10 Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone
Metabolism, muscle growth, mood regulation and cognitive function are all controlled by testosterone. Unfortunately, most men lose about 1.5 percent of their testosterone per year after the age of 30. So how can a man reverse a reduction in testosterone? Here are some natural ways.
Hit the weights
Exercise can be beneficial to men with a variety of conditions, including low testosterone. A 1993 study found that both moderate weightlifting and light weightlifting significantly increased the level of testosterone in the blood for a period of time immediately following the exercise. It is also said that using heavier weights and working the biggest muscles in the body – the quads, butt and lower back – can increase testosterone levels the most.
Though a report from the journal Hormone and Metabolic Research ultimately called for further randomized trials on the topic, results suggested that vitamin D could play a role in increasing testosterone levels. Vitamin D can be consumed through supplementation or through exposure to the sun. As always, don't overdo it in the sun – skin cancer is assuredly not helpful for testosterone levels.
Zinc deficiency is linked to hypogonadism in men, a condition where the sex glands produce little or no hormones. In addition to this link, zinc can also play an important role in helping to regulate testosterone levels. Ultimately, zinc supplementation was linked to dramatic increases in testosterone in zinc-deficient young men and "significant" increases in elderly men with moderate zinc deficiency.
According to the Journal of Nutrition, garlic supplementation "alters hormones associated with protein anabolism by increasing testicular testosterone." That's the goal, right? Go eat some garlic. Just not so much that the women on the receiving end of your affection are turned off by your odor.
In a study published in the International Journal of Sport, Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, researchers found that, in addition to a boost in testosterone from exercise, those who took caffeine before a workout saw an additional 21 percent jump in testosterone.
Nuts, oysters, oatmeal and organic foods have all been identified as being associated with increased testosterone levels. Oysters are high in zinc; nuts and oatmeal have the amino acid arginine, which helps reduce stiffness in the blood vessels. And for a food to be labeled as "organic," it must be free from, among other chemicals, pesticides – which have been linked to increased risk of erectile dysfunction.
This is a confusing one for testosterone boosting. One study from Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that consuming "low dose" amounts of alcohol can help boost testosterone. However, it also found that "heavy acute alcohol drinking" decreases blood testosterone in men. So be careful: don't overdo it.
This one may be a bit concerning: a study from the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that testosterone "significantly" increased with stress. However, that jump in testosterone was directly correlated to hostility in men. Apparently stress combined with alcohol leads to bar fights.
Lose your gut
In addition to the scientific analysis, many men can confirm that belly fat increases with age and a natural decrease in testosterone. As such, middle-aged obese men were given testosterone supplementation, leading to a significant decrease in belly fat over a six-week time period. Try losing your gut and testosterone levels may spring back up as well.
This study took place in bulls, but… testosterone levels were higher in bulls fed a high protein diet as opposed to a lower protein diet. In addition to testosterone levels, the bulls on the high-protein diet had a higher scrotal circumference, body condition score and total sperm count. Is it time to start eating more protein?