9 Tips To Naturally Boost Testosterone
Testosterone is often associated with manliness; however, this hormone is not exclusive to men, it’s also essential for women. It is a sex hormone and necessary for reproduction but it does so much more. It’s responsible for:
- hair growth,
- muscular development,
- maintaining bone density,
- manufacturing red blood cells and
- sustaining an overall sense of well-being.
In order to stay young, strong, and healthy both men and woman want to be producing enough testosterone. However, naturally after the age 30, this hormone begins to decline. This is due to natural aging but can be influenced by drugs, chemicals, environmental pollutants, poor quality food and water and other lifestyle habits. Things like sleep.
Signs of low testosterone
How can you be sure you have healthy levels of testosterone? For men, it may show up as:
- Decreased sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Brain fog
- General lack of drive in life
To be certain, you can get tested. However, keep in mind that test levels can fluctuate throughout the day, so you may need multiple tests over a period of time to really get a correct result.
For women, you may experience similar symptoms as men:
- Weight problems
- Decreased sex drive
- Mood swings
- Hair loss
Tips to naturally boost testosterone levels
Typically, the common solution to low testosterone is bio-identical hormones. However, before you commit to this, know that there are plenty of ways to boost testosterone levels and bring them back into balance naturally. Some of them are completely free (and likely safer).
1. Balance your weight
Being overweight for your unique body type can create hormonal imbalances. By losing any excess weight—particularly body fat—you can very easily improve testosterone levels. Studies suggest that men who are overweight commonly have low testosterone levels. If you are interested in losing weight without stressful dieting, then I suggest looking into Metabolic Typing.
This is a concept that takes into account your unique body type; metabolism and other lifestyle factors that will help you discover the foods that best work for you. Instead of adhering to a limited perspective in the form of some dietary dogma, Metabolic Typing will help you discover what works best for you. When you eat right for your unique metabolism, weight loss is effortless. You don’t have to think about it. You simply give the body what it asks for, and it takes care of the rest. In addition to this, there are a few very simple things you can do to lose weight without much effort at all.
One would be to cut out (or limit) sugar intake. Refined sugar, especially, leads to high insulin levels and metabolic disorders. It’s perhaps the biggest culprit to unwanted body fat. If you focused on one area of your diet, it should be this: removing any processed or refined sugar from the diet. This includes any and all processed foods, baked goods, cookies, sweet, pastries, and even many cereals, grain products and bread. Look out for anything containing high fructose corn syrup. Instead, if you need to satisfy a sweet craving, go for berries or at the very least, make your own using real sweeteners like raw honey or maple syrup.
You could also experiment with xylitol or stevia. You can get all the sugar your body needs from whole food carbohydrates found in vegetables. These metabolize much more efficiently in the body and won’t lead to hormonal and blood-sugar imbalances that cause obesity. When you begin to cut the sugar, you’ll need a replacement. I suggest adding more healthy fats into the diet like avocado, nuts/seeds, organic pastured meats, eggs and of course plenty of vegetables.
In our Effortless Weight Loss course, we lay out in detail how to go about eating correctly for your unique body and lose weight without the stress of restrictive dieting. The result will be improved hormone levels, especially testosterone.
2. HIIT training & intermittent fasting
Here is a double-edged approach to improving testosterone levels that is 100% free. HIIT training (also known as high-intensity interval training) is a form of training that maximizes effort with minimal time. The point is to keep an optimal ratio of stress to recovery (this way the body isn’t in a chronic state of stress with elevated cortisol but gets the benefits of intense training, such as improved testosterone levels).
The way to do HIIT training is simple: start by choosing a form of 100% effort exercise, I suggest sprints. You will start your intervals by performing your sprints—or some other choice of movement— with 100% full effort for 60 seconds. Then you will rest for 60 seconds and bring your heart rate down as much as possible. Repeat this for 8 sets.
In the end, your total workout will be around 15-20 minutes but your body will have reached peak, doing more in a short amount of time than many do in hours. Short explosive exercise like this has a proven to increase testosterone levels as well as preventing it from plummeting over time. HIIT training has many other health benefits such as improving HGH (human growth hormone) output, also known as the youth hormone and improving brain telomeres, having an anti-aging effect on the brain.
You can also increase the benefits of HIIT training by not eating before performing. This is known as fasting training and is a form of intermittent fasting. This practice boosts testosterone by increasing the output of the hormones like insulin, leptin, adiponectin, glucagon peptide, and others that promote healthy testosterone output, increasing libido and prevent aging. It’s best to practice both of these early in the day when the body has already been in a fasted state while sleeping. If you need to eat before training, try just black coffee, tea, or matcha, which will provide some nourishment yet maintain a fasted state.
Also, make sure your stretch and warm up slowly before training. If you have to, start with only two or three intervals, and over time work up to the full 8.
3. Get more zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral that is imperative for the body to produce testosterone. Getting more of this mineral over the course of just six weeks can improve testosterone levels. While on the other hand, people with low testosterone tend to have deficiencies in zinc. Not only that, adequate zinc levels protect men from drops in testosterone levels that come about during times of stress and over-working.
