Both sexes have testosterone in their bodies, but everyone knows men have much, much more. However, as men age their testosterone levels decline, sometimes when they’re as young as 25-30 years old. Side effects vary greatly and include hair loss, decreased muscle mass, fatigue, mood swings and lower sex drive, amongst many other risks for diseases and health concerns.
Taking supplements isn’t always the best solution -- in fact, some testosterone supplements can lead to a higher risk of stroke and infertility. Instead, the BodyScene team recommends trying these natural remedies, which can be even more effective than some pharmaceutical options.
Optimise your diet
- Go crazy on healthy fats - Did you know there are certain foods that help your body better retain the proteins you ingest, and in turn the testosterone found in them? These “healthy fats” include omega-3 fatty acids, saturated fats and monounsaturated fats, which you’ll find in the likes of avocados, almonds, coconuts, palm oil or protein-rich meats. Ideally, you want to aim for about 50-70% of your diet to be made of these healthy fats to help boost that testosterone level.
- Focus on testosterone-boosting foods - Other foods you’ll want to keep in your diet include eggs, tuna, pomegranate, garlic, cabbage, honey, ginger and milk. All of these have proven to help keep testosterone levels high. You’ll also want to eat foods with high levels of zinc -- a crucial nutrient for producing testosterone -- which can be found in shellfish, beans, oysters, spinach, beef and mushrooms.
- Try reducing your daily eating time - Dieting techniques affect everyone differently, so we always recommend consulting a physician or nutritionist. However, reducing eating hours to 6-8 hours a day has been proven to boost your testosterone levels up to a whopping 200-400%. For optimum results, eat your meals closer together (for example at noon, 3pm and 6pm) to your body the rest of the day to naturally balance hormones, including testosterone.
Switch up your exercises
- Focus on short, high-intensity movements - Say goodbye to hour-long runs and focus on 20-minute interval workouts. Prolonged moderate exercise has proven to have zero (sometimes even negative!) impact on testosterone levels. Conversely, exercising in powerful, quick bursts does the exact opposite. For example, try pushing yourself to the limit of your ability for 30 seconds, allow yourself 90 seconds of recovery, and repeat the process until the total workout clocks in at 20 minutes. Good news is, now you have an excuse not to sign up for that marathon!
- Incorporate lots of strength training - When it comes to naturally boosting testosterone levels, heavy weights and low reps are the way to go. Additionally, focus on doing compound exercises that work large muscle groups together at once, like deadlifts, bench presses and squats. Push the limits by lifting slow and steady, focusing on your form, and finish it all off with a whey protein shake.
- Kick the sugar habit - You’ll see us post about this a lot, but to get that testosterone boost you must cut down on sugar. Some research shows that glucose levels can decrease testosterone levels by as much as 25%. While you’re at it, consider avoiding all foods that make your blood sugar levels spike, including carbohydrates.
- Get a good night’s sleep - Research shows that one of the most damaging factors to testosterone levels is not enough or poor quality of sleep. On average, most adults should aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night, ideally going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 6am. Switch off those gadgets, close the curtains, and avoid caffeine or alcohol in the evening to guarantee the best rest possible.
- Chill out - We’ve written about it before, but it bears repeating. High levels of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, comes with several negative effects, one of which is muscle degradation. Built up anger and stress can take a serious toll on your testosterone levels. Keep in mind that alcohol consumption increases cortisol -- so cut down on the booze. Instead, switch to relaxing activities like listening to calming music or enjoying a movie.
- Get some sun - While you’re on a mission to lower those stress levels, head outside for a relaxing day in the sun to increase your Vitamin D, a steroid that helps balance testosterone levels. Shoot for about 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure every day to optimise the levels in your body.
Whether it’s creating a nutrition programme specific to your physiology and lifestyle, body sculpting sessions, or simply advice for how to stay healthy outside the gym, the BodyScene team caters to Irish men and women interested in improving their health. Check out our eShop or contact us today!