Testosterone is a hormone produced in the men’s testicles and women’s ovaries. When the testosterone levels in the male body begin to decline, it can lead to symptoms like decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depression, and difficulty in concentration (1). For women too, testosterone is essential for good health and sexual well-being (2). Do you know how to increase testosterone naturally?
You can improve the testosterone levels in your body by making a few lifestyle changes like doing resistance training, eating healthy fat, avoiding sugar, etc.
Let’s see how to increase testosterone naturally in detail.
Benefits of testosterone
Testosterone is associated with manhood. It is essential as it stimulates sexual desire, increases libido and sexual satisfaction for both men and women. This hormone has some other important roles as well. Testosterone is necessary for –
- Maintaining correct levels of red blood cells
- Ensuring normal sleep patterns
- A healthy pain response
- Maintaining bone density and muscle mass
- Maintaining high energy levels
How to increase testosterone naturally?
Low testosterone levels affect almost 5 million men in the US. The levels of testosterone begin declining in men after the age of 30. Both men and women should ensure healthy levels of testosterone in their bodies. Here are some natural ways to increase the level of this hormone in the body.
1. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern according to which you cycle between periods of starvation and eating.
Intermittent fasting helps you increase your body’s ability to produce more testosterone when compared to those eating a standard diet. In fact, the levels can go up by almost 200 percent in some cases (3).
According to research, intermittent fasting can enhance the body’s ability to secrete growth hormones (4). Additionally, fasting also helps to improve the body’s ability to signal luteinizing hormones (a testosterone precursor hormone) (5).
Intermittent fasting helps your organs, especially your liver, to rest, which is helpful in the maintaining healthy hormone levels in the body.
2. Weight training
Lifting weights are one of the most effective ways to improve testosterone levels in the body. According to research done by the Ball State University, weight training helps to improve the levels of growth hormone and testosterone in young (23 years) and elderly (63 years) subjects (6).
Another study observed that increased exercise is more beneficial than weight loss diets when it comes to improving testosterone levels (7).
Combining weight training with high-intensity interval training like burst training helps to keep the testosterone levels elevated and prevents their decline (8).
3. Eat a healthy balanced diet
Our diet has a significant impact on our hormone levels (9). Constant dieting or overeating can lower testosterone levels. You must get rid of empty calories and consume proteins and healthy fats.
Proteins are helpful in aiding fat loss and improving the levels of testosterone in the body (10).
According to a study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry, when men decrease their intake of healthy fats, their serum concentrations of androstenedione, testosterone and free testosterone levels also decrease (11).
Correct intake of healthy carbs also helps to optimize testosterone levels in the body (12).
Monounsaturated fats can also boost your testosterone levels. Avocados, almonds and olive oil are some of the excellent sources of monounsaturated fats.
4. Liver detox
A healthy liver is essential for healthy levels of testosterone in the body. When your liver is not healthy, it will affect your testosterone output. This is because the enzyme that conjugates the 17bets-hydroxy group of testosterone is found in the cytosol fraction of the human liver (13).
According to a 2015 study, serum testosterone is reduced by almost 90 percent in men who have cirrhosis, with levels falling as the diseases advances (14).
A liver detox will improve the functioning of your liver and enhance testosterone levels in the body.
5. Sleep well
Getting enough quality sleep is a naturally effective way to increase testosterone levels. An average person requires at least seven hours of sleep every day. When you sleep less than five hours a day, it decreases your testosterone levels by up to 15 percent (15).
Our body’s circadian rhythm is responsible for the overall hormonal balance and testosterone levels as well. According to a study on 12 men in the age group of 64 to 74, sleeping for just four hours a night can lead to borderline deficient levels of testosterone (16).
6. Reduce stress
Long-term stress can raise the levels of cortisol, and high cortisol can lower the levels of testosterone in the body (17).
Stress and elevated levels of cortisol can also lead to overeating, which can lead to weight gain. Weight gain too affects the levels of testosterone (18).
A healthy diet, regular exercise, and sound sleep can reduce stress and improve testosterone levels (19).
