Testosterone is a sex hormone that has an enormous effect on our bodies and our mental health. Amongst other things, testosterone can regulate sex drive, bone mass, fat distribution and muscle mass, strength, fertility, fatigue and mental health such as depression and anxiety.
Whilst there are testosterone injections available to those with dangerously low levels of the hormone, the best way to increase your levels is by adjusting your lifestyle accordingly. Below is a list of things you can do to boost your testosterone and live a healthier life.
One of the leading causes of low testosterone levels in men is obesity, a condition which is sweeping the nation. Physical exercise will obviously reduce your weight problems, but it will also pump testosterone around your body.
Endurance training in the form of cardio vascular activity in the morning can help to supply your body with a healthy level of testosterone throughout the day. Whilst weight training in the late afternoon or early evening can provide you with a massive boost in the hormone.
Exercise is also enormously beneficial to your all round physical and mental health and will increase your self-esteem. Doing more endurance based exercise is an absolute win-win for your well-being and testosterone levels.
Eat well and regulate protein
Male exercise right now is all about the ‘gains’, and to get the quickest results thousands of men are turning to protein heavy diets and taking supplements. Whilst a protein heavy diet may increase your muscle mass, it can inhibit your testosterone levels.
Make sure that you eat your recommended amount of daily protein by downloading an app like MyFitnessPal and tracking your food intake. However, if you are over the age of 55 you will likely benefit from 10% more protein in your diet than you would have done when you were younger.
Up your vitamin D intake
Often referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is usually produced when you are exposed to direct sunshine. If you don’t happen to live in a sun soaked country then you will need to source vitamin D elsewhere.
It’s relatively hard to find the vitamin in most foods with fatty fish and mushrooms been the main source of vitamin D. However fear not as you can readily buy vitamin D supplements from most supermarkets to regulate your levels.
Recent research has found that healthy levels of vitamin D help to boost testosterone levels in both men and women. Added to this the vitamin helps the body to care for bone decay and muscle growth, keeping you healthier for longer.
Get a good night’s sleep
During the day your body calls on your natural testosterone to help it overcome the various challenges that it faces on a daily basis. When you’re sleeping your body takes the opportunity to raise your testosterone levels for the day ahead.
However the main time when testosterone is produced is during the REM phase of the sleep cycle which occurs normally between 4-6 hours. If you regularly don’t get enough sleep then you’re depriving your body of the chance to produce vital testosterone.
If you struggle to sleep at night you should practice good sleep hygiene by following some simple steps to help you drift off. Removing electronic items from your bedroom, not looking at your phone for an hour before bed, having a night time bath and cutting out alcohol will all help you get a better night’s sleep.
Take part in healthy competition
Testosterone and competition are heavily linked, traditionally those with high levels of the hormone excel at team and individual sports. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola famously banned his players from having sex or masturbating 48 hours prior to a game to ensure their testosterone levels were high enough for elite competition.
Research has proved that testosterone levels spike significantly after taking part in competitive sports against people that you don’t know. If you beat your friend at Tennis your rise in testosterone will be negligible in comparison to beating a complete stranger.
You can boost your health, social circles and testosterone levels by joining a local sports team and regularly competing against new opponents.
As with anything in life, there is a balance to be struck between low levels of testosterone and excess levels. If you are suffering from abnormally high levels of testosterone you can suffer from the following issues;
– Increased aggression to both friends and strangers
– Acne, sweat problems and weight gain
– Unhealthy competition such as buying luxury goods to ‘outdo’ others
– Lack of sleep
– An overzealous libido
Testosterone is a vital hormone that can aid your health, appearance and mind but there is a balance to be struck. If you are worried about your levels of testosterone (either too high or too low) seek advice from your medical professional and see what you can do to find a healthy balance.