Testosterone allows athletes and bodybuilders to rapidly increase muscle mass and strength. Thus, it is important in fitness and training. However, you do not have to only rely on testosterone supplements to achieve these benefits. Your body naturally produces testosterone!
Here is a detailed guide on testosterone, explaining what it is, why it is essential, and how to boost your testosterone naturally.
What Is Testosterone?
It is the primary sex hormone in men, although women have it in small levels. Testosterone is part of the androgen hormones and is responsible for the physical characteristics in men such as a deep voice and broad shoulders.
Why Is Testosterone Important?
Before diving into how you can boost your testosterone levels, you need to understand why it matters. For males, testosterone plays a significant role during puberty. During puberty, testosterone helps with:
- Deeping the voice
- Increasing height
- Growth of the penis and testicles
- Strengthening muscles and bones
- Growth of hair- facial and body hair
However, the benefits of testosterone do not end after puberty. Testosterone helps regulate these body functions in adults:
- Sex drive
- Bone density
- Muscle strength
- Red blood cell production
- Sperm production
- Fast distribution
- Growth of facial and body hair
Consequences of Low Testosterone Levels
There are different reasons your testosterone levels may be running low, with the most common being age. Testosterone levels increase as production increases during puberty and reduce as production decreases after hitting 30 years.
Here are some of the effects of low testosterone levels:
Testosterone is also known as the male hormone since it helps in the growth of body hair, increases muscle mass, and significantly contributes to the overall masculine appearance. So, when the levels of testosterone decrease, it causes physical changes like fragile bones, increased body fat, and recused muscle mass. It can also cause weak bones, decreased body hair, and increased fatigue.
Besides physical changes, reduced testosterone levels will also cause emotional changes. Testosterone is a hormone, and its reduction could affect your concentration, memory, and mood. You might begin feeling sad or depressed. In some cases, it can cause low motivation and self-confidence.
When your testosterone levels are low, you will experience changes in your sleeping patterns. You are more likely to suffer from insomnia or sleep apnea.
How Can You Tell Your Testosterone Levels are Low?
If your testosterone level is lower than it should be, there is a range of symptoms you might experience. They include:
- Hair Loss- testosterone plays an essential role in hair production. Even though balding and hair loss comes with aging, sometimes, it can be due to low testosterone levels.
- Low Sex Drive- when suffering from low testosterone levels, your desire to have sex will drastically drop since testosterone is responsible for causing sex drive in men.
- Increased Body Fat- if your testosterone levels fall below the average range, you will experience increased body fat. You might also develop gynecomastia due to an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone.
- Difficulty Getting and Maintaining an Erection- testosterone is responsible for stimulating your sex drive. So it influences your ability to achieve and maintain an erection. Low T levels can result in difficulty getting an erection or maintaining it.
- Fatigue- when your testosterone levels are low, you will notice a decrease in your energy level. You will experience extreme fatigue despite getting enough rest.
- Change in Mood- men too can experience mood changes if their testosterone levels are low. Testosterone is vital for many processes in the body, both physical and mental. So, low testosterone levels could result in you being moody, experiencing heightened irritability, and lack of focus.
- Low Semen Volume- testosterone helps in the production of semen. So, if the T levels are low, the volume of your semen will also decrease during ejaculation.
- Decreased Memory- although memory declines with age, low testosterone levels negatively affect memory.
- Reduced Bone Mass- testosterone is essential in building muscle mass. So, when the T levels decrease, so do bone mass and volume. This could be dangerous as it makes you more prone to bone fractures.
- Low Blood Count- research done by doctors links low testosterone levels to an increased risk of anemia. Since testosterone helps produce red blood cells, a decrease in testosterone means a reduction in RBCs and hence, low blood count.
- Small Testicles- when your testosterone levels are low, it can result in smaller testicles. Testosterone helps in penis and testicle development. So, lower T levels could contribute to smaller testicles.
Are you experiencing any of the above symptoms? There is a medical test your doctor can perform on your blood to measure your testosterone levels. Therefore, before rushing to assume you have low T levels, confirm with a doctor first.
