12 Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels in Men Naturally

Increase those T levels naturally

Testosterone – the primary sex hormone all men want to optimize. Even if we don’t know exactly what it does, we still want top-tier testosterone health.

Sex drive, assertiveness, muscle building and even competitiveness can all be driven by the potent androgen.

So, it makes sense that you’d want the tools to top up your supply. Is that a nod? We thought so. Here are 12 ways to increase testosterone levels naturally.

What is testosterone?

Sure, we all know what testosterone is. It’s the thing that makes men get big and strong, right?

omething that gives us a little bit of grit on the football field, or makes us overprotective of desk space in the office? Well, you’d be kind of right for thinking that, but not quite.

When it comes down to it, men don’t really understand what testosterone really is.

Testosterone is a steroid hormone mainly produced in the testes[1].

You also create some in your adrenal glands, but in much smaller amounts.

Most of the changes you experienced during puberty were thanks to testosterone.

Those masculine traits that started to take precedence in your teens were triggered by the powerful androgen; it turned you from boy to adolescent, and adolescent into a man.

It’s no mistake that your voice deepened almost overnight – breaking to a scratchy whisper before dropping an octave or two.

Testosterone also kickstarted your increase in muscle mass and hair growth as well. Let’s not even get started on the mood swings.

12 Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels in Men Naturally 1

Why is testosterone important?

Healthy levels of testosterone are vital for your wellbeing – fact[2].

Body composition, bone health, mood, serious disease risk, and sexual performance are all influenced by them in some way[3][4][5].

It’s plain to see why testosterone is so important. Topped-up levels just aren’t about muscles and confidence anymore – the big picture just got bigger.

Testosterone can influence:

  • Muscle size
  • Body composition
  • Strength
  • Bone density
  • Sex drive
  • Sperm production
  • Fertility
  • Facial, pubic, and body hair
  • Voice deepening

Naturally, having a well-balanced body composition can help keep you physically healthy.

A respectable ratio of lean mass to body fat is a great way to lower mortality risks say experts[6].

Put plainly, being leaner could help you live longer. Obesity is constantly rising and dragging down life expectancy with it – especially in the US[7].

Mental wellbeing is a growing cause among men worldwide. We’re in an age where manning up isn’t always our go-to tactic, and mindfulness is finally becoming mainstream.

Interestingly, ample amounts of testosterone can benefit our mental health too. Harvard says the hormone has the power to impact everything from mood and depression risks, through to decision making[8].

Bottom line – healthy testosterone isn’t just for looking good, but feeling great too.

Low testosterone in men

Low testosterone has no positives. There isn’t a good side to underperforming androgens and it’s rife with health risks[9].

Unfortunately, your testosterone doesn’t burn so brightly forever. It peaks toward your late teens and into your twenties, before mellowing out toward 30.

Experts say it’ll then start a natural decline and continue all the way into old age[10].

Symptoms of low testosterone can seriously disrupt life. Signs can start with low sex drive and muscle loss, before escalating all the way to depression.

Naturally, sub-par androgens don’t bode well for your wellbeing – physical or mental.

Low testosterone symptoms include[11]:

  • Hair loss
  • Low libido – aka sex drive
  • Development of large breasts
  • Irritability
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Weakened bones
  • Impotency, infertility, and reduced sperm count

You might have low testosterone and only experience some symptoms. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t risky ignoring your hormone health.

Luckily, there are things you can do to set up an environment for testosterone to thrive. Some of them you could start the second you finish reading this article too.

Start to take control of your testosterone with these 10 ways to increase it naturally.

12 ways to increase testosterone naturally

1. Cut back the stress

Do you live for the grind? No such thing as down-time, just go-time? It doesn’t matter if you’re an influential entrepreneur or a single dad gunning for a raise; chronic stress skyrockets cortisol[12].

Cortisol is a hormone you release as a response to stress. In short bursts it can be beneficial, but long-term stress keeps levels elevated.

Consistently high amounts of cortisol can sever testosterone levels. They share an inverse relationship, meaning that when one goes up, the other must come down.

So, if you want to let your testosterone take the lead, you need to cut back on your stress.

Start today by saying no a little bit more. Your family, boss, and co-workers might even admire your assertiveness.

2. Be active

Can’t remember the last time your gym pass got swiped? Inch-thick dust sat on top of your bike saddle? If that’s you, it’s time to be more active.

Testosterone aside – exercise is hands down one of the best ways to stay free from disease. Some experts say that low to non-existent levels of exercise can be worse than smoking[13].

It just so happens that being active benefits testosterone levels too.

Strength training is arguably the most efficient. Regularly lifting heavy weights can give off both short-term and long-term testosterone rewards[14].

Building a bit of extra muscle should ramp up your metabolism too – potentially lowering body fat in the process[15].

Are you more of a cardio guy than aspiring Arnie? Although weight training might be the optimal tool for testosterone boosts, other exercise can work.

