Are you suffering from low testosterone levels? One in every 20 men experience low testosterone symptoms that diminish their quality of life and cause pain or embarrassment.
The good news is that the condition of low testosterone isn’t out of your control. In fact, it can be treated naturally with simple solutions like eating healthy fats and getting more sleep.
Here’s everything you should know about increasing your testosterone levels naturally.
Why Is Testosterone Important?
Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced by the testicles. Though testosterone is best known for its role in puberty, it actually plays an integral role in the overall health of the male body by influencing the following functions:
- bone mass
- red blood cell production
- muscle mass
- bone mass
- fat distribution
- sperm production
Testosterone levels surge in males during puberty, often jumping from 20 ng/dL to 1,200 ng/dL, but this hormone doesn’t stay elevated indefinitely. By the time a man turns 30, he begins to experience a 1% decrease in testosterone every year.
Do You Have Low Testosterone Levels?
It’s easy to misinterpret signs of low testosterone as symptoms of other health conditions. Is it possible that your chronic health problems aren’t just general signs of aging or stress, but actually the results of low testosterone interrupting the body’s natural hormonal balance?
If you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you should have your testosterone levels tested for hypogonadism:
- Increased body fat and decreased muscle mass
- Sleep disturbances and fatigue
- Depression, anxiety, and irritability
- Lack of mental focus
- Decreased libido and erectile dysfunction
- Diminished energy and overall vitality
The good news is that your testosterone levels are within your control! You can naturally increase your testosterone production using the following 8 strategies.
Improve Your Sleep Patterns
The amount of high-quality sleep you get each night is directly correlated to your body’s testosterone production. This means that improving your sleep patterns is one of the easiest natural ways to increase your testosterone levels.
Your body’s circadian rhythm performs a precise routine every night while you sleep, including the production and release of chemicals like SHGB and cortisol that influence testosterone levels. In fact, research shows that regularly sleeping less than the recommended 8 hours per night may result in a 15% reduction in testosterone levels.
In order to naturally increase your testosterone levels with sleep, adjust your schedule to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. For optimal results, get to bed by 10:00 PM, since most of your body’s hormone processes occur between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM.
Balance Your Diet With Healthy Fats
It’s no secret that your body cannot perform optimally when fueled by refined carbohydrates and sugar, but did you know that your eating choices also impact your testosterone levels? When you choose avocados, raw milk, and salmon instead of pretzels, bagels, and soda, your body receives the nourishment it needs to optimize testosterone production.
Healthy fat intake is linked to testosterone production because all steroid hormones are fat-soluble. More dietary fat improves levels of hormones like testosterone. Studies demonstrate plummeting testosterone levels when men switch from a diet containing 40% healthy fats to a diet containing only 20% calories from fat.
Healthy fats for testosterone include saturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and monounsaturated fats. Add a variety of the following foods to enjoy the benefits of a diet rich in healthy fats:
- Coconut oil
- Raw dairy products
- Seeds and nuts
- Avocado and olive oil
Cut Back On Your Sugar Intake
Adding more healthy fats into your diet should occur as you steadily cut back on your sugar intake. The negative impacts of processed sugars on the body are well-documented:
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Weight gain
- Increased risk of depression and mood swings
- Accelerated cellular aging
- Fluctuations in energy levels
Given these serious consequences of high-sugar diets, it makes sense that too much sugar also suppresses testosterone production. Your body cannot support optimal hormone function when it is compromised by chronic health problems or crippled by excess sugar.
Fortunately, reducing your sugar intake is a simple way to naturally boost your testosterone levels. Try these tips to cut back on sugar:
- Avoid beverages with high added sugar content, including sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juices. Swap them for water, coffee, tea, or sparkling water.
- Remember that sugar lurks in condiments like ketchup, barbecue sauce, and salad dressing. Don’t use more than needed.
- Shop on the perimeter of the grocery store to avoid highly processed foods with added sugars.
Add More Physical Activity Into Your Routine
You already know that exercise improves your health, but you may not realize that high intensity interval training and weight training both induce testosterone release in the body.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise that involves exercising at 90 to 100% of maximum effort for repeated intervals of time. This burns your body’s stored sugar and forces your body to burn fat instead. HIIT burns up to 9 times more fat, improves circulation, and much more.
By optimizing body functions and triggering hormone production, HIIT even boosts testosterone levels. Weight training also increases serum testosterone naturally, both in the short-term and long-term.
Adopt Stress Management Strategies
Stress doesn’t just interfere with your libido; it actually reduces your testosterone levels. Mental and emotional stress is created by cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone”. It is important to adopt stress management strategies in order to curtail cortisol production and preserve your testosterone.
Cortisol blocks and nullifies the effects of testosterone. By creating the sensation of stress, cortisol is also responsible for triggering other unhealthy behaviors like stress-eating that leads to weight gain. Stress management techniques such as meditation, journal writing, and breathing exercises can minimize your cortisol levels and increase testosterone levels.
Use the Right Vitamins and Supplements
Your body is an interconnected system that can only thrive when nourished with proper levels of vitamins and minerals. You can naturally increase your testosterone levels by supplementing with the following three nutrients.
Zinc is an essential mineral for healthy testosterone production. Studies show that supplementing with zinc can boost testosterone levels in as little as six weeks. Raw milk, meats, and fish are the best dietary sources of zinc, but a zinc supplement of less than 40 mg per day can be used as well.
Vitamin D is also linked to increased levels of testosterone, yet more than 40% of adults are vitamin D deficient. In order to naturally increase your testosterone levels with vitamin D, get at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure each day and supplement with about 3,000 IU of vitamin D3.
The body relies on magnesium for hundreds of core functions, including producing energy and protein, regulating blood glucose, and maintaining normal nerve and muscle function. Studies show that magnesium supplementation can also increase free and total testosterone values, especially when supported by regular exercise.
Detox Your Liver
The link between your liver and your testosterone levels may not be obvious, but it’s important nonetheless. A protein called sex hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG) is produced in the liver. SHBG binds to testosterone and carries the hormone through your bloodstream.
It’s very important for the liver to produce balanced levels of SHBG so that your body doesn’t suffer from an excess or deficiency of hormones. However, a liver overwhelmed by toxins can’t function at optimal levels or effectively balance hormone levels. A liver detox is a safe and natural way to optimize liver function and improve testosterone levels. Try cleansing your liver with milk thistle, an herb that supports the liver’s detoxification process.
Use Natural Herbs
Herbs have been used since ancient times to improve human health, and modern scientific research now supports the use of certain herbs as natural testosterone boosters.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for more than 3,000 years for its healing properties. In particular, Ashwagandha enhances the body’s ability to self-regulate sufficient testosterone production, which boosts testosterone levels and even increases sperm count and mobility. This herb can increase testosterone levels as much as 15% in healthy men.
As an added bonus, Ashwagandha is also known to reduce cortisol levels, alleviate stress, and reduce blood sugar levels. All three of these changes are related to increased testosterone levels, which makes Ashwagandha even more powerful.
Ginger may also help to boost testosterone levels naturally. Infertile men who took a daily ginger supplement experienced a 17% increase in testosterone levels and 16% increase in sperm count. The mechanisms of ginger’s influence on testosterone aren’t fully understood, but studies prove that the results are real.
The Bottom Line
If you’re tired of low testosterone defining your life, these natural remedies will help you increase your testosterone levels. It only takes a few safe and simple changes to boost your libido, strengthen your muscles, and protect your health.