Our body needs testosterone for a lot of functions. It is important for both men and women for their metabolic functions. People having low testosterone levels is a chronic epidemic and threatens lives across the globe. As we know testosterone is an anabolic steroid hormone. It plays a critical role in muscle building, sex drive, metabolism, mood regulator, cognitive and memory functions. If the body has normal testosterone levels then it helps in maintaining optimal weight and also reduces the risk of many degenerative diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, certain cancer, and osteoporosis.
Testosterone is mainly produced by the testicles and adrenal glands in men. Around the age of 30 years, the levels of testosterone begin to decline and continue to do so as you age. Women also produce testosterone, however, the amount is quite less. In women, it is produced in the adrenal gland and ovaries. The testosterone levels are known to be highest around the age of early twenties and then drop by around 10 percent in every 10 years. For women who have gone through menopause lose the function of their ovaries and the risk of low testosterone levels in their body is relatively high. This can lead to osteoporosis and other chronic diseases.
Men who lose testosterone in large amount are said to have andropause. Some of the common symptoms of male andropause are increased abdominal fat accumulation, depression, lack of self-motivation and drive decreased muscle mass, and lowered libido. The changes in andropause are gradual and it takes time before the first symptoms are noticed. In many cases, the changes go unnoticed. The researchers carried out a test in which more than 800 males over the age of 40 participated and it was found that men with low testosterone levels had an 88% increased risk of death than others with normal levels of testosterone.
In case of low levels of testosterone, you can naturally increase your testosterone levels by many natural ways. Let us discuss some of these natural ways to increase the testosterone levels.
- Lose weight
As per a recent research that was presented, it was highlighted that if you lose the excess weight it may help increase the testosterone levels. It is likely that overweight men are likely to have low testosterone levels and shedding the extra weight can help increase the testosterone levels in our body. If you are serious about losing weight then you will have to decrease your intake of processed sugar. The excess sugar and fructose is the major reason for the obesity epidemic. You should cut down on the soda from your diet. The total fructose intake should be less than 25 grams per day and it should be inclusive of fruits as well. This is a major point for people with insulin resistance, overweight, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Intermittent fasting and high-intensity exercise
It was found that short intensity exercise and intermittent fasting have shown to boost the levels of testosterone and also prevent the decline in its levels. Also, prolonged exercises have shown to have a negative or no effect on testosterone levels. The intermittent fasting also helps boost the testosterone levels. The fasting helps in releasing many hormones which have a healthy testosterone action and it helps increase the libido and also stop any age-related testosterone decline in the body.
- Adding zinc to diet
The mineral zinc is an important compound for testosterone production and increasing the diet for as little as six weeks, has shown great improvement in the testosterone levels in men. The change was more noticeable in men with lower levels of testosterone. It was also found that it helped protect men from exercise-induced reductions in the testosterone levels. It was found that over 45 percent men have lower than the recommended zinc intakes. There are many food items which are the best source of zinc, like meat, fish, raw cheese, beans and yogurt.
- Strength training
The strength training is also an important aspect to help boost the testosterone levels. The only condition is that you need to do it intensely enough. You need to increase your weight and decrease the number of reps. You need to focus more on exercises which work on a large number of muscles such as squats and deadlifts.
- Increase Vitamin D levels
As we all know Vitamin D is an important steroid hormone which is important for the development of the nucleus of the sperm cells. It also helps maintain the sperm count and semen quality apart from increasing the testosterone levels.
- Reduce stress
There is a lot of importance given to the aspect that you need to reduce stress. When we are under a lot of stress our body releases stress hormone cortisol in large amounts and it blocks the effects of testosterone.
- Reducing Sugar intake
As stated earlier as well, you should decrease the intake of sugar as it increases the insulin levels which in turn reduces testosterone levels in our body.
- Increasing intake of Branch Chain amino acids
You should increase the intake of Branch chain amino acids along with resistance training as it helps increase the testosterone levels. They are available as supplements especially in quality cheese and whey protein.
- Eating more healthy fats
The healthy fats are a good source of energy and are important in building testosterone. The junk food should be avoided and more of mon- and polyunsaturated fats should be included in the diet. Certain meat, dairy, oils and nuts have the required amount of fats.