The results might not be as pronounced, but HIIT and regular cardio can both be beneficial[16].

Exercise may increase testosterone

3. Get out in the sun

Soaking in a few extra rays a day could boost your testosterone says one study. How? It’s simple once you understand what vitamin D actually does.

Vitamin D3, the active form, acts like a steroid hormone inside your body. Experts say it’s a powerful precursor to testosterone, and deficiencies could contribute to low levels.

One of their studies looked at what’d happen if vitamin D deficient men spent extra time soaking in the summer sun. Would their testosterone levels take a jump too?

As the scientists suspected, just by getting outside and upping their sun time, the test subjects increased their free testosterone levels too[17].

So, if you want to increase your testosterone naturally, a sun-break at lunch might be a wise move.

Our modern, indoor lifestyles make us susceptible to sub-par sun exposure. Men in the US and other northern territories take up a heavy percentage of the 1 billion people estimated to be vitamin D deficient[18][19], which is bad news for their testosterone.

If you get chance today – make sure to walk the long way home and aim for 15 to 30 minutes of rays a day. It needs to be on exposed skin too, office window seats won’t quite cut it.

4. Sleep

Chances are if you’re serious about your health, you’ve got your diet dialed in. You hit the gym regularly and know to take a rest day to recover. Maybe you practice mindfulness too to stay mentally stable.

You’ll probably know that sleep is just as vital as any of those things for your health[20].

Poor sleep leaves you physically fatigued, mentally deflated, and all-round flat the next day[21].

It’s no fun, yet so many men do it anyway. Some of us wear no sleep like a badge of honor – if only we knew what it means for our testosterone. 

One study from 2011 saw how sleep loss can significantly reduce testosterone levels. What’s most worrying about the study was that tested healthy young men too.

Daytime testosterone levels took a hit between 10-15% throughout the week-long experiment as a result of sleeping five hours each night[22].

The researchers were also keen to point out at least 15% of the US working population in 2011 had the same sleeping pattern.

Bottom line – get yourself eight to nine hours of quality sleep every night. Seven should be your minimum.

5. Keep your diet consistent

Long-standing research shows that what you eat can steer your testosterone levels[23].

Overeating, undereating, and yo-yo dieting are never a good move. But research suggests not following a reasonable diet can play havoc with your hormones too[24].

Testosterone doesn’t respond well to obesity, weight fluctuations or constant calorie-restriction, so try to avoid these situations[25][26].

The best approach is to try and maintain a steady weight without too many drastic changes. If you’re overweight, cut back slightly until you drop a few pounds, then eat at a level that allows you to maintain.

Weight-class athletes might also want to reconsider their competition weight and stop yo-yo dieting.

Healthy diet and nutrition improves testosterone levels

6. Balance out your nutrition

As a man, you are what you eat, and your testosterone is too. A well-balanced diet is a great place to start if you want to amplify your androgen production.

For years mainstream media have hated on fatty foods. If only they knew testosterone is actually made from cholesterol and that they’re vital for masculine health[27].

Research suggests that men who don’t enough get healthy fats have higher low testosterone risks[28].

Changes in androgens might be reversable though – as long as they fix fats back into their diet. Argan oil and olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish are all great places to start[29][30].

Carbs are also heavily demonized, but take more flak from fitness fans than TV presenters. According to one study, going carb-free could be holding back your androgen balance.

The research team saw that a high-carb diet yielded a larger increase in testosterone and decreases in cortisol (stress hormone) compared to a low-carb counterpart[31].

Still ditching starches or getting rid of grains? Try reintroducing healthy carbs back into your routine.

7. Break bad alcohol habits

It’s fine to enjoy a cold one or two on occasion. Everybody does it and in moderation alcohol can be a fun part of socializing and relaxing.

As you already know, though, too much of a good thing can quickly turn sour. Habitual alcohol use isn’t a smart move for your health, and according to research, it negatively impacts reproductive hormones[32].

While a small amount of alcohol can cause your androgens to spike, consistent bingeing or continual drinking actually lowers testosterone[33].

If you find yourself out most weekends, maybe consider sticking to soft drinks, or changing your habits. Even more so if you’re an IPA man, as the hobs used to flavor the brew are said to be estrogenic.

Women who work out in the hop fields even have to wear protective clothing to stop hops disturbing their menstrual cycles. Try a short drink instead or switch to a lighter low-cal beer.

8. Try a testosterone booster

One part of eating a well-balanced diet is bagging all your essential nutrients. Macros might take up the most space in your dietary mind, but micronutrients are just as important.

Testosterone product relies heavily on certain vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D, like we saw earlier, is one of these and you can get it from certain foods.

Zinc can also have a considerable impact on testosterone, as well as magnesium, and various other minerals like Boron[34][35][36].

Deficiencies in these integral micros can tip your testosterone scales toward the low side.

