Testosterone booster: Tips for men with low testosterone
Testosterone is a key sex hormone in the human body and it is an important contributor to numerous bodily functions. A common trend observed in today’s society is an imbalance of testosterone in the body. Testosterone levels in the body can be abnormally high or low, but the far more common trend is low testosterone levels.
Low testosterone (otherwise known as “low T”) is affecting more and more men in modern society. The latest fads and quick fixes are marketed all over the internet and television to solve low testosterone. It can be a challenge for an individual to simply learn about all the possible testosterone boosters available, let alone the culprit responsible for low testosterone levels in the body. Fortunately, there are testosterone boosters to be found naturally in the body by making a few lifestyle and dietary changes. The lab can be avoided entirely when finding the best combination of testosterone boosters.
Before understanding which testosterone boosters are effective at solving low testosterone, it is important to understand how testosterone functions in the body and how bodily functions are negatively affected by low testosterone.
What is Testosterone?
In simple terms, testosterone is the primary male sex hormone produced in the body. Females do produce testosterone as well, but males produce a much higher amount and testosterone has a wider array of functions in the body for men. Testosterone plays a crucial role in sexual reproduction as it is responsible for sperm production.
In addition, testosterone plays important roles in maintaining sex drive and ensuring an erection when sexually aroused. Without testosterone, all male sexual functions would be impossible. Testosterone also plays a crucial role in muscle and bone development, distribution of body fat, maintaining energy levels, and assisting the immune system. Low testosterone can lead to adverse health effects if not corrected including obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, infertility, and depression.
Benefits of testosterone
The positive impacts of testosterone are endless as long as the correct levels of testosterone are maintained within the body. The optimal levels of testosterone in the body ensure health and well-being as well as complete sexual function. For men that includes a high sex drive, healthy sperm count, and ability to maintain an erection. A healthy body composition is another major benefit of having an optimal level of testosterone in the body. Normal levels of testosterone increase metabolism compared to lower testosterone levels. This increase in metabolism causes an increase in muscle growth and a decrease in body fat.
The noticeable differences in body composition, due in large part to testosterone’s role in metabolism, lowers the risk of obesity-related diseases. Testosterone plays an important role in bone density as well to ensure adequate bone strength. In addition, optimal levels of testosterone are fantastic for an individual’s mental well-being. Individuals with normal levels of testosterone are less likely to be depressed, go through mood swings, and have more energy to complete daily tasks.
The effects of low testosterone
It is common for all men to see a steady decline in testosterone as they get older. However, many men have seen their testosterone levels reach an abnormally low and the health risks are alarming. More young and middle-aged men are seeking out answers to why their testosterone levels are below normal. Unfortunately, it is a modern society that features a sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, and constant stress that leave many men vulnerable to low testosterone.
Once testosterone levels dip below a normal figure, more adverse effects in the body are seen. The sexual function begins to deteriorate with noticeable changes including a lack of interest in sex, low libido, decrease in sperm production, a decrease in sperm amount when ejaculating, and erectile dysfunction. A person with low testosterone will more likely face greater challenges when attempting to obtain a satisfying sex life due to the above-mentioned changes in sexual functions.
The argument could be presented that lack of sexual function due to low testosterone is the primary factor that leads men to search for the latest testosterone boosters. Moving forward, low testosterone can increase the probability of being overweight or obese. As mentioned previously, testosterone plays a vital role in metabolism and a lack of sufficient testosterone increases the probability of fat storage and a decrease in muscle mass. These changes in the body seen with low testosterone are the exact opposite when compared to optimal testosterone levels.
A higher probability of fat storage can cause further health complications later in life. It is not uncommon for individuals with low testosterone to be obese, have high blood pressure, or have diabetes. This health concern can be exacerbated by a lifestyle that features little to no exercise and poor dietary habits. Looking at the opposite end of the spectrum, other adverse effects of low testosterone include a decrease in muscle mass and bone density. Testosterone has an important role in the development of each, and low testosterone levels can hinder the growth of each.
Finally, low testosterone levels can have adverse effects on an individual’s mental health in addition to their physical health. When at optimal levels, testosterone assists with regulating mood and completing mental tasks. Low testosterone levels can increase the likelihood of being irritable or developing depression. It does not help matters when high levels of stress in daily life amplify the issue of decreased testosterone. The amount of adverse effects seen throughout many body systems sheds a light on how important it is to have an optimal level of testosterone.
