- Men's Health & Wellness
Low Testosterone Therapy
People today, obviously mostly men, are focused on the need for testosterone. As men age they notice a decrease in energy, motivation, ability to control their weight and last their libido. Also, with so many pharmaceutical products to control and increase your testosterone levels, it is obviously a market worth being in. Follow the money!
We want to look at it a different way. There is always going to be that situation where there is a need for pharmaceuticals. But people should try other approaches first. Diet, exercise, and supplementation can possibly hold off the effects of aging and all the other problems with low testosterone longer than you think. This is not just about aging. Younger men face the same problems and with just a few tweaks could possibly change their lives. So let’s get into it.
Reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet! I know we just stopped lecturing and started meddling for some people. But sugar can be the enemy of testosterone in some people. Think about it. Your body produces insulin to deal with the sugar. Higher levels of insulin can be the natural enemy of testosterone. This is easier than you think. Try these steps:
- Read the labels. Food manufactures put sugar in everything. Even if they don’t need to. IF sugar is an ingredient, don’t buy it.
- If you need something sweet, try berries instead of cookies.
- For a sweetener, try stevia in your coffee. Many studies have shown it does not spike your insulin level.
Have you suffered from Low Testosterone?
Reduce stress in your life to increase testosterone. Your body produces cortisol when you are stressed. Cortisol is the stress hormone and cortisol is the natural enemy of testosterone. I know this is easier said than done. Stress is a reality in most people’s world unless you are a Tibetan monk. But, let’s try these steps to affect it:
- Exercise to release the endorphins that destroy cortisol. We’ll talk about how later.
- Meditation – just get quiet twice per day and shut off the outside world.
- People – This is the hardest for most individuals. IF someone in your life is causing you stress, get rid of them. Trust us; you’ll both be better off.
Testosterone levels are lowest in overweight men. I know some people think this is the chicken and egg (which came first?). We’re telling you that you can lose weight without pharmaceuticals for testosterone therapy.
Exercise is important for positively affecting your testosterone levels. This doesn’t take a long time. The fact is that short intense bursts of exercise like running, jumping, or just movement in general have more positive affect on testosterone than long aerobics. Prolonged aerobic activity has been shown to have neutral, at best, effects on testosterone levels. Remember those wind prints in high school.
While on the subject of exercise to increase testosterone, let’s cover weight/resistance training. I know everyone’s goal is not necessarily to be a fitness model or body builder. Trust me, muscle destroys fat and what did we say about fat effect on testosterone? So what do we do?
- Slow down your reps when lifting weights. This will naturally create more resistance.
- Use the heaviest weight you can use SAFELY. Do fewer reps. Believe me you will with the heavier weight using the right/safest form.
- Do this with every muscle group from shoulders to calves. (more on resistance in another post)
Try using a quality zinc supplement if you suspect or know that your testosterone level is low. Zinc supplementation has been shown to increase testosterone levels in some men. It’s easy and inexpensive. Try it before a workout to reduce/eliminate the decrease testosterone levels that can come from prolonged exercise.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays an important role in extracting vitamin A from the liver to the retina. This extraction assists in producing melanin (a protective pigment in the eyes). Zinc deficiencies, characterized as growth retardation, have been linked to:
• Cloudy Cataracts
• Poor Night Vision
• Impaired Vision
• Hair Loss
Have you had your daily dose of zinc? That’s something you may have never have thought about.
Zinc is recommended for people who are high-risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a dietary reference intake for zinc of 11 mg per day for men and 8 mg per day for women.
It is important to consult your doctor before tacking high doses of zinc beyond 100 mg per day. Although it is important for our health in small doses, adverse effects can occur.
What are some good sources of zinc?
- Mixed Nuts
- Red meat
- Shell Fish
- Wheat Germ
- Black-Eyed Peas
- Baked Beans
Two other supplements can positively affect your testosterone levels. Try these:
- BCAA or branch chain amino acids have been shown to positively affect levels of testosterone. These are readily available in supplement form. Also though, they can be found in abundance in dairy products like cheese. Most people get the most benefit from branch chain amino acids when consumed right before a work out.
- Vitamin D has also been shown to help with all things male (everything from sperm quality to testosterone level). Get outside in the sun! In the real world most people need a supplement. For most, a high quality supplement with 5,000 IU’s does the trick.
Lastly for today, saturated fats in your diet are not your enemy! When practicing overall good nutrition, fats from meat and coconut oil are essential to improve testosterone levels in most people. Good fats also come from foods like avocados. A low fat diet is probably going to be high in sugar and a vicious enemy to your testosterone levels.
All of this is not meant to replace solid advice from a competent medical professional. But using these techniques could keep you away from the pharmacy counter to control your testosterone level.