How’s your T? Is it low? Do you know the signs? The good news is that if you don’t, you can read this and find out. Even better news is the fact that we explain ways to boost your levels.
Typically known as the sex hormone, testosterone is arguably one of the most important hormones in your body. That’s especially the case when it comes to men’s health. What surprises many people is that testosterone is not only limited to men. Women produce testosterone in addition to estrogen in their ovaries (men produce the bulk of their testosterone in the testicles).
But what’s the deal with testosterone?
In a nutshell, it affects everything from your workouts to your sex life. It is responsible for helping maintain lean muscle mass, regulating sexual functions and controlling energy levels, among other things.
However, like most hormones in the body, they change with age. Testosterone in the male body starts to drop around the age of 30. The good news is that this drop is slow. Even better news is that there are natural ways to boost your levels.
Keep reading to find out how you can boost your testosterone levels from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Do You Have Low T?
How do you know if your testosterone levels are low?
A simple blood test can confirm hormone levels. With that said, there are a number of signs of low testosterone (sometimes referred to as ‘Low T’). These signs include:
You’ve likely heard that men peak sexually sometime in their 20s. While not entirely true, there may be an ounce of truth in this old wives tale. Since testosterone starts to decline at age 30, both men and women may find themselves with low sex drive.
For those that are lucky enough to keep their libido intact, some men may find that they have a hard time getting an erection.
Low semen volume
Infertility is typically associated with women. But, not all fertility issues lie solely on them. Low semen count is a contributing factor to infertility. While there are a few reasons for low semen volume, a hormonal imbalance featuring testosterone may be to blame.
By this point, low testosterone is starting to sound like no walk in the park. It doesn’t end there. As if to add insult to injury, having low testosterone can result in hair loss.
Lack of energy
If you are getting adequate sleep yet find yourself still exhausted during the day, your testosterone may be low. The same is true for your workouts. If your regular fitness regime is all of a sudden starting to feel a bit taxing, you may want to take a look at your hormones.
Testosterone plays a role in muscle size, retention, and growth. This is the same reason athletes have been found using steroids that increase testosterone in the body. Those of us who have tried to put on muscle can attest to the fact that growing muscle isn’t as easy as some people believe it to be. With a drop in testosterone, you could potentially be working out at the same intensity as you’re used to, without the same results.
What Can You Do About Low T With The Best Testosterone Booster?
There are options for the testosterone building foods. You don’t have to suffer. For instance, it’s common to go through hormone replacement therapy to correct hormonal imbalances.
The question is: Is this course of action absolutely necessary?
While not all cases are the same, there are ways to naturally boost this vital hormone without the use of steroids or other drugs. Of course, it’s always important to consult a doctor before you choose a course of action, but these natural methods may prove to be successful without harmful side effects.
#1 Take Maca Powder
This little-known root is a great addition to your supplement cupboard. Maca root does not have a direct influence on testosterone production. With that said, it does play a role in regulating hormones. When hormones are out of whack, it is easy for key hormones to increase or decrease as a response. Maca is great because it also treats many of the symptoms connected with low testosterone. That includes low libido and erectile dysfunction.
Maca is also good for muscle building. It will help you get the most out of your workouts and that is important because exercise is a non-dietary method of boosting testosterone. Maca root comes in powder form and can be found in most local health food stores.
#2 Get More Fish Oils And Omega-3s
Inflammation lowers testosterone. An easy remedy is to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. The pescetarian whole foods diet has an emphasis on fruits and veggies with a mix of whole grains, fish, and seafood. It is rich in omega-3s that help fight inflammation. If you are not a fish or seafood lover, you might want to think about changing. If that’s not in your future, consider taking a fish oil supplement to keep the oils as a part of your diet.
Vegan sources of omega-3 include flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp hearts. All of these seeds are easily digested by the body and can be included in many standard breakfasts. Sprinkle flax, chia and hemp atop oatmeal. You could also blend them into a morning smoothie. While vegan sources of omega-3s may not have as high a potency as fish, each little bit helps.
#3 Eat Foods With Vitamin D
It’s true: Most people are not getting enough vitamin D in their diet. Vitamin D is most readily available via the sun. The UV rays are absorbed through the skin and transported through the body. In this day and age, people are not getting the required amounts of vitamin D because they spend most of their time indoors and when outside, wear sunscreen that block UV rays from entering the body.
