Testosterone plays a key role in fat loss, increasing muscle mass, aids muscle recovery and improves your odds of getting fit. So, whether you’re a bodybuilder or a fitness enthusiast, the reality is you need significant amounts of the hormone to get the best results out of your workouts.
Otherwise, you will probably end up with far less results than you would have ordinarily gained. It is commonly found in men and less in women, and contributes to the development of your secondary sexual characteristics.
It’s the reason your voice sounds deeper, you have more chest hair, and your genitals are bigger. It’s also the reason your chest gets wider and waist gets thinner –until you pack on those pounds and have to deal with a considerably sized midsection.
In an adult make, it also plays a role in keeping your moods normal, helps burn fat and improves muscle gain, boosts your libido and sexual performance, keeps your energy levels optimal and aids muscle strength.
People who weight lift, want to stay fit or just want to correct their testosterone levels often resort to using testosterone supplements, many of which can have side effects like tender breasts, labored breathing, ankle swelling and acne.
This is why you need to find ways to improve your testosterone levels naturally, so that even if you have to take some supplements, you would be taking far less than you would have without any natural options.
Just in case you want to know what normal testosterone levels are in healthy individuals, they are as follows:
- 280 -1100 ng/dL for adult males
- 15-70 ng/dL for adult females
You should also know that your testosterone levels are a combination of free and bound testosterone. Both of these come together to make up what is known as your Total Testosterone.
What Causes Low Testosterone Levels?
There are various reasons why your testosterone levels could drop below optimal levels. While there are many causes, some of the more common causes include:
- Poor dietary choices – which typically results in nutritional deficiencies. Your body needs more essential minerals and vitamins as you grow older. Not getting enough of these is bound to affect your body’s ability to produce enough testosterone. The average adult male needs to take more foods and fruits containing vitamins A, B, C, D, K and other minerals like zinc and magnesium to increase their testosterone levels naturally.
- Aging – men tend to start experiencing a decline in their testosterone levels after the age of 30. This is partly why your energy levels subtly start dipping from 30. It’s also the reason you lose muscle mass, become overweight, and struggle with obesity.
- Environmental chemicals – usually in the form of pollutants and heavy metals, these can affect your endocrine system’s capability to function properly, resulting in lower testosterone levels.
- Testicular or prostate cancer
- Hormonal disorders
- Type 2 diabetes
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Testicular injuries
- Tumors of the pituitary gland
- Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy
- Lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other lung related diseases.
- Genetically linked diseases like Myotonic dystrophy, Klinefelter syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome.
- Hemochromatosis – a condition in which the body stores way more iron than is necessary
- Steroid usage
Because one or more of these conditions can lower your testosterone levels, doctors often emphasize that there are two categories of low testosterone (lowT) causes.
- Primary hypogonadism – originates in the testicles
- Secondary hypogonadism – originates in the pituitary gland and/or hypothalamus
Sometimes though, your low testosterone levels (lowT) is usually a secondary symptom of a primary condition. This is why you should determine what’s causing your low T before swallowing handfuls of testosterone supplements.
The good news is that based on some of the aforementioned causes, it is very clear that sometimes, all that’s required to get your testosterone levels to normal levels is a simple lifestyle change.
Done correctly and in a sustained fashion, you can eliminate lowT and transform yourself into a man; and to a lesser degree, a woman- swimming in testosterone. Let’s check out proven methods that will help you increase testosterone levels quickly and naturally.
How to Increase Testosterone Levels Quickly and Naturally
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Most people are aware that what they put into their bodies can affect their weight. What they don’t know is that they probably have low testosterone levels because of what they eat.
So, start by avoiding low fat foods/diets and focus on foods that increase testosterone naturally. You’ve probably read or heard it said that fats are bad for you and you should cut them out. Well, that depends on the kind of fat. There are two major types of consumable fats:
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
Your focus should be on PUFAs instead of transfats –key difference is the latter solidifies at room temp. Sources of PUFAs include safflower oil soybean oil, fish, sunflower seeds, walnuts, canola oils, flax seed oil, and corn oil.
They are very effective at lowering your bad cholesterol levels and systemic inflammation. They also aid brain health and cell growth in the body.
