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.
Until next time, Mood Lifter!
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 February 21, 2024 4 min read
In the battle against depression, exercise stands as a powerful ally.
Yet, for many, the mere thought of hitting the gym or going for a run can feel daunting.
The key lies in transforming exercise from a chore into a journey.
A place where you not only become physically stronger... but mentally as well.
In this guide, we'll explore actionable strategies to enhance motivation, streamline the exercise process, and cultivate a consistent routine that amplifies its mood-boosting benefits.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj January 25, 2024 3 min read
Did you know that our relationship with food is deeply intertwined with our psychology?
The convenience and allure of processed foods often tap into our psychological triggers, making it challenging to break free from their hold.
However, by understanding our behaviors and implementing strategic psychological practices, we can successfully reduce our reliance on processed foods.
In this blog, we'll explore five behavioral strategies that leverage psychology to foster healthier eating habits.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj January 11, 2024 4 min read
Navigating through the challenges of depression can be a difficult journey for many.
In the quest for mental well-being, you know that exercise is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal.
However there will be days where you're not motivated... and only with carefully crafted discipline, can we do what we need to do when we aren't motivated to do it.
What exactly is discipline, and how can we use it on our journey?
In this blog post, we will explore the essence of discipline and delve into five effective ways to cultivate this invaluable trait.
Let's dive in!