Testosterone is the most important male hormone. Testosterone, of course, is what allows boys to mature into men and develop the typical secondary male characteristics – deeper voices, larger muscles, facial hair, etc.
However, testosterone does a lot more than puberty. Testosterone is responsible for your ability to build muscle, burn fat, it improves sleep and sexual performance.
You continue to produce testosterone throughout your teens, and into your early 20s. But that is when testosterone production peeks. Once you are over 25, your testosterone starts a steady decline.
By the time you reach your 30s or 40s, you can be losing as much as 2% of your total testosterone every year. That may not sound like much, but over the years it takes its toll, and that is why many men between the ages of 45 and 65 are experiencing low testosterone. The symptoms of low testosterone, also known as “Low-T” include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Low energy
- Mental fog
- Weight gain, particularly belly fat
- Poor sleep
- Mood swings, depression, and anxiety
However, the good news is, you can take action no matter what age you are now, to increase and/or maintain your testosterone levels. Here are the Top Ten Testosterone Hacks.
- Exercise – Any exercise can boost your testosterone levels, but some exercises can really put testosterone production into overdrive. Specifically, strength training with weights, and/or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) have been shown to increase testosterone.
- Reduce stress – Stress is a testosterone killer. Stress not only lowers testosterone production, but it also increases the level of cortisol. Increased levels of Cortisol in the blood further lowers your testosterone production. If you want to keep testosterone levels at their highest, you need to practice some regular stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga, or tai chi.
- Lose the weight – Low testosterone and obesity kind of go in lockstep. The lower your testosterone, the harder it is to build muscle and burn fat, and being overweight also negatively impacts testosterone production.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D is an essential precursor to testosterone production. If you do not live in a state where you can get a daily dose of sunshine (the sun is a major source of vitamin D), you can supplement with 2000-5000 IU of vitamin D in capsule form.
- Adjust your diet – In addition to adopting a diet that will help you lose weight, there are certain foods that can help increase testosterone production. Consider adding these foods to your diet: seafood and fish, cruciferous vegetables, coconut, avocados and other sources of “good” fats, whey proteins and berries.
- Get a good night’s sleep – Testosterone along with growth hormone, another critical hormone, is produced most efficiently during deep sleep, so if you have poor sleep habits, you will be lowering your body’s ability to produce these critical hormones
- Reduce sugar consumption– Again, reducing your intake of sugar is a good idea for weight loss, but it also helps your hormones to remain in balance. Reducing your intake of processed sugars will reduce testosterone killing hormones in your blood, such as cortisol, while at the same time, will boost your production of testosterone and HGH.
- Reduce alcohol consumption – Drinking has a negative impact on testosterone levels. Recent studies have found that even moderate drinking, can significantly lower testosterone. So skip the happy hours, and try to limit your drinking to no more than one glass of wine or beer a day.
- Other Nutrients – The mineral Zinc has been linked to increased testosterone production. You can increase the zinc in your diet with protein-rich foods like meats and fish, other good dietary sources of zinc include raw milk, raw cheese, beans, and yogurt. If you are vegan or vegetarian, there are fewer source of dietary zinc so you may want to take a supplement of 40 mg or less a day.
- Make love more often – This may be the most fun hack on this list, but research has shown that having sex increases testosterone, and of course, more testosterone will make you a better lover, so this is kind of a win-win!