Testosterone is essential for building muscle mass, and having normal levels of it are vital for many other benefits. Due to things like genetics and age, levels can sink lower than normal, and some men may opt to raise their levels naturally. Some of these tips will work for some and not others. Ideally you will be using a few of these methods together so that you are treating your body well, as they are all good practice to keep a healthy body.
Dietary adjustments can help to naturally boost testosterone levels, especially when combined with other strategies. Consume whole-food forms of protein like eggs, meat, and dairy. Cruciferous vegetables like kale, collards, watercress, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, mustard greens, and bok choy can help to raise testosterone levels because they contain polynutrients—including indoles that suppress estrogen. Aim to have at least one serving of these types of vegetables per day. While some small amounts of alcohol can improve heart health, too much will bring on inflammation and reduce testosterone levels. Boron, a mineral, can be found in vegetables, fruit, seeds, and nuts can not only lower estrogen, but raise testosterone and lower cortisol.
Having more muscle mass will help to keep testosterone high. Training with the intent of building muscle mass will elevate testosterone, and the raised level of testosterone will help build muscle mass. Specifically, weight training tears down the muscle tissue, requiring the body to repair it—stimulating muscle growth. Do include cardio in your training routine, but don’t do it so much that muscle gain is reduced. Overdoing it on the cardio will change not only your muscle mass, but testosterone levels as well.
Whole lifestyle changes may be necessary to ensure a great recovery and growth process. Getting enough sleep will promote recovering from training, and will keep the important hormones that build muscle up high. You will also need to make sure that you are giving yourself days off of the gym so that your schedule of training and recovery is optimal for maximizing testosterone. Aim to have at least one rest day per week, and on these days you may opt to have something like a massage or acupuncture—these activities encourage a more efficient recovery.
There are many companies that produce products that boost levels of testosterone. Often times the list of ingredients is incredibly long. You should be looking for products that contain cordyceps, tribulus terrestris, fenugreek, and ginseng. When shopping for testosterone-boosting supplements, make sure that one or more of these ingredients is listed.
Check Your Weight
Being overweight can contribute to reduced testosterone levels. So in turn, shedding extra weight can lead to increased testosterone levels. The easiest thing to do to start is to limit the amount of sugar that you take in—cut out soda, fruit juices, and “healthy” sweeteners like agave. Refined carbs like cereal, waffles, bagels, and other processed foods are underlying causes of weight gain. Replace these trouble causing foods with healthy substitutes. These types of changes combined with regular exercise will help to grow muscles while losing weight, thus leading to a boost in testosterone. It is a positive change for overall health.
Not All Fats are Bad
The body requires saturated fats from vegetables and animal sources to function at its best. This includes olives and olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, organic pastured egg yolks, butter that has been made from grass fed organic raw milk, raw nuts like pecans or almonds, avocados, grass fed meats, and unheated organic nut oils.
When the body is under stress, it releases high amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol blocks the effects of testosterone. Chronic stress could mean that the effects of testosterone are blocked on a long term scale—this is something that should be avoided if possible. Meditation, yoga, and even laughter can reduce stress. Learn which relaxation methods work for you and aim to remove all unneeded stress from your life. Some individuals even find that working out reduces stress, just remember to take your days off sometimes.