Testosterone is a male hormone that is produced primarily by the testicles and is often associated with manhood. It’s what puts hair on your chest and builds muscle during puberty. Testosterone is equally important in the roles of maintaining bone density and levels of red blood cells as well as a sense of well-being. Unfortunately, testosterone levels decline with age and may fall below the normal range causing more than one adverse side effect.
As men age, total testosterone levels decline. Free testosterone levels can also decline more quickly than total testosterone. Research shows that total testosterone decreases by approximately 30% in healthy men between the ages of 25 and 75. Free testosterone levels decline even more significantly with decreases of approximately 50% or more.
Low testosterone is commonly referred to as Low T and can start in men as early as age 30. Once in decline, testosterone levels will continue to drop and cause symptoms such as decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depressed mood, and difficulties with concentration and memory.
There are, however, options for replacing low testosterone levels. Men experiencing issues due to Low T should have their levels tested. Since testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, more than one blood test is needed to obtain true levels. Contact EzCare Clinic in California to schedule your appointment for men’s health.
If levels are low, there are a number of synthetic and bioidentical testosterone products on the market to produce other vital hormones, including testosterone in men. Bioidentical hormones, under the guidance of a holistic doctor, are increasing in popularity and are believed to be a good treatment option.
However, before trying medications, there are a number of natural ways to boost testosterone levels and have only beneficial side effects.
If overweight, getting rid of excess pounds may increase your testosterone levels. Overweight men are more likely to have low testosterone levels, so this is an important tool to increase your body’s testosterone production. Dieters must limit the amount of processed sugar in their diet as it is a large contributing factor in obesity. Eliminating soda is essential as is not using fructose. By cutting back on, or eliminating sugar altogether from their diets, men become healthier in addition to boosting vital hormones. Remember foods that contain added sugar and fructose, as well as grains like bread and pasta, should all be limited.
Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels and most other processed foods also quickly break down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause insulin resistance. This is the number one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.
Replace unhealthy foods with better, healthier ones like vegetables and healthy fats and carbohydrates found in vegetables rather than grains and sugars are preferred as are lean protein and healthy fats. Healthy fats are found in avocados and nuts and are essential for building testosterone. Research shows that a diet with less than 40 percent of energy as fat can lead to a decrease in testosterone levels.
It’s important to know that your body does need saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources and if you neglect this important food group in favor of sugar, grains and other starchy carbs, your health and weight can increase. Examples of healthy fats you can eat more of to give your testosterone levels a boost are olives, raw nuts, organic eggs and grass-fed meat. Dairy products, like quality cheeses and whey protein, have also proven beneficial.
Exercise is not an option—it’s a necessity. Exercise has been shown to boost testosterone and is proven to have a positive effect on increasing testosterone levels and preventing its decline. Keep in mind that aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise has been shown to have negative or no effect on testosterone levels. There are a variety of exercises that can be beneficial such as using an elliptical machine, a treadmill, swimming, even sprinting. Make sure to stretch properly and start slowly to avoid injury.
In addition, strength training is also known to boost testosterone levels. When strength training to boost testosterone, increase the weight and lower your number of reps, and then focus on exercises that work a large number of muscles, such as deadlifts or squats.
Or, try weight training by slowing down your movement which actually becomes high-intensity exercise. Slow movements allow your muscle to access the maximum number of cross-bridges between the protein filaments that produce movement in the muscle.
Increase Vitamin D
Increasing your intake of Vitamin D, which is a steroid hormone and essential for the healthy development of and maintenance of semen quality and sperm count, can help boost testosterone and libido.
Sun exposure is a great way to optimize your vitamin D levels as are vitamin D3 supplements that can be taken orally. Research shows the average adult male needs to take 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D per day in order to elevate their levels above 40 ng/ml, which is the absolute minimum for disease prevention.
Add zinc to your diet as it is important for testosterone production. Men who added zinc to their daily supplements showed an improvement in testosterone among men with low levels. On the flip side, limited dietary sources of zinc can lead to a significant decrease in testosterone.
Zinc can be found in protein-rich foods like meats and fish and other good dietary sources of zinc include raw milk, raw cheese, beans and yogurt made from raw milk. Zinc supplements should have a dosage of fewer than 40 mg a day. Intake of too much zinc, however, can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb other minerals, especially copper, and may cause nausea as a side effect
Lastly, reducing stress and taking care of yourself is your best way to increase Low T. When a man is under a lot of stress, his body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol which blocks the effects of testosterone. To manage stress, there are common and very successful stress-reduction tools like prayer, meditation, laughter, and yoga. Learning relaxation skills such as deep breathing and positive visualization also help. When you create a visual image of how you’d like to feel, your subconscious will understand and begin to help you by making the needed biochemical and neurological changes.
If none of these natural approaches work and you still believe you have low testosterone, consider getting your levels checked by a doctor. If you do have Low T, he or she can help develop an effective treatment plan that will get you back to feeling like your old self. If you have any questions about your testosterone levels, please get in touch with EzCare Clinic.