As men get older our testosterone starts to decline. On top of that, in general we live in a society now, where men have 17% less testosterone than they did years ago. Sperm count is also declining.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! A lot of the factors resulting in lower testosterone is the way we eat and live. Today I will provide 3 tips to help naturally elevate your testosterone levels.
1. Lift Weights!
Nothing sends a better signal to boost your T levels like a lifting session. When we push heavy weights, we send a signal to our body to grow, which requires an elevated testosterone signal. While it may not be permanent, if you stick with a proper weightlifting routine, over time, you will add more muscle mass and thus, boost your testosterone.
Your body responds to stimulus. Older men have lower levels, yes because they are older, but also because they just stop doing things (like sticking to a lifting regimen) that allow for a boosted response. Also keep in mind, our grandfathers probably had more labor intensive jobs than we do now. They weren’t sitting around as much as we do these days.
I highly recommend a strength based routine focused on compound exercises like the squat, deadlift, overhead press, and bench press. These allow you to add heavier loads and stimulate more muscles in a given set. Stick with straight sets over circuits as this will put the focus on adding heavier weight (which is the signal we need) over more endurance type activity (which isn’t as strong of a stimulus).
2. Eat Protein, Fat, and Carbs
Higher dietary fat and cholesterol consumption results in higher testosterone levels. They are what allow us to optimize our hormones. You can consume high quality grass fed beef, fish, and eggs to get these fats (and proteins) in.
Don’t look at carbs as the enemy either. Yes, you may not need carbs to survive, but for those who want high testosterone then they need to optimize their performance in the gym. Carbs are an excellent immediate fuel source for the body to use to keep you pushing heavy weights in the gym. Yes, fats can provide energy in the form of ketones, but when carbohydrate consumption is high, cortisol stays lower. Good sources are oats, rice, potatoes, and quinoa.
We need enough protein to repair and grow the muscles we destroy in the gym. If we aren’t eating enough protein, it will be very hard for you to grow or even maintain muscle (in which case your testosterone levels will start declining). Shoot for .8-1g/lb of bodyweight using the animal sources listed above.
3. Get Your Vitamin D
Even though it is called a vitamin, it is actually more of a hormone. It’s one of the most important hormones in regulating your testosterone levels. We as a society overall, are hugely deficient in this vitamin. We used to be out in the sun more where we could absorb appropriate amounts of Vitamin D. These days we are told to cover ourselves in sunscreen, or cover up. While we don’t want to get sunburned, being outside (shirtless ideally), for 15-20 minutes at a time will give you the proper dose without getting burnt.
Bonus - Sleep!
If you get less than 7 hours of sleep consistently, you are absolutely hammering your T levels and increasing cortisol. If cortisol is chronically elevated, testosterone can’t do its job. Our body prepares for night time by the setting of the sun. When the sun goes down, try your best to minimize the amount of excessive blue light you get (most artificial light). If you are awake under bright blue lights, it confuses your body into thinking it is night time thus suppressing melatonin, and keeping cortisol further increased.
I recommend trying to at least minimize blue light 1-2 hours before bed. What I’ll do is keep the lights off or dim in my house (preferably using those more old school yellow bulbs), or put on blue light blocking glasses once I know that I am 2 hours before bed to help get ready if I am still watching TV. Ideally avoid being on your phone or being too close to the TV.