Testosterone is more than just a sex drive. Low testosterone levels, along with physical changes, can affect you emotionally, resulting in low self-esteem. Unfortunately, more than 40% of males aged 45 years or plus suffer from low testosterone. Thus having your testosterone under check is essential for every man.
But the real question is how? Let’s first see what testosterone really is and how it affects a man’s body.
What is Testosterone?
Our body contains several chemical messengers to perform its function. These chemicals travel via the bloodstream to target organs and execute specific actions. For example, the regulation of sex drive is carried out by testosterone. Hormones are categorized into different groups, one being sex hormones.
Testosterone is the primary hormone of the sex hormone category in males. It plays a key role in the development of the male reproductive system, including the formation of the testes and prostate.
Key Roles of Testosterone.
Testosterone being the primary sex hormone, performs vital functions for the male body. It’s not limited to sexual function but can affect other major bodily systems. Here are some major functions associated with testosterone: 1
- Regulate libido
- Develops penis and testes
- Bone mass regulation
- Sperm production
- Red blood cell production
- Fat distribution
- Maintains appropriate muscle mass
- Develop body and facial hair
- Give characteristic male deeper voice
- sharpen memory
- Boots energy
What lowers Testosterone levels?
These can range from age to the food we consume. Let us have a quick look at the factors;
- Old age 6
- Injury to testis
- Head injury
- Infection of the testicles
- HIV or AIDS
- Some medications
- Radiation therapy
- Obesity 7
- Disorders that cause hormonal imbalance
- Pituitary tumors
- Type 2 diabetes
- Kidney disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
- Liver disease
- Some genetic diseases, such as myotonic dystrophy
- Soy food
- Licorice root
- Drugs like Tabaco
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Poor sleep 8
Consequences of low testosterone:
Testosterone is so important to men’s health that it explains all the fuss regarding the drop in its ideal level. It can drastically impact a man’s confidence and physical health, from sexual drive to hair loss. Here are some key negative effects associated with low testosterone levels. 9
- Low libido
- Drop in sperm count
- Erectile dysfunction
- Difficulty in concentration
- Fatigue and general weakness
- Breast tissue enlargement, also known as gynecomastia
- Increased body fat
- loss of body hair
- loss of muscle bulk and strength
- skin changes
Natural ways to boost testosterone:
When it comes to increasing testosterone levels, most of us prefer natural ways over injections or pills. And to our luck, there are more than enough ways for everyone to adopt according to their preferences.
Bedtime is like a reboot for our body. It provides our bodies enough time to recover from wear and tear due to our hectic routines. Inadequate sleep adversely affects the levels of hormones, including testosterone.
As more research is being done with time, more data support the association between improper sleep and a drop in testosterone levels. The researchers found up to a 15% drop in testosterone levels in test subjects with inadequate sleep 10.
So sleep matters. Make a good bedtime routine with at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
A Balanced Diet Increases Testosterone
A balanced diet is a key to a healthy body. Our body depends on its nutritional supply for its functioning this includes testosterone production as well. Some diet plans can decrease testosterone levels.
Adopt a diet plan that covers vegetables, fruits, whole foods, proteins, carbohydrates, and moderate amounts of healthy fats.
Avoid refined, simple carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar level under control. Spike in blood sugar levels negatively affects the pituitary gland. This gland produces a luteinizing hormone to stimulate testosterone production in your testicles.
Maintain Healthy Weight to have Normal Testosterone Levels
Having a healthy weight is essential for your manhood. Any fluctuation in the chart can drop your testosterone level.
Men who are overweight with excessive abdominal fat are more likely to have low levels of testosterone than those with ideal body weight 11. Belly fat triggers the production of the enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone into estradiol. This process ultimately lowers free testosterone levels in the body, with a percentage spiking up to 50.
On the other hand, underweight men can suffer from malnutrition. This can lead to ups and downs in blood sugar levels. With that, their bodies produce more estrogen and sex hormone-binding globulin which further drops the testosterone level.
Thus figure out the potential cause of your unhealthy weight and adopt the necessary changes required for better health and testosterone boost.
Reduce Stress To Boost Testosterone
Researchers have proven that stress can lead to erectile changes and a drop in testosterone levels. Stress elevates the hormone cortisol, which negatively impacts testosterone. 12
Life is always going to be a hustle; make time for yourself. A few minutes every day can bring big change. Something as insignificant as deep breathing can help you slow down and relax. Or you can choose between meditations, 15 minutes of the yoga session, or a quick walk.
Take it this way an active lifestyle is directly proportional to testosterone production. An active lifestyle can benefit you at multi-levels starting from maintaining a healthy weight.
Build a workout regimen that incorporates both types of physical activity; strength training and cardio 13. Cardio will help you burn calories, while strength training helps you rebuild muscle mass lost due to low testosterone.
Whether you’re new to exercise or pro, remember to take it easy and don’t overdo it, as it may lead to low testosterone.
Remember Your Micronutrients
Most of the time, we overlook our vitamins and micronutrients.
Some essential vitamins to keep in check are:
Try 15 minutes of sunbath every day for your daily dose of vitamin D. Many plant-based kinds of milk, such as almond milk and flax milk, also contain a good amount of vitamin D. 14
Add whole grains and dark leafy greens into your everyday meal to get magnesium.
Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds can help you overcome zinc deficiency.
Beef, salmon, and tuna are natural sources of Creatine.
Address Medical Conditions
Low testosterone rarely happens on its own. It is often linked to some underlying health condition or can be due to medications and associated therapies.
Always refer to your doctor and get professional help. Your doctor can recommend testosterone treatment to improve testosterone levels or can help treat any underlying health condition that might be contributing factor to your low testosterone levels.
Stay Sexually Active
Studies have shown staying sexually active can help you boost your testosterone levels naturally 15. Think of it as an endless cycle. Testosterone provides a boost signal for libido and a better sex drive; in turn, this signals your brain to increase testosterone production.
However, more research must be done on a larger scale to prove this theory.
Avoid Drugs And Alcohol
According to the NIAAA (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), abuse of drugs and alcohol can drastically lower testosterone and even lead to infertility. 16
Avoiding alcohol as much as possible and keeping weekly drinks under 15 can helps a lot.
Other drugs to avoid include tobacco, marijuana, steroids, and opioids.
Food To Include to Boost Testosterone Naturally
What’s the best way to boost your testosterone level than to eat?
Ginger has been used for treating health conditions for centuries. Modern research indicates its beneficial effects on improving fertility in men. If you don’t have a taste for ginger, taking the ginger supplement can be an alternative.
Oysters contain more zinc per than any other food. Severe zinc deficiency may lead to hypogonadism, a phenomenon in which the body does not produce enough testosterone.
Avocados provide healthy fat and magnesium important for hormonal health.
Eggs contain a healthy balance of protein and micronutrients required for testosterone production.
The pomegranate is a known symbol of fertility and sexual function. Take a glass of pomegranate juice daily, and you can see visible results within two weeks.
Seafood And Fish Oil
Seafood and fish oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, which help to increase T levels and overall sexual health. It is recommended to eat seafood twice weekly.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil will provide you with monounsaturated fat and vitamin E.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Vegetables like kale, cabbage, and broccoli are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Beans And Lentils
Beans and lentils are excellent sources of protein and fiber. They also contain micronutrients like magnesium, iron, and zinc.
Whole grains contain B vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Red Meat And Poultry
Red meat and poultry are excellent sources of protein, zinc, and iron.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats, protein, and micronutrients.
To summarize, the best way to boost testosterone naturally is by adopting a healthy lifestyle with a good workout plan and dietary changes.