When it comes to male health and wellness, without a doubt, the hottest topic these days has to be testosterone.
More and more men are not only becoming aware of the incredible health benefits that come with abundant and vibrant testosterone levels, but they're also becoming increasingly aware of the negative health risks and side effects that come with low testosterone levels.
Testosterone is a hormone that is found in both men and women, however, it is the primary sex hormone for men, and it is the key alpha ingredient that makes a man uniquely male, whereas estrogen is the key sex hormone that makes a woman uniquely female.
Testosterone used to be only known for the role it played in a man's libido, but nowadays, there is much more information about testosterone and the critical role it plays in a man's physical body and mental state.
As I eluded to earlier, testosterone used to only be viewed within the context of its role in a man's sexual performance and libido, however, with what we know today, limiting the role and importance of testosterone just to those two things would be terribly misleading and inaccurate.
As you can see by the graphic image above, it turns out that testosterone plays a much larger role in the overall macro health and well being of a man.
Here are just some of the major ways testosterone influences a man's body and overall health:
If you didn't know it before, I think you can start to see why testosterone is getting so much attention especially when you consider all the powerful benefits and many ways it benefits a man's body.
In case you weren't aware, testosterone levels naturally decrease over time. Men's T levels historically have dropped at a rate of about 1.25% per year after the age of 30. Then the rate of decrease slows down a bit once you hit 50 though it still declines for the rest of your life.
Most of the testosterone you lose is between the ages of 30 and 50.
What you're looking at with the graph above is what would be considered a natural and fairly normal rate of testosterone over time for most men on average.
Now that you see how much of a greater role testosterone plays in the health and well-being of men, you need to protect your T levels and keep them strong.
One way to keep them strong is through educating yourself about testosterone. That's what you're doing by reading this guide. This guide will educate you on all the various aspects and benefits of testosterone as well as things to look out for that may cause harm to your T levels. You'll also learn about the signs and symptoms of low T levels and how you can naturally increase your testosterone and get it back to healthy levels again without having to endure dangerous, risky, and expensive testosterone replacement therapy.
Before you can fix anything, you have to be aware of and understand what the problem is.
Right now, the problem is that is facing today's modern man is that on average men living in today's modern society have less overall testosterone in their systems than men of past generations.
"Researchers can’t measure swagger – but they can measure testosterone, the male sex hormone most responsible for masculine behaviors – and studies show that testosterone levels in men have been on the decline for decades.
Two major studies have confirmed the phenomenon, one in U.S. men and another in Danish men. In the U.S. study, the total testosterone levels measured in men’s blood dropped approximately 22% between 1987 and 2004.
Of course testosterone levels drop as men get older, but what makes the study shocking is that men today actually have less testosterone than men used to have at the same age."
"(Reuters Health) - A new study has found a "substantial" drop in U.S. men's testosterone levels since the 1980s, but the reasons for the decline remain unclear. This trend also does not appear to be related to age.
The average levels of the male hormone dropped by 1 percent a year, Dr. Thomas Travison and colleagues from the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Massachusetts, found. This means that, for example, a 65-year-old man in 2002 would have testosterone levels 15 percent lower than those of a 65-year-old in 1987. This also means that a greater proportion of men in 2002 would have had below-normal testosterone levels than in 1987.
The entire population is shifting somewhat downward we think," Travison told Reuters Health."
As you can see, the scientific data is pretty startling and definitely something that men today need to wake up and take notice of. The scary thing right now is that there doesn't appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel for this trend reversing on its own.
Dr. Mike Carragher
Age Management & Hormone Optimization
"In the fifteen