5 Natural and Easy Ways to Increase Testosterone

5 Natural and Easy Ways to Increase Testosterone

Low Testosterone

For the month of June we are going to focus primarily on men’s health, and what better way to start it off than talk about ways to increase testosterone!

As a brief overview, testosterone is a sex hormone, commonly referred to as the “male hormone” (although women produce it as well), and to say the least, a huge player in male sexuality and reproduction.  It’s responsible for regulating sexual and reproductive function, muscle mass, hair growth, as well as maintaining bone density, levels of red blood cells and a sense of well-being.

As men start to age past 30, levels of testosterone begins to decrease, negatively impacting the above mentioned.  Various factors play a role in this decline including, insulin resistance, prescribed drugs, and estrogen-mimicking compounds.

In order to help combat this decline, I’ve picked out 5 simple modifications that can easily be made and implemented into your every day!

  1. Eliminate Sugar
    As soon as sugar is consumed, blood sugar increases, therefore insulin increases. Research has shown that high insulin levels play a role in decreasing testosterone levels.To put it simply, make sure you have completely eliminated added sugars, fructose, and grains.

  1. Reduce Stress
    Many of the patients we see are under a tremendous amount of stress. During times of stress we release a hormone referred to as cortisol. Therefore, the higher the stress, the greater amount of cortisol we release. Cortisol has a direct effect on testosterone as it essentially blocks the effects of testosterone by suppressing the body’s ability to make and utilize it.

    There are various ways to de-stress, but the most important key is to find what works for you. Deep breathing, yoga and meditation have all proven to be great ways to handle stress, but simply taking a walk, engaging in a leisurely activity or enjoying some extra time with family and friends can provide amazing benefits.

    For more information on how to reduce stress read: Stress Related Conditions and How to Manage Stress

  2. Avoid Estrogen-Like Compounds
    Certain chemicals and foods contain what we refer to as estrogen-like compounds, meaning that they act like estrogen in the body, creating an imbalance in hormones.

    Key steps include eliminating BPA, which is commonly found in plastics, drink filtered water, avoid soy products, and eat organic. If possible try to eliminate plastics altogether and do not eat food or drink water that has been heated in plastic.

  1. High Intensity Exercise and Strength Training
    High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training have been shown to boost testosterone in both the short-term and long-term.

    Interval training involves a short deration work-out (about 15-20 minutes), but at a higher intensity. Start off with about a 3 minute warm up, increase your intensity for 1 minute, recover for 2 minutes, and then restart the cycle until you’ve reached the 15-20 minute mark. One of the best ways to tell if you are at a high enough intensity is to try and carry on a conversation during that minute. If talking is easy, you aren’t working hard enough so step it up!

    For strength training you want to work towards heavier weights with lower reps. Start with a comfortable weight, and as strength builds increase your weight. You’ll also want to focus on exercises that work a large amount of muscles at once, such as squats.

  2. Optimize Vitamin D Levels
    Vitamin D is a steroid hormone which is not only essential for regulating our immune system and keeping inflammation down, but is also needed to increase levels of testosterone. In addition, it’s essential for healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count.

    Vitamin D levels can be increased by sun exposure; however, I find many patients are still extremely deficient so supplementation can be a good option. Approximately 6,000-8,000IU’s per day may be a good maintenance dose, but you will want to be sure to test your vitamin D levels prior to supplement and make sure you test at least every 3 months.  The optimal vitamin D level should be about 70-80 ng/ml.

For more information on Vitamin D read: 12 Things You Probably Never Knew About Vitamin D and Sunlight Exposure.