting them at greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, low mineral density, impaired sexual function, reduced muscle mass, and diminished physical performance.
1. Exercise and Lift Weights
If you want to naturally boost testosterone and HGH then combining weight training with HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training). Go to the gym at least three days a week, ideally at least three days a week, and lift heavy weights. Lifting heavy weights 6–12 reps with larger muscle groups like your quadriceps, hamstrings, back, shoulders and chest will help your body pack on the maximum amount of muscle. Specifically, lifting at least 30 minutes up to as long as an hour or so can be very, very beneficial boost low testosterone levels.
In addition to weight training, combining this with interval training like burst training is the best overall combo to increase HGH. In fact, burst training has been proven to not only boost T-levels, it helps keeps your testosterone elevated and can prevent its decline. Burst training involves exercising at 90–100 percent of your maximum effort for a short interval in order to burn your body’s stored sugar (glycogen), followed by a period of low impact for recovery.
This causes your body to burn fat for the next 36 hours to replace your body’s vital energy stores. It addition to increasing your T-levels, it can help burn between 3–9 times more fat, lower your resting heart rate, lower blood pressure, keep your brain young by increasing circulation, and aids in detoxification by stimulating the lymphatic system.
2. Eat Healthy Fats
Add a lot of healthy fats in your diet. Most men with low testosterone consume too much junk food and too many carbohydrates. You have to get rid of those empty calories and load up on healthy fat.
A study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry studied the effects of diet on serum sex hormones in healthy men. Results showed that when men decreased their healthy fat intake, serum concentrations of androstenedione, testosterone and free testosterone also decreased. This indicates you can add low testosterone to the list of low-fat diet risks.
There are three categories of healthy fat. Number one is healthy saturated fat. The truth about saturated fat is it’s actually good for you if it’s the proper kind. Healthy saturated fat is found in coconut oil and raw, fermented dairy products like goat milk kefir, yogurt, or raw goat or sheep milk cheese. However, avoid conventional dairy because it will actually damper your testosterone.
The other type of fat you need is healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming benefit-rich salmon a couple times a week or adding a quality fish oil supplement is great. Flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts are also great for low testosterone as you get those omega-3s.
Finally, monounsaturated fats can be natural testosterone boosters. Consuming an avocado a day or some olive oil and almonds really helps get those healthy fats that can help you naturally boost your testosterone levels.
3. Get eight hours of sleep.
A lack of quality sleep can dramatically diminish the amount of testosterone your body produces, thereby reducing muscle growth and fat loss! Research has demonstrated that the amount of sleep you get is associated with morning testosterone levels. Researchers at the University of Chicago recorded the sleeping patterns of healthy men and found that participants’ testosterone levels increased the longer they slept. I recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night to optimize the testosterone response.
4. Relax like a pro.
Stress is a major driver of low T. Ultimately your adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones and sex hormones are all interconnected in a beautiful but complicated dance.
A stress-driven phenomenon called “cortisol steal” can lead to a hormone imbalance where the production of testosterone is decreased in favor of cortisol. Stress also increases the production of aromatase and 5-alpha-reductase, two enzymes that break down testosterone.
If you relax and breathe, meditate, do yoga or otherwise boost your parasympathetic nervous system, even for just 10 minutes a day, you give your hormone system a chance to reboot and rebalance, lowering cortisol and increasing testosterone.
5. Vitamin D
One of the most important nutrients that can help boost testosterone levels is vitamin D3. In 2011, the results of a study published in the journal Hormone and Metabolic Research announced that vitamin D supplementation boosts testosterone naturally in overweight men by up to 30 percent. This is pretty exciting because research has shown that vitamin D3 is also linked to helping to prevent and treat cancer!
If you have vitamin D deficiency symptoms, it will absolutely crush your testosterone levels. So you want to get out in the sun 20 to 30 minutes every day to detox your body with the sun and get that all-important vitamin D.
Any day that you don’t get 20 minutes of direct sunlight on your skin, you want to supplement with 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3. If you get your blood levels tested and you’re extremely low — below 50 IUs — you typically want to do 5,000 IUs twice a day for three months until you get those numbers up. You can do everything in the world, but if your vitamin D levels aren’t right, your testosterone levels will stay low.
A few other supplements that can help include adaptogenic herbs that lower cortisol, like ginseng. Ginseng benefits healthy testosterone levels. In fact, research from the University of Hong Kong unveiled that ginseng increased testosterone levels in rats, making it yet another natural testosterone booster.
6. Kick the Sugar Habit
If you want to normalize your hormone levels and naturally boost your testosterone, the first thing you need to do is kick the sugar habit immediately. It has been reported that the average American takes in 12 teaspoons of sugar a day (about two tons of sugar in a lifetime), and sugar has been linked to depleting T-levels in several ways.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), for example, type II diabetics are twice as likely to develop low T-levels. Here’s how it works:
- When you eat a diet rich in processed grains and sugars, your blood glucose levels become chronically elevated.
- To help keep blood sugar levels from going haywire, your pancreas starts to work overtime to produce insulin, which helps transport the sugar from the bloodstream into your cells to be metabolized for energy.
- Ultimately, if your cells are exposed to insulin for extended periods, you develop insulin resistance, which causes type II diabetes.
Once diabetes develops your body isn’t able to produce the right levels of testosterone as it should, and the ADA recommends that diabetics get their T-levels checked by their doctor if they start to develop any of the symptoms that I mentioned above.