Boosting testosterone levels is a hot topic among people these days. Some men are looking to increase testosterone levels for increased muscles and weight gains while others are looking to restore their youthful vitality lost in the natural aging process. Some women are trying to boost their libidos by increasing testosterone levels.
Male or female, either way, it’s best to use all-natural methods to increase testosterone production in the body. Never ever use dangerous drugs such as steroids.
By using natural methods, you’ll avoid subjecting yourself to harmful toxins found in many of the artificial supplements available on the market today.
5 Proven “Natural Ways” to Increase Testosterone Levels
1. Zinc & Vitamin D3
In addition to a healthy diet, zinc is shown to increase testosterone levels, especially in males that are deficient in the mineral. Vitamin B6 and magnesium also to aid in zinc absorption and the converting of free cholesterol to testosterone. People with a zinc deficiency have also been shown to have lower levels of testosterone (1).
So, in turn, supplementing with zinc or eating more foods rich in zinc may very well help increase your testosterone naturally. Vitamin D3 has been show in studies to increase testosterone levels (4). Recent tudies have proven that numerous Westerners suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, which contributes to lower T levels. If your Vitamin D levels are too low you may need to supplement with a Vitamin D pill.
The active ingredients in the supplement, the carotenoid astaxanthin, and an extract of the saw palmetto Serenoa repens, reduce the conversion of testosterone into estradiol and DHT. According to a documented study, if men take a daily dose of the supplement Alphastat (primary ingredients are Astaxanthin and saw palmetto extract), their testosterone level rises, according to a study at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon (2).
3. Lower Cortisol Levels
The principal stress hormone cortisol is inversely proportional to testosterone levels. This means that people with higher levels of cortisol have lower levels of testosterone (3). Man or woman, lower than average testosterone levels are detrimental to your health. With low testosterone levels you may find that you are more body fat, feel more depressed, and are less interested and less likely to want to engage in sexual activities.
4. Get More Sleep to increase testosterone
A few extra hours of sleep each night can significantly increase testosterone levels. But how much testosterone is actually secreted during the night? Per Anabolic Men, they offer this for example. In a controlled study, where the researchers gathered up a group of healthy men to test their testosterone levels first thing in the morning when they had just woken up. They also gave these men a wrist band that showed how long each guy had slept…
The results showed that the guys who had slept for 4 hours, had testosterone levels howering around 200-300 ng/dl. Compare that to the guys who slept for 8 hours, they had their levels at around 500-700 ng/dl. The results showed that the more you sleep, the more testosterone your body produces. It’s just that simple.
Additionally, this study from Gov et al. found out similar results. They had 531 healthy men as test subjects, and they examined how the amount of sleep correlated with their testosterone level.
The results again show that the men who slept more also had significantly higher testosterone levels. In fact the guys who slept for 4 hours had about 60% less testosterone in their serum, than the men who slept for 8 hours.
The researchers in both studies concluded that men with low Testosterone are probably put on hormone replacement therapies far too quickly, as just one night with lack of sleep can more than halve serum testosterone levels…
There are a few ways you can improve your sleep quality and increase testosterone:
- Make sure you are using the correct Sleep position.
- Use some of these natural Sleep herbs.
- Try Sleeping naked.
5. Diet to increase testosterone
Your diet may actually be the most important role in testosterone production. Information from The Art of Manliness states that our glands need certain minerals — like zinc and magnesium — to get testosterone production started and our Leydig cells need cholesterol to make testosterone. Some foods — like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage — can help boost T levels by removing estrogens in our body that lower our T.
The author, Brett states that the biggest change he made to his diet was increasing my fat and cholesterol intake. There’s a reason why old school strong men would drink raw eggs — studies have suggested that higher fat and cholesterol consumption results in increased levels of total T; men eating low-fat diets typically have decreased testosterone levels. The emphasis on increasing fat and cholesterol consumption meant I got to eat like Ron Swanson for three months — bacon and eggs and steak was pretty much the staple of my diet.
