Natural Ways To Increase Your Testosterone Levels

Bodybuilding is all the rage right now. As testosterone is known to not only help bodybuilders and other athletes to get into ‘the zone’ (thus enhancing performance) but also to aid muscle protein synthesis [1] (thereby helping to build muscle), plenty of eager iron-pumpers are keen to up their levels of testosterone in any way that they can. There are plenty of supplements out there which promise to send testosterone levels soaring, and the black market in anabolic steroids (which are basically synthetic testosterone) is booming [2]. However, there are significant dangers associated with boosting your testosterone levels artificially.

More testosterone than your body can handle can cause serious health issues, the least of which are shrunken testicles and a decreased sperm count. Not even supplements are completely safe, as many have been shown to contain banned substances, and some athletes have even been banned from competing after failing doping tests due to unwittingly taking these substances with their testosterone supplement [3]. Some supplements are perfectly safe to take, but you may want to ensure that you get the best effect out of them by developing a testosterone-friendly lifestyle rather than by pumping your body full of dubious chemicals. Here are some tips which will help your body to make more testosterone the natural way.

Get More Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important. It helps to regulate our moods, and works in conjunction with calcium to give us strong, healthy bones. One of its lesser-known functions, however, involves testosterone. Studies in Korea have shown that those with lower Vitamin D levels also tend to have lower testosterone levels [4]. Vitamin D has already been demonstrated to have a positive effect on reproductive health in general, aiding those with polycystic ovaries and thse with erectile dysfunction, so it should perhaps not be surprising to learn that it’s a testosterone booster as well. Vitamin D is relatively easy to come by – all one has to do is get a bit of sun on the skin.

In winter, you may want to take a Vitamin D supplement (particularly if you live in darker climes), but otherwise a stroll outside every day should keep your D levels topped up nicely. Unfortunately, Vitamin D deficiency is a major problem [5] in our increasingly indoor-based society. To buck this trend, get a payload of healthy Vitamin D into your system, and increase your fitness, try doing a workout outside instead of in the gym sometimes. For added effect, recover after your workout with some pumnpkin seeds, which are rich in testosterone-raising zinc.

Lose Weight

This one may apply more to males than to females, but in fairness studies into this phenomenon have thus far only involved men – so the information may well be just as relevant to ladies wishing to up their testosterone! It’s been found that men with low testosterone levels who lose weight experience a subsequent increase in testosterone [6]. The reasons for this are unclear. It may be that the increased testosterone is a result of the generally improved health which comes with weight loss.

It may be as a result of the exercise the men studied were doing in order to lose weight – exercise has long been known to send testosterone levels through the roof. However, the sheer amount of extra testosterone in these men’s systems would seem to indicate that something deeper is at work here. Bottom line – if you want to have tip-top testosterone levels and need to lose weight as well, working that weight off will give you a double-whammy of testosterone.

Reduce Stress

When we’re stressed, we produce a hormone named ‘cortisol’, which is responsible for a number of nasty stress-related problems, including weight gain, insomnia, and depression. However, few people know that cortisol also works in antipathy to testosterone. When your cortisol levels rise, your testosterone levels plummet [7]. It’s even thought that this may be the reason why people are less attracted to stressed-out men – testosterone is a known subliminal factor for those choosing a male mate (pehaps because of its immune-boosting powers, indicating a greater chance of healthy children).

So try to relax. Meditation and gentle strolls in the park may not seem like the most testosterone-fuelled things you can do but, in fact, by keeping cortisol at bay they’re doing your testosterone levels a big favor. If you’re a man, you’ll be more attractive into the bargain! Alas, science does not appear to believe that testosterone has the same siren-like quality if you’re a woman, but you’ll still get the upped testosterone!

[1] R. C. GriggsW. KingstonR. F. Jozefowicz, B. E. Herr, G. Forbes, D. Halliday, “Effect of testosterone on muscle mass and muscle protein synthesis”, Journal of Applied Physiology, Jan 1989

[2] Catherine Burn, “Six-fold increase in steroid users, say charity”, BBC, Apr 2014

[3] Stephen Dempster, “Banned drugs ‘sold over the counter’ in sports supplements”, BBC, Mar 2015

[4] Vitamin D Council, “Does Vitamin D affect testosterone levels?”, Jan 2015

[5] KM, “Vitamin D Deficiency”

[6] LiveScience, “Weight Loss May Boost Men’s Testosterone”, Jun 2012

[7] Kaye K Brownlee, Alex W Moore, Anthony C Hackney, “Relationship Between Circulating Cortisol And Testosterone: Influence Of Physical Exercise”, Journal Of Sports Science Medicine, 2005