To help increase vitamin D in the body, try eating egg yolks, oily fish (two points for getting in those omega-3s), tofu, soy milk or fortified food products like cereals and orange juice.
Don’t forget that the best way to get your vitamin D is to spend time soaking in the sun. Take advantage of times when the sun is out and get outside. In as little as 10 minutes your body can soak up the required vitamin D for the day.
#4 Choose Foods High In Zinc
Zinc aids in the production of testosterone and is known to be a natural libido booster. It also helps improve the quality and quantity of sperm. As an added bonus, it helps relieve and control inflammation in the body.
The great news about this amazing nutrient is that arguably some of the best date night foods are considered high in zinc like oysters, lobster, and crab. For vegetarians and vegans, there are plenty of plant-based sources of zinc including spinach, cashews, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.
#5 Give Fenugreek A Go
Ever heard of fenugreek?
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Many haven’t heard of it. Fenugreek has long been used to help women increase their milk supply when breastfeeding. It turns out that this wonder herb can also boost testosterone levels in men.
You can enjoy fenugreek in capsule format. Of course, for a more natural version you can find dried fenugreek leaves in the health food store and brew it as a tea. For an added nutritional punch, you can use the fenugreek tea as a base for a green smoothie. Load it up with spinach to get some zinc in your diet.
#6 Healthy Fats Are Good Fats
It might be time to finally throw away your low-fat diet. Better yet, if you own something that contains the words low fat or fat-free on the container, then let it go for good. Why? Fat contains cholesterol. Cholesterolis important in the production of testosterone.
It’s important to note that not all fat is created equal. With that said, fat is not the enemy that it’s been made out to be for so many years. You can find good fats in foods like coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter), grass fed beef and avocados.
Don’t forget that a balanced diet is a healthy diet. As a result, you should add healthy fats to your already existing clean diet. Do not add them as a replacement for all the foods that make up your weekly meal plan.
Here Are Some Non-Dietary Testosterone Boosters
While diet plays a key role in helping boost testosterone levels, there are non-dietary methods that may be just as good. Try adding in these three strategies along with the dietary changes just mentioned to achieve the best results.
#1 Get Sleep
Those early morning gym sessions always seem like a great idea right?
The truth is they can be harmful to your progress if you’re not hitting the hay early. Testosterone levels can drop significantly in a matter of just one week in healthy people. If your levels are already low, the result can be pretty detrimental.
The amount of sleep you need depends on a number of factors. Experts agree that it’s still best to shoot for eight hours per night. Most people stay awake late and then get up early in the morning. Don’t be like most people. Try going to bed an hour earlier than you normally would so that your body has a chance to recharge and reboot.
#2 Perform Strength Training
Strength training has been known to promote testosterone growth. Levels are said to be the highest right after a workout. While cardio is important for cardiovascular health, strength training helps promote muscle growth. The more lean muscle mass you carry, the more testosterone your body usually creates.
The reason is because fat on the body increases insulin production. This causes the inflammation that lowers testosterone.
Strength training comes in many forms. Not all forms involve the use of a gym or weights. Consider using your body weight to do a circuit made up of squats, lunges, push-ups and dips. These can all be done in the comfort of your own home even with little time to spare.
#3 Stress Less
Sleep is important to allow your body time to reboot, but there is something you can do while you’re awake to help your body recharge. Take time out to breathe and relax your mind and body. Don’t worry. You won’t need to find a guru and pick up meditation if that’s not your style.
Instead, read a book. Enjoy a coffee without rushing around. Or, you could simply take some time to yourself to lounge and take a load off. When your body is stressed, it releases the hormone cortisol. This steals the cholesterol in the body that would otherwise be used to make testosterone.
All of these dietary and non-dietary testosterone boosters can be used individually or in a combo. They are most beneficial to help prevent testosterone decline or help recover testosterone for those who have seen a small to moderate drop.
If you have a severe drop in testosterone, you may have a condition called hypogonadism. In that case, you will need to consult with a doctor to decide on a course of action that is right for you. Usually, in cases of hypogonadism, hormone replacement therapies including pills and/or injections are used. These methods normally have harsh side effects.
Since testosterone levels decline rather slowly starting at the age of 30, the old adage of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure might be the best mantra to keep in mind so you can avoid costly therapies later on.
By Aly Tyghter