Testosterone! The mighty male hormone that builds muscle, burns fat, affects our mood, sex drive, energy, health and other effects. As we get older, testosterone levels naturally decline and have a major negative impact on everything we mentioned above. Here’s a list of great ways to naturally increase testosterone regardless of age:
- Strength Training
Endurance and resistance training both increase testosterone levels briefly, but strength training has the biggest benefit. Use heavier weights for maximum effect (the heaviest you can properly handle). Try to keep workouts under an hour, with shorter rest times between sets.
Quality sleep affects testosterone in your body in more ways than one. Not getting enough sleep actually drops testosterone production and causes muscle loss. Getting the recommended 7-8 hours is vital. All of the following happens when you get enough sleep: your body repairs your muscles, you feel more energized throughout the day, and you have better strength training sessions.
- Good Fats
Increasing your intake of good fats has been linked to higher testosterone levels. Monounsaturated fats from olives or nuts (and nut butters) are great. Good sources of saturated fat can be found in coconut oil, egg yolks and cheese. HDL is known as the good cholesterol, and low HDL cholesterol will mean lower testosterone levels. Foods with saturated fats often contain HDL.
Zinc is an important mineral for testosterone. Along with a good diet, increasing zinc will increase testosterone levels (especially if you have a zinc deficiency). Magnesium and vitamin B6 help the body absorb zinc and convert cholesterol into testosterone. Foods high in zinc include oysters (see D-aspartic Acid below), spinach, nuts, cacao, mushrooms – all are testosterone boosting foods.
- D-aspartic Acid
D-aspartic acid is an amino acid that increases testosterone production. This amino acid is naturally occurring in the testes. When consumed, it sends a signal to the brain to release a hormone that produces more testosterone. D-aspartic acid occurs only in nature so avoid synthetic forms. Meat, poultry, and eggs contain amounts of this acid but oysters contain the highest amount and contribute the most to testosterone.
- Vitamin D
Higher vitamin D levels means higher testosterone levels. Vitamin D isn’t just about testosterone, as it regulates over 1,000 functions in the body and helps the absorb calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. Foods that increase testosterone (because they contain vitamin D) include fish, mushrooms, and egg yolks are good sources but nothing compared to getting it from sunlight (the best way to get vitamin D).