Next, is avoid excess unhealthy carbs. Cut back on fast foods as well as processed foods. For emphasis, any food that isn’t in its natural form when you start cooking it is processed. Start eating all natural, fiber rich foods.
Think whole grains like brown rice, barley, oatmeal, millet, bulgur, buckwheat and sorghum.
Also, eat more green leafy veggies and fruits as they are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and hydrate with water. Add more lean animal protein, plant proteins, nuts and legumes to your meals.
Adopt a healthier eating diet –this also includes putting a stop to snacking on chips or junk foods. Instead, snack on fruits like apples, carrots, and celery.
Most of the time, people who snack on chips do so for to satisfy their craving for something crunchy and sweet. Replace those with equally crunchy and sweet, but healthy fruits. The same goes for nuts.
Cut back on your alcohol intake too –beer in particular- as it does impact your testosterone levels negatively. Hops, the main ingredient used in producing beers, is actually one of the world’s most potent phytoestrogen source.
And it doesn’t contain just any type of estrogen, it has huge amounts of estradiol, the most important and powerful estrogen hormone. 50 grams of hops contains between 15,000 and 150,000 IUs of estradiol (Translation: that’s a lot!).
Once ingested, estradiol immediately triggers a lowering of your testosterone levels. To show you how potent it is, researchers are currently looking into it as a possible treatment option for hot flashes in menopausal women.
The truth is it often comes down to choosing between your testosterone and your beer. Besides, beer isn’t the only thing that can increase your estrogen levels. Lectin-based foods like soy can actually also increase estrogen production, further lowering your testosterone levels in the process.
Hit the Gym and Become Active
Working out helps increase your testosterone levels. In this study, researchers found that strength training can help young and elderly adults increase their testosterone levels, and the production of the growth hormone.
Interestingly, this doesn’t have to be a long term effort either. Short term exercising has been shown to be just as effective in elevating testosterone levels in young adults. So, if you want to increase your testosterone levels quickly and naturally, exercising at least thrice a week for a sustained period of time will do it.
If you’d like to know the exercise types that will help with increasing testosterone levels naturally, the following should help:
- Think belly fat busting routines (visceral fat can impede testosterone production)
- Focus on high rep, low impact workouts
- Vary this with more weight lifting
- Do some cardio –minimum 20 minutes a day, 3-4 times daily
- Remember to avoid overtraining -yes, we understand that training to fatigue is important for muscle growth and bulk, but take a day or two off to allow your muscles rest and recover
- Incorporate high intensity interval training (HIIT) into your workouts –HIIT has been proven to increase your testosterone levels by as much as 97 percent after HIIT workout sessions
- Walk for 30 minutes to an hour every day.
- If you can’t get to the gym, try bodyweight exercises like pushups, pull-ups, crunches, squats, burpees and planking at home. All of these will get your heart rate up, while increasing the amount of testosterone coursing through your body.
Give up the Smokes
Studies like this one have indicated a link between smoking and zinc depletion in the body. Since zinc is essential for the production of testosterone, this naturally affects the availability of free and total testosterone in the body.
So, not only is there a long term risk of lung cancer, there’s the near instant risk of depleted testosterone levels. So, when next you light a cigarette, remember that every drag directly lowers your testosterone hormones.
Indulge in Zinc and Magnesium Rich Foods
Zinc and magnesium play a very critical role in the production of testosterone and other hormones. So, when they are available in optimal quantities, they help with the process as well as contribute to your overall health.
Zinc is also important for boosting your immune system, bone health cell division and growth, while magnesium is important for a faster metabolism as well as muscle health.
Some excellent sources of these foods include flax seeds, kidney beans, turkey, lima beans, spinach, water melon seeds, egg yolk, whole grain breads, chickpeas, nuts, fish, brown rice, peanuts, pumpkin, beef, oysters, garlic, shrimp, dark chocolate and green leafy vegetables. Beef is one of the biggest sources of zinc.
However, if you don’t have the time to make home cooked meals containing these foods, you can take ZMA (Zinc and Magnesium Aspartate) supplements. These often contain optimal daily servings of magnesium and zinc, sufficient for your daily needs.
Do Something About Your Stress Levels, Emotional Health And Lack Of Sleep
Whether you work for the “man” or own your own business, one thing is certain: you’ll be stressed.