Estimates suggest roughly 45 percent of men are deficient in zinc. The best way to get more zinc is via diet. The best sources are oysters, red meat, raw milk and cheese as well as herbal sources, particularly He Shou Wu and Black Ant. If you are vegan or vegetarian, I suggest He Shou Wu as the predominant plant-based zinc source. You can also eat black lentils and pumpkin seeds.
4. Strength training
Another great way to build testosterone naturally is good old-fashioned strength training—if you are working with enough intensity and correct form. Contrary to many forms of aerobic exercise, strength training is similar to HIIT training, except with weights or compound body movements like squats, push-ups or pull-ups.
You are aiming for full effort and minimal sets. The best strength training movements will be compound movements, where you are using as much of your entire body as possible. Think of squats, jumps, sprints, lunges, push-ups, handstands, etc.
Remember: while training, form is very important. Slow it down and make every motion count. Slowing movements allows the muscle to fully engage all the microfibers, cross-bridges and filaments that produce a fully-engaged movement. In other words, moving slower means more muscle activation.
5. Adjust Vitamin D intake
Vitamin D is more than a vitamin; it’s actually a steroid hormone and is vital for the healthy development of sperm cells. Vitamin D also happens to boost testosterone levels (aka boosting libido). Vitamin D deficiency is actually a modern-world epidemic in the U.S. Plenty of people are not getting enough sunlight, as it’s been touted as the cause of cancer and aging, which simply isn’t true.
The sun is incredibly healing, in fact; without it, we couldn’t survive. If there were one very simple thing you could do to boost testosterone levels and overall health, it would be to get more sunlight! Stop fearing the sun, it loves you and the body loves it.
At the very least, get 15 minutes of sun exposure on the bare skin. If you can, get naked in the sun whenever possible. The large parts of the body such as the chest and back are going to absorb the most sunlight. Also, try to get out in the sun at midday for the best sunlight.
6. Balance stress
Stress is the number one killer of good health. Why? When the body is in a state of stress it releases a hormone called cortisol, which tells the body to prepare for battle. While this can be useful in life or death situations, chronically elevated cortisol can be very damaging. It can cause oxidative stress, aging and even low testosterone.
Cortisol actually blocks testosterone production in the body. This is because testosterone is a survival hormone, it helps you reproduce and mate, which could be adverse in a life or death situation. One of the best ways to manage stress is to find the source. Stress by definition is just, “force/counter-force.” Basically: two things in opposition creating resistance or pressure. If you can locate the source of your stress, you have a much better chance of managing your viewpoint of that situation. Most of the time, stress is mental or physical, meaning we are in resistant to life situations.
For example, we may not have enough money and view that as a problem. However, it’s all consideration. Some of the happiest people in the world have no money at all and live a barter and trade lifestyle. My best tips for managing stress would be to keep a gratitude journal.
Gratitude journaling shows us two things: one, things could always be worse and two, we are usually far more blessed than we realize. Start each day and end each night by writing down 10 things you are truly grateful for in your life and why. Over time, you will feel much less stress on a mental level. You can also spend time in nature, exercise and eat well to reduce the overall stress.
7. Cut the sugar
Consuming sugar dramatically decreases testosterone levels. This is because sugar produces high levels of insulin, which causes low testosterone. The problem is that sugar is very addictive. It triggers a rush of dopamine in the brain that tells us we must have more.
Getting off sugar can be tricky at first but it is worth it. Not only will you produce more testosterone, you will grow younger, feel more energy and have more zest for life. Keep in mind that many foods contain hidden sugar and fructose. Examples are bread, cereal, pasta, some sauces and even health beverages like protein shakes, bars, and juices. I recommend becoming familiar with all these secret sugar sources and carefully replacing them with healthy fats: proteins like eggs, ghee, avocado, organic animal products and fish. Then, plenty of vegetables.
These are far more satisfying and filling and you will find yourself naturally craving less sugar as you eat more of these whole foods. If you need to satisfy a sweet craving reach for organic maple syrup or raw honey to sweeten your own home-made desserts or snack on berries and 85% dark chocolate.
8. Eat more good fats
Healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats, like those found in olives, avocados, and nuts, as well as saturated fat like those found in coconut, butter and meat are the building blocks of testosterone. Studies show that any diet that is less than 40 percent of energy coming from these healthy fats can cause low testosterone.
The body needs healthy fats to function properly. Neglecting this cannot only mean low testosterone but also poor brain function, as the brain is mostly fat. Also, be sure to get enough omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and plant sources like spirulina, wild greens and chia and hemp seeds. See our article on how to increase testosterone for a complete list.
9. Consume BCAAs
Studies show that taking BCAAs in addition to resistance training can boost testosterone levels. You can take BCAAs in a supplement form and while there are a few good products, sticking to whole foods is best. You can find natural sources of BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) like leucine in quality dairy, especially whey—the byproduct of cheese making. BCAAs are the amino acid building blocks for muscle and can boost testosterone levels, considering that god musculature is directly correlated to good testosterone levels.