For most people, improved workouts are the first thing that comes to mind when they hear "testosterone." As it turns out, though, this hormone comes with a variety of other benefits.
What many don't realize is that testosterone plays a key role in losing and managing weight. Primary cause of belly fat is lower testosterone. If you're a man who is trying to build muscle or slim down, the amount (or lack) of testosterone in your system can significantly impact your results. Low Testosterone causes weight gain in men, the reverse also seems to be true: Obesity is one of the risk factors for lower than normal levels of testosterone. Physiologically, the relationship between low testosterone and weight gain in men can become a vicious cycle.
Whether you want to lose belly fat, or get a perfect beach body or just to feel better, here are 15 surefire testosterone boosters.
1. Get More Sun
One of the easiest ways to increase your testosterone levels is to get outdoors more often. This is because sunlight is the body's way of getting vitamin D. Researchers have shown the many health benefits to vitamin D intake. Its testosterone-boosting ability is one of its most popular features.
One study even found that participants who took certain amounts of vitamin D daily saw testosterone increases of up to 25 percent within a year. Of course, it can be difficult to measure just how much sun you're getting. This is why taking supplements helps you get the optimal level of vitamin D in your life.
2. Get the Stress Out
Keeping stress low is much easier said than done. But by doing so, you can easily increase your testosterone levels. There are countless disadvantages to consistent stress. One of these is the increase in cortisol levels. As cortisol rises, testosterone decreases. The inverse is also true - which is why you'll often feel better after a good workout.
Unfortunately, too much stress can also cause weight gain, increased body fat and overeating. Each of these issues will only contribute to even lower levels of testosterone. Stress is a silent killer, but it will also stop you from getting a killer beach body. Find coping mechanisms that help you wind down and reduce your stress levels.
Did you know, for instance, that even fake smiling can reduce stress levels? It's not a fix-all tip, but using little tips like this can keep cortisol levels in the healthy range.
3. Get More Exercise
If you want a quick way to reduce those stress levels, go ahead and set up a consistent workout routine. Whenever you exercise, your body releases endorphins into your bloodstream. These endorphins in turn boost your mood, and that means less stress! And getting more exercise helps increase your testosterone in more than one way.
Studies have found that people who exercise regularly have higher levels of testosterone. This was true for all groups of people, and in the elderly, this even equated to improved reaction times. Just about any physical activity will work in boosting your testosterone. Yet, resistance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are among the most effective. Make sure you research the best pre-workout supplements to get the most out of your hard work!
4. Make Sure to Get Carbs, Protein and Fat
People have become much better at distinguishing calories that come from fat, carbohydrates and protein. Unfortunately, this may be causing some unintended consequences. After all, many diets have a main focus of avoiding carbs at all costs. As it turns out, you need healthy levels of carbohydrates to keep your testosterone up.
Protein intake is directly related to testosterone levels. Its fat-fighting properties are another testosterone booster. Carbohydrates also play a role. In fact, studies have shown optimized testosterone levels whenever participants did resistance training. Even appropriate levels of healthy fat are correlated with higher testosterone.
There are plenty of weight loss mistakes that people make. One of the biggest is failing to come up with a healthy balance of fats, carbs and protein in their diets. Unfortunately, this mistake will also wreak havoc on your testosterone-boosting goal.
5. Get Some Shuteye
Around 35 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep on an average night. While this may sound appropriate for the hectic lives most of us live, it's actually a huge health concern. One of these concerns is lowered testosterone levels. And unlike some lifestyle and diet issues, this link is not indirect. A wealth of research shows that less sleep means less testosterone.
If you get only five hours of sleep per night, for instance, you can expect your testosterone levels to be lower than they could be. Long-term studies have supported this. They have even shown that an extra hour of sleep can raise your levels by as much as 15 percent. This means that getting at least seven hours will optimize your testosterone levels.
6. Engage in Intermittent Fasting
Like the other points on this list, intermittent fasting has a variety of health benefits. As you might have guessed, higher testosterone levels are one of these benefits. Intermittent fasting will have at least two benefits. It will help you get rid of excess body fat. It will also increase testosterone precursor hormones in the body.
Of course, it's important not to overdo it when it comes to fasting. Long-term fasting can reduce your testosterone levels. Long-term fasting is anything that exceeds 24 hours. Like anything in life, moderation is key. Many people accomplish intermittent fasting by eating everything they consume within an 8-hour window. This results in 16 hours of fasting, seven of which are often spent sleeping!
If you're a lover of South or Central Asian cuisine, there's a chance you've tried fenugreek without even knowing it. Different parts of the plant are often used in curry, salads, pastirma and pita bread. You'll need to check the ingredient labels of these foods to see if fenugreek is one of them. If it is, you're in for a testosterone-boosting treat.
