Our body is full of hormones and in most cases, few of us can identify many of them. However, there is one that tends to roll off the tip of most tongues, and it comes in the form of testosterone.
Then again, if you take a look at some of the effects that testosterone has on your body then it’s really no surprise. This is the hormone that can accelerate muscle growth, help you burn fat at record levels and just generally keep you young. Additionally, as again most of us well know, it’s something that contributes vastly to a better sex life.
Unfortunately, we don’t have infinite supplies of it. Not only that, this is a hormone which tends to decrease as we age.
Therefore, whether you are looking to top up your supplies to improve your body image, or just return to your former glory in your advancing years, it can be a gamechanger to tap into new supplies.
As we all know, for years these ‘new supplies’ came in the shape of illegal steroids and other nasty substances. Well, those days are over, and we can now present to you five ways to increase your testosterone levels completely naturally.
Red meat should be your best friend
It won’t come as a surprise to hear that one of the easiest ways to increase testosterone is to control what goes into your body. As the sub-title has just given away, red meat is the answer.
As well as being utterly delicious, red meat is something that’s full of essential fatty acids and saturated fat. Don’t let the ‘fat’ keyword scare you here – both of these elements help build hormones within your body. In fact, if you weren’t to have both of these fats, you wouldn’t produce any testosterone whatsoever.
While we’re on the subject of red meat, we may as well hone in on some of the other key benefits. This is something that will provide you with umpteen amounts of good cholesterol, whilst also being one of the best sources of protein around.
If you’re looking to boost your testosterone production for muscle-building purposes, the protein-factor is significant. Additionally, there’s some evidence that protein can promote more testosterone production – so it’s a two-fold benefit.
Testosterone starts on your pillow
Considering some of the “traditional” ways of enhancing testosterone production, this next suggestion might appear almost lackluster.
However, sleep is something that can help your body make significantly more testosterone than we’re used to. It’s not all focused around the quantity of sleep either – but also the quality. To put this into perspective, someone who sleeps nine hours “on and off” is going to experience less fruitful results than someone who sleeps six hours right the way through the night.
This is one of those statistics that is backed by facts as well. One study found that men who sleep five hours or less per night experience a 15% drop in their testosterone levels. This is a notable difference and something that you will feel when it comes to the crunch (i.e., when you go to the bedroom, or even the gym).
So, how can you boost this metric? Well, it’s one of the easiest to manipulate and you simply have to take a little more care when night drops. Start thinking twice about staying up an hour later to watch the latest episode of your favorite drama – it will impact your testosterone production and you will pay later down the line.
Additionally, umpteen studies have shown that the blue light emitted from electronic devices like televisions and phones can wreak havoc with your brain and make it even more difficult to sleep – so try and cut down on their use as bedtime nears.
Ideally, you should be aiming for seven hours sleep, at a bare minimum, every night.
Turn to heavier weights – and lift them more than you do now
As you will have probably guessed by now, there’s a bit of a link developing with testosterone production and the gym. While some guys want more testosterone before performing their workouts – their workouts can actually help provide them more of the hormone anyway.
Specifically speaking, compound movements are your best bet and if you can turn to squats, bench pressing and pull ups you will be tapping into more muscle fibers than ever before. Ultimately, this encourages even more testosterone to be produced in your body.
If your current training regime involves countless sets of curls, triceps extensions and other smaller movements – it’s not going to do much from a testosterone perspective. Instead, those bigger movements are the ticket and as we’ve already said, it causes a productive circle that will prompt quicker recoveries, more strength and less fat.
Give me sunshine…
There have probably been a few surprising suggestions on our list so far, but this one will raise even more eyebrows. It doesn’t involve getting a sweat on, and has nothing to do with your diet. All you need is the sun.
That’s right, sunlight has a direct correlation with testosterone levels. When your body is subjected to the sun’s rays, it will produce vitamin D. Studies have found that this vitamin has a direct correlation with high levels of testosterone – with all of this being summarized in the European Journal of Endocrinology.
It’s worth mentioning that over half of the population are understood to have a vitamin D deficiency. The advice from the authorities is to try and experience at least ten minutes of sun exposure every day although failing this, oily fish and eggs are other good sources of vitamin D that can “plug the gap”.
At this point we should also add a disclaimer. While small doses of sunlight are obviously going to do wonders for your body, you should by no means go overboard. As health organizations have drilled into us for years, this can promote skin cancer concerns, so a happy medium has to be reached.
You need to shred your waistline
This final suggestion is something of a general one and if you follow some of the dietary and exercise tips we’ve highlighted, you should be well on your way to achieving it anyway.
Nevertheless, testosterone and belly fat just don’t go hand-in-hand. It has been found that those guys who have lots of belly fat have much lower levels of testosterone – whilst its also much harder for them to increase it with this fat “in the way”. Like a lot of things testosterone-related, it’s all a vicious circle.
If we look to the science, all of the above is no surprise. If you have excess fat, it means that you’ll struggle to produce as much estrogen as you really should. Considering the fact that high amounts of estrogen lead to higher levels of testosterone, little else needs to be said.
On the plus side, as soon as you start seeing an increase in estrogen, by losing your fat, you’ll immediately experience an upshot in testosterone. Therefore, it might be hard for the time being, but once you get going and start curbing your waistline you will start to see the testosterone benefits shortly afterwards.