21 Ways to Increase your Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is a man’s primary sex weapon, although women have minuscule amounts of it. It’s produced in a man’s testicles and in a woman’s ovaries. The adrenal glands also produce it in small amounts.

Testosterone, during boys’ puberty, drives physical changes like deeper voice, hair growth, and increased muscle. After a man has achieved full physical maturity, it is nevertheless important to keep optimal testosterone levels – even until a man reaches old age.

Healthy testosterone levels in adults are vital for disease risk reduction, general health, sexual function, body composition, and many others. Moreover, when you increase your testosterone levels, you can cause huge gains in vitality and muscle mass in just a few weeks. It’s also interesting to note that the hormone is crucial for women’s sexual well-being and general health.

Thus, both men and women, especially men, should make sure they have healthy testosterone levels, especially when they grow older. Below are 21 ways to naturally increase testosterone levels.

1-Sleep. The number of sleeping hours can make a difference on how your body produces testosterone. In a lab setting, sleeping for 5 hours a night has been shown to lower testosterone levels in young men, by around 15%.

On a Penev P. Association study, men who slept for about 4 hours had averaged 200-300 ng/dL serum testosterone levels. Meanwhile, the men who had around 8 hours of sleep had averaged 500-700 ng/dL of testosterone.

2-Less Stress. This can be tricky as stress can be an automatic response to negative or adverse situations. Truth is, stress diminishes testosterone levels. Chronic stress leads to elevated cortisol levels. As the body’s main stress hormone, cortisol is a catabolic hormone that suppresses the level of testosterone.

Cortisol is nevertheless important. It functions as the internal ‘alarm clock’ and lets you move around. Moreover, the lack of cortisol can make even a minor trauma can shock you instantly.

If you are constantly under physiological or psychological stress, your cortisol levels may be high throughout the day, and high levels of the hormone destroy the free testosterone molecules in the bloodstream and in the testicles.

3-Increase Muscle Mass. While you don’t have to be stick thin to naturally increase your testosterone levels, you need to have a lean figure. Specifically, the percentage of body fat you should have (8 to 14%) needs to be low if you seek to raise more testosterone in your body.

The leaner you are, the more testosterone is produced. Increased muscle mass also correlates positively with blood testosterone levels. If you build muscle and burn fat, not only will you look ripped, but your hormonal health may also improve.

4-Sexual Activity. Sexual activity is a satisfying way to naturally increase testosterone levels. There’s a theory that sex is an interplay with power feelings, dominance, pheromones, success feeling, interpersonal touch, and dopamine. Sex with a partner instead of masturbation can be a better way to increase testosterone.

A study involving 44 men going to a sex club showed that the men who went there to watch people have sex had an 11% increase of testosterone levels. On the other hand, the guys who actually had sex noted a 72% increase in testosterone levels.

In a Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging finding, in men above 60 years old, those with more sexual activity had more serum testosterone levels.

5-Limit Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are natural substances or synthetic chemicals that may change the endocrine system (consisting of hormones, cellular receptors, and glands that control internal functions) and may cause reproductive or developmental disorders.

Since testosterone is a hormone, endocrine disruptors can affect its production and utilization in your body. Endocrine disruptors are used in plastics, personal care items, pesticides, and preservatives, among many others. Many of these substances are harmless. However, be mindful of the following substances.

Parabens. They are preservatives used in cosmetics like moisturizers, sun lotions, shampoos, personal lubricants, toothpaste, shaving gel, and food additives. They can have a weak affinity to the body’s estrogen receptors.

BPA (Bisphenol A). The monomer is used in epoxy resins and plastics. Its hormone-like properties has been linked to various instances in erectile dysfunction and low testosterone.

Triclocarban and Triclosan. These antibacterial agents are found in hand sanitizers, soaps, and lotions. They can have a hand in lowering the production of testicular testosterone.

Phthalates. They are what make plastic more flexible, and can be used as emulsifiers and stabilizers in personal care items. Increased phthalate traces in the urine have been related to decreased testosterone in children, women, and men.

6-Be Aware of Prescription Drugs’ Side Effects. In most cases, prescription drugs can benefit the patient. However, for pharmaceutical firms to make money, people need to be sick. Thus, you may only be treating symptoms will many pills instead of focusing on the illness’s cause.

You alone are accountable for your health, not your doctor or the government. You decide what needs to be done to be healthy. Thus, you should know the prescription drugs that have a side effect of decreasing testosterone. Some of these drugs include:

  • Certain tranquilizers and beta-blockers.
  • Opiate-based painkillers and corticosteroids.
  • Sylfonylurea – a drug for type 2 diabetes.
  • Spironolactone – a drug for blood pressure.
  • Antacids like Tagamet and Cidemetidine.
  • Hair loss drugs like Dutasteride and Finasteride.
  • Anti-fungal drugs like ketoconazole.
  • Anti-depressants (SSRIs).
  • Drugs like statins that interfere with the synthesis of cholesterol.

