The Importance of Testosterone
The sex hormone testosterone is crucial for your health if you’re a man. Testosterone plays a role in your health in many ways. This is why some men may want to find natural ways to boost testosterone.
Muscle mass, strength, mood, libido, fat distribution, bone mass, and the production of sperm and red blood cells are all affected by testosterone.
Small amounts of testosterone are converted to estradiol, a form of estrogen. With age, your testosterone production declines, and your body produces less estradiol as well.
The effects of low testosterone may also be related to a decline in estradiol. Low estradiol levels are associated with increases in body fat. Estradiol also affects libido and erectile function.
After age 40, men’s testosterone levels decline about 1% per year. This is why it’s important to monitor your free and total testosterone levels as you age.
Low testosterone is not always related to aging, but can be related to pituitary dysfunction.
Consult with your physician to determine if your low testosterone is pituitary-related.
The Adverse Effects of Low Testosterone
Age-related declines in testosterone may not initially cause symptoms, so you may not know your testosterone levels are low.
In men, low testosterone levels can be associated with:
- Loss of bone mineral mass
- Loss of strength and muscle mass
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced libido
- Type II diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
Boost Your Testosterone Levels Naturally
Annual blood testing can reveal if your free and total testosterone levels are low. You may find that your testosterone levels are low, but you’re not having symptoms.
Without symptoms, your physician is not likely to start you on testosterone replacement.
Whether you’re having symptoms or not, there are natural ways to boost testosterone. Some men may want to try a natural approach to boosting testosterone.
Here are 8 ways to boost your testosterone naturally:
1. Strength Training and Exercise
Strength training should be done 2 to 3 times per week, allowing 48 to 96 hours rest between workouts.
Exercise has also been shown to be better for increasing testosterone levels in obese men than weight loss.
2. Eat the Right Foods
Eating processed meat, deep-fried foods, organ meats, and rice or flour products cooked in oil are linked to low testosterone levels compared to eating other foods such as dairy products, legumes or beans, and dark or leafy vegetables.
Low fat diets have also been shown to be associated with decreased testosterone levels in men compared to high fat diets. Dietary fat in moderation may be a better option.
Other foods that may be helpful in maintaining healthy testosterone levels are onions, apples, broccoli, cherries, tea, and berries, which contain quercetin, a flavonoid.
3. Reduce Stress Levels
Although the stress hormone cortisol is necessary at times, abnormally high levels of the cortisol can be detrimental to testosterone levels.
Several ways of reducing stress levels are through regular meditation, herbal supplements, exercise and having a good support system.
4. Increase Vitamin D Levels
In addition to being important for a strong immune system, vitamin D supplementation is associated with elevated testosterone levels.
A treatment group received 3332 IU of vitamin D for one year versus the placebo group, and the treatment group demonstrated significantly higher testosterone levels.
Senior citizens who received a vitamin D supplement had significantly higher testosterone levels and a lower risk of falling.
You can determine if you’re getting enough vitamin D with a blood test.
5. Take a Multi-Nutrient Supplement
While many people already take a vitamin-mineral supplement, there are a couple vitamins that are particularly important when it comes to testosterone.
Vitamins C and E have been shown to be important in published studies regarding testosterone. Sperm count increased significantly after 2 months when 1000mg of vitamin C was given twice daily.
Testosterone levels were significantly elevated in men after administering vitamin E. The study compared the effects of vitamin E on male rats and humans.
Supplementing with zinc can have beneficial effects regarding testosterone. Testosterone and sperm count significantly increased in men who were given zinc supplements.
6. Get Adequate Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation says that a third of Americans experience insomnia. It’s an epidemic problem. A third get less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
Just one week of insomnia can adversely affect testosterone levels, especially since the majority of testosterone release occurs during sleep.
7. Take an Herbal Supplement
For men who want to maintain healthy testosterone levels with age, an herbal supplement may be an option.
Fortunately, you have several options. Pomegranates have been shown to increase salivary testosterone levels and improve mood.
When cacao (the bean used to make chocolate) was combined with pomegranate, free testosterone levels increased 48% (1).
Ashwagandha, traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for anxiety and stress relief, has also shown some promise for boosting testosterone levels.
If you have underlying health problems, consult your physician before taking an herbal supplement.
8. Minimize Alcohol Consumption
While drinking alcohol in moderation has some well known health benefits, drinking too much can adversely affect your testosterone levels.
While testosterone levels decline with age, you don’t have to let it adversely affect your health and quality of life.
You have a wide array of natural options to address the problem.
By taking a holistic approach, it’s possible to maintain a vigorous lifestyle by boosting your testosterone naturally.
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- Laila Nutraceutical Internal Study. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of a Novel Herbal Composition Improving Testosterone Level in Healthy Young Males. Data on file. 2019.