When most people hear the word testosterone, they immediately think of masculinity, but there is so much more to this hormone than just gender. Testosterone is essential for muscle mass, libido, bone health, energy, and mental agility in both men and women. In this article, we will discuss simple ways to boost your testosterone levels naturally, without the risks of drugs or steroids.
1. Compound Exercises and High-Intensity Interval Training
The perfect place to start to boost testosterone is the gym. There are two types of exercises that you should focus on in particular to get the maximum amount of testosterone: compound exercises and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Compound exercises involve more than one joint movement, which encourages your body to produce more testosterone to help you recover. Examples of these exercises are bench press, squats, and deadlifts. A study in 2006 showed that male volunteers following a strict 4-week weight workout comprised of compound lifts boosted their resting testosterone levels by 40% and lowered the stress hormone cortisol by 24%.
HIIT, on the other hand, is primarily used for fat loss, but it has also seen great results from a hormonal aspect. Regular sessions of HIIT over a 3-week period can dramatically increase blood testosterone concentration, according to a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
2. Vitamin D3
One of the core vitamins you need in your diet for maximum testosterone production is Vitamin D3. It is absorbed through our skin via sunlight and promotes healthy levels of testosterone, bone health, and immunity. However, most people don’t get enough Vitamin D3 throughout the day, and recent studies have estimated that a whopping 1 billion of the world’s population may suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency.
Supplementing Vitamin D3 is easily the best answer to this problem. Many argue that you can get enough of the vitamin from diary products like milk, but this is Vitamin D2, which is synthetically produced and nowhere near as effective. Vitamin D3 is the vitamin in its purest form, and it is precisely what you need to start taking the nutritional steps towards higher testosterone levels.
Zinc is insanely good for boosting testosterone because it is a necessity for its production. It is found mainly in red meats and leafy greens. The process for testosterone starts in our brains, which first requires a reaction to produce LH – the Luteinizing Hormone. This is the precursor to testosterone and essential for its production. And it can’t happen without enough zinc. Elite wrestlers supplementing zinc found that regular supplementation of the mineral both maintained and improved testosterone levels over a 4-week period.
However, don’t overdo Zinc! The maximum recommended daily intake of the mineral is 40mg, and too much can result in side effects such as nausea and headaches.
4. Decrease Stress
Stress has a significant psychological aspect that affects testosterone levels. The main problem is cortisol, the stress hormone. The more stress you have, the less testosterone you produce. Cortisol is catabolic, meaning it induces muscle breakdown, fat gains, and generally runs your immune system into the ground, contributing a lot to lower testosterone.
Getting more sleep and engaging in relaxing activities such as meditation can significantly lower cortisol levels and get your testosterone back up to where it should be.
5. Cut down on Sugar
One of the worst things you can put in your body when it comes to boosting T levels is sugar. This is down to the insulin your body creates to deal with large amounts of glucose. Insulin directly affects testosterone and reduces your overall count. A study involving 74 men consumed 75g of oral glucose, which averaged a 25% decrease in testosterone levels quickly after being absorbed. Cutting down your sugar intake is not just good for your waistline, but it is essential for a healthy hormone lifestyle.
6. Posing is Power
The way we hold ourselves is a big part of who we are, and done right, we instantly boost our testosterone levels by 20% while lowering our cortisol by 25%. Power posing is the key to this. A study from Harvard University found that high-power poses, such as relaxed and chest out and open poses, significantly improve testosterone levels in as little as 2 minutes, whereas low-power poses, such as being slumped over with folded arms, decreased testosterone.
7. Fat is Your Friend
One of the first things people tell you when you go on a diet is to drop your fat intake, but they don’t know how wrong they are. Certain types of fat are essential for testosterone levels, and taking in far less fat dramatically drops your T count. In a 7-month study involving two elite ice hockey teams, Team A took a diet of 40% fat and 45% carbs, while Team B had 30% fat and 55% carbs. The results were astonishing. Team A had a significantly higher testosterone level than Team B, and even had less Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, a protein that lowers free testosterone in the bloodstream.
What your testosterone levels need more than anything are healthy fats. These are foods that contain either monounsaturated fats (i.e. avocados, nuts, peanut butter) or polyunsaturated fats (flaxseed, salmon, tuna). Stock up on these types of food, and your T-levels will thank you endlessly.
Testosterone is a critical hormone for both men and women, and it affects many aspects of our lives, including muscle mass, libido, bone health, energy, and mental agility. By incorporating these seven tips into your daily routine, you can naturally boost your testosterone levels without resorting to drugs or steroids. Focus on compound exercises and HIIT workouts, supplement Vitamin D3 and Zinc, decrease stress, cut down on sugar, and include healthy fats in your diet. You will soon see the benefits of having higher testosterone levels, including more strength, stamina, and confidence.