What decreases testosterone?
Testosterone levels naturally decrease when aging. For men, it is a steady decline that on average will begin in one’s 30s and 40s. However, this natural decline of testosterone in the aging process should not lead to the adverse health effects previously mentioned. A lot of blame falls squarely on lifestyle habits that can be corrected.
The easiest correctable factors include maintaining a healthy diet and staying physically active. There are many natural foods that can act as testosterone boosters and a diet filled with processed foods that lack vitamins and minerals can lead to insufficient testosterone levels. A lack of regular exercise increases the likelihood of developing obesity and can in effect decrease testosterone. Unfortunately, it is common in modern society for the average diet to lack foods that act as natural testosterone boosters and to partake in a sedentary lifestyle.
Other controllable factors that can lead to decreases in testosterone include stress levels and getting adequate sleep every night. Although the aforementioned factors are often overlooked as contributing factors to low testosterone, they are factors that can be readily changed in one’s lifestyle. Even though it is not a simple lifestyle change, the use of prescription drugs can have similar effects in testosterone as seen in an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, lack of quality sleep, and continuous stress.
A combination of these factors in addition to the natural aging process can begin to produce alarming decreases in testosterone. Due to these common unhealthy lifestyle patterns, the number of individuals in the population (particularly younger and middle-aged men) who have low testosterone is rising.
Signs of low testosterone
It is not always easy to identify when one has abnormally low testosterone levels since a blood test is needed to determine exact testosterone levels. It is beneficial to know the tell-tale signs that indicate testosterone levels in the body may be decreasing. Since testosterone is a sex hormone, deficiencies in sexual activity are often the first noticeable indicators. Little to no sex drive is often a key indicator of low testosterone.
Other sexual deficiencies that often times are a sign and can be linked to low testosterone include an inability to have an erection and a low sperm count. Although low testosterone may not be the sole culprit, an increase in body fat and a decrease in muscle can be another indicator that testosterone levels are low. Since testosterone plays a role in metabolism, this change in body composition could in large part be due to low testosterone levels. Individuals who suffer from low testosterone are oftentimes overweight or obese and have a higher percentage of developing diabetes or high blood pressure.
In regards to psychological changes that could be triggered by low testosterone levels, noticeable differences in mood and behavior patterns can be significant indicators. An individual who always seems stressed and fatigued is likely to have low testosterone since stress can inhibit the production of testosterone. Additionally, depression is far more likely to be experienced with low testosterone. When any of these physical or mental signs are present, it is wise to seek a blood test to determine if testosterone is indeed low.
Natural testosterone boosters
There are an abundance of drugs and testosterone supplements on the market today that are self-described testosterone boosters. As well as testosterone replacement therapy. However, there are natural testosterone boosters that make noticeable differences in raising testosterone. These natural testosterone boosters range from lifestyle changes to food.
One of the simplest ways to increase testosterone naturally is to go outside and have fun in the sun. Absorbing sunlight to acquire vitamin D (vitamin D3 in particular) can significantly boost testosterone levels. Knowing that anyone suffering from low testosterone should make it a point of emphasis to get their daily outside time. For the individuals that simply cannot make this a reality every day, a simple vitamin D supplement will suffice.
A healthy, functioning liver is of vital importance in testosterone production due to the liver’s overall role in hormone balance. When an individual is suffering from a condition involving the liver, it is very likely their testosterone levels will not be in their normal range. An occasional liver detox is a viable natural testosterone booster for an individual who consumes alcohol frequently since over-consumption of alcohol can adversely affect liver health.
There is a misconception that all fats are bad and they are the macronutrient responsible for the obesity epidemic. As a matter of fact, there are certain fats that are overall exceptionally beneficial for the body and for testosterone in particular. The real culprit is simple carbohydrates as seen in junk food. Some examples of beneficial fats for healthy testosterone production include nuts, fish, and olive oil. Replacing a midday snack of chips with a bag of nuts is one example of adding a natural testosterone booster and correcting low levels of testosterone in the body.
Exercise, in general, is extremely effective at providing a boost in testosterone. Interval training completed for only a few days per week is an excellent testosterone booster. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) features rounds of full exertion combined with short rest periods. The positive effects of interval training on testosterone can be amplified when weightlifting is added to mix. Hitting the gym for just an hour a day for three-four days per week can provide that testosterone boost needed and various other health benefits.
