Summary: This post talks about male hormones and how a healthy level of testosterone can help with muscle building, weight loss and having all the right kinds of energies. This post isn’t just about men. Hormonal balance helps all of us to function and feel better.
What is testosterone?
In short, testosterone is the “male hormone”. It is produced in a high concentration by men, while women also have some in their ovaries. Testosterone is responsible for our energy levels, building muscle mass, as well as having a hairy chest, and deeper voice, (of course we are talking about men here, do not fear your smooth skin, ladies) but also contributing to a healthy libido. The normal testosterone level in men ranges around 270 to 1070 ng/dL with an average level of 679 ng/dL and it peaks at around the age of 20, and then slowly decreases.
If you want to boost your testosterone levels, there are a few, healthy and natural ways to do so. Here is a list that can certainly help, but please remember the magic word: do things in moderation.
Ways of naturally increasing your testosterone levels
1. Intermittent Fasting and High Intense Workouts
Intermittent fasting can be an effective approach to weight loss and lean muscle production. It can certainly increase our testosterone levels while being in an extended period of fasting from eating. More often than not, we need to skip a meal or two in a day, but in a structured way. According to research, intermittent fasting is known to increase the production of certain hormones such as leptin, glucagon-like peptide, and cholecystokinin. All these hormones are known to increase testosterone and even libido.
2. Short, Intense Workouts
Another, effective way to help, not only lose weight but increase testosterone. This type of exercises involves short bursts of vigorous exercises. Despite the length, they prove to be more effective than most exercise routines. We recommend you to give yourself an extra boost with a post-workout Whey Protein shake.
There is one simple and easy way to increase your testosterone levels and boost the effectiveness of your exercise routine. Add some zinc to your diet. You can do this by taking zinc supplements or eating food rich in zinc. For example, you can add beans, raw milk or cheese to your diet. Generally, foods that contain high amounts of protein are also a good source of zinc. However please note that there is a recommended 40 mg limit to a healthy intake per day. Too much zinc can cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhea, as well as headaches.
Shedding off extra, unwanted pounds is not only good for your overall health but supports a healthy testosterone production as well. Of course, the key to a successful weight loss journey is properly managing your overall consumption. And not just the quantity, but more importantly the quality.
Strength training such as deadlifts focuses on endurance and builds muscles, as well as helps increase our testosterone production. Another approach is to slow down on the exercises. Despite the slower speed, you are still burning as many calories and fat as when moving fast, but the slow motion increases your muscle’s ability to repair itself after a vigorous exercise.
Elevate Vitamin D levels
Numerous studies have shown that there is a link between Vitamin D and testosterone. This comes as no surprise, as the Vitamin is often referred to as the steroid hormone. Vitamin D not only boosts testosterone production, but it also increases fertility in men. This, in turn, will, of course, have a positive effect on one’s libido. The best-recommended way to optimize your vitamin D is by spending some time on sun. The sun is literally the best source of this Vitamin. You can also take supplements, however; in limited amounts. The recommended amount is 8,000 IU’s of Vitamin D per day.
We can’t repeat it often enough, sugar is bad for us, and we should steer clear of it as much as possible. Sugar is broken down into glucose for energy, however, the presence of sugar or glucose leads to high insulin production. Insulin tends to discourage the production of testosterone. Foods that contain high amounts of sugar can be also addictive. Hence, affecting hormone levels, as well as causing an increase in weight, and the development of other diseases. This is a classic case of Catch 22 and it is better not to start the vicious cycle.
Consume Healthy Fats
Healthy fats often include saturated fats, as well mono and polyunsaturated fats. The best sources for this type of fats include vegetables and even certain fruits such as avocados. Even specific animal fats are good, such as lean meat. An increased healthy fat helps to increase testosterone levels as well.
Increase Intake of BCAAs
BCAA is basically an amino acid, making it a building block to protein. They are great for increasing muscle mass and strength, hence it is added to most workout supplements. BCAAs are also known to boost testosterone levels, especially when complemented with resistance training. Leucine, which is found in most dairy products like whey protein, contains high levels of BCAAs.