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by Tony Gjokaj April 26, 2021 6 min read
According to Urology Times, testosterone levels have been showing a steady decrease among young US men.
When we hear declining testosterone levels, we usually think this comes with age.
But recent studies have shown this issue is not just a matter of aging, but also is a pressing matter of behavioral, health, and lifestyle deficiencies. For example, the decline of testosterone is connected to obesity and depression.
Depression and low testosterone are very commonly correlated between one another in men.
Luckily, this means that we can improve our testosterone by introducing better habits into our lifestyle.
So in this post, we will discuss 8 very practical ways to improve testosterone.
Let's dive in!
It's more than a sex drive hormone.
Some researchers believe that low testosterone can impact a man's central nervous system. This means it not only impacts a man's sexual desire, but it can impact a man's self-esteem, motivation, and more.
Because of this, there is a connection between low testosterone levels in men and increased levels of anxiety, along with lowered mood & well-being.
Research supports that testosterone can help older men alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, so it's important to make sure we do the best we can to not have our testosterone levels falter.
The following are some natural ways in doing so.
One of the most common problems in young men is sleep deprivation. While this leads to increased levels of stress, distress, and other behavioral challenges... this can also lead to drops in testosterone overtime.
Working at my previous job, sleeping around 4-5 hours per day was the average amount of sleep I would get. This lead to elevated levels of stress, made me eat more, made me not recover properly with exercise, and other issues.
The simple solution: you need to sleep more.
Here are some of the common issues as to why we sleep less:
Engaging in frequent physical activity is one of the best ways to improve testosterone production. According to one study, overweight and obese men reported dramatic increases to their testosterone by just following a 12-week aerobic exercise program.
So get your workouts in.
To add to that, here are some of the best ways to improve testosterone through exercise:
From the previously-mentioned 12-week aerobic exercise study, you will notice that they included a proper diet into the regiment to improve their testosterone.
Many of the blog posts you will see on the internet will tell you that specific foods will lower or raise testosterone levels. Ultimately, you should be most concerned about eating large amounts of processed foods over everything. As most processed foods are calorie-dense and lack proper nutrients, these will negatively impact your goals if you consume them in large amounts.
What we recommend is following these few tips:
Dietary Fats play a huge role in our bodies because they're needed for various processes, like hormone production. Prioritizing a proper and healthy fat intake can optimize your testosterone levels.
In fact, one study compared testosterone production in individuals with high and low-fat diets. The study found that the people who consumed ~41% of total calories in fats had 13% more testosterone than the individuals who ate 18% of total calories in fats.
Now what about the types of fats? You might hear a lot of things about how bad saturated fats are, but saturated fats are actually ok in moderation. In fact, they can be very beneficial when combined with other healthier fat options. One study showed that consuming saturated fats and monounsaturated fats can lead to increased levels of testosterone production.
You can get this through consumption of fish, red meat, nuts, and fish oils.
The one group of fats you SHOULD avoid is trans-fats. According to one study, high intakes of trans-fats have been linked to lowered testosterone production in animals. Trans-fats typically come from processed foods, so limit your intake of processed foods. If you have to, look at the nutrition facts to make sure you aren't consuming trans-fats.
Most people fall on the spectrum of either too much protein, or not enough.
We can simplify this step as such: you don't need to go absolutely HARD on the protein intake. You just need to consume a good amount of protein. Most can simply consume 0.8-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight and have an adequate amount.
This recommendation allows us to focus more on adding healthier fats, complex carbs, and fruits & vegetables to our diets as well.
If you don't track macros, the average person can get enough protein by estimating 1-2 palm servings of protein per meal (~4-6 meals). This typically equates to consuming 4-8 oz of protein per meal.
When it comes to sugar consumption, you can find hundreds of blog posts on the dangers of consuming sugar for testosterone production. Too much sugar can be detrimental for you, however moderation is important.
You should never completely eliminate sugar. You should LIMIT large and SPECIFIC amounts of sugar consumption.
For example, fruits should not be avoided because they aid to help provide you proper nutrients and fiber. In addition, simple sugars like fruits can be beneficial if consumed pre and post-workout to aid in recovery. Essentially, they help improve performance and energy in these moments because of rapid digestion.
Better nutrients leads to better performance in exercise, which leads to more optimal testosterone production.
What we recommend is that you prioritize complex carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, etc) in most of your meals. Add fruit servings to your pre and post-workout meals.
According to one study, large amounts of alcohol consumption leads to decreases in testosterone for men.
If you can't completely eliminate the alcohol intake, you should simply reduce alcohol consumption. This can easily be done by reducing beer consumption. Focus on hard liquor, as it is easier to get a buzz from.
Men are extremely competitive. It's in our nature.
According to Sciencedirect, there are studies that show there is an association with competitiveness and testosterone production.
You should strive to compete in competitions or against other people. Training with a training partner will also incite this competition between the two of you. Just make sure you don't load up the bar with something you've never handled before!
To simplify all of the steps, here are the things you should consider:
Each of those four points are synergistically correlated with one another.
When you exercise more, you tend to eat better.
When you exercise and eat better, you end up stressing less.
When you exercise, eat good, and stress less, you end up sleeping better.
Take care of these four steps and you should be able to improve not just your testosterone production, but your life and well-being as well.
Any questions, comments, or insights on fitness? Feel free to direct message us on Instagram or let us know in our Facebook Group.
Until next time, Mood Lifter!
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Tony is the Owner of Reforged. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help millions exercise their way out of depression and anxiety.
by Tony Gjokaj April 25, 2023 3 min read
Exercise can feel like a chore, and even if you know it’s good for your health, the motivation to get moving sometimes just isn’t there.
But it doesn’t have to be a burden - by making exercise meaningful to you, it can become something fun and rewarding!
Here are five ways to make exercise more meaningful!
by Tony Gjokaj October 07, 2022 4 min read
Men, I know what it is like to be overweight and depressed.
Not having the energy to do anything but relax and sleep.
While relaxation and sleep are incredibly important, they can make us feel like we are not making progress in our lives.
And when depression hits, it’s very difficult to push through with exercise and weight loss.
But did you know that even though it takes time and some effort, you don’t need to get obsessively crazy over it?
In fact, with just a few small adjustments, you can lose weight, fight back against depression, and take your life back.
If you're serious about shedding pounds and pushing away those depression demons, here are five tips that can help get you started.
by Tony Gjokaj September 05, 2022 4 min read
A few weeks ago, my buddy Grant and I talked about nutrition.
We talked about how he's lost over 120 pounds so far with the weight loss progress he's been making.
This is all because he has been making healthier decisions over time.
One of the newest challenges he's facing right now is he's got a new job. He's working 10 to 12 hour days with physical demanding labor.
And what's been happening for him is that he's been super exhausted, he's not motivated to meal prep, he's having trouble trying to sit down and cook foods doesn't have the energy doesn't have the time.
So what I propose is five tips that you can use to live a more on the go fast food healthy eating lifestyle.
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