Stress seems to be unavoidable in life whether it is at work, school, or at home. Since testosterone naturally benefits one’s mood, stress will have the opposite effect. If an individual is always stressed, there is never an opportunity for testosterone production to return to normal levels. Finding a sure-fire method to keep stress under control will go a long way when attempting to avoid low testosterone.
Get quality sleep
For most people, there does not seem to be enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks of the day. This leads to poor sleep quality every night and it is a good way to inhibit testosterone production. A lack of sleep can throw hormone balance out of whack so a diligent effort taken to get quality sleep can ensure testosterone levels stay up.
Intermittent fasting is a natural testosterone booster that may be overlooked. Similarly to other natural testosterone boosters, intermittent fasting ties into hormone balance. It features eating meals closer together to assist with testosterone regulation. Intermittent fasting allows the liver to more efficiently do its job at balancing hormones, thus keeping testosterone at its optimal level.
Kick the sugar habit
It would be an understatement to say that the average diet in industrialized societies contains too much sugar. The amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis is exponentially higher than in years past. Eating too many simple and processed carbohydrates is a recipe for many adverse health conditions, most notably diabetes. A person who is a diabetic has a more difficult time than a person who is not diabetic to produce the optimal level of testosterone in the body. By cutting back on sugar, this potential low testosterone dilemma can be avoided.
Heavyweight training is a fantastic way to get a natural boost in testosterone and it produces similar results like interval training. Testosterone is needed in the development of muscle mass and heavy weight training can create the testosterone boost needed to develop the targeted muscles when weight training.
Lower body fat percentage
Whether it’s through proper dieting or consistent exercise, maintaining a low body fat percentage prevents the development of obesity. Testosterone production is slowed when an individual is overweight or obese. Making the right lifestyle choices to keep body fat within a normal range naturally prevents testosterone from decreasing.
Testosterone boosters from foods
In addition to everyday lifestyle changes providing testosterone boosters, there is an abundance of testosterone boosting foods that act as natural testosterone boosters. If an individual is suffering from low testosterone, then they should fill their shopping cart with the following items to give themselves a boost.
- Milk — Increased muscle and decreased body fat promote the production of testosterone. A few daily glasses of milk are beneficial by providing the right hormones to accomplish this.
- Tuna — Tuna contains a high amount of vitamin D and vitamin D is an excellent testosterone booster as mentioned in the last section. Whenever it is not possible to get in the sun to absorb vitamin D through sunlight, a meal featuring tuna is one of the next best options to increase vitamin D consumption.
- Eggs — Eggs are the reference protein and contain a high amount of good cholesterol. The cholesterol found in eggs plays a vital role in testosterone production.
- Garlic — If stress is the primary reason for inhibiting testosterone production, then garlic can be beneficial by inhibiting the production of stress hormones. By cutting down stress hormones, the body is able to produce more testosterone.
- Ginger — A common theme of low testosterone is reduced sexual function. Several studies have indicated that taking ginger can improve impairments in sexual function for individuals suffering low testosterone.
- Beans — There are a variety of types of beans that are rich in vitamins and minerals that promote the production of testosterone.
- Honey — Similarly to beans, adding a little bit of honey to one’s diet can boost testosterone levels since it has high amounts of vitamins and minerals that promote the production of testosterone.
- Grapes — Eating only a handful of grapes provides a sufficient boost in testosterone levels and can improve the health of sperm.
- Shellfish — As with the case of other foods, shellfish can be a natural testosterone booster since it contains vitamins and minerals that stimulate an increase in testosterone production.
- Cabbage — Cabbage is a particular testosterone booster that is of importance to men since it not only can increase testosterone but can also flush out unwanted hormones more commonly seen in women in the process.
- Pomegranate — Pomegranate is an extremely beneficial testosterone booster for men who struggle with sexual function issues caused by low testosterone.
The Versatile Hormone
Testosterone is not a hormone to undervalue as it plays a role in several key bodily functions. Maintaining optimal testosterone levels improves sexual health, improves body composition, muscle strength, bone strength, and mental well-being just to name a few. Even though low testosterone is a common health issue seen in modern day society, there are dozens of natural testosterone boosters as described above that can help raise testosterone to normal levels. There are surely multiple natural testosterone boosters that can assist anyone asking for guidance on how to raise their testosterone.