Testosterone is without a doubt the male hormone that can accelerate your fitness journey and allow you to achieve those all-important gains. Read on and find out how you can safely and naturally boost your T-levels.
The sheer power of testosterone is truly undeniable. After all, it has the potential to improve your health and wellbeing in more ways than one. This includes boosting your muscles, helping the body to burn fat, supporting your mood, energy, sleep, libido, and overall quality of life.
Sounds good, right?
Well, unfortunately, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows for many men. This is because the body begins to experience a gradual decline in testosterone levels, which occurs when they reach the age of 30. In turn, this begins to have a negative impact on the body – impairing sexual function, reducing your muscle mass, and all but diminishing your physical performance.
You can boost your testosterone levels naturally and safely in many ways. This includes focusing your training on compound lifts, shortening your rest periods, and more.
As your testosterone levels increase, you’ll be able to:
- Lose body fat more efficiently
- Enjoy an improved sex drive
- Improve your performance in the gym and gain more muscle
However, it’s not just men who are affected by a natural decline in testosterone levels. In spite of having lower overall testosterone levels, women also experience a decline in testosterone by the time they enter their 30s.
The decline in testosterone levels means that the balance of testosterone and estrogen is negatively impacted. As a result, the body is likely to encounter an increase in body fat, difficulty with muscle building, and a slow metabolism.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many ways to combat falling testosterone levels – some of which you might be doing already. So, without any further ado, it’s time for you to find out the top 7 ways to boost your testosterone naturally.
1. Consume More Testosterone Boosting Ingredients
Fenugreek is a herb that is found in India and Arabic regions. It is known for its libido-boosting effects and has the ability to boost your testosterone considerably. This even appears to be the case when Fenugreek is consumed in small doses – as was confirmed in this study (1).
Fenugreek is full of magnesium, zinc, and selenium, and so this ensures that sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is inhibited. Essentially, this means that your free testosterone levels will be ramped up.
1.2 D-Aspartic Acid (DAA)
D-Aspartic Acid, otherwise known as DAA, is an important amino acid which regulates testosterone within the body, as well as helping to produce growth hormone and aids in muscle building too.
The role of D-Aspartic Acid is to boost the parts of the brain which regulate the release of hormones. This especially goes for luteinizing hormone, which essentially tells your testes to produce more testosterone.
1.3 Vitamin D
Vitamin D has the ability to support male hormones, and so this particular ingredient is one which shouldn’t be overlooked. It is a nutrient that is produced by the body from the sun’s UV rays. However, the main issue is that many people simply don’t get enough Vitamin D – mainly in the west where the sun isn’t seen all that often!
Many studies have been conducted on the relationship between Vitamin D and testosterone levels. For instance, this study (2) from 2011 found that Vitamin D can kick-start testosterone levels.
Research (3) published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport showed that an optimal dosage is between 3,000 – 5,000 IU. This will increase your strength and muscle mass, and boost athletic performance too.
A sure-fire way to ramp up your testosterone levels is with zinc. As an essential mineral, zinc essentially boosts levels of luteinizing hormone within your body. In turn, this leads to increased testosterone in your bloodstream.
A deficiency in zinc is sure to have a negative impact on the body. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you’re getting enough of it within your diet. Research (4) from 1996 even confirmed that zinc plays a crucial role in modulating serum testosterone levels in men.
Furthermore, an increased amount of zinc within the body decreases aromatization. This is when testosterone is converted rapidly into estrogen, which means that testosterone levels are negatively impacted. This was confirmed in a 1981 study (5) which proves the importance of regular zinc consumption.
1.5 Diindolylmethane (DIM)
Formed during the digestion of vegetables including broccoli and cauliflower, Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a component which ensures that there is a healthy balance between the two sex hormones – testosterone and estrogen.
Essentially, DIM converts potent estrogen forms into less potent forms, meaning that the overall effects of estrogen are reduced. In turn, this leads to healthy testosterone production within the body.
This particular ingredient is most effective when it is consumed alongside other testosterone boosting ingredients. Currently, there is little evidence to suggest that it is hugely effective when consumed on its own.
2. Increase the Intensity of Your Exercise
If you’re looking to boost your testosterone levels naturally, then one of the best ways to do just that is with high-intensity exercise. It’s all well and good going to the gym multiple times per week. But, if your workouts aren’t of a high enough intensity, you are holding yourself back from increased testosterone levels.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an ideal option for those who are looking to boost their testosterone levels. This is because you’ll essentially be getting ‘the best bang for your buck’. You’ll obtain solid results and it means you don’t have to spend hours in the gym at any one time.
As well as this, it is also important to ensure that you focus on progressive overload. You simply won’t experience any gains if you fail to pay attention to this. However, just be sure to take your time. You can’t add an extra 50kg to your bench press in just a few days. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works!
Progressive overload is hugely effective over time – all it takes is hard work and patience. It will only be a matter of time before you begin to see solid results. The same goes for your testosterone levels too, as research (6) has proven that progressive strength training induces growth hormone and testosterone release.
3. Workout Smarter, Not Longer
Not only does the intensity of your workouts relate to testosterone levels, but the duration of your workouts is also something that needs to be taken into account. You might think that more is better when it comes to exercise. However, that certainly isn’t the case. Workouts which are unnecessarily long and include excessive rest periods can mean that your testosterone levels will begin to decline.
A surge in cortisol levels is something that may occur when you work out for more than one hour. Subsequently, this can often lead to decreased testosterone levels. It is therefore recommended that you keep your workouts as short as possible. Between 30-60 minutes should be more than adequate.
In addition to this, it is recommended that you cut down on your rest periods. For example, you could cut down from 3 minutes of rest to 1 minute. In turn, this has the potential to maximize your testosterone response.
