Increasing testosterone is one of the most common concerns of bodybuilders and men in general. Supplement and pharmaceutical companies are making tons of money from men who are trying to boost their test, most of which is ill-gotten gains because the supplements are useless and/or potentially harmful.
Last month I discussed the three different types of testosterone that are found in the body, what each of them does, how much you need and how to determine your true testosterone. Now I want to share 10 things you can do completely on your own to boost your testosterone, naturally, easily and (with some steps) very quickly. I do recommend that you take a Testofen supplement as well, and I’ll include some information regarding which product to get and where to get it. Still, you should also be doing everything you can to increase your testosterone, and there are steps you can take in terms of your diet, exercise and lifestyle that have been proven to help.
Here are 10 of the most well-researched and effective testosterone-boosting actions, in no particular order.
1) Eat more saturated and other healthful fats. I thought I’d start with one that will make you happy. Studies have shown that healthful mono- and polyunsaturated fats help your body create more testosterone and also help control the hormones that work counter to testosterone. You’ll want to make sure you’re getting plenty of plant-based fats such as avocado, olives and olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. Even so, you also want to get enough animal-based saturated fats, as they are actually more beneficial for testosterone production.
Although you may normally try to keep your fat intake to 10, 20 or 30 percent of your daily calories, studies have shown that a diet containing less than 40 percent fat will actually lead to a drop in testosterone. So, if you’re low, you may want to consider raising your total fat intake to 40 percent for at least a short time.
2) Eat less sugar. Research has shown that testosterone levels drop almost immediately after you eat sugar. Eating sugar triggers the release of insulin, which is one of those anti-testosterone hormones mentioned above. If you really need to bring up your testosterone, skip refined sugar and starchy foods and limit your fruits and vegetables to mainly very-low-glycemic choices.
3) Watch your stress levels. Stress stimulates an almost immediate and steady release of cortisol, which produces an almost equal drop in testosterone. Those two hormones are like a seesaw; one of them is always dominant. Testosterone tells your body to use calories as energy and build muscle; cortisol tells it to do the opposite and store the calories as fat. Do whatever you need to do to reduce your stressors, both large and small. It’s not just the big things that will prompt a cortisol increase—running late to work or school can do it just as easily.
4) Get regular, restful sleep. Aside from the fact that lack of sleep will also stimulate the release of cortisol, your body produces and synthesizes testosterone during sleep, particularly during the first few hours. Commit to getting to bed early enough to get eight hours of sleep, and do what you can to go to bed in a restful state, ready to sleep. Don’t watch TV in bed, and put all the electronics away, which means no social media. Get in bed and sleep!
5) Get enough vitamin D. Many people don’t realize that vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone. It increases the amount and viability of sperm cells, and it also increases testosterone. Unfortunately, we’re wearing a lot of sunblock these days, and many of us are also limiting or excluding dairy. Since those are our best resources for vitamin D, many of us have a deficiency and don’t realize it.
Fortunately, there are plenty of nondairy sources of vitamin D. Cod liver oil, fish, oysters, mushrooms and eggs are all excellent ways to get some vitamin D. If your D is low, taking a daily dose of a vitamin D3 supplement will help improve your testosterone level as well.
6) Get enough zinc. This mineral is absolutely essential for testosterone production. Research has shown that increasing zinc for as few as six weeks can result in a dramatic increase in testosterone, and numerous studies have proved that a zinc deficiency will result in a dramatic drop in it.
Experts agree that diet is better than supplementation when it comes to zinc. You can get it from raw dairy, such as raw milk, cheese, yogurt and kefir, but if you don’t eat dairy, you can also get plenty of zinc by eating lots of legumes.
7) Incorporate HIIT into your exercise program. I’m a huge advocate of high-intensity-interval training. It’s an extremely effective means of boosting metabolism and fat loss and training your alactic energy system. In addition, it can do a lot to boost testosterone. There’s plenty of scientific evidence that short, intense bursts of exercise boost testosterone, while long, moderate- to high-intensity work actually trigger the release of cortisol.
8) Eat early, and eat often. Hunger not only stimulates more cortisol, but it also messes with your insulin, leptin and ghrelin levels, causing more problems with testosterone release. Eat breakfast or juice some veggies and fruits as early as possible after you get up, and then eat frequent, balanced snacks and meals throughout the day.
9) Go for intensity in your training. Just as with HIIT, high-intensity lifting sessions stimulate more testosterone release. That said, high-volume training done for too long a duration will increase cortisol.
10) Time your caffeine properly. Drinking too much coffee leads to a drop in testosterone, but a recent study found that having a moderate amount, like a cup, right before your workout can actually increase testosterone temporarily.
Next month I’ll examine the 10 reasons why you must manage cortisol if you want to build a more muscular body.