8 ways to increase testosterone levels naturallyAurumie Baubo Nov 20 2019 at 9:01 AM
The moment we think of testosterone, we think of sex. It’s true to a certain extent. But contrary to common perceptions, testosterone does not just regulate a man’s libido, it plays a complex role in maintaining his overall health too. As a major androgen, it helps in developing the male sexual organs, regulates his sperm production and influences sexual behavior. It also builds muscle mass, strength, bone density, and impacts the production of red blood cells amongst developing other masculine characteristics. The composite development in these areas impacts a man’s physical capability and emotional well-being, both important to have a great sex life.
Maintaining optimal levels of testosterone is the key to sexual well-being. A drop in testosterone levels can create multiple problems like low libido, difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection, smaller testicles, reduction in semen production, infertility, fatigue, and even depression. How we feel about our self at times also influences how satisfying our sex life and the quality of our sexual relationship is. For example, low testosterone can impact the growth of facial and pubic hair or deepen the voice. Stunting in these two areas can make a man feel more conscious of being less manly. This can negatively impact his self-esteem and confidence level in the bedroom.
How common is this issue of low testosterone? Globally around 40% of adults suffer from testosterone deficiency. A decline in testosterone production is normal with an increase in age, but many young men also face this issue. There are many factors and medical conditions that can speed up the rate of decline. Some of these are obesity, alcoholism, injury or infection of the testicles, hormonal disorders, type 2 diabetes, kidney and liver disease, excessive use of steroids and opiates and chemotherapy.
To combat reduced testosterone, one can take testosterone supplements – tablets, gels, injections, skin patches. But if one is overweight or has thyroid problems, taking extra testosterone may not solve the problem. Also going for testosterone replacement may create other medical complications like heart failure and liver toxicity. So, what are the natural ways in which you can increase your testosterone levels?
- Get to optimal body weight. Higher Body Mass Index and larger waist size can have a significant impact on testosterone levels. Studies also indicate that men who are obese have a higher chance of suffering from erectile dysfunction. For people who are overweight, losing even a few kilos can begin to stabilize their hormone levels.
- Exercise regularly. Studies show that elderly men who exercised regularly for atleast 30 minutes had higher testosterone levels than those who led a sedentary lifestyle. One can do strength and weight training which can boost the hormones, while a healthy body weight also improves one’s sexual confidence in bed.
- Eat a balanced diet composing of good fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Avoid eating one type of food group at the cost of the other. For example, studies indicate eating a low-fat diet could decrease testosterone levels. Maintaining a healthy diet may seem a panacea for all health issues but improper dietary habits can hamper the metabolic system in everyone. Studies show that consuming refined carbohydrates and sugary products can reduce testosterone production too. 8 Powerful Superfoods for Men’s sexual health.
- Get proper sleep. The hectic schedule of our life leaves very little room for a night of good 8-hour sleep for many men. But this can damage one’s health in the long run. Scientific research indicates that a major part of testosterone release in men happens when the body is asleep. Sleep deprivation can thus hamper testosterone levels. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, young men who slept five hours a night experienced reduced testosterone levels. Since low testosterone levels are linked to fatigue and depression, getting optimal sleep can drastically improve productivity levels and the quality of life.
- Reduce the stress factor. Can stress be fully removed from our life? Not really. But stress can be managed by doing activities that help reduce it. Our mind and body in a state of stress release a stress hormone called cortisol that helps the body combat stress. But what happens when there is continuous stress? The body continues to produce cortisol. Research indicates that higher cortisol levels in the blood lead to reduced testosterone levels. So stress management must play an important role in managing testosterone deficiency. Take up meditation or yoga or any hobby that can distract you from your main work and bring down your stress levels. Cultivate friends with whom you can relax and do things with them.
- Get some Sun. Sunlight is the strongest source of vitamin D which is needed to maintain healthy bones. Various studies are establishing links between Vitamin D and an increase in testosterone levels. Doing activities in the sun would not only help in improving testosterone levels but overall health too. But many people would also have to deal with a lack of sun exposure due to their lifestyle or personal choices. However, Vitamin D supplements may help too. You can also get your natural dose of vitamin D from fatty fish, cheese, mushrooms, fortified milk, and cereals.
- Manage your Zinc levels. Zinc is another important mineral whose deficiency impacts testosterone levels and is linked to erectile dysfunction. If you play a lot of sports or work in a place where you sweat a lot, there is a higher risk of having zinc deficiency as the body loses zinc via sweat. You can get your zinc from a wide range of foods including red meat, chicken, beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products.
- Sexual supplements or Testosterone boosters. There are many natural boosters like Shilajit, Gokharu, Methi, and Ashwagandha that can help elevate testosterone levels. A study on the use of Shilajit, an ayurvedic herb, on healthy adults between 45-55 years showed an increase in testosterone levels. Another herb Tribulus Terrestris or Gokharu has been used in Indian Ayurveda to treat impotence and sexual debility. Studies on another common herb we use in Indian cooking, Fenugreek or Methi, claim to aid in sexual stimulation and libido in men. Withania somnifera or Ashwagandha is another Ayurvedic herb that is claimed to improve infertility and libido related issues. Not only they help in boosting your testosterone, but they also assist in improving dopamine levels, which increase the blood flow to the penis and boost sperm quality and quantity.
When one looks to improve testosterone levels, you cannot do so in isolation. One has to keep one’s overall health in perspective when evaluating any testosterone deficiency. Whatever steps you take, it’s advisable to do so under the guidance of a medical expert. But listed above are just some of the things that you can do at your personal level. For that, you need to take a step back, review your lifestyle and the choices you make. At times bigger problems can be avoided by making simple changes in your life. The point is to do it with determination and dedication.