Do you want to boost testosterone levels? Discover the diet and lifestyle do’s and don’ts that can help you achieve optimal testosterone levels.
- Thou Shalt Engage In Regular Physical Exercise
Exercise and movement of any kind are essential for a long and healthy life and this is how we as humans evolved.
Hunting, farming and manual labour have kept us moving in the past and it is only in recent times that we have stopped dead in our tracks in terms of physical activity, driving everywhere and slouched over computers all day.
This is devastating for testosterone levels and health in general.
Any exercise boosts testosterone levels in all age groups and on top of this, physical activity will build muscle, improve cardiovascular health and help to maintain joint mobility.
If you are overweight, then shedding some excess fat will also help to boost your testosterone.
If you are totally sedentary then you may already be caught in the negative spiral and this can be tough to break out of. The key is consistency and just getting started. Commit to doing something 3 times a week, to begin with – even for just 15 minutes.
It can be a bodyweight circuit in your living room or a 15-minute walk around the block. If you are a more advanced trainer then regular weight training is the best way to boost testosterone levels.
- Thou shalt spend time in the sun
Vitamin D is an important hormone in the production of testosterone, and while it isn’t easy to do very often while living in the UK, being exposed to the sun can increase your vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is also found in several foods such as oily fish, eggs and cheese, or it can be taken as a supplement. Studies have shown that men who supplemented with vitamin D over the course of one year showed an increase in testosterone levels.
- Thou Shalt Minimise Stress
Managing stress, optimising mood and laughing often will all improve levels of naturally produced testosterone and allow the body and mind to thrive.
This is easier said than done, but persistent stress and abnormally high levels of cortisol will cause testosterone levels to bottom out.
On top of this, high stress can cause us to make poor food choices which will in turn cause increased body weight which will also negatively affect testosterone levels
- Thou Shalt Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is essential for many reasons and prioritising that 8 hours is extremely important for health. Getting less than the required amount of sleep each night will cause testosterone levels to drop and in the modern age of smartphones and 24-hour accessibility, this isn’t uncommon. As with exercise, diet and mindset, sleep works in synergy and a bad night’s sleep can make you more likely to eat poorly, making it more difficult to cope with stress and make the motivation for exercise more difficult.
The easiest and most accessible trick for getting a good night’s sleep in the modern world is simply to leave your smartphone outside of your bedroom at night. Apart from the blue light that the screen emits (even in night mode), you have the mental stimulation of social media and potential stress that a late-night email can cause (when you can’t do anything about it).
- Thou Shalt Eat A Clean, Healthy Diet
Eating a balanced diet made up largely of the whole, single-ingredient foods including all the main macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and protein) can contribute to healthy testosterone levels.
Chronic over or under-eating or extreme dieting can be bad for your testosterone levels. As well as the main macronutrients, eating a wide variety of vegetables will ensure that you get enough vitamins and minerals to support testosterone production.
- Thou Shalt ‘Just Say No’ To Drugs
Alcohol, Androgenic Anabolic Steroids and smoking can all have a negative impact on your testosterone production.
The use of anabolic steroids, which are often used for bodybuilding, can cause excessive levels of testosterone in the body resulting in a hormone imbalance.
If levels are too high the testes can shut down their testosterone production which can be permanent, even after the discontinuation of these drugs.
- Thou Shalt Remember That MORE Isn’t Always Better
With the continued ambiguity of “optimal testosterone levels”, men can become obsessed with chasing high levels, often resulting in side effects from having too much testosterone in the body.
It is important to remember that an individual’s optimal level of testosterone can be different to your own and the trick is not to overdo it when trying to boost testosterone.
- Remember That You Grow When You Rest
The Men’s Health Clinic see a lot of men become frustrated with their progress because they are eating healthy, balanced diets and they are committed to an exercise routine, but they are not seeing the results they want. However, In order to really grow, you must rest your body. Exercise is a catabolic process, not anabolic. Whilst exercise causes a spike in testosterone, you need to be in a state of rest for it to exert its effects. It’s all about balance.
- Though shalt honour thy doctor
It comes as no surprise that men do not welcome the thought of visiting their doctors when they start to show signs of being unwell. A recent study of 1000 men found that three quarters will avoid going to the doctors when showing signs of an illness as they don’t have the time or don’t think it is important .
However, if you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone and they persist after implementing diet and lifestyle changes, it is important to seek advice from your doctor, men’s health clinic.