4. Get a Decent Amount of Sleep
There’s certainly no denying that a lack of sleep is bad for you. It can have a hugely negative impact on the body in many ways. You’ll be less productive, feel more lethargic, and probably be downright irritable. But, that’s not all – you’ll also encounter a decline in the amount of testosterone that your body is able to produce.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the relationship between testosterone levels and the amount of sleep that you get. Research has shown that getting between 7-9 hours of sleep each night will ensure that you will experience a rise in testosterone levels.
Conversely, a decline in testosterone levels is inevitable when you do not get enough sleep each night. This was confirmed in a 2011 study (7) which found that daytime testosterone levels fell by as much as 15% when fit and healthy young men underwent a period of sleep restriction – getting only 5 hours every night.
5. Focus on Multi-joint Free Weight Movements
Not only does your diet directly impact your testosterone levels, but you’ll also find that training does too. High-intensity free weight workouts, in particular, have been proven to stimulate an increase in testosterone secretion.
However, your choice of exercises also relates to your testosterone levels. Therefore, it really pays to be smart when it comes to your workouts. If you do just that, then you can most definitely experience a natural boost in testosterone levels.
Essentially, you’ll be able to secrete more testosterone if you stimulate as much muscle mass as possible. An ideal way to do this is to focus your training on exercises which stimulate multiple muscle groups at once. This includes exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses – all known as compound lifts.
Each of these exercises will jack up your testosterone levels, and they are superior to machine-based exercises. These exercises are less effective than free weights as they involve less stabilizer activity. They are also less effective because they only stimulate one muscle group at a time.
6. Eat More Fat
Dietary fat often gets a bad rep when it comes to obtaining a lean and muscular physique. But, it just so happens to be one of the most crucial aspects of the optimization of testosterone production. Many people remove fat from their diet altogether, or strictly limit their consumption of it.
However, this can actually be counterproductive if you have your sights set on boosting your testosterone levels.
A study (8) conducted in 1997 confirmed the benefits of dietary fats in relation to testosterone – finding that an increase in testosterone is possible when a higher amount of monounsaturated and saturated fats are consumed within your diet regularly.
In spite of this, don’t think that this gives you the go-ahead to be irresponsible with your diet and consume a bunch of junk food. To get the best results, you’ll need to pay attention to the type of fat that you consume. Essentially, this involves getting your dietary fats from monounsaturated fat sources including almonds, avocados, peanut butter, and olive oil. In addition to this, you should consume saturated fats such as dark chocolate, cheese, coconut oil, egg yolks, and red meat.
7. Don’t Avoid Cholesterol
You need cholesterol within your diet if you want to naturally boost your testosterone levels. This is because testosterone derives from cholesterol. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that if you don’t get enough of it in your diet, you are likely to be holding yourself back from achieving optimal results from this muscle-building hormone.
A study (9) that was conducted in 1983 found that there is actually a strong relationship between free testosterone levels and HDL cholesterol levels. For that reason, it is beneficial to consume cholesterol within your diet on a regular basis.
Excellent sources of cholesterol include ones which we covered in the last section. These particular foods just so happen to be sources of saturated fats. So, you’re essentially ‘killing two birds with one stone’ here. This includes the likes of the aforementioned red meat and egg yolks. That’s not your only option though, as other top cholesterol-containing foods include seafood such as squid, shrimp, and lobster.
Well, folks, that concludes our in-depth guide to the 7 best ways to boost your testosterone levels naturally. Your diet and training methods each pay a vital role when you’re looking to boost your testosterone levels. Therefore, it is important to pay an equal amount of attention to both of them to obtain the best results.
If you take into account each of the steps we’ve looked at in this article, you will soon be on the path to achieving elevated testosterone levels. In the process, you’ll feel better, look better, and most importantly, you’ll be well on your way to earning yourself those all-important gains.
1. Wilborn, Colin; Taylor, Lem; Poole, Chris; Foster, Cliffa; Willoughby, Darryn; Kreider, Richard (2010-12). “Effects of a purported aromatase and 5α-reductase inhibitor on hormone profiles in college-age men“. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 20 (6): 457–465.
2. Pilz, S.; Frisch, S.; Koertke, H.; Kuhn, J.; Dreier, J.; Obermayer-Pietsch, B.; Wehr, E.; Zittermann, A. (2011-03). “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men“. Hormone and Metabolic Research = Hormon- Und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones Et Metabolisme. 43 (3): 223–225.
3. Tomlinson, Peter B.; Joseph, Corey; Angioi, Manuela (2015-09). “Effects of vitamin D supplementation on upper and lower body muscle strength levels in healthy individuals. A systematic review with meta-analysis“. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 18 (5): 575–580.
4. Prasad, A. S.; Mantzoros, C. S.; Beck, F. W.; Hess, J. W.; Brewer, G. J. (1996-05). “Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults“. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.). 12 (5): 344–348.
5. Netter, A.; Hartoma, R.; Nahoul, K. (1981-08). “Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count“. Archives of Andrology. 7 (1): 69–73.
6. Craig, B. W.; Brown, R.; Everhart, J. (1989-08). “Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects“. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. 49 (2): 159–169. doi:10.1016/0047-6374(89)90099-7.
7. Leproult, Rachel; Van Cauter, Eve (2011-06-01). “Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy MenFREE“. JAMA. 305 (21): 2173–2174.
8. Volek, J. S.; Kraemer, W. J.; Bush, J. A.; Incledon, T.; Boetes, M. (1997-01). “Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise“. Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md.: 1985). 82 (1): 49–54.
9. Heller, R. F.; Wheeler, M. J.; Micallef, J.; Miller, N. E.; Lewis, B. (1983-10). “Relationship of high density lipoprotein cholesterol with total and free testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin“. Acta Endocrinologica. 104 (2): 253–256.