As men age, testosterone levels typically begin to fall, which can lead to decreases in muscle mass, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, along with a plethora of other issues. This has led many men to seek out ways to naturally increase testosterone.
One method is supplementation. There are a multitude of products that make claims toward increased testosterone.
Some are natural, while other therapies can be more synthetic. In addition, there are other ways of naturally increasing testosterone that do not involve any supplementation.
Can you naturally increase testosterone?
Yes. This can be done in ways that do not involve supplementation, but more so involve lifestyle changes. Losing weight, sleeping better, being physically fit, and making nutritional changes all can lead to natural increases in testosterone levels.
Let’s go into further detail on this.
Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels with Sleep
Sleep is one of the best ways to naturally increase your testosterone levels (1). While we sleep, the largest amount of anabolic hormone is released. This can lead to long term increases if we are on top of our sleep and taking care to practice quality sleep.
Depending on the person, you should be getting around eight hours of quality sleep. Some individuals can get away with only six, but those are usually outliers.
Sleep hygiene is important too. This is the quality of your sleep and how you prepare for that. Doing so involves getting the room cold, getting the room dark, and staying away from screens before bed.
Our bodies follow a natural rhythm and have for ages. Long ago, it began to get cold outside before it was time to sleep. Our bodies still crave this cool feeling, and it helps the body know that it is time to start getting ready to sleep. If you can mimic this in your room, quality sleep will ensue.
We also didn’t have the light pollution that is present today, so really work to get your room as dark as possible. Blue light is also a new concept for us humans. These are emitted from our devices such as cell phones, tablets, TV’s, and computers. Extended exposure to these blue lights can trick out brains into thinking that it’s still day time. This inhibits a release of melatonin, which helps us get into a deep sleep.
Getting your sleep dialed in can possibly increase your testosterone levels and keep them from dipping any lower.
Exercise to Help Increase Testosterone Levels
Exercise is one of the best natural boosters of testosterone. Many of the processes that happen during and after exercise involve testosterone. It can trigger signals in the body that more needs to be made. Often times for someone who is not regularly exercising, the issue stems from no testosterone need.
If you apply consistent exercise, then the chance for higher levels of testosterone can be produced. This is really just a physiological response to an external stimulus, but this makes it about as natural as it can be.
Nutrition plays a key role in the regulation of testosterone. Many of the precursors from this hormone come from what we eat. If we make sure to be properly fed and provide the body with adequate nutrients, there is a greater chance for testosterone to be higher.
A few components of nutrition stand out. These are fats and Vitamin D.
Within a healthy diet there are a variety of fats that we can consume on a daily basis (saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly-unsaturated). It is recommended that we consume a balance of all three for proper health and hormone regulation.
The two unsaturated fats should be prioritized, and the saturated should be eaten in moderation. The reasoning behind moderating the saturated fats is that they create cholesterol in the body.
Interesting enough, cholesterol can be used to make hormones such as testosterone, so we NEED saturated fats. However, in excess they can increase unhealthy lipoproteins in the body leading to heart issues.
Vitamin D is also a very key aspect of hormone production. This vitamin is more so considered a hormone because of all the roles it plays. One of them just so happens to involve testosterone production.
In men that were deficient in Vitamin D, there was a low level of testosterone, but when they were given doses of Vitamin D over time this issue was resolved (3).
These individuals were given a supplement, but this can also be achieved within the diet. Foods such as fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks and cheese all contain ample amounts of Vitamin D.
As men lose weight, they can also help their body increase naturally flowing testosterone. This is mainly due to many factors such as dietary changes and increases fitness levels.
However, having less adipose tissue helps the body become more efficient at doing its job. Obesity has the ability to decrease sex hormone in men. This could be due to the stress that this puts on the body, irregular blood flow, or lack of free testosterone.
It is recommended for most men to work towards maintaining a healthy body weight as they age. Doing so will help to prevent any further decreases in testosterone levels.
There are plenty of ways to increase testosterone naturally. Many of them are going to just be lifestyle changes but can make a huge difference.
You are best off making changes to sleep, nutrition, and fitness within your lifestyle if you are looking to naturally increase testosterone levels.
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(1). Leproult, R. (2011). Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men. JAMA, 305(21), 2173. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.710
(2). Raastad, T., Bjøro, T. and Hallén, J. (2000). Hormonal responses to high- and moderate-intensity strength exercise. European Journal Of Applied Physiology, 82(1-2), 121-128. doi:10.1007/s004210050661
(3). Pilz, Stefan & Frisch, Sabine & Koertke, H & Kuhn, Joachim & Dreier, Jens & Obermayer-Pietsch, B & Wehr, E & Zittermann, Armin. (2010). Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Testosterone Levels in Men. Hormone and metabolic research = Hormon- und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones et métabolisme. 43. 223-5. 10.1055/s-0030-1269854.