Got Low T, man?
Here’s one area I always see overlooked by clients.
Getting your hormones right.
Particularly your thyroid and sex hormones. A standard blood test will show you where you stand, but even if you’re in the “healthy” range as defined by the medical community, you may not be optimal (for fat loss, energy, mood & ALL of the above)
Here are my top 12 (or so – didn’t count) ways to boost your testosterone. I’ll be back with a thyroid blog post later this week, but that one’s trickier. Both of these hormones are present in women and should be prioritized (not just men).
I’ve got bad news for all you night owls: testosterone is directly related to the amount of sleep you get each night. The more sleep, the more you increase your testosterone. Sleep also boosts Growth Hormone and rebuilds your brain. Want an easy way to increase your testosterone? Turn off the TV and computer and go to bed!
Scientists aren’t really sure how it raises testosterone, but then does it really matter? The important thing is that pumping iron pumps up your baseline testosterone by about 15% according to one study referenced in Lee Myers Natural vs. Testosterone Therapy. Though other studies have suggested the opposite (my hunch is only when nutrition does not allow for proper recovery, spiking cortisol levels. High testosterone can’t live in unison with high cortisol)
Your outlook on life controls just about everything, so why not your testosterone as well? Depression will destroy your testosterone and the opposite will increase your testosterone. In other words, it’s not just your huevos that pump out an increase in testosterone, it’s that head of yours.
Play a sport? Beer league? Same deal. Even the anticipation of competition can significantly boost testosterone in men. Having a little healthy competition in your life is a GOOD thing.
Watch the Sugar.
According to another study in Lee Myer’s work: blood sugar spikes lead to decreased testosterone. In fact, blood sugar elevation can whack testosterone by as much as 25%! Furthermore, it does not matter whether you are diabetic, pre-diabetic or normal: your testosterone will suffer just the same.
In fact, it actually drove testosterone so low that a significant number of the men became hypogonadal during the test! And the researchers found that this was not just a transient result: testosterone was still significantly lowered two hours after the test. This is yet another example of the importance of watching your Glycemic Load and managing your blood sugar levels.
Metabolic Syndrome (prediabetes or Met-S) is associated with lower levels of testosterone [source], and most Americans over 40 or so have a full blown case of it. In fact, researchers have concluded that “while it is clear that the metabolic syndrome can suppress circulating testosterone levels, it has also been documented that low testosterone levels induce the metabolic syndrome “.
You think you thrive on stress. And to a degree, a moderate dose of stress is good for you. Adrenaline is a “rush” after all, right? What we don’t realize is that not all our hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, go up with stress. Some hormones, your beloved testosterone in particular, heads south very quickly under those conditions. In fact, what science has found is that if your cortisol, the primary stress hormone, is high enough, it is the culprit in shutting down testosterone directly.
Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to zinc depletion, which in turn can lead to lower testosterone levels. A pint on a Friday or Saturday night? All good. But drinking more than two drinks (for men) daily is considered heavy consumption. One binge can do your T in.
Drop the Extra Weight.
There is nothing uglier than those love handles to your health: they are estrogen factories. Fat converts ever increasing amounts of your precious testosterone into estradiol, the chief estrogen. As a verification, low testosterone is correlated to being overweight. Myers also mentioned a study that examined 64 severely obese men: their average testosterone was a measly 340 even though the average age was in the late forties. The same study noted that weight was associated with increased estradiol and decreased testosterone. The authors found that bypass surgery decreased estrogen and increased testosterone significantly! What is interesting is that being overweight lowers SHBG levels, the protein that binds to testosterone, which should translate to higher free testosterone levels. However, multiple studies have shown that being overweight lowers free testosterone as well. So, basically, being overweight does everything negative possible to your hormone levels!
Get Your Thyroid Checked
Hypothyroidism is associated with low testosterone levels. Furthermore, an underactive thyroid has many overlapping symptoms with low testosterone which as mental fog, anxiety, low energy, low libido and the like. This is definitely worth checking if you are struggling with low testosterone. (This can also be a definite issue with Female Libido as well.)
Turns out a few cents a day of this all-important vitamin could boost your testosterone levels. Vitamin D is critical for fertility, muscle growth, exercise performance and hundreds of other physiological processes. Correcting a vitamin D deficiency, which is quite common, can lead to a bump in total testosterone of about 30% according to a number of studies. Warning: Calcium supplementation has recently been shown to decrease Vit D absorption, so get your calcium from food. If you don’t want to pop a supplement, get 10 minutes of midday sun exposure in the summer (3-4 times per week).
Suggest finding a combination vitamin D3/vitamin K2. Vitamin D provides improved bone development by helping you absorb calcium, but there is new evidence that vitamin K2 directs the calcium to your skeleton, while preventing it from being deposited where you don’t want it, in your arteries. A large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.”
What dirt cheap supplement might give you a nice boost in testosterone according to a recent study? Magnesium is very inexpensive and was found in a study of seniors to be tightly correlated with T levels. And it is no wonder: magnesium is used by literally hundreds of critical systems in the body. Another very interesting study noted that magnesium levels increased testosterone when combined with exercise.
I recommend magnesium citrate, not magnesium oxide. The latter is more of a laxative. Take this an hour or so before bed, not in the AM or it’ll affect your wakefulness!
Spare Tire. Beer Belly.
It doesn’t matter what you call it, those extra pounds around your middle have been correlated with lower testosterone. Furthermore, studies have shown that giving men testosterone will decrease visceral fat a little. The reverse is also likely true: the more visceral fat that you accumulate, the lower your testosterone levels.
The medical and/or nutritional information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this Web site.
Content provided by Natural vs. Testosterone Therapy by Lee Myers.