5 Ways You Can Naturally Boost Your Testosterone
Try any of these tips to boost your testosterone naturally:
1. Maintain an Active Lifestyle by Exercising and Lifting Weights
Besides exercise being an effective way to prevent lifestyle diseases, it also helps boost testosterone levels. Resistance training like lifting weights is considered effective in increasing testosterone levels.
Exercise helps reduce and manage weight, which helps with testosterone levels since excessive weight can cause low testosterone levels. Cardio helps burn calories and build muscles which helps increase your metabolism. Strength training also helps rebuild muscle mass you may have lost if you suffered from low T levels.
2. Manage Stress
Stress has been associated with numerous side effects when it comes to health. Unknown to many, stress can also affect testosterone levels. When stressed, cortisol hormone levels are elevated, reducing testosterone levels. The relationship between cortisol and testosterone is inverse- when one goes up, the other comes down.
Life is always going to present new challenges, which can be stressful. So, if you cannot reduce stress, you need to learn how to manage it. An effective way to relieve stress is by exercising, meditating, or taking time off to engage in hobbies you love. You can also try deep breathing and self-affirmations to help you out of stressful situations.
3. Eat a Balanced Diet
Much emphasis is placed on the importance of eating a balanced diet, all for a good reason. What you eat significantly affects your testosterone levels. Therefore, ensure your meals have protein, fat, and carbohydrates. An imbalanced diet or overeating could disrupt the level of testosterone.
There are two ways a balanced diet can help improve your T levels. First, a balanced diet promotes weight loss and ensures you maintain a healthy weight. Obese people are highly likely to experience low testosterone levels. When you have excess abdominal fat, the body produces many aromatase enzymes that convert testosterone into estradiol, lowering the T levels.
Second, a balanced diet reduces the chance of sugar spikes. Simple carbohydrates and poor diets can spike blood sugar, which reduces T levels. As you cook your meals, you should also watch the cooking oil you use. Here are the best oils to use to maximize the production of testosterone.
4. Manage Underlying Medical Conditions
In most cases, testosterone levels do not just decrease. The decrease is mainly linked to other health conditions, some of which you may not be aware of. Besides obesity, other health conditions that may contribute to low T levels include metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea.
In some rare cases, low T levels could be a side effect of medication you are taking for a health condition. It is essential to seek a doctor’s opinion on how your medical conditions can affect your testosterone levels and what to do about it.
5. Get Enough Rest and High-Quality Sleep
A study shows that getting 5 hours of sleep reduces testosterone levels by 15%. Another study shows that for every extra hour of sleep you get, your testosterone levels increase by 15%. Sleeping promotes general health, which leads to sufficient testosterone production. However, besides that, testosterone is mainly released when you are asleep. Therefore, there is a direct relationship between sleep and your T levels.
Here are more tips on how to boost testosterone naturally.
Can One Have Too Much Testosterone and What Are the Effects?
Having gone through the side effects of low testosterone levels, you are probably determined to increase your testosterone levels. But can you have too much testosterone?
The effects of excess T levels will significantly depend on age and sex. It is improbable that an adult male will suffer from a disorder if they produce too much testosterone. However, if a young boy gets too much testosterone, they may begin exhibiting puberty signs before reaching adolescent age.
If a woman has high levels of testosterone in their blood, it could be a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome. Signs of high T levels in women include acne, facial and body hair, increased muscle bulk, balding, hair loss, and a deep voice.
Why You Should Consider Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone
Numerous over-the-counter powders and pills are claimed to boost testosterone levels. However, the evidence that these products are both natural and effective is limited.
Most of these products, however, do not contain testosterone. Instead, they contain substances that help boost your body’s ability to produce testosterone once ingested. While some testosterone boosters may be safe to use in moderation, you cannot entirely rely on them to raise your testosterone levels. A significant proportion of these over-the-counter testosterone boosters come from unreliable sources, which could pose serious health risks. If you are going to choose an over-the-counter testosterone booster, make sure to buy from a reliable and trustworthy source.
Before trying over-the-counter products, take our hints to start boosting your testosterone naturally, today!
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