There is a stunningly simple way Western men can increase their testosterone levels. All they have to do is take a supplement of extravitamin D. It doesn't work that simply, of course, but Vitamin D does play a big role in healthy testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone that everyone needs to watch out for, both men and women, especially (power) athletes.
With a lack of testosterone you can suffer from:
- lack of energy
- less desire for sex, erectile dysfunction
- bad mood, mood swings, dejection
- weight gain, especially excess abdominal fat
- low self-esteem
- thinner bone density
- hair loss
- No muscle building despite exercising
- poor muscle recovery
- Reduced bone density, osteoporosis
- in men, development of breasts or other female characteristics
- varicose veins around the testicles
Growing men have a surplus of testosterone up to the age of twenty, but after that the level gradually decreases. If you lead a passive and unhealthy lifestyle, your testosterone levels will drop rapidly, no matter what age you are.
10 tips to boost your testosterone naturally
1) Manage your stress
Keep stress and cortisol levels to a minimum. The level of testosterone in your body depends on how stressed you are. Studies show that increased cortisol levels (our stress hormone) are associated with a decrease in our testosterone levels. The thinking behind this is simple: if you're face to face with a sabre-toothed tiger and therefore desperately need your fight-or-flight hormone cortisol, then the need to procreate doesn't have priority for a while. However, the reality is that in our modern society we are often and for long periods under stress due to deadlines, pressure from work or studies, a busy social life etc. which means that our stress level is constantly increased. All this stress has a negative impact on our libido and ability to reproduce.
In women, high cortisol levels can lead to fertility problems or irregular menstrual cycles. In addition, elevated estrogen levels (also called estrogen dominance) affect testosterone. We often think of estrogen in terms of women, but men can also have estrogen dominance which manifests itself in increased abdominal size, among other things. Cortisol is released during all types of stress, not only mental but also physical stress due to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, eating processed foods or foods containing phytoestrogens, exposure to products containing BPA or pesticides or medications and other chemicals.
So for good stress control, alternate exertion with the necessary relaxation, make sure you get enough sleep (an average of 7 hours), eat healthy, drink little or no alcohol and very important: have fun in your life.
Also read our blog what you can do about too high cortisol and creatine kinase.
2) Ensure good vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is a hormone that, among other things, ensures the production of testosterone. Unfortunately, the majority of people in the Netherlands almost always have too little vitamin D in their blood.
This is because our diet contains little vitamin D and we have to rely mainly on our own production of vitamin D. Our skin cells convert cholesterol into vitamin D under the influence of sunlight. Our skin cells convert cholesterol into vitamin D under the influence of sunlight. But we do not get enough sun to make enough vitamin D. For most of the year the sun in the Netherlands is not strong enough to produce vitamin D.
Does this also mean that most Western men do not make enough testosterone as a result?
That question was investigated by an Austrian study. They examined the blood of 2,300 men with an average age of just over sixty. Only 11% of them had sufficient vitamin D in their blood. And indeed, the more vitamin D the men had in their blood, the higher was their testosterone level and the concentration of free testosterone (FAI).
The concentration of vitamin D goes up and down with the seasons. After the summer is the highest concentration of vitamin D. Then according to some studies also the testosterone concentration in men at its highest. The Austrians could confirm this link. The testosterone and vitamin D levels go up simultaneously:
Therefore, when men make sure they have enough vitamin D in their blood, they also produce more testosterone. Although most multivitamins include vitamin D, most multivitamin users have only slightly elevated vitamin D levels compared to non-users.
If you look at the table above, you'll see that the effect of multivitamins on vitamin D levels is too small to boost your testosterone levels. You really need to think about heavier vitamin D preparations, from 1000 to 3000 units per softgel.
Earlier, German exercise scientists discovered that strength athletes make more progress in the season when there is a lot of vitamin D in their blood. Athletes should - like the rest of the Westerners - take extra vitamin D. And not just a little. And not so little. What athletes get in terms of vitamin D through their diet, even if they take a multivitamin, is not enough for optimal performance.
Recent studies suggest that an optimal level of 25-hydroxy-vitamin (your active vitamin D or also called vitamin D3) is 75 nanograms per milliliter (n/ml). You normally find that concentration only in residents of sunny countries. Most Westerners are far below it. That is, say the researchers, because we get outside less and less. We lock ourselves up in our self-made caves of brick and concrete, where we stare at screens and we often exercise indoors. The result is simple: we get too little sunlight on our (uncovered) skin.
