How to Improve Testosterone Naturally – Part 1
For many men, a trend takes place during the aging process that causes their testosterone levels to become sub-optimal. This can cause a multitude of issues, from decreased sexual drive to lethargy and decreased muscle mass. More individuals are searching for ways to improve testosterone naturally. There are some very effective ways of doing this, but first it helps to understand the role of testosterone in the body and the effects of changing testosterone levels.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and also acts as an anabolic steroid. It is produced in the pituitary gland and plays an important role in the development of male reproductive tissues. Beyond its basic functions, it has a secondary role in promoting muscle and bone mass growth. Because of these important functions, sub-optimal testosterone levels can lead to issues such as osteoporosis and improper protein synthesis.
Beyond physical effects, there are several psychological implications of low testosterone. There is a direct link between testosterone and aggression, with higher levels of testosterone showing individuals to be more prone to violence. A study conducted by Princeton University found evidence that testosterone reduces fear. Because of this, high levels of testosterone make an individual less able to distinguish the emotional state of others. That concern would be an impediment to the drive for competition for status.
After age 30, the majority of men begin to experience a decline in testosterone. This can result in a decreased interest in sex along with fatigue and depression. It is for these reasons that some men decide to improve testosterone naturally, in place of resorting to synthetic measures which may have adverse consequences.
Excessive Weight Can Lower Testosterone
In most healthy men, testosterone can be a great booster for losing excess weight. Since testosterone boosts muscle growth and is in essence an anabolic steroid, excess weight can create a cycle whereby the body produces less testosterone and then gains more weight. This is a negative downtrend that can become a very difficult hurdle to overcome for anyone.
It’s not just the weight that is the issue. There can be problems with individuals who choose to diet in certain ways to lose fat and inadvertently reduce their testosterone levels. For example, diets that cut out fat can be a problem. It has been shown that there is a link between monounsaturated fats and improving testosterone naturally. This is great if you enjoy some fresh olive oil from time to time, and it can cause problems if you are not consuming it at all due to dietary restrictions.
The problem is set in modern fad diet concepts which completely limit certain types of foods. We are always hearing of a new miracle diet that is supposed to help us lose tons of weight by just eliminating fat, carbs, et cetera. There are many benefits of fats, though the downside of overconsumption can’t be ignored, and improving testosterone naturally is but one of them.
Whenever dietary advice is given, it’s prudent to recognize that everyone has a different situation involving their own diet and health. Just because something is suggested in an article does not mean that it is necessarily good for you. Always be careful and take the time to research on your own before implementing any of the concepts suggested herein. That being said, there are several options available for increasing your testosterone levels naturally, and some might be the right choice for you. See how you can change your diet to help build back your testosterone.
Sugar and Testosterone
When excess amounts of sugar are consumed, insulin levels spike so that the body can process it. This is a natural and healthy mechanism for our bodies to deal with excessive loads of sugar. Excessive sugar consumption can result in an increased insulin resistance in men which is known to drive down testosterone levels. The conclusion is this. Don’t consume too much sugar.
It might seem difficult to reduce your consumption of sugar, but this is a step that many people need to take to improve their health. It’s not just that decreasing your sugar, and corresponding insulin levels, can improve testosterone naturally. The point of lowering sugar intake is that sugar often leads to an increase in body fat. This causes the body to produce more estrogen in men, decreasing sexual drive and lowering muscle mass.
There are a few points that should be touched on about how sugar affects the body. Sugar reduces the production of growth hormone, which is the catalyst for maintaining proper health.
Sugar also makes you tired. When you consume sugar, your insulin levels rise and you experience a brief boost in energy. This is great, but it doesn’t last long. It is best to consume foods that provide sustained energy and don’t have counterproductive effects on hormone levels in order to improve testosterone naturally.
In essence, lowering sugar consumption could be one of the easiest steps for improving testosterone naturally that you can implement.
Vitamin D Can Help
Low levels of vitamin D have been significantly associated with low levels of testosterone in healthy middle-aged men. There have been several studies, but a constant trend shows that those who supplement with vitamin D have a statistically significant increase in testosterone.
It is not possible for everyone to get out into the sun to secure their healthy allotment of vitamin D. Some of us spend long hours in the office, have many responsibilities, or live in areas without adequate sunlight.
However, it is still important to ensure that our bodies get the necessary exposure to vitamin D. In times like this, one must consider dietary supplementation. Taking a vitamin D supplement may be the solution for lack of sunlight and improving testosterone naturally.
There will always be many different ways to tackle a problem. The best approach is often to combine small amounts of multiple solutions to achieve a balanced result that will be sustainable in the long term.
It is important to caution anyone who may be considering a change in supplementation. This is a good way for some to increase testosterone naturally but might not necessarily be the best way for you. Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about low testosterone and develop a plan that’s right for you. Learn more about how vitamin D helps with testosterone.
Reduce Your Stress to Improve Testosterone Naturally
Many aspects of emotional and physical health tend to become cyclical, and stress is a mainstay of many negative health cycles. It is no secret that stress is a negative contributor to overall health, causing inflammation, fatigue, anxiety, and weight gain. There are also side effects of stress that contribute to lower testosterone levels, such as lack of motivation to exercise and poor sleep.
Once you begin to experience these negative effects from high levels of stress, you will tend to slip into a state where lower testosterone levels contribute to even more lethargy and stress. Now, this is not a hopeless situation by any means. There are a few ways to both reduce stress and improve testosterone levels naturally.
Getting proper periods of rest is extremely important for reducing stress. Sleeping for the right amount of time and getting deep, restful, sleep can increase testosterone levels in most men. The standard recommendation from the National Sleep Foundation is that adults aged 26-64 get seven to nine hours of sleep per night and those who are over 65 get seven to eight hours sleep.
There are two main types of stress, short term and long term.
Short term stress is often not a detriment to our health. Stress in the short term is often a way for us to respond to the challenges that life puts in our paths. It is nearly impossible to eliminate this from our lives, and we all know that some stress is inevitable. Some stress is even healthy and necessary.
The second type of stress has more health hazards. Long term stress, by definition, continues over a long period of time and keeps stress hormones high for extended periods. These stressors can include difficulty at your job, relationship problems, or financial issues.
One of the main problems is that, during stress, cortisol levels in the body rise dramatically. When this happens, the synthesis of cortisol requires large amounts of cholesterol. Cholesterol is also a necessary component of testosterone biosynthesis. This means that when the body has to produce cortisol on a regular basis at above normal levels, there is not enough cholesterol left to produce adequate levels of testosterone making it hard to improve testosterone naturally.
Reducing stress has an endless list of benefits. There aren’t many things that you can definitively claim to be an all-around gain, but this is one of them. Reducing your stress levels is a great way to improve testosterone naturally. Get to know how stress hormones react to testosterone.
Testosterone and Zinc: The Connection
Zinc is an essential dietary mineral. Zinc is necessary for the immune system to function in a proper manner and also for cell division. When you consume proper amounts of zinc, it aids the body’s digestive process while helping to build proteins.
When someone has a zinc deficiency, it is often accompanied by low levels of testosterone. It is not fully understood why this is the case, but the correlation is strong enough to make this something worth exploring. There aren’t a very high number of cases involving zinc deficiency, but it is possible.
As with any supplementation, the incorporation of zinc into your diet should be carefully considered with the guidance of a professional. You can never be too careful when making changes to your intake. Because zinc can be stimulatory for the thyroid, those who have adrenal or thyroid weakness needs to be especially careful.
That being said, zinc supplementation may be a good way to improve testosterone naturally and avoid using synthetic hormone therapy replacements.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.