There are few things that are certain in life, but one is that your testosterone levels start to fall as you age. It means that it becomes much easier to pile on the fat, but much harder to build muscle.
Clearly, this is a big problem. There are solutions available though, and through the course of this guide we will take a look at some ways in which you can ensure that your testosterone levels stay high.
Can your diet help to boost your testosterone levels?
Let’s firstly start about how your diet can impact your testosterone levels. This is probably one of the easiest ways to manipulate them, and there are actually multiple ways you do this.
An emphasis on carbs
The first surrounds carbohydrates. If you have been trying to shift the pounds over recent times, it might come as a surprise to hear that carbs can work well for you from a testosterone perspective.
One of the major advantages of carbs is that they can reduce your stress hormones (specifically, cortisol). These hormones tend to block testosterone production, so clearly this is a pretty big deal.
Of course, you need to stick to the “right” type of carbohydrates, in the form of complex carbs. You shouldn’t go overboard either, a diet comprised of 40-60% carbohydrates is sufficient for testosterone reasons.
The wonders of protein
Any bodybuilding article would never be complete without a mention of protein.
Studies have shown that you should look to balance your protein and carbohydrate intake to boost testosterone. If there’s a wild difference between the two macros, this is when levels of the hormone have been found to decrease.
Don’t underestimate the power of fat
Fat often doesn’t get the attention it perhaps deserves. Let’s not forget that testosterone is derived from HDL cholesterol meaning that the more of this in your body, the higher your levels of the hormone.
Of course, you can’t just go out and eat what you want at this point. You need good cholesterol and need to ignore the foods with the bad cholesterol.
If you’re still not convinced about the power of fats, let’s take a look at the situation scientifically. A study found that those men reducing their fat intake by 15% saw their testosterone levels drop. It means that you really should look to keep your fat consumption around the 25% or higher mark to really reap the testosterone benefits.
What foods specifically help with testosterone?
Following on from the above, what foods can specifically boost your testosterone levels? Let’s take a look at some of the best examples.
As we will soon come onto, zinc is crucial in the whole testosterone boosting business. This is something that beef contains in abundance, while its high protein levels also make it excellent for this purpose as well.
Most bodybuilding guides give a mention to eggs, and their high levels of protein and healthy fats mean that they are a prime candidate for testosterone boosting.
This is seemingly mentioned in every superfood list, but it’s for good reason. Firstly, there’s 77% fat in an avocado – but this comes in the form of the good stuff. When this is combined with the vitamins and minerals within it, it’s really a no-brainer.
Another common member of superfood lists is coconut oil. This is something which contains MCFA’s in abundance, meaning that your good cholesterol levels soar through the roof. Additionally, studies have proven that it provides a high boost of testosterone.
The fact that oysters are regularly classed as an aphrodisiac says everything you need to know about their effects on testosterone. They are another food that has plenty of zinc within them, which helps your testosterone plight substantially.
For this next ingredient we will refer you to a study. It was found that those consuming ginger experienced a boost in testosterone by 18%, which is certainly not a small gain.
Another food with plenty of science behind it is pomegranates. This time, it was found that the fruit could boost testosterone production by 24% in just two weeks.
Staying on the subject of statistics, olive oil is said to boost testosterone by 20%. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise either; this is an ingredient which is renowned for its amount of healthy fats
This is one of the stranger foods on the list, but the big deal about mushrooms is the way in which they can block aromatization. This means they can stop testosterone converting to estrogen – which is one of the big problems for people who are seeing their testosterone levels deplete.
What changes to your lifestyle can boost testosterone?
Even if you get your diet in order, there is more to testosterone production than just what goes onto your plate. Your general lifestyle makes a difference as well and if you can fine-tune some of the following points, you really can enjoy your levels soar.
Make sure you receive enough sleep
By now, you’ve probably already heard about the importance of sleep. Like a lot of this article, we will rely on science to highlight our point. It has been found that those guys who sleep for just five hours per night will see their testosterone levels plummet by as much as 15%.