Naturally, it’s always best to cover all your nutrition bases with a well-balanced diet. But a testosterone booster supplement can offer support in one package. Rather than search the aisles for and then cook lots of different foods, you might be able to take one pill.

Plus, with a supplement, you can pick up certain ingredients you might not find in the average grocery store.

Ashwagandha, for example, is an ancient adaptogen herb able to amplify testosterone, treat anxiety, and even boost muscle building[37][38][39].

It’s a popular choice among high-quality testosterone supplements, but you’re not very likely to find it sat next to aspirin. The same can be said for Asian Ginseng and other testosterone-promoting ingredients too.

Want to shore up any holes in your nutrition? A testosterone booster could help.

9. Meditate

When we think about increasing testosterone, it’s easy to conjure up intense gym montages and a heavy dose of wild, bullish showboating and posturing. After all, that’s what testosterone is all about, right?

Apparently not. It turns out that channeling your inner zen might be one of the best moves for hormone balance.

One study from 1997 compared how 4-months of transcendental meditation affected cortisol and testosterone levels.

At the time it was well known that chronic cortisol caused both somatic and mental disorders. The team of scientists wanted to see it their meditation methods could help alleviate the symptoms.

What they saw was how meditating caused cortisol levels to drop, but increased testosterone[40].

The team also speculated that transcendental meditation could reverse the negative effects of chronic stress.

If you’ve never meditated before, let an app like Headspace or Calm guide you. Alternatively, head to Google and pick up a few techniques to teach yourself.

Men doing yoga
Channeling your inner zen might be one of the best moves for hormone balance.

10. Enjoy a healthy sex life

Studies suggest that a healthy sex life can help out your hormones. According to one paper, although testosterone affects sexual activity, the same might be true in the reverse.

Having sex seemed to hike up the test subject’s testosterone for the rest of the evening[41].  

Another study from 1982 suggests that older men who stay sexually active also have higher serum testosterone levels. So, maintaining a healthy sex life isn’t just beneficial for younger men, but all ages.

11. Laugh more

Robert Provine, a leading laughter researcher, says: “Until the scientists work out the details, get in all the laughter you can!”[42]

One of the leading reasons laughter can help health markers is reducing stress.

Scientists suggest laughing more can help trigger changes we might not even know is happening, but might sense in a better outlook on life, or reduced anxieties and depression[43].

Given that poor mental wellbeing isn’t the best for hormone balance, laughter could genuinely be the best medicine.

Laughing and basking in glory as your hometown team takes a win is shown to increase salivary testosterone too[44].

So, making more time to catch the game on a weekend could prove beneficial. Even better if you get out there on the field yourself[45].

12. Avoid BPA

Bisphenol A, better known as BPA, is a chemical that’s added to a lot of food containers. Depending on your buying habits, you might also find it in sports gear, canned food, and plastic packaging.

The problem with BPA is it’s a xenoestrogen, and because it mimics estrogen, can disrupt your endocrine system. Put plainly, BPA has a negative effect on anabolic hormones – testosterone included.

Once inside your body BPA convinces your hormones to change how they act. As a xenoestrogen, it synthetically increases your female hormone levels, which throws off your usual balance.

Research also suggests that xenoestrogens boost blood levels of sex hormone binging globulin (SHBG) – a protein that binds testosterone and makes it unusable[46].

Of course, this can only add to the chemical’s destructiveness.

Experts believe that over 90% of Americans are overexposed to BPA[47]. Use BPA free plastics, choose BPA free cosmetics, and avoid pesticides whenever possible.

The Final Word

Testosterone is your powerful androgen hormone that maintains more than just muscle. It’s part of almost all your physical and mental health in some way – so take control.

Try these twelve tips to increase yours today. They’re all completely natural, and most rely on small but significant lifestyle changes. Be patient and stay consistent to reap the most rewards.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26839520

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26839520

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21709300

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9345114

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10442580

[6] https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k2575

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5798364/

[8] https://www.health.harvard.edu/drugs-and-medications/testosterone–what-it-does-and-doesnt-do

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4391003/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23500604

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4391003/

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10454175

[13] https://www.ajmc.com/focus-of-the-week/low-no-levels-of-exercise-can-increase-mortality-risk-more-than-smoking-diabetes

[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17051372

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3661116/

[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23310924

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20050857

[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/

[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075634/

[20] http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/health

[21] http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences

[22] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/

[23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3360302

[24] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24571926

[25] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22970699

[26] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3569090/

[27] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3558725

[28] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6538617

[29] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23472458

[30] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312216/

[31] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3573976

[32] https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-4/282-287.htm

[33] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5894513/

[34] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8875519

[35] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3958794/

[36] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712861/

[37] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19633611

[38] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19501822

[39] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26609282

[40] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9226731

[41] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1529008

[42] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2762283/

[43] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00730/full

[44] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9811365

[45] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2606468

[46] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10406482

[47] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967230/

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