7 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally

You may
be familiar with all of the radio, television, and online ads asking men about
their waning testosterone levels. Have low T? Feeling the effects of low
testosterone? Has your libido dropped out of sight? These and other questions
have become common place, and often they are followed by a recommendation to
take testosterone replacement therapy. But did you know you can increase your
testosterone naturally?

Testosterone
replacement therapy is for a limited number of situations, yet it is often
hawked and prescribed indiscriminately. Fortunately, men can safely and easily
boost their testosterone by incorporating some lifestyle modifications.

Face the sun

How much
exposure to sunshine did you get today? This week? Most people are low or
deficient in vitamin D, and for men, that may translate into low testosterone.
Vitamin D plays a critical role in production of this hormone. Fortunately,
there are several ways to boost the levels of this important vitamin, including
exposing your non-sunscreen-treated skin to about 20 minutes of sunlight daily
for three to four days a week.

Can’t
crawl out from under your rock for that long? Then be sure to make some vitamin
D-rich foods a part of your diet. That means fatty fish such as mackerel,
salmon, and tuna. 

Zero in on zinc

This mineral is known for its impact on testosterone levels as well as its ability to enhance them. In a study appearing in Nutrition, investigators showed that young men who were put on a zinc-restrictive diet had a significant drop in zinc levels after 20 weeks. At the same time, a group of elderly men with a marginal zinc deficiency were given zinc supplementation for six months. They showed a significant increase in zinc levels by the end of the study.

If you
want to chow down on the king of zinc, then oysters should be on your menu.
Other foods rich in zinc include chickpeas, lentils, hemp seeds, pine nuts,
cashews, quinoa, eggs, and dark chocolate.

Enough Zzzzzzs can increase testosterone naturally

If you
are consistently skimping on your sleep, then you can expect your testosterone
and other hormones to take a hit. A study from the University of Chicago
Medical Center noted that young men who got less than five hours of sleep for
just one week experienced a significant decline in their testosterone levels. In
fact, their daytime testosterone levels dropped by up to 15 percent.

Researchers
also have seen a relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and low testosterone
levels. Therefore, if your testosterone levels are dragging and you are
experiencing any type of sleep disturbances or sleep apnea, it’s time to talk
to your healthcare provider about taking steps to improve your sleep and, as a
result, your T levels. Your target: at least 7 to 8 hours every night.

Have sex

This suggestion
is an example of the “use it or lose it” philosophy. Research shows that
engaging in sexual activity can raise your T levels. Yes, that also means
masturbation. Yet the research reveals findings that suggest a balance of
activity is in order.

For
example, the authors of a 2013 study
in China evaluated men who abstained from ejaculation for a week. Although the
men’s testosterone levels did not change much during the first two to five
days, the hormone levels rose nearly 150 percent on the seventh day of
abstinence.

In a
study appearing in the Archives
of Sexual Behavior
, researchers evaluated testosterone levels in
men who went to a US sex club. The authors found that 72 percent of men who
participated in sexual activity showed an increase in testosterone compared
with only 11 percent who just watched.

Keep moving

Don’t sit on the couch; move it! Men who engage in regular physical activity are more likely to have higher levels of testosterone. In a study conducted in Spain, for example, the authors noted higher testosterone levels among physically active men compared with sedentary ones. It’s not necessary for you to kill it; moderate exercise four times a week, mixing it up with aerobic and resistance, is sufficient.

In fact, going at it too hard may actually cause your testosterone levels to decline. Several studies have noted that long-distance runners and endurance athletes experience a drop in testosterone.  

Manage your stress levels

Moderate, managed stress is healthy, but full-blown, chronic craziness is not. Long-term stress shoots your cortisol (stress hormone) levels up while sending your testosterone down the toilet. It also has a negative impact on heart health, digestion, pain, headaches, depression, regularity—you get the picture.

If you
want to send those T levels back up, take time to destress every day. Choose
activities that you enjoy, because you certainly don’t want your stress
reduction methods to increase your tension. Try meditation, tai chi,
progressive relaxation, sauna, massage, visualization, journaling—it’s up to
you!

Limit your alcohol

An occasional beer, glass of wine, or cocktail won’t send your testosterone levels plunging. In fact, a small amount of alcohol may actually boost levels a bit. Moderate alcohol consumption for men is considered to be two drinks daily.

Overdoing
it, however, is a different story. Five drinks within a two-hour period, for
example, whether it’s only occasionally or chronically, can lower testosterone
in men and also have a negative impact on fertility.  

References

Escasa MJ t al. Salivary testosterone levels in men at a US sex club. Archives of Sexual Behavior 2010 Dec 17; 40:921-26

Jiang M et al. A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men. Biomedicine 2003 Mar 1

Prasad AS et al. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition 1996 May; 12(5): 344-48

Vaamonde
D et al. Physically active men show better semen parameters and hormone values
than sedentary men. European
Journal of Applied Physiology
2012 Sep; 112(9): 3267-73

by Mens Health Editor

You might also like: