Testosterone is a naturally occurring androgenic hormone responsible all the physical characteristics that make men- MEN. Testosterone is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass and overall health and sense of well-being. As we age, it is natural for testosterone levels to slowly decrease. After the age of 30 a man’s testosterone level drops about 1% each year. Other conditions such as obesity and diabetes can also negatively affect testosterone levels. I’m certain that every guy visiting this website wants more muscle mass, less body fat and increased physical performance. Growing older and a growing belly don’t have to go hand in hand. The good news is there are natural ways to maintain and boost your T-Levels.
Exercises That Boost testosterone
The stress placed on muscle during heavy lifting increases hormone levels. The amount of hormone released is dependent upon how much muscle tissue has been stimulated and how much muscle tissue needs repair after exercise. Squatting utilizes some of the largest muscles in the body: the quadriceps, the hamstrings and the largest muscle in the human body, the gluteus maximus. You can increase your natural testosterone production by squatting heavy (85-95% of 1 rep max) at high volume (the overall amount of sets and reps in one training session). Rule number 1 – Never skip leg day!
High Intensity Interval Training – HIIT
Studies have shown that endurance athletes like cyclists and distance runners have lower testosterone levels than strength athletes. That’s because steady state cardio has been found to tear down muscle tissue and decrease testosterone levels. Conversely researchers found that adding sprint intervals to a training program increases testosterone.
A HIIT session consists of a warm up followed by six to ten sets (intervals) of high intensity exercise and moderate intensity “rest” periods. A really simple example HIIT session would be going to the track and sprint the straits (8x) then walk lunge the curves (8x). End the session with a 2 lap walking cool down and in around 30 minutes you’re all done with your cardio session.
Testosterone Boosting Foods
Deep green veggies
Indole-3-carbinol (DIM) is a chemical which increases testosterone levels by reducing the activity of aromatase enzyme. Aromatase enzyme converts free testosterone into estrogen. DIM can lower the aromatizing of free testosterone by 50% leaving more testosterone in the body. Foods high in DIM include spinach, kale, asparagus, Brussel sprouts and broccoli.
All fat isn’t bad. Fats are necessary for numerous biological functions including testosterone production. Include more unsaturated fats like Omega-3s found in salmon, flaxeed and walnuts into your diet.
Natural Supplements to Increase Testosterone
Vitamin D is mostly known for its positive effects on bone and heart health, but beyond that it actually regulates more than 1,000 bodily functions including hormone secretion and sexual function. Not surprisingly, insufficient vitamin D has an adverse effect on testosterone levels. Men with adequate vitamin D were found to have significantly higher testosterone levels than vitamin D deficient men. Researchers found that after one year of vitamin D supplementation men with deficiencies saw their testosterone levels increase by 25%.
Zinc deficiency is prevalent throughout the world, including the USA. USDA studies have shown that less than 70% of Americans get enough zinc. Diets low in zinc stop the pituitary gland from being able to release hormones that stimulates testosterone production in the testes. Research has shown that zinc may play an important role in modulating serum testosterone levels in men with or without zinc deficiencies. Even a mild zinc deficiency has been associated with decreased testosterone levels in men, low sperm concentrations in semen and a reduction in lean body mass. Zinc is also a powerful natural aromatase inhibitor like the DIM found in deep green veggies.
In an experiment done at Western Washington University, 12 NCAA division II football players were asked to take ZMA nightly while another group of athletes were given a placebo. At the end of the eight week study researchers found that the players who had taken ZMA had 30% increases in testosterone levels. ZMA, a blend of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B-6, is not itself a testosterone booster however as mentioned before, poor sleep can lead to lowered testosterone and Magnesium deficiency is a main cause of poor sleep. The Magnesium in ZMA promotes a better sleep leading to muscle recovery and more testosterone production over the course of a nights rest.
Do I Need More Testosterone?
Men with lower than average levels of testosterone report sexual dysfunction, changes in sleep patterns, increased body fat and decreased muscle mass. If this sounds familiar go see your doctor to have your testosterone checked. While the normal range in testosterone levels for healthy adult males is between 270 to 1,070 Nano grams per deciliter (ng/dl) men at the lower end of the spectrum can still show symptoms of deficiency. I know you don’t want to be that guy! Do yourself a favor and follow the exercise, diet and supplementation tips listed here to maintain and even increase your testosterone levels naturally.