When you say “testosterone,” most people associate it with “manhood” – for good reason. This hormone is crucial to male sexuality, although it also affects muscle mass, hair growth, bone density, red blood cells, and even mental health.
If you’re a man over 30 and are experiencing low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depressed mood, memory and concentration issues, there’s reason to suspect that low testosterone levels may be the cause.
The Male Dilemma: Testosterone Decline Over the Age of 30
Natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola explains that when a man reaches the age of 30, his testosterone levels start to decline, and will continue to do so as he ages. Furthermore, he says the drop in testosterone levels may also hasten due to prescription drugs, while men’s estrogen levels may increase due to estrogen-mimicking compounds found in food, water, and environmental toxins.
Whether you’re under or over 30, you should take extra precautions to maintain your testosterone levels within the healthy range. One of the most important steps is to have your levels tested. Since your testosterone levels often fluctuate throughout the day, Dr. Mercola advises getting more than one blood test to determine your exact levels.
If you discover that you have decreased testosterone levels, is this grounds for you to try a number of synthetic and bioidentical testosterone products? While Dr. Mercola recommends using bioindentical hormones (rather than synthetic products), he urges you to first focus on your lifestyle. There are many safe strategies that can stimulate testosterone production and can also benefit other aspects of your health.
Strategies That Help Boost Testosterone Levels
1. Manage Your Weight
Weight plays a huge role in many of men’s body functions, including testosterone production. According to research presented at the Endocrine Society’s 2012 conference, overweight men tend to have lower testosterone levels.
If you’re serious about maintaining your ideal weight, you should first control your diet. Avoid refined carbohydrates, such as breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and other forms of processed foods. These foods break down into sugar, and over consumption can lead to insulin resistance, which is one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease known to man, including weight gain. As a general rule, limit your sugar consumption to 25 grams per day.
The next step is to replace these foods with healthy substitutes like vegetables and healthy fat, especially saturated fat from coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed meat and dairy, raw nuts and seeds, and avocados. To learn more about what diet you should follow, check out Dr. Mercola’s optimized nutrition plan.
2. Do More High Intensity Exercise
Exercise, if done properly, can complement your diet plans and promote testosterone function. However, findings show that aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise have a negative or no effect on the hormone’s levels. Instead, focus on high-intensity training, such as Dr. Mercola’s Peak Fitness routine.
The entire Peak Fitness workout lasts for only 20 minutes and has 8 cycles. For each one, you are required to work as fast as you can for 30 seconds, with a 90-second recovery period. However, the number of cycles that you do will depend on your level of fitness.
Combining this workout with intermittent fasting will help raise your testosterone levels by promoting the expression of satiety hormones like leptin, insulin, adiponectin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), cholecystokinin (CKK), and melanocortins – all of which support healthy testosterone function, increase libido, and prevent age-induced testosterone decline.
3. Try Strength Training
In addition to high intensity workouts, strength training may also help increase testosterone levels. However, it should be done at the right intensity. In order to do so, increase the weight and lower your number of reps. Focus on exercises that work more muscles, such as dead lifts or squats.
You can even take strength training to the next level by slowing down your movements. With slower movements, you’re going to turn it into a high intensity workout.
4. Up Your Zinc Consumption
Taking a zinc supplement for as little as six weeks has been found to improve testosterone levels. Zinc supplementation may also help protect men from exercise-induced testosterone decline. On the other hand, limiting dietary sources of zinc may lead to a reduction of testosterone.
Still, your diet is the best source of zinc. Along with protein-rich foods like meats and fish, other foods abundant in zinc include raw milk, raw cheese, beans, and yogurt or kefir made from raw milk. If you opt to take a zinc supplement, Dr. Mercola advises sticking to a dosage of less than 40 mg a day. Too much zinc may inhibit your body’s ability to absorb other nutrients, especially copper, and cause nausea as a side effect.
5. Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels
As a steroid hormone, vitamin D is significant for the development of the nucleus of the sperm cell, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D can also raise testosterone levels, which may improve libido.
It is recommended to have your vitamin D levels between 50 to 70 ng/ml. Check your levels with a 25(OH)H test. Dr. Mercola believes that the most effective way to optimize your vitamin D levels is through healthy sun exposure. If that option is not available, use a safe tanning bed with electronic ballasts to limit exposure to electromagnetic fields.
As a last resort, you may use an oral vitamin D3 supplement. To determine the appropriate dosage, you should have your levels checked.
6. Address Stress
During stressful moments, your body releases high amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, which may block the effects of testosterone. Chronic stress would mean that testosterone function is blocked in the long term.
Find ways to reduce stress. It can be as simple as prayer, meditation, positive visualization, or even laughter. You may even try acupressure techniques like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which uses finger tapping and positive voice affirmations.
7. Increase Your Intake of Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
Studies show that this amino acid can help raise testosterone levels, especially when consumed along with resistance training. While BCAAs are available in supplement form, excellent dietary sources of BCAAs like leucine are available, and include high-quality whey protein and cheeses from pastured cows. Always remember that food-based leucine is the ideal form and can benefit your muscles without causing any side effects.
For more information on testosterone decline, check out Dr. Mercola’s article “Testosterone Decline: How to Address This Challenge to ‘Manhood.’”
- When a man reaches the age of 30, his testosterone levels start to decline, and as he ages. Tweet
- Strength training may help increase testosterone levels but should be done at the right intensity Tweet
- When stressed, body releases high amts of cortisol, which may block the effects of testosterone. Tweet