Don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol
We’re by no means saying that you should give up alcohol entirely, but it’s worth identifying exactly what happens every time you consume an alcoholic beverage. Your body will begin to stop absorbing key nutrients, including those that you need to initiate the production of testosterone. Clearly, this need to be something that needs to be avoided.
Smoking has been known to impact your sex hormones, and little else needs to be said beyond this. Your testosterone levels will sink – end of story.
Cut your waist size
Studies have found that people who are overweight are more likely to have lower testosterone levels. Not only that, but if you happen to have low amounts of testosterone, you are more likely to gain weight. In short, it’s a vicious circle.
The importance of Vitamin D
Finally, make sure you get out more. That’s right, simply getting outside and into the sunshine can work wonders, even though it can be difficult in the rigors of office life.
Vitamin D can play a part in testosterone production, with studies showing that there is a correlation between the two.
The relationship between testosterone and exercise
We’ve spoken about the food you eat, and the lifestyle you lead, so now let’s talk about exercise.
Most of us are looking to improve our “levels” of exercise by boosting our testosterone, so it might come as a surprise to learn that exercise actually boosts these levels anyway.
If your training regime includes plenty of strength training, your levels will increase. This is the general rule. When you complete compound exercises, use big muscle groups or have short rest periods, all of this can be the catalyst for testosterone production.
In relation to the best compound exercises, turning to the likes of deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, chin-ups, bench press and overhead press can work wonders.
At the same time, some exercise can work the opposite way. Any exercise that requires significant endurance, like marathon running, really needs to be avoided as this can see your testosterone levels dwindle.
The best supplements for testosterone boosting
Of course, while diet, lifestyle and exercise changes can make the difference, some people might want that extra testosterone boost through supplementation. This can be via completely natural means and to highlight our point, let’s take a look at some of the best ingredients that tend to be included in such products.
This has been mentioned previously, with zinc having the helpful ability of being able to make more free testosterone available to you.
At the same time, if you have sufficient levels of zinc in your body, consuming more of this ingredient won’t boost your testosterone levels at all. In other words, the effects can plateau.
Magnesium can be a really useful ingredient in your battle to boost testosterone. It is able to increase Insulin-like growth factor hormone, which is known to push testosterone production. It can also stop some of the other hormones which limit testosterone production.
The same rules apply as previously though; you’ll only get testosterone benefits from magnesium if you don’t have enough of it in your system.
This is another ingredient that has been mentioned although as of yet, the specific scientific reason isn’t quite known. Scientists do know that there are vitamin D receptors in the testes though, which has led many to believe that the relationship with testosterone is actually very strong.
D-Aspartic Acid is able to increase the luteinizing hormone, which has a direct impact on testosterone production. It is also known to limit estrogen.
This is something that should be taken with magnesium and zinc for maximum benefit. This is because it allows the body to absorb both much easier.
Testosterone replacement therapy (T.R.T)
We’re going to give a quick mention to T.R.T; testosterone replacement therapy. In short, this means providing a synthetic version of testosterone so that a person’s levels can return to normality. Usually, this is performed with injections.
This is something which only tends to be given to men who have very low levels of the hormone; typically less than 300ng/dl. If you think you are falling to this level, you might experience a range of symptoms including a low sex drive, fatigue, weakness, loss of hair and even erectile dysfunction.
Generally, it’s older men that turn to this therapy, with 39% of guys older than 45 understood to be short in natural testosterone.
This is by no means a perfect solution though; you can experience a range of side effects including a low sperm count, acne and gynecomastia.
Illegal steroids and testosterone
We’re going to conclude proceedings with a piece on illegal steroids. These are scientifically proven to boost testosterone very quickly and you will see your body reap some superb muscular and fat loss benefits.
Just as we covered in the previous section, there can be drawbacks though. The side effects can be aplenty, with common examples being acne, hair loss, mood swings, aggression, high blood pressure and more.
Not only that, but when you start using steroids your natural testosterone lowers. This means that you no longer make as much as your own supply – and things don’t start again as soon as you come off the steroids. You have to take other drugs to counteract this and suffice to say, this has a whole host of risks attached to it.
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