There are seven ways you can boost your testosterone levels on your own without having to see a doctor.
Maintaining a healthy testosterone level is crucial for optimal health and performance.
Many men believe that to effectively boost testosterone levels, they must get a “testosterone drug” prescription from a doctor — or seek out some “pill” online, for which they would not know what’s really in it – or not in it.
But raising one’s circulating testosterone can be done without intervention by a physician or taking so-called hormone pills. And there are seven ways to achieve this.
Get Better Sleep
Just one week of deprived sleep time lowered testosterone levels in men, in a controlled study at the University of Chicago Clinical Research Center led by Eve Van Cauter, PhD, professor of medicine.
Sleeping fewer than five hours/night was enough to significantly lower the levels of this youth-enhancing hormone that’s so important to building and maintaining muscle growth and feeling young and energetic.
So however you can manage it, just try to get seven hours of sleep a night.
Another study (The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, July 2002) showed that untreated sleep apnea reduces testosterone production.
• Can affect thin younger men due to natural throat anatomy.
• Smoking and drinking are risk factors regardless of body weight.
• Repeatedly awakening during sleep gasping for breath may indicate sleep apnea.
• A sleep study at home or in a lab will confirm sleep apnea.
• Not all people with sleep apnea snore.
• Daytime symptoms include trouble concentrating and unexplained irritability.
Improve Your Diet
Too much fructose and glucose (sugars) can lower testosterone levels, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (Nov. 2007).
Cut back on fruit juices, soda, candy, baked goods and anything else that’s crammed with sugar. Avoid high fructose corn syrup, which is added to many processed foods.
Eat more whole food and less processed food. Load up on whole fruits and vegetables.
Lose Excess Body Fat
A paper in Clinical Endocrinology (Sept. 2012) reports that in a study, obese males 14 to 20 had half the testosterone as non-obese males.
The best way to lose weight is to strength train and do high intensity interval training — rather than spend hours and hours every week doing steady state aerobics.
High intensity interval training means alternating very brief periods of very strenuous effort with a few minutes of easy pacing.
So rather than pedaling at the same sustainable pace for an hour on an elliptical machine, you should pedal like a madman (e.g., 300 RPM) for 30 seconds, then pedal at 70 RPM for two minutes, and alternate the way for half an hour — even 20 minutes — to achieve a loss in body fat.
And an increase in testosterone.
Strength training increases production of testosterone. For a really big boost, lift intensely.
Lifting as heavy as possible for eight to 12 reps, with breaks of about a minute or so in between sets, will raise testosterone levels. The key is to choose exercises that target multiple muscle groups at the same time.
- Back squat
- Bench press
- Standing overhead barbell press
- Leg press
- Lat pull-down
- Sweated row
- Dumbbell chest press
HIIT for the Hormone
As already mentioned, high intensity interval training boosts testosterone. Anyone can do HIIT; it does not require tip-top physical condition.
Though a common practice is to run up hills or sprint down tracks, it can also be done on a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill incline (don’t hold on). More info on HIIT.
Improve Stress Management
Chronic stress changes the body’s hormonal environment which can negatively impact testosterone production.
Though it’s difficult to remain relaxed in tension-filled settings, at least try to be productive during them, such as doing hand grip exercises while stalled in traffic jams.
Alcohol is linked to low testosterone levels. Replace as much of your liquor as possible with water (add lemon slices and a little Stevia sweetener for a refreshing and healthy beverage), pomegranate juice (relatively low in sugar), homemade fruit and vegetable smoothies, and herbal teas.
Want more testosterone?
If you already think you’ve been “doing everything” to boost your natural testosterone level, there’s an excellent chance that you’re doing a few things wrong in the gym. Here are 10 things you can be doing wrong.