The kidneys convert the vitamin D from our diet, or that our skin makes under the influence of sunlight, into 25-hydroxy-vitamin D. This metabolite changes in the kidneys again in 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, the active vitamin D or vitamin D3. An alternative to sunlight is to take vitamin D3.
Trials in which strength athletes vitamin D3 supplementation received are not yet. Yet you can based on existing studies already conclude that strength athletes benefit from taking extra vitamin D3 (dosage of 3000ie).
To keep calcidiol levels above 75 nmol/l, supplementation in most adults is needed between 1000-3000ie per day. In the winter, you could supplement 2000-3000, and in the summer you go a bit lower around 1000-2000. People over 50 years of age and power athletes can take a daily dose of 3000ie. If blood tests show that your serum vitamin D level is too low, your doctor or naturopathic therapist can temporarily take a higher dose of vitamin D.
According to orthomolecular medicine, a calcidiol level above 75 nmol/l is good, a calcidiol level above 100 nmol/l (100-150 nmol/l) is even better: a calcidiol level above 100 nmol/l is associated with a lower risk of various forms of cancer.
People are also often warned about excessive calcidiol levels, but vitamin D is much less toxic than previously believed. For Southerners (who live close to the equator), who spend a lot of time outdoors, wear little clothing that covers their body and do not use sunscreen, the body's own production of calcidiol D can rise to 225 nmol/l without any adverse health effects. According to orthomolecular medicine, the risk of vitamin D toxicity is only at 220-250 nmol/l (reached with long-term very high vitamin D intake of 4000-10,000 ie).
So periodic monitoring of your vitamin D and possibly D3 is an important tool to see if vitamin D intake is adequate but not leading to excessive calcidiol levels. Is your vitamin D level high enough?
3) Watch your zinc levels
Many people know that minerals such as magnesium are very important for the functioning of your body. But there are many more micronutrients you don't want to run short of, and zinc is one of them, especially for athletes!
Zinc plays a major role in our various bodily functions. More than 100 enzymes depend on it to do their work properly. Zinc is also very important for the immune system and supports your resistance to colds, flu and cavity infections, especially in combination with vitamin C. Zinc helps in the recovery of your body cells, stimulates wound healing and muscle recovery. A zinc deficiency also affects the absorption of proteins: many athletes take extra proteins (protein shakes), but these cannot be converted into muscle tissue when zinc is lacking.
The mineral zinc is hardly retained by your body, which means you need to get enough of it every day to enjoy its health benefits. Especially vegetarians and vegans have to be alert for a sufficient intake of zinc. But long-term stress, heavy physical workload and the use of hormone preparations (including the contraceptive pill) can also cause a mineral deficiency. Symptoms of a zinc deficiency include: white spots on your nails, skin problems like acne, poor wound healing, frequent colds, lack of appetite, diarrhea, inflamed tongue, impotence, fatigue, lack of energy, depression and difficulty with (mental and or physical) performance that used to be normal for you.
Foods rich in zinc are: oysters, eggs, herring, organ meats such as liver, legumes, nuts, seeds and kernels, kelp/seaweed, ginger and ashwaganda.
If you regularly eat one of these food groups you are usually fine. Multivitamins often contain zinc in a low dose, which is usually sufficient. If you only supplement zinc, a daily maintenance dose of 15 mg is advised. If you suspect you have a zinc deficiency, have this measured and ask a health store for a suitable supplement.
Strength training and weight lifting boost your testosterone levels. Studies show that people who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels than those who lead sedentary lives. In particular, heavy exercise over a short period of time produces more testosterone than endurance sports. Deadlift squats, bench press, pull-ups are all great, but if you really want to boost your testosterone levels, then short, heavy intensity strength training is most effective: low repetition, short and powerful. It's best to train for up to an hour 3-4 times a week. Longer training sessions/efforts cause a drop in testosterone levels. Always provide a rest day between training sessions, this has a positive effect on your hormone levels.
5) Eat a varied and healthy diet
The saying: you are what you eat is very appropriate because your testosterone level also depends on what you eat. Both strict dieting and eating too much can disrupt testosterone production. Your diet must be balanced, which means that it must contain sufficient proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Maintain a good healthy weight. According to several studies, there is a correlation between how much a man weighs and his testosterone levels. Men who are a little on the heavy side have less testosterone than those whose weight is within the norms. A study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology reports that men between the ages of 14 and 20 who are overweight have almost 50% less testosterone than those of normal weight. On the other hand; if you are always dieting your testosterone levels will also be lowered. A good diet with pure organic food, variation in fats, proteins and (slow) carbohydrates ensures good health.
