Testosterone is crucially important when it comes to gaining muscle. It’s the most important muscle building hormone in the body and it’s a limiting factor in determining how much muscle you can gain and how quickly you can do it. And it has a ton of other very important effects as well.
A lot of people don’t know this but over the past couple of decades testosterone levels in the average North American male have been steadily decreasing. Some research showing by as much as about twenty percent and one in four men now have testosterone levels that are below the healthy range. That can bring on quite a few negative side effects.
Decreased muscle growth, obviously, fat gain, lowered sex drive, less motivation.
You’ll probably feel more fatigued. You’ll have mood swing, possibly, even depression. And it can also negatively impact your cardiovascular health and even increased the risk of prostate cancer too.
So following these ten tips can help to make sure that you fall in within the optimal range.
Now, keep in mind that if you already are within the normal healthy range then applying these tips probably isn’t going to increase your testosterone levels high enough to where you’re actually going to noticeably build more muscle from it because for that to happen test levels have to be increased by a pretty large margin that usually can’t be done naturally.
But the moderate increase that you can get can help out in terms of boosting libido, improving your mood, your energy levels, et cetera. And these tips also have other benefit aside from just boosting testosterone that genuinely can carry over and help you build more muscle in other ways.
And on the other hand if you are legitimately below the optimal testosterone range right now then these tips definitely can give you boost when it comes to building muscle and burning fat at a faster rate if they’re able to take you from below average levels up to healthy levels.
Tip number one: Maintaining a regular weight training and exercise plan.
People who exercise on a regular basis have higher testosterone levels, plain and simple. And intense resistance training is one of the best things you can do both in terms of increasing actual testosterone levels and improving androgen receptor sensitivity as well.
And if you want to get the strongest effect here then make sure to center your workouts around big, basic compound exercises that hit multiple muscle groups at the same time. Make sure training with sufficient intensity.
And don’t use excessively long rest period either. But bottom line, if you’re currently living a relatively sedentary lifestyle then getting into the gym at least three days per week with some additional cardio thrown into the mix, that’s going to be one of the best things you can do.
Tip number two: Don’t over train yourself.
So just because some weight training is good doesn’t automatically mean that more is always going to be better. And over doing it can actually have the opposite effect on your testosterone levels especially if you are already lead an active lifestyle outside of the gym, maybe you have a stressful job, all those things are going to add up.
So make sure to regulate your overall training volume and frequency. You don’t need to spend hours and hours in the gym, five or six days a week to get results in the first place.
But if your strength levels are stagnating or decreasing, you’ve lost motivation to train, maybe you’re just feeling tired and burnt out and not sleeping well, you have chronic joint paint, those are all going to be signs that you might need to cut back a bit.
Tip number three: Maintain a healthy bodyfat percentage.
So healthy meaning not too high because excessive bodyfat is correlated with higher estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels but it also means not allowing your bodyfat levels to drop too low.
Trying to stay shredded year round with ripped abs and striated shoulders might sound good but the reality is that that’s actually not healthy and it’s not sustainable and going too low will have a direct negative impact on testosterone levels as well. The lower you go the worst it’s going to get.
Anybody who’s dieted down to pretty low levels of bodyfat, myself included, will tell you that the difference you feel in terms of lowered libido, energy and motivation is very obvious and it clearly bounces back once your bodyfat levels increased. If your goal is to maintain a decently lean and aesthetic physique but also keep your testosterone levels optimized then somewhere between about ten to fifteen percent bodyfat for a male is probably going to be the range that you’re going to want to stay in, and even ten percent is pretty low for a lot of guys.
twelve percent is a safer bet. This is just an estimation though, because there’s always going to be genetic outliers who can’t go lower than that without side effects but for the average guy with average genetics dropping much lower than about twelve percent is probably not going to be ideal in terms of keeping testosterone levels maximized.
Tip number four : make sure you’re consuming enough dietary fat.
So there a direct relationship between dietary fat intake and testosterone levels, and the last thing you want to be doing if you want to keep those test levels optimized is to be eating low fat diet. Keep in mind that dietary fat does not make you fat, excessive total calorie intake is primarily what makes you fat.
And consuming enough fat each day is critical for keeping testosterone in the proper range and just for balanced overall health as well. So as an approximate guideline, we would say to get about twenty five percent of your total calories from fat.