I know Swanson wouldn’t approve, but for lunch each weekday (and sometimes on Saturday) I ate a salad. But it wasn’t just any salad, it was a Man Salad damnit! I packed as many T-boosting foods as I could into this thing.
- Spinach/Spring Salad Mix. This was the base of my salad. I used Organic Girl Greens from Whole Foods. Yeah, I know. The base of my Man Salad came from a company called Organic Girl. Spinach and other leafy green vegetables contain minerals like magnesium and zinc, which have been shown to aid in testosterone production (study on magnesium, and another; study on zinc)
- Meat. Meat, particularly beef, provides our bodies with the protein it needs to create muscle (more muscle = more T) and the fats and cholesterol to make testosterone. My meat topping of choice was sliced up chuck steak. I grilled two of them on Monday and it lasted me until the next Monday. Every now and then I’d slow-cook some ribs or brisket to use as my meat topping. My philosophy was the fattier, the better.
- Nuts. Usually a handful of Brazil nuts or walnuts. Nuts are little fat bombs that provide the cholesterol that Leydig cells need for T production. One study suggest that the selenium in Brazil nuts boosts testosterone. Just don’t go crazy with them. Too much selenium is no bueno.
- Avocado/Olives. Avocados and olives are a great source of the good fats we need for healthy testosterone production.
- Broccoli. Every now and then I’d throw some broccoli into the salad. Broccoli contains high levels of indoles, a food compound that has been shown to reduce the bad estrogen in our bodies that sap testosterone levels.
- Olive Oil. I topped my Man Salad off with lots of olive oil. Research suggests that olive oil helps your Leydig cells (which produce testosterone) absorb cholesterol better. And as I’ve mentioned a few times, our Leydig cells need cholesterol to make T. More cholesterol absorption = more testosterone.
- Balsamic Vinegar. Mostly for taste. It’s also supposed to help keep your insulin in check.
I bought most of the ingredients for my Testosterone Salad at Whole Foods. For those curious, I added up all the ingredients and divided by six (I typically ate six of these salads in a week). The cost per salad was roughly $5. That’s about the price many folks pay every day for a crappy fast food meal.
I was curious what my cholesterol levels would be after following a diet high in cholesterol and saturated fat, so I got a full lipid screening a little more than four months after I began my experiment. Here are the results:
- Total Cholesterol: 202 mg/dL (Just barely out of the desirable range of < 200 mg/dL.)
- HDL Cholesterol (“Good” Cholesterol): 77 mg/dL (Optimal range is > 60 mg/dL — my HDL levels were great!)
- LDL Cholesterol (“Bad” Cholesterol): 112 mg/dL (This put me in the near or above optimal range of 100-129 mg/dL.)
- Triglycerides: 65 mg/dL (< 150 mg/dL is considered normal; < 100 mg/dL is optimal — mine were downright stellar.)
Looking at the raw numbers, overall my lipid screening was pretty dang awesome. Total cholesterol was a bit high, but most doctors agree that total cholesterol isn’t a good indicator of heart disease risk.
Things get more interesting when you look at the ratios that doctors use to determine a patient’s risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol/HDL Ratio: 2.6:1 (Normal is < 5:1; optimal is < 3.5:1. Mine was optimal.)
- LDL/HDL Ratio: .68:1 (Normal is > .3:1; optimal > .4:1. Mine was optimal.)
- Triglycerides/HDL Ratio: .84:1 (Optimal is < 2:1. Mine was optimal.)
So despite pounding back bacon, eggs, whole milk, and steak for four months, I still had healthy cholesterol levels.
More tips on how to increase testosterone naturally:
Putting It All Together
So there you have it. We’ve discussed 5 natural ways you can increase testosterone levels. Of course, it’s always imperative that you exercise regularly and keep yourself active. That goes without saying.
You should definitely taylor each of the recommendations above to your specific lifestyle and needs. Certain studies can help you make informed decisions but ultimately it’s going to be up to you to test and experiment with certain things until you find what works best for your own personal situation.
As always, consult your doctor before trying any of these recommendations and make sure you keep track of your progress, results and most importantly how you feel.