It is also important to keep your blood sugar level low, because this also has an influence: if your blood sugar level rises, your testosterone level drops. Insulin is produced in the pancreas when you eat fast carbohydrates (pasta, processed foods, sweets, cookies, cakes and ice cream) and this causes your blood sugar level to rise, which results in a lower testosterone level. Conclusion: limit your fast carbohydrate intake, but also be careful with complex carbohydrates like pasta, bread, rice, potatoes and grains. If you do eat bread, preferably whole grain bread and if possible from a baker.
6) Take natural testosterone boosters
You already read that ashwaganda and ginger contain zinc Ashwaganda is a herb that can increase testosterone levels in men by 17% and the number of sperm cells by 167%. It also lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol by about 25% (which again is good for your testosterone levels). Ginger not only increases testosterone but also the levels of other sex hormones. One caveat is for people with high blood pressure, who should avoid ginger and ashwaganda stimulates thyroid function, so people on medication for this should be careful. Other herbs that are natural testosterone boosters are horny goat weed, velvet bean, shilajit and tongkat ali. Essential oils can also have an effect on your hormone levels, think of clary sage, lavender and ylang
7) Get a good night's sleep
A good night's sleep is a necessary condition to increase your testosterone levels. Some people get enough of 6 hours and others do better with 8 hours of sleep. A 2011 study found that a week of sleep restriction affected the testosterone levels of healthy young men. It showed that if a man slept less than 5 hours a night his testosterone levels dropped by 15% and the levels of those who slept around 4 hours were barely adequate. Thus, it has been calculated that every extra hour of sleep gives your testosterone levels a 15% boost. Therefore, always try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
8) Live a healthy lifestyle
It's not just what you eat and supple, but also what you drink, lubricate and breathe that affects your hormones and therefore testosterone. Avoid estrogen-like chemicals: these include BPA and parabens. BPA is often found in plastic (disposable water bottles). Try to keep its use to a minimum: buy BPA-free plastic and reusable water bottle, which is also better for the environment.
Parabens and other chemicals are found in skin care products; from shampoo to deodorant. Realize that your skin is the largest organ and everything you rub and spray on it is absorbed, with all its consequences. In the short term you might not notice so much, but in the long run your body gets stressed because it can't process all that toxic load.
9) Avoid alcohol and drugs
Alcohol and drugs have a negative impact on your overall health and therefore on your testosterone levels. Also consider the medication you may be taking, such as opioid drugs(fentanyl, morphine andoxycodone), or drugs such as prednisone and anabolic steroids and statins. If your doctor prescribes medication, it's for a reason, of course, but unfortunately medications also affect testosterone levels. If you suspect a testosterone deficiency due to medication, consult your GP. Perhaps there is a more suitable alternative.
And last but not least: a healthy sex life is very important for the production of testosterone and a healthy lifestyle. Having sex regularly keeps the testicles active which is good for your testosterone levels. After all, testosterone is produced in the testicles. Men who are not sexually active or who are sexually inactive have lower testosterone levels than men who have sex on a regular basis. Sex is good for both men and women: the stress level is lowered, all kinds of substances are released which de-stress us and make us happy, such as oxytocin (this substance ensures that we feel connected to our partner) and endorphin (the body's own painkiller) and in women, more noradrenaline is released which makes them feel good. And because of the release of the female hormone oestrogen, your skin and hair should become more beautiful. Who would not want that?
How bloodvaluestest.eu can help
If you suspect a low testosterone level, have your blood values tested. Especially for power athletes it is advisable to periodically do a test to see what the effect of strength training is on the muscles. Especially if your muscle recovery and muscle building leave much to be desired, it is advisable to see what this could be due to. If you want to supplement or are considering testosterone boosters it is advisable to test before, during and after. A too high testosterone level can cause aggressive behavior and you could even suffer permanent brain damage, which is certainly not desirable.
The Flextestnot only gives bodybuilders a good picture of the health status of their organs and hormones, this test is suitable for anyone who wants to know more about their body.
Add your zinc valueif you wish.
You can read more about how your hormones work in our free ebook: download it here
bertat May 16, 2019
Roelat Jun 08, 2021