Although popularly associated with sex drive, testosterone is responsible for a chain reaction of a multitude of important physiological occurrences. Boosting and regulating this wonder-hormone can lead to a healthier life filled with increased assertiveness, virility, strength and less doctor visits.
A decline in testosterone occurs in men after the age of 45, and is most recently dubbed as “viripause,” or “andropause,” a male version of the woman’s dreaded menopause. Along with the decline of this essential hormone, testosterone receptors are less acceptant of testosterone in the blood. Protein binds itself to the hormone, rendering it useless. This has been known to not only cause lack of libido and erectile dysfuction, but also muscle atrophy (loss in strength), osteoporosis, and chronic fatigue.
There are different ways to boost your testosterone levels, some including synthetic remedies like anabolic steroids, which have actually caused infertility in men. Below I discuss the natural remedies found in whole foods and lifestyle changes, which are not only more effective, but longer–lasting, inexpensive, and, most importantly, safe.
There are 3 Different factors for effectively boosting your testosterone:
1. What you eat
I focus a lot on what to eat in this blog for a good reason: what you eat can change the outcome of your lifestyle, and improve the overall quality of its practices. Eating foods high in zinc, like raw milk, kefir, beans, grass fed meats and wild fish, can make a huge difference in the production of testosterone, well into your late adulthood. Studies like those done by scientists at Wayne State University, have found that older men taking zinc supplements for six months had a higher testosterone count than young men who had restricted zinc for 20 weeks.
Another food supplement you can incorporate into your diet for a boost in not only libido, but strength, is ground Maca root. Taking it in pill form is not very effective, so be sure to mix raw organic Maca powder in with a smoothie every day. Without changing overall testosterone, Maca is noted as possibly increasing the number of “free testosterone,” a necessary component of strengthened libido that flows through your blood stream.
Avocado is a superfood that men need to invest in for heart health, and especially for testosterone levels. Along with nuts and some vegetables, avocados are high in B6 and folic acid, testosterone friendly vitamins. Consuming avocados will also lower your LDL cholesterol while raising testosterone in the body. This clears arterial pathways, making your free testosterone more readily available for its receptors.
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2. What you do
How active you are can affect the testosterone levels in your body. Overweight males are reported to have lower levels of testosterone than active ones, which coincides with their muscle mass, and lack of degenerative diseases. Short and intense exercises have a positive effect on increasing testosterone levels, and are even more effective in preventing their possible decline. Even exercising for only 20 minutes a day can change your testosterone levels, and the results are almost immediate!
Testosterone does so much more than simply increase your sex-drive. While helping you burn off body fat, this hormone can even help increase lean muscle mass and bone density. Men do not require much estrogen to repair and build bone mass, but it is absolutely necessary to have an adequate amount of testosterone in the body in order to make the conversion into estrogen. Muscle mass is dependent upon testosterone for its ability to enhance strength and endurance, which occurs through increasing red blood cell concentration, bringing oxygen to your cells more readily.
Weight training is the most commonly recommended way to boost testosterone levels, along with squats and intensive interval training. For men looking to build muscle, don’t over-train. Lean muscle mass is exactly that–lean–and while you may not be “bigger,” you will certainly be stronger, with muscles more defined, and healthier in comparison to steroid-pumping gym goers.
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3. How you feel
The hormone that has the ability to change your body composition, hair growth, voice depth, skin clarity, and sex drive is, as a functioning part of the physiological mechanism of your body, capable of changing your mood. Testosterone can effect the opiods in the brain that are necessary for mood elevation, making you either excited and emphatic or fearful and irritable. Regulating its levels is essential for men’s mental health, especially due to a number of healthcare professionals noting how depressed men are often linked to low testosterone levels.
In turn, boosting your mood in different ways can increase the level of testosterone in your body. Focusing on different activities to do so is essential for maintaining a healthy level. Stress is a large factor in the reason why testosterone drops, and can be remedied with proper management, such as healthy habits like running, meditation, listening to alpha wave binaural beats music and communicating with your friends, family, and significant others.