7-Improve Posture. According to a Harvard University study by Amy Cuddy and associates, body language and postural shifts can almost impact your steroid and stress hormones.

In the study, researchers sought to know what happens to hormones when the subjects do either a set of ‘low power’ poses (closed limbs, contractive behavior, or general insecure positions) and ‘high power’ poses (hands on hips, standing tall, or taking up more space).

In two minutes, doing power poses led to a 20% increase in salivary testosterone and -25% drop in cortisol. Conversely, doing low power poses led to a cortisol rise and a drop in testosterone.

8-Keep Testicles Healthy. About 95% of testosterone is produced in your testicles. Naturally, you should prioritize optimal testicular circulation and health. For optimal function, your testicles need to be a bit cooler than other parts of the body. Thus, wearing boxers, taking cold showers, and sleeping naked can positively impact testosterone production.

9-Reduce Alcohol Intake. For you, it may be a man thing to take alcohol. However, alcohol can adversely affect testosterone production. Take these studies into consideration. A rodent study showed a 50% reduction in testicular size after the rats were fed with a diet having 5% of calories derived from alcohol.

Heavy consumption of alcohol in humans has also been connected to lower testosterone levels. Chronic alcoholics do tend to have lower testosterone levels together with higher estrogen levels than their more sober counterparts.

You don’t have to give up alcohol altogether. There are studies exhibiting low to moderate consumption of alcohol does not affect the production of male hormones. In one study, about two glasses of red wine was linked to testosterone level reduction by only 7%. In another study, 0.5g/kg of alcohol increased testosterone levels by a bit.

10-Fat Matters. Evidence suggests that increased energy amounts from dietary fat leads to higher levels of serum testosterone. While fat is a factor, an even bigger factor is the type of fat you consume.

MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) and SFAs (saturated fatty acids) positively correlate with testosterone levels. Trans-fat and PUFAs (poly-unsaturated fatty acids), on the other hand, suppress the production of androgens.

It’s ideal to keep your fat intake at the 20 to 35% daily calorie ballpark, and that those fats must come from SFAs and MUFAs. If you’re worried about such fats’ effects on your cardiovascular system, know there’s research that suggests the link between dietary cholesterol and saturated fat with heart issues was never strong.

11-Cholesterol: the Building Block. There may be a correlation with testosterone levels and the total blood cholesterol amount, even if studies have also indicated that cholesterol intake through nutrition does not really affect levels of blood cholesterol in the long-term.

It’s known that the more cholesterol consumed through eating, the less cholesterol the body has to synthesize in the intestines, liver, reproductive organs, and adrenal glands.

All steroid hormones come from cholesterol. Even if your body makes it and controls its production, high HDL cholesterol in the blood and increased cholesterol intake through the diet can still positively impact the increased production of testosterone levels in the blood. Thus, you can consume your egg yolks and make sure to keep high your HDL cholesterol levels.

12-Eat Testosterone-Boosting Foods. Some foods boost testosterone levels more than others. A few factors that make them more beneficial for testosterone production include: low-gluten starchy carbohydrates, quality animal collagen protein and muscle meat, high micronutrient density, and high MUFA (mono-unsaturated fatty acids) or SFA (saturated fatty acids), among others.

Some of these foods include:

  • Oils and Fats. You may consume virgin argan oil, extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, animal fats, avocado oil, and grass-fed butter.
  • Protein and Meat. You may consume steak, eggs, beef gelatin, minced meat, beef jerky (grass-fed), oysters, and organic bacon.
  • Vegetables and Fruit. You many consume avocados, potatoes, onions, pomegranates, and garlic.
  • Snacks and Nuts. You may consume Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, raw cacao nibs, dark berries, and raisins.
  • Spices and Others. You may consume parsley, coffee, sea salt, ginger, baking soda, blue cheese, yogurt, sorghum, and button mushroom (white).

13-Limit Testosterone-Lowering Foods. There are many foods that lower testosterone levels. Some of these foods include: licorice, flaxseed products, mint, soy products, vegetable oils (high-PUFA), alcohol, trans-fat, high-PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) nuts, and green tea.

14-Stay Hydrated. Drinking water is vital for exercise capacity, cognitive function, and overall body function. The importance of drinking water is highlighted during exercise, as even mild dehydration can suppress the activity-induced increase in growth hormone and testosterone. Dehydrated also increases the secretion of cortisol.

