In both men and women, testosterone helps increase bone strength, stimulates the development of muscle mass and strength, helps speed tissue recovery, stimulates red blood cell production and controls libido and mood. That’s why low T-levels can hurt everything from your ability to build lean muscle mass to your mood to your performance in the bedroom, and by improving your testosterone production you could boost many crucial aspects of your life.
However, testosterone deficiency is a pretty serious issue which affects a small number of men, so if your muscles aren’t growing as fast as you would like to, check your diet and workout routine before blaming it all on testosterone.
The fact is that population of men who really suffer from low testosterone isn’t as big as the supplement manufacturers would like you to believe. That aside, it’s still true that most of “the normal guys” would also benefit from increasing their levels of the male hormone.
The problem is that many guys with low T-levels, as well as many guys who want to believe that they have low T-levels, look for a solution in the form of expensive supplements, creams and hormone injections only to find quick fixes and barely noticeable long-term improvements of their condition. In reality, there are much more effective ways for boosting testosterone levels that don’t include needles and won’t cost you a small fortune.
So whether you’re really suffering because of low testosterone production or you are just a hardgainer looking for some leverage, we believe that the mainstream way to enhancing testosterone levels won’t do you much good. Especially when there is a natural, scientifically proven way to spark up your T-levels and improve the quality of your life in the long run.
Read to learn.
Eat the Right Kinds of Food
What you eat has a major impact on all hormone levels and there are multiple studies which show that constant dieting may disrupt your testosterone levels just as significantly as overeating does. Rigorous dieting is not only hard on the psyche, it can be detrimental to your overall health and hormonal balance. Have you noticed what happens to your libido and overall energy during prolonged periods of cutting?
Yes, it’s true – severe calorie restrictions destroy testosterone production.
But let’s be a bit clearer about this one. If you have a lot of excess fat, it’s highly recommendable to eat less than your body uses, i.e. create a caloric deficit. This will lower your testosterone production in the short term, but as the body burns away the fat reserves, your testosterone production should improve, given that you also engage in resistance training.
However, if you’re already pretty lean and have very little fat mass to burn, the situation is entirely different. That’s why bodybuilding competitors who try to take their fat mass below 5% experience terrible drops in testosterone.
One recent study found that after only 8 days of hard cutting, testosterone levels in male subjects dropped by 50%. In fact, the bigger the calorie deficit, the harder the drop in testosterone. The reason for this is very simple: when you don’t eat enough to support the healthy functioning of every system in the organism for longer periods, your body slows down some of them in an effort to spare energy for more vital functions, and the reproductive system is the first one to get shut.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to your long-term calorie intake strategy. If you are both dieting and suffering from low T-levels, you’ll have to give one of these up. Our suggestion would be to make the calorie deficit smaller and start eating better quality food.
Eating enough protein, carbs and fat is a must if you want to optimize your testosterone levels. If you’re afraid of piling up fat, just train harder – starvation is a bad idea for more reasons than this article allows us to present. Hard cutting can wound the organism in innumerable ways, so unless you’re a professional bodybuilder, do whatever you can to avoid it.
Get your Zinc
It turns out that low T-levels can be caused by something as simple as mineral deficiency. Or to be more scientifically accurate, severe and moderate deficiency of zinc is associated with hypogonadism in men. Zinc, one of the essential dietary minerals, is needed for your immune system to function properly and for cell division.
It also plays an important role in protein synthesis, nutrient absorption and the functioning of hormone systems. While scientists haven’t yet discovered exactly how a lack of zinc influences testosterone levels, studies have already shown that there is a strong link between the two.
According to one of the first studies to claim this, published in 1996 in “Nutrition”, zinc plays an important role in regulating testosterone levels. However, this study focus on individuals with zinc deficiencies and didn’t offer any evidence of the effect of increased zinc consumption on testosterone production in men who already eat a zinc-rich diet.
Still, modern researchers have provided new data suggesting that getting adequate doses of zinc on a daily basis can help you enhance your manliness. For example, supplementing your diet with zinc for as little as six weeks has been shown to cause a significant improvement in testosterone among men with low levels, while restricting dietary sources of zinc has been found to lead to noticeable decreases.
Since your body can’t store zinc, you have to make sure you take enough of it through your diet every day. The recommended daily amount is 11 milligrams – along with protein-rich foods like meats, fish and oysters, those can be obtained by consuming foods such beans, eggs, yogurt, nuts and oatmeal. Taking zinc supplements can also be useful, but it might cause you to take in too much of it, which could be harmful.
Get Some Sun and Optimize That Vitamin D
We are all so tired of hearing about the importance of vitamin D, thanks to its dramatized overexposure in health magazines and other outlets of mainstream media for more than a decade.
But now that we know that vitamin D won’t cure cancer, we tend to avoid thinking about it at all, and that’s a big mistake because vitamin D deficiency, which is currently at epidemic proportions in the United States, is still a major contributor to a plethora of serious health issues, including low testosterone.
Researchers have been investigating whether increasing levels of vitamin D can restore low testosterone levels for years now, and the final answer is: yes. Several studies in men have shown a positive, direct association between vitamin D status and levels of free and total testosterone and have proven that once vitamin D levels are optimized, T-levels return to normal.
For example, according to a study presented at the American Urological Association 2015 Annual Meeting, low levels of vitamin D are significantly associated with low levels of testosterone in otherwise healthy men and there is a pathway by which supplementation with vitamin D might improve androgen function and increase the biosynthesis of testosterone.
Although vitamin D is typically associated with bone health and the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, optimal levels of this vitamin are also crucial for muscle growth, muscle strength and power and maintaining low levels of body fat. In one study, overweight men with low testosterone who were given vitamin D supplements had a surprisingly big increase in testosterone levels and lost almost all of their excess weight after one year.
Finally, there is also data showing causality between vitamin D levels and testosterone levels – one 12-month randomized control trial in 54 men found that the group receiving 3,000 IU a day increased their total testosterone, bioactive testosterone and free testosterone levels.
Now, we could tell you that supplementation is the best way to get your vitamin D levels into the healthy range, but the truth is that the average adult needs to take 8,000 IUS of vitamin D per day in order to elevate their levels above the required minimum for optimal health.
You could always boost your efforts by orally taking some vitamin D3, but the fact is that sun exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels, and adequate vitamin D production simply can’t be achieved without it.
Bonus Tip: Hang Out With Pretty Women
Here’s a no-brainer: just being in the presence of an attractive member of the opposite sex causes a temporary boost in levels of testosterone. Studies have noted that testosterone levels in men significantly increase when they are surrounded by ovulating women, while just being sexually aroused can increase subsequent performance on a 3-rep squat.
But you don’t even have to watch sexually arousing films to get this boost – just being around women and talking to them will have an immediate effect on your testosterone.
In fact, psychologists found that a five minute talk with a pretty woman can raise the levels of testosterone by 30 percent!
Nothing good can come out of low testosterone, so you’re right to look for a way to boost it. But instead of immediately taking the standard medical route, you should first try some natural approaches. You have nothing to lose and pretty much everything to gain.
It’s fairly simple – stop starving yourself, eat good quality food, get enough zinc, go out to soak the sun on a regular basis and finally, surround yourself with beautiful women as often as you can! Good luck!