Unfortunately, stress not only affects a lot of bodily processes, it also impedes your body’s ability to produce adequate amounts of the necessary hormones -testosterone included.
This is possible because of the presence of the stress hormone, cortisol. When present in significant amounts, cortisol inhibits the production of testosterone and puts the body in a “fight or flight” mode. Studies like this, this and this, have clearly shown the link between elevated cortisol levels and lowT.
The same goes for insomnia and/or other sleep related disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Studies have indicated a link between prolonged wakefulness and decreased testosterone levels.
While obstructive sleep apnea isn’t insomnia, it affects your circadian rhythms, resulting in inadequate rest for the body, which in turn, interferes with your body’s ability to produce testosterone.
Deep sleep has been associated with elevated testosterone levels. And since OSA is often an unintended effect of obesity, you can clearly see how losing some weight can help you get quality, restful sleep.
Your emotional health too can affect your testosterone levels. Depression, an indication of poor emotional health, has been linked to lower testosterone levels. This is not surprising seeing as there are often elevated levels cortisol in people suffering from depression.
Now, the levels vary depending on the severity of the depression. People with mild/situation depression often experience a dip in their testosterone levels, most of which rebounds once they feel better.
But, people suffering from clinical or chronic depression, this is an entirely different case, seeing as they tend to have very significant amounts of cortisol in their bloodstream.
To help lower your stress levels, here are some practical suggestions you can implement today:
- Do some deep breathing exercises for 5-10 minutes daily
- Getting a massage once or twice a week. You can also get a portable massager if you don’t have the time or resources for a chiropractor or a spa
- Seeing a therapist –sometimes talking about your problems with a non-judgmental professional can help with your stress levels
- Do some peaceful meditation
- Reduce your caffeine or stimulant intake –difficult? Yes. Doable? Absolutely
- Exercise frequently
- Watch a comedy and have a good laugh –laughter is an effective anti-stress solution
- Generally do anything that helps you decompress
If these seem overwhelming, remember you only need to do one or two. But, if you really need a chemical shortcut, try some anti-stress medications like Lexapro, Prozac, and Paxil. These are actually antidepressants, but they also work for stress relief.
They do this by altering your chemical levels, inhibiting cortisol production and triggers the production of endorphins and serotonin –two feel-good hormones- to flood your body.
As for sleep, there are many sleep aids that can help you get a good night’s sleep. If you suffer from regular insomnia, some of the best sleep aid supplements you can use include melatonin supplements, white noise machines, and valerian supplements.
If your insomnia is due to noise and lights, you can get a sleep pouch or ear buds to block/filter out the light and/or noise.
But, if your insomnia is tied to a case of OSA, that’s an entirely different thing altogether. We do recommend that you see a sleep specialist immediately.
Minimize Exposure to Toxic Chemical Compounds
While there are many toxic chemicals that can affect your testosterone levels, none is as potent or has a far reaching effect than Bisphenol-A (BPA). It is singlehandedly responsible for the widespread lowT condition experienced by young and older adults.
This chemical compound is used to make plastics. So, when these plastics are heated, they trickle out. Studies have shown that people who are exposed to BPA, tend to have far lower testosterone levels than those who aren’t. Worse still is its effect to directly affect male fertility, resulting in pervasive impotence.
BPA also interferes with the body’s ability to produce thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH), a key hormone that’s useful for the regulation of metabolism. So, protect yourself and your loved ones by minimizing your exposure to BPA. If you must drink hot stuff, use ceramics, stainless steel, glass or mugs.
If you do all the aforementioned, you will increase your testosterone levels quickly and naturally, and get the hormone back to normal levels. However, if you need to ramp up your testosterone for the purpose of weight loss, muscle mass, accelerating muscle recovery and getting more results out of your workouts, you might want to consider taking testosterone supplements.
Just make sure you’re getting original and truly potent natural testosterone supplements as against the weak, ineffective supplements peddled by many websites and vendors today.
How To Boost, Enhance & Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally Summary!
With this guide to increasing your testosterone levels quickly and naturally, your testosterone levels should be back up in no time. God luck and let’s know if you have any questions in the comments.