A study by J. Volek and associates tested the effects among hydrated state, 5% dehydration, and 2.5% dehydration on hormonal effects while exercising. The study determined that the less water the participants drank, the lower their testosterone levels and the higher their cortisol levels were.

15-Ginger Root. Normally, ginger is touted for its anti-inflammatory properties. However, it’s unheard of that ginger may increase testosterone levels. Animal studies have determined that ginger has androgenic compounds, which could be an aphrodisiac.

There is also a study of ginger on humans. An undetermined amount of ginger taken daily for 90 days caused an increase of testosterone (17%), FSH (17%), and LH (43%) levels in men considered infertile. While it’s not yet proven if ginger can help infertile men, it’s still worth a dry due to its low price and the many other benefits it offers.

16-L-Carnitine. As a naturally-occurring protein (amino acid), L-carnitine is found in meat, and is used as a fat burner or as a supplement to improve cognitive ability.

Carnitine can also be used to naturally optimize testosterone. When the carnitine transports fat to the mitochondria, the carnitine – at the same time – upregulates the activity of androgen receptors. Thus, it is important to take supplements. According to studies, you’ll benefit from the supplements more if you exercise and immediately take it after working out.

17-Probiotics. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that are taken usually to improve gut health. The idea is that taking probiotics can replace harmful microbes in the gut. Probiotics occur in foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut, among many others.

What does that have to do with testosterone production? Gut health is linked to testosterone production. Men with poor gut flora may suffer more from lower testosterone levels and micronutrient deficits.

Research has shown that some probiotic strains can improve testosterone production. In a 2014 study involving rats, Lactobacillus reuterii (a strain commonly found in yogurt) had increased significantly reproductive health parameters including:

  • Increased testicular weight and size.
  • Increased testosterone levels.
  • Increased social domination markers.
  • Improved sperm motility, quality, and volume.
  • Another rat study showed similar results. The more the rats took probiotics, the higher there testosterone levels are. A probiotic strain, Clostridium scindens, can convert cortisol to androgens in the gut.

This is the best probiotic I have ever tried in my life.

18-Forskolin. Forskolin is an extract of the Coleus Forskohlii – an Indian herb. While it’s not really effective as a fat burner, as claimed by famous celebrity doctors, forskolin can upregulate androgen receptors and increase testosterone levels.

Forskolin is known to increase cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels in tissue, and cAMP can transport biological signals between hormones and cells. The stimulation of cAMP can be the reason why forskolin can raise the levels of testosterone.

As forskolin was tested in humans, 12 weeks of taking forskolin (250mg daily) increased levels of testosterone by 33%, as compared with placebo. Forskolin also uses testosterone, as it increased active androgen receptor amounts.

When purchasing coleus or forskolin supplements, ensure that its forskolin content is 20% standardized. Don’t be disheartened if you read reviews that forskolin doesn’t help in weight loss. After all, you’re using the supplement to raise your testosterone levels.

19-Regular Physical Activity. On a daily basis, you should have some sort of physical activity – aside from sprinting and lifting weights. Such activity may include chopping trees, mowing the lawn, plowing snow, walking, and even any recreational activities like a hockey game.

Regular physical activity can promote testosterone levels. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition observed 41 overweight and obese male subjects on a 12-week lifestyle modification program.

The study’s goal was to find out which factor impacted testosterone levels the most: reduced calorie intake or increased physical activity? After the 12-week period, the researchers found that more physical activity, not caloric deficit, influenced the rise of testosterone levels in the study participants.

20-Resistance Training. To upregulate muscle tissue androgen receptors while also increasing testosterone, with resistance training. There’s rising evidence that suggests strength/resistance training can temporarily boost testosterone production.

In the long-term, resistance training can force the body to shift to a ‘new normal’ where the production of testosterone is higher significantly even at rest because of neuromuscular adaptations that are ‘forced.’

Resistance training can also make you look and feel good, increasing your confidence. Such feeling can help boost your testosterone levels even more.

21-Royal Jelly. Royal jelly is extracted from the worker bees’ hypophranyx glands. Royal jelly (RJ) comes in an anabolic liquid that resembles porridge. RJ also contains numerous nutrients and has a balanced ratio of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. It also supplies various B vitamins, folic acid, and biotin. It also contains minerals like copper, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, and silica.

RJ can also help fight infertility. In one study, 25mg of royal jelly was consumed for three months. Infertile men were able to increase by 20% their levels of testosterone. In another study involving fertile participants, 3,000mg was taken for 6 months. The men taking royal jelly increased by 14% their testosterone levels, as compared to those taking a placebo.

There are also various animal studies supporting that royal jelly helps boost testosterone production.

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