Fenugreek works by keeping estrogen levels low. In turn, this frees up more testosterone for your body to use. This means increased lean muscle mass along with improved strength and performance. There are several foods out there that can help increase testosterone. Fenugreek is one of the most effective. It's so effective, in fact, that some supplements use it as a main ingredient.
8. Keep a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is necessary to keep testosterone levels high. Being overweight or obese results in lowered testosterone levels. Losing the extra weight can bring these levels back up.
Of course, going to the other extreme can also prove detrimental. Being underweight can result in reduced testosterone levels as well. Working to get back up to a healthy weight can counteract this. Proper diet and exercise can do wonders to remedy these testosterone-killing traits.
9. Check Your Medicine Cabinet
If you've ever listened to an ad for a new medicine on television, you likely heard potential side effects that were just as bad as the targeted condition. Of course, these are often rare with benefits that easily outweigh the risks. When it comes to testosterone levels, though, taking the wrong medications can have negative effects.
Oxycontin, fentanyl and other opioids are particularly known for knocking testosterone levels down a notch. Similarly, prednisone and other glucocorticoid drugs can get your levels out of whack. Finally, anabolic steroids can also cause reductions in this important hormone.
Of course, it's important that you not stop taking any medication on your own. If you are worried your medications are affecting your testosterone, share your concerns with your doctor.
10. Pro Test MAX
Other than vitamin D, this list hasn't really delved into dietary supplements. That's because you can't always tell if you're buying an effective item or just a modern-day version of snakeskin oil with proprietary blend formula. But Pro Test Max falls into a league of its own. The formula is all-natural and non-proprietary. So, you can see every ingredient used in the supplement. This means you'll know exactly what you're putting into your body.
The big ingredient in Pro Test MAX is fenugreek extract. This is a plant with proven testosterone-boosting abilities, as mentioned earlier. The supplement also features the following ingredients:
- Diindolylmethane: Improves good estrogen while reducing less favorable estrogen.
- Tribulus terrestris: Improved athletic performance. Often used as natural alternative to hormone therapy.
- Rosemary extract: Supports the key anabolic hormones that are responsible for muscle growth.
- Mucuna pruriens seed extract: Improves lean muscle mass and serotonin levels.
- Laxosterone: Lowers cortisol levels and signals the body to create more hormones naturally.
Each of the aforementioned benefits helps improve testosterone levels. The best part is that it's taken in capsule.
11. Avoid Alcohol Abuse
If you're working on getting a great body, you'll likely want to show it off at the beach or in the club. When doing so, though, make sure you're having fun in moderation. Alcohol abuse has countless negative health issues, and it can also result in lowered testosterone levels.
Alcohol abuse has a direct effect on the glands and hormones that affect testosterone production. Cell damage and hormonal imbalances are another common side effect of alcoholism. Enjoy yourself, but do it smart!
12. Reduce Exposure to Certain Substances
While you may not know it, there are compounds out there that behave much like estrogen. Exposure to these substances will make your body produce too much estrogen. This will reduce your body's ability to utilize testosterone.
Fortunately, we know most of these compounds that we come in contact with. Parabens, BPA and chemicals present in certain plastics should be avoided. In fact, cutting down on the plastic use is a good idea overall for the body and the earth.
13. Get Laid
It's difficult to say this without simply being blunt, but having an active sex life can also increase testosterone levels in your body. The activity regulates this and other sex hormones. Add in the fact that it's also a great workout, and you've got every reason to add sex to your "Increase My Testosterone Plan."
We're going to go ahead and guess, though, that you didn't need much convincing in this area. Fortunately, there's a link between fitness and sexual performance. This means "getting some" every so often will do your body good.
Creatine is one of the most popular products out there to maximize the effects of your workout. As it turns out, it can also increase your testosterone levels. The improved lean muscle mass will help in this area. But studies have also shown that creatine improves your body's ability to convert testosterone.
Pure Rebuild is a great option since it contains three types of creatine. It also helps you gain lean muscle mass - another great way to increase your testosterone levels.
15. Improve Your Posture
Mom always told us to sit up straight, and as it turns out, she was righter than we'd ever thought. Research has shown that maintaining a good posture will drop cortisol levels by 25 percent. It will also raise testosterone by 20 percent. That's an easy way to reduce stress and increase testosterone.
Get on the Ball!
This list might seem daunting at first, but rest easy knowing you've got this covered! You can use all of these tips or just some of them to boost your testosterone. Pick up one or two healthier habits in the beginning to get the ball rolling. With the proper supplements, diet and lifestyle changes, you'll be well on your way to a better body in no time!