7. Take vitamin D
Vitamin D3 can boost the levels of testosterone in the body. According to a study published in the journal of Hormone and Metabolic Research, taking a vitamin D supplement can raise the testosterone levels in overweight men by 30 percent (20).
Nearly half the population in the US is deficient in vitamin D. You must go out in the sun for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day or take 3000 UI of vitamin D3 supplement every day.
During a study by the Medical University of Graz, Austria, scientists discovered that when a healthy male takes 3332 IUs of vitamin D regularly for a year, their testosterone levels rise by 25.2 percent more than the placebo (21).
8. Reduce sugar intake
According to the researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, researchers have discovered that glucose ingestion can significantly decrease testosterone levels.
In fact, consuming 75 grams of sugar can lower the testosterone levels by 25 percent, according to the journal Clinical Endocrinology (22).
An average American takes 12 teaspoons of sugar every day, and this can severely affect their T-levels. According to the American Diabetics Association, people with type-2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop low testosterone levels as compared to others.
So, to normalize your testosterone levels, you must reduce your intake of sugar.
9. Body fat percentage
Many studies have shown a direct relationship between body fat composition and testosterone. Men with low testosterone levels have high body fat percentage.
According to a study published in Clinical Endocrinology, the genes that control the body fat are also responsible for the circulating levels of testosterone in men (23). So, ensuring low levels of body fat are helpful in boosting the levels of testosterone.
10. Take vitamin and mineral supplements
Several vitamins and minerals can improve the testosterone levels in the body. According to one research, zinc sulfate can enhance the quality of sperm by 74 percent.
According to another study on ten male wrestlers, researchers found that exercise can lower the levels of testosterone. However, zinc supplementation can prevent these low levels (24).
Magnesium can also help with testosterone productions, especially for those who are deficient. Some other studies also suggest that supplementation with vitamin A, C and E can also improve testosterone levels in the body (25, 26).
11. Take natural testosterone supplements
Though there are many herbs and natural supplements that claim to improve testosterone levels, only a few can be supported by scientific studies.
Ashwagandha root extracts: Ashwagandha has been studied more than any other herb and scientists have discovered that it is useful in improving T-levels.
During one study that tested the effect of ashwagandha on infertile men, researchers found a 17 percent increase in the testosterone levels and 167 percent increase in the sperm count (27).
Ginger extract: Ginger extract can also boost testosterone levels. During on study on 75 infertile men, a daily ginger supplement helped improve their testosterone levels by 17 percent (28).
Fenugreek: This herb works by reducing the enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen. According to a study on 30 men, researchers found that 500 mg of supplementation can increase free and total testosterone levels (29).
Forskolin: This extract derived from Coleus forskohlii, has been used as an ayurvedic medicine to raise libido for centuries. According to a study on 30 obese men, researchers observed that supplementation by forskolin improved their testosterone levels by 33 percent(30).
A few other supplements like shilajit, royal jelly, Tongkat Ali are also known to be helpful in improving t-levels, but more research is needed to prove their effectiveness.
12. Minimise estrogen and live healthily
Estrogen is vital for men if its levels become too high, it can lead to problems like prostate enlargement and lower levels of testosterone.
A lot of plastics contain BPA, which is a weak synthetic estrogen. So avoid plastic. Don’t use it in your microwave.
Sunscreens also contain chemicals that are estrogenic; they can disrupt the endocrine system. Also, it is advisable to avoid cosmetics that contain parabens.
Avoid consumption of drugs and alcohol as they too can lower your testosterone levels.
Over to you on how to increase testosterone naturally
Testosterone plays many essential roles in our body like regulating insulin, glucose and fat metabolism. When our testosterone levels decrease, your ability to control insulin, glucose and fat metabolism also decreases and this leads to weight gain. The weight gain thus further reduces the testosterone levels in the body.
However, it is easy to break this vicious cycle by making a few simple lifestyles and diet changes. Follow the natural remedies mentioned above to increase testosterone levels naturally.