You can go higher than that depending on what sort of diet you’re following, but we wouldn’t go much lower than that and I would say that about twenty percent would be the minimum.
And fats contain nine calories per gram, so just take your total daily calorie intake multiply it by 0.25 and then divide by nine to get the number of grams of fat to eat.
Tip number five : get enough deep restful sleep each night.
The highest amount of testosterone gets produced while you sleep and chronic under sleeping is going to raised cortisol levels and reduced testosterone as well. And sleep is hugely important way beyond just increasing testosterone levels.
You need it for proper mental focus, training performance, optimizing other important hormone levels as well besides testosterone, so this is not something you want to overlook.
Tip number six : lower your overall levels of daily stress.
Stress is a killer, not just metaphorically but actually in the literal sense because it increases your risk of a pretty lengthy list of diseases an it keeps cortisol levels
chronically elevated which decreases testosterone as well.
So we understand that in modern society a lot of us are leading pretty busy lives, we have a lot going on, we’re constantly under pressure in variety of ways.
This is something that we personally need to work on as well but if you want to keep your overall health and hormone levels properly balanced you want to at least do the best you can to lower your levels of repetitive daily stress as much as realistically possible.
So that means maintaining a healthy, minimally processed wholefood diet and exercising regularly, of course, sleeping well, trying to lower your levels of work related stress as much as you possibly can and taking time for yourself to relax and unplug as well. So, spending time with friends and family, doing hobbies that you enjoy, just trying to maintain a more lighthearted attitude in general toward things, meditation can help's well.
And even things like laughing more often and even having sex more often have been shown in research to increased testosterone levels as well.
Tip number seven: consume enough zinc.
About one third of the American population doesn’t meet the RDA for zinc and that can increase estrogen levels and lower testosterone.
And this is especially important if you’re training hard in the gym because gets depleted from your body through sweat.
So you can increase your consumption of zinc rich foods or the other option is to supplement with it to make sure that you’re getting enough.
Twenty to thirty milligrams of zinc, ideally in the form of zinc citrate, with a meal once per day that would be a pretty standard dose and if you don’t sweat a lot or if you’re already eating a lot of zinc rich foods then you can go a bit lower at about ten to fifteen milligrams just to be safe.
Tip number eight: consume enough magnesium.
This is another very important mineral that plays an important role in keeping your test levels in check and just like zinc it also gets depleted from your body through sweat.
So, magnesium rich food can help and supplementation is also an option here at two hundred to four hundred milligrams per day with a meal either in the form of magnesium citrate, gluconate, or magnesium diglycinate.
And magnesium also has the added benefits of improving sleep quality as well if your current intake of it is too low.
Tip number nine: moderate your alcohol intake.
Now, alcohol itself is not some horrible, evil substance that you have to completely
abstain from in order to stay in great shape.
So the equivalent of about one to two drinks per day probably won’t be an issue and it can actually have certain health benefits, and even drinking more heavily once in a while, if you’re going out partying or something like that, probably isn’t going to be an issue as long as you’re doing it relatively infrequently.
But if you’re having multiple drinks, multiple days per week to the point of getting decently buzzed or you’re getting aggressively binge drinking every single weekend then that can definitely add up and have a measurable effects.
So if you want to keep your testosterone levels fully optimized you don’t have to cut out alcohol completely but moderating your intake in combination with the other tips I’ve mentioned here is probably going to be a good idea.
Tip number ten: get out in the sun.
That’s because vitamin D intake is correlated with testosterone production. The lower your vitamin D levels are below the healthy range the lower your levels of testosterone are going to be as well.
And because of the indoor lifestyle that most of us lived nowadays, almost fifty percent of Americans are actually deficient in vitamin D. So if you can get out in the sun about thirty minutes a day that will definitely help and if you want to make sure your vitamin D levels are fully optimized or you’re in the winter months and you live somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of sun then vitamin D supplementation is also an option.
Technically speaking you’d need to get blood work done to know exactly how much vitamin D you should be supplementing with but two thousand to three thousand IUs per day is a good guideline for most people.
Ten ways to increase testosterone levels naturally, these aren’t the only tips there are but these are definitely some of the main ones. And these are all very important things not just for boosting testosterone levels but also just for maintaining proper overall health as well. So even if your testosterone levels are already within the optimal range we still recommend going through and making sure that you’re following all of these tips for the other benefits that they provide as well.