4 Small Lifestyle Changes To Increase Testosterone & Sex Drive
Testosterone, the epitome of man hood, is produced largely by the testicles and as men get older, production will decline. Furthermore, we associate lack of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, abdominal weight gain, lack of energy and mental acuity with declining T.
I council at least 8-12 men a week on what they suspect is low T. I ask them outright: "Do you really have low T" and you would think I just asked them to split an atom. It's not rocket science here, man up and get to a doctor. A few visits will get an accurate look at your levels and if you have low T, your doctor will prescribe replacement therapy that is far less evasive than HRT for women.
If you are currently not under the care of a physician, start making some changes within yourself. The changes you make are most profound and has the greatest potential for naturally increasing your T levels.
Weight Loss May Contribute to Increased Testosterone
If you're overweight, shedding the excess pounds may increase your testosterone levels. There are conflicting studies out there, but the sheer physics are overwhelmingly positive. The more weight you carry, the harder your heart must work. This keeps your blood pressure higher, causes more stress and physical discomfort. This all increases free radical accumulation, stress induced hormones, and inflammation. This is not a conducive environment for high T levels. Limit the amount of processed sugar in your diet. This concept is based on the Glycemic Index - low Glycemic Foods slow the conversion to simple sugars (like glucose) and decreases your insulin level. In order to maintain your energy levels throughout the day, increase your vegetable intake, using fruits in moderation. Fruits impact blood sugar greatly. Although many are nutrient dense, sugar is sugar. Don't let so called experts tell you there are varying degrees of good and bad sugars, and it all depends on other foods you consume, etc etc. For argument purposes in this article, let's just keep it simple for now and move on.
Have You Ever Experimented With Trying to Increase Your T - Levels? What Applications Have You Tried?
Rather than explain, here is your plan
- Warm up for 2-4 minutes
- Exercise to failure for 30 seconds
- Recover for 60 - 90 seconds, or just enough to catch your breath
- Once your breathing is somewhat normalized, and your not exasperated, repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery 8 more times
The workout should take 20 minutes tops. Are you spending an hour on an elliptical? STOP IMMEDIATELY! Keep in mind that you can use virtually any type of equipment you want for this. I find a stair-master, or treadmill works best. Adjusting the elevation on a treadmill is also a great way to boost the intensity without changing speed. Warm up adequately if sprinting outdoors, as this mode may cause the greatest chance of injury. As long as you're pushing yourself as hard as you can for 30 seconds it doesn't matter what the mode of activity is. But do be sure to stretch properly and start slowly to avoid injury. If you're unfamiliar with this mode of exercise, start with two or three intervals and work your way up. Don't expect to do all eight repetitions the first time, especially if you are out of shape. If you are severely over-weight remember: 'ya' gotta go slow to go fast" so the quality of the workout is much better than the quantity for beginners
5 Lifestyle Changes to Increase Testosterone
High Intensity Interval Training for 4 minutes after your warm up
Incoporate a structured resistance training regimen
Make Dietary Changes
Consume more Zinc
There is no need to get into expensive testosterone supplementation just yet. Incorporating a few key ones may make the difference. With the correct dosing, these products should cost $30 bucks (at most) per month.
The mineral, zinc, is important for testosterone production and fertility, and supplementing the diet has shown to cause a great improvement in testosterone among men with low levels. Zinc even protects men from exercise induced reductions in testosterone levels. Yes, exercise can decrease testosterone - largely due to oxidative stress, our nemesis cortisol, as well as not respecting the recovery process. Your diet is the best source of zinc; grass fed, organic meats, fish, raw dairy products, and beans are all excellent sources.If you decide to use a zinc supplement, stick to a dosage of less than 50 mg a day.
Another excellent nutrient to incorporate is a probiotic. The reason is, stress related. As we briefly touched on, cortisol concentrations have been shown to minimize the effectiveness of testosterone in terms of energy, sex drive, and stress management. In my last Hub, "3 Supplements Every Woman Should Be Taking TODAY", I referenced probiotic supplementation of at least 25 cfu to help better manage stressful situations. This easily applies to men as well in regards to managing situations that require a sense of calm, rational, assertive thought and action. The thought here is probiotics protect your 'gut'. If your digestive tract is in balance, so is your metabolism. This creates calm in the brain allowing for greater oxygenation and a more positive mindset.
Ensure you get enough Vitamin D from the diet, but most importantly from the sun. The "Sunshine Vitamin" codes for 26 genes that control various metabolic pathways - one of which is testosterone production. The reason for this is two fold. It seems to be an effective aromatase inhibitor (stops the conversion of T to E), but also, increases sensitivity of the androgen receptors responsible for testosterone production. Men should take 600 - 1000 IU of Vitamin D per day if they aren't out in the sun, however, you only need 30 minutes a day on the beach to get adequate D. That's great if you live where I live, but if you live in Minnesota, you are going to want to invest in a high quality D product.
The herb, Fenugreek, has been highly touted as a homeopathic source for higher T over the last year. Traditionally used to stimulate a greater response for ladies who are lactating, fenugreek has now become one of the most popular testosterone boosters readily available on the market. The great thing about this product is that it has been used for hundreds of years in India as a libido enhancer with great success. This herb falls under the category or aromatase inhibitors. It is a healthy herb, and I haven't yet seen any unhealthy side effects
Incorporate These Healthy Fats To Help Boost T
Almonds & Pecans
Grass Fed Beef
Raw Dairy Foods
Strength training is also known to boost testosterone levels, provided you are doing so intensely enough. When strength training to boost testosterone, ACSM stratification suggests 70% - 80% of your ORM, but go by feel. Pick up a weight you know you can lift for 8 reps with some strain, and add 10%. The intensity really should be that you train to failure using strict form.
On a related note, as your Testosterone levels rise, so will your HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Raising your HDL above 60 mg/dl is a negative risk factor against heart disease, thus protecting the heart and eliminating one pre-existing positive risk factor.
Do you see a common thread here? These techniques are lifestyle changes - it takes a minimum of six weeks for your body to start taking on long term physiological adaptations. Using these 'life tweaks' will invariably change the way you look at your work, and your life. Let me know how you are doing in the comments below!