Straight, No Chaser: Maintain Healthy Testosterone Levels Without Replacement Therapy
Male virility is a fascinating topic medically. It is truly an example of how confidence and mental fortitude (or the absence thereof) can directly translate into physical performance. Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise when TV ads seek to sew seeds of doubt into you. (“Don’t perform like you used to? Maybe it’s Low-T! Here’s a miracle pill!”)
As mentioned in the previous post, many factors control testosterone, most notably a natural drop associated with aging. In fact, your levels are considered normal until about age 30, then you lose approximately 1% per year until you reach a state by age 70 where you’re expected to be clinically below normal – and that’s just due to the age-related considerations. Factors you can control affect not only your sexual health but your physical and mental health, too. These include appropriately managing your diet, exercise, sleep and stress. Let’s look at the effect each has on maintenance of healthy testosterone levels.
It will forever be true that what you place in your mouth either strengthens you or slowly poisons you. Here’s a quick list of foods that are specifically good for boosting your testosterone levels.
- Bananas – Banana are rich in B vitamins, which are needed to manufacture testosterone.
- Brazil nuts – It’s the magnesium contained within that increases testosterone.
- Chicken liver – It’s the zinc! Zinc increases testosterone levels.
- Cruciferous vegetables – Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower help eliminate the hormone estrogen from the body, which increases testosterone. Choosing these healthy foods also helps weight loss, which in turn increases testosterone production.
- Eggs – It’s really about the vitamin D contained within eggs; vitamin D deficiency has been shown to correlate with higher estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels.
- Garlic (as part of a high protein diet) – This combination increases testosterone production.
- Oysters – It’s the zinc! Zinc increases testosterone.
- Pineapples – It’s the magnesium contained within that increases testosterone.
- Pumpkin seeds – It’s the zinc! Zinc increases testosterone.
Here’s the other dietary consideration for you: In general, most anything you eat that adds to your level of obesity will result in lowered testosterone levels. Number one on that list is processed sugar—think fructose, meaning soda/pop, fruit juices. The relationship between diet and testosterone is way more intricate than this, but if you incorporate the steps just mentioned, you will see a difference in your overall health and sexual health.
I will limit this part of the discussion to two manageable considerations.
- If you’re overweight, you are more likely to have low testosterone levels. Globally losing weight will work to your advantage. Check these Straight, No Chaser posts to address obesity and weight loss.
- Intense strength training also boosts testosterone levels. When strength training to boost testosterone, you’ll want to increase the weight, lower your number of reps and slow down the motion on each rep. Also try to work a large number of muscles, as occurs with dead lifts or squats.
When you’re under a significant stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol blocks the effects of testosterone. Over the longterm, stress chronically blocks the effects of testosterone, producing all of the undesired symptoms that accompany that state.
You know to how reduce your stress. Here are techniques shown to be effective in this setting.
- Deep breathing
- Positive visualization
Here’s something you likely didn’t know. Testosterone is only produced by your testes at night. Even more impressive production coincides at a specific point in the sleep cycle immediately before REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep. This production and replenishment is most complete in men getting at least eight hours of sleep/night. Conversely, testosterone levels are significantly lower in those receiving less than six hours of sleep/night. Note this is total sleep at night, not consecutive hours of sleep (assuming you are able to rapidly fall back asleep). Get your sleep!
These are very important considerations. As is the case with many conditions, your health is not going to be found in a medicine bottle. The fundamentals of taking care of yourself are your best course of action for longevity and health. This is especially important in the management of low testosterone, given that testosterone therapy has serious side effects and increases risks for certain conditions, including signaling the body to stop producing its own testosterone and the following:
- Prostate enlargement
- Prostate cancer
- Reduction in sperm production
- Sleep apnea
Feel free to contact your SMA expert consultant with any questions you have on this topic.
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