Here’s an important article discussing how to increase testosterone naturally.
Think testosterone is JUST a sex hormone? Think again.
Most people know testosterone is made in the testes and helps with the development of reproductive tissue and prostate health in males. However, it plays so many other important roles in the body.
Why Your Body Loves Testosterone:
- Increases energy and stamina
- Burns excess body fat
- Assists proteins in building lean muscle mass (which helps burn fat)
- Improves oxygen uptake (oxygen helps burn fat)
- Helps control blood sugar/insulin levels
- Builds strong bones
- Growth of body heat
The normal level of testosterone in the body is 18.0 nmol/l. Studies show that after the age of 35, testosterone levels tend to decline in males (similar to women that see a decline in estrogen during menopause). A study by Laughlin et al showed that 30% of men 60 years and older were estimated to have low levels of testosterone. Many of these men exhibited signs of low muscle and bone mass, high levels of fat (especially in the abdominals), low energy, increased mortality rates from cardiovascular disease, and impaired physical, cognitive, and sexual function. This decline can weaken muscle strength, cause brittle bones, and increase levels of excess body fat storage causing risks of injury from falls, hip fractures, anemia, type 2 diabetes, depressive illness, and in some cases, Alzheimer’s disease.
A good percentage of people with low testosterone levels have a higher BMI (body mass index) and higher body fat percentage. Recently, researchers have been focusing on the link between declining testosterone and death from cardiovascular disease. This research from Khaw et al, showed that men with higher levels of testosterone exhibited a more favorable cardiovascular disease profile. In addition to this, it showed people with higher levels of testosterone had higher levels of HDL (good cholesterol), lower levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), lower levels of triglycerides (fat), lower blood pressure, and lower blood glucose. The research followed 11,606 men from 1993-1997 and followed up with them in 2003. Of the 825 of the men that died, 369 died of cardiovascular disease and 304 deaths came from cancer. The inverse relationship between low testosterone and high rate of death was high.
Not all testosterone in the body is active. The body contains two types of testosterone. Only “free testosterone” is active and is metabolized by the cells for use. It’s the free testosterone that is very important. Unfortunately free testosterone levels decline with age. This is because sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) binds to the testosterone. Once the SHBG is bound, your free testosterone can no longer enhance muscle or burn fat.
The Testosterone/Estrogen Balance
When testosterone levels drop in aging men, estrogen levels usually increase. Retirement aged men can actually have higher estrogen levels than women of the same age. As men age, they tend to loss muscle and gain fat. The fatter they are; the higher the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
5 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally
There are ways to naturally raise testosterone levels. Give these a try:
1. Heavy Resistance Training
Research by Hakkinen et al, showed that lifting heavy weights (5 sets with varying intensity for a maximum of 10 reps) has been shown to strengthen bones, increase muscle size and strength, and increase testosterone levels, especially in young and middle-aged men. Research by Loebel et al, concluded that resistance exercise actually helps increase free testosterone in the body.
Note: over training can have a negative effect on testosterone levels. Research by Wheeler et al, showed that endurance training in marathon runners resulted in decreased testosterone levels. If you’re just starting back at the gym, take it slow and let your body adpat to the lifting. You don’t want to start to quick which can lead to over training and injury.
2. Consume More Fat in Your Diet
Think low-fat diets are good? That may not be the case if you have low testosterone levels. Research by Volek et al, found that monounsaturated fat and saturated fat increased testosterone levels to 62 and 59%, respectively. Another study by Dorgan et al, showed that a diet high in fat and low in fiber resulted in an increase of 15% in testosterone-bound hormones.
To increase your consumption of monounsaturated fat, consume olive oil, almonds, peanuts, avocados, and pecans.
3. Supplement With Natural Herbs
Research has shown that certain supplements can help raise testosterone levels. Most of these herbs can be found in the recommended testosterone booster supplements discussed at the end of this post.
Eurycoma Longifolia/Tongkat Ali (Long Jack): a herb native to South East Asia and has been found to safely and naturally increase testosterone levels and control cortisol levels. When testosterone is high and cortisol is low, you’re in an anabolic mode. Research by Zanoli et al, used Eurycoma Longifolia on impotent rats. It was found that it caused an increase in activity and testosterone levels compared to the controlled sample.
Tribulus Terrestris: a herb found in many different areas around the world. It may help raise testosterone levels by raising the production of the LH hormone, which stimulates the testes to produce more testosterone.
Zinc, Elk Velvet Antler (EVA), and Stinging Nettle may also help produce more testosterone in the body. Stinging Nettle in particular may help free your testosterone from SHBG and help prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen (supplementing with Chrysin and Piperine may also help). It’s also known to help fight prostate cancer. Look for Stinging Nettle products that have water or methanol extracts. Do not use products with alcohol or ethanol extracts.
Cordyceps Sinensis: a herb used in east Asian medicine for its antioxidant capabilities and reduction in arterial blood pressure.
Rhodiola Rosea: a herb that can enhance the nervous system, help with hypertension, poor appetite, decrease depression and fatigue, and improve work performance.
Please consult with your physician before taking any of these supplements.
4. Have More Sex
Guess what…the more sex you have the more testosterone you’ll produce in the body.
Research by Fox et al and a study by Kraemer et al found that daily sex resulted in an increase in testosterone production, especially in the morning and directly after sex. Research by Ahn et al showed that older men that were having regular sex also increased testosterone production after sex. Sounds like a win/win to me.
So you now have my permission to have more sex (the safe kind), especially in the morning to raise testosterone production.
5. Get Rid of the Belly Fat
Belly fat is one of the most dangerous forms of fat. It highly increases your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many forms of cancer. But did you know it may also affect your testosterone levels?
The amount of fat you’re carrying in your belly can impact the levels of free testosterone and the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). The SHBG is what determines how much free testosterone is in the body.
For even more specific ways to increase testosterone naturally check out:
Try incorporating these 5 ways into your lifestyle to increase your testosterone levels. You can also try supplementing with the following natural testosterone boosters:
Recommended Testosterone Booster Supplements To Increase Testosterone Naturally
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I hope you’ll take action on these ways to increase testosterone naturally.