Although testosterone is the main male sex hormone, it is actually present in both sexes.
Produced in men’s testicles and women’s ovaries, this steroid hormone is responsible for a huge amount of physical changes in boys during puberty. This includes factors such as hair growth, a deepened voice and increased muscle.
While testosterone levels during puberty are the main drive of physical change, their levels are also important during adulthood and in later life.
In adult life, healthy testosterone levels are important for a whole world of reasons. Many of which are related to general health, body composition, disease risk and sexual function.
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An increase in testosterone levels can not only increase muscle mass in a number of weeks, but also vitality and protein metabolism.
Despite testosterone’s association with male health, it also plays an important part in sexual wellbeing and general health of women too.
Research has shown that optimal testosterone levels are important for both men and women, particularly as they age.
If you’re looking to raise your testosterone levels naturally, we’ve got the answers.
Eat more protein, carbs and fat
Eating a healthy, varied diet can have huge positive effects on your testosterone levels.
When it comes to diet, you need to think long term, paying attention to your calorie intake and natural testosterone boosting foods, too. Much like the effects of eating too much junk food, yoyo dieting or overeating can play havoc with your testosterone and hormone levels.
Ensuring you consume enough protein can aid healthy testosterone levels, as well as aid fat loss – another link with testosterone.
While we’re talking fats, it’s important to pay attention to the healthy fats in your diet. Whole foods, a healthy balance of protein, carbs and fat will help raise your testosterone levels naturally. As well as contributing to your overall health, of course.
Some healthy foods include:
- Chicken breast – Which is low in fat and calories but high in protein.
- Almonds – Loaded with vitamin E, magnesium and antioxidants.
- Broccoli – An excellent source of vitamin C, K and fiber.
- Kale – Incredibly high in fiber, packed with vitamins K and C.
- Salmon – A popular go-to for omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamin D.
Maintaining a healthy carb intake can also act as a natural testosterone booster, especially during resistance training.
Get plenty of rest
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet is great, but it has to be paired with plenty of high-quality rest. Getting enough sleep is vital for your body and mind to recharge, as well as your testosterone levels.
Restful, high-quality sleep can raise your testosterone levels, one study concludes. The study also showed that for every additional hour of sleep, your testosterone levels rise 15% higher, on average.
Getting your beauty rest can work wonders for your body and testosterone, with research suggesting between 7 – 10 hours of sleep each night is optimal for your health and testosterone levels.
If you prefer to rely on energy drinks to keep you going, you might be about to change your ways – as one study suggests that men who only slept for four hours each night had borderline deficient testosterone levels.
Exercise regularly and lift weights
Regular exercise can benefit your body in a whole wonder of ways.
Exercising can effectively prevent many lifestyle-related diseases, help you maintain a healthy weight and also boost your testosterone.
According to studies, people who regularly exercise showed higher testosterone levels – with further benefits in other areas of general health.
If you’re unsure what kind of exercise to get started with, why not try resistance training or weight lifting – both of which have shown huge potential in boosting your testosterone naturally.
If you’re really looking to get that blood pumping, give a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout a try – with benefits including muscle gain, reduced blood pressure and calorie burn, as well as naturally boosting your testosterone.
Keep stress and cortisol levels at a minimum
We’re all too familiar with articles about the impact stress has on our bodies, and your testosterone levels are no exception. When your body responds to stress, it can elevate levels of the hormone cortisol – resulting in increased heart rate and blood pressure.
When your cortisol levels spike, your testosterone can quickly reduce. Think of the two working in a seesaw-like manner, when one rises, the other goes down.
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A combination of high cortisol and stress levels can increase food intake – therefore weight gain – as well as the storage of harmful body fat around your organs. These effects on your overall health, including blood pressure and heart rate can impact your testosterone levels.
Where possible, reduce your stress levels. This could be through discussing any worries with an understanding partner, taking time out of your day to read or listen to music, or even therapy.
Top up your vitamin D
Vitamin D has quickly become a go-to vitamin for plenty of us. With the power to fight chronic diseases, regulate calcium in the body and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes – it’s no wonder we’re all jumping on the vitamin D bandwagon.
But did you know that vitamin D has also been shown to act as a natural testosterone booster?
One study found that supplementing with around 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day raised testosterone levels by 25%.
Vitamin D is also important throughout adulthood, with research revealing that both calcium and vitamin D optimises testosterone levels in the elderly.
But of course, it’s entirely up to you if you choose to soak up the sun or take a vitamin D supplement. To get optimum results from vitamin D, be sure to get regular sunlight or incorporate a vitamin D3 supplement into your daily routine.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
An all-round healthy lifestyle can have huge effects on your testosterone levels. But while you can get enough sleep, eat right and exercise, there’s also something else to bear in mind – sex.
A healthy sex life plays an important part in regulating your testosterone levels and sex hormone – with studies showing a healthy increase in testosterone after sexual intercourse.
It comes as no surprise that with a healthy way of living, drug use or excessive drinking can cause your testosterone levels to nosedive. If you’ve noticed a dip in your testosterone levels and have recently started or changed medication, be sure to speak to your GP.
Increase your vitamin and mineral intake
The benefits of adding multivitamins into your routine are frequently debated, however, it can be worth paying attention to specific vitamins and minerals.
In fact, one study suggests that vitamin B and zinc supplements increase the quality of sperm by a whopping 74%.
Zinc, in particular, has been shown to have huge effects on boosting testosterone in both athletes and those showing a zinc deficiency.
But that’s not all. Other studies reveal that vitamins E, C and A can play an important role in your testosterone and sex hormones levels. Although this topic is still very much up for debate.
So, before you go raiding the vitamin aisle, it may be worth taking a closer look at the vitamins that’ll have a significant boost on your testosterone levels. If you’re feeling unsure, studies suggest sticking with zinc and vitamin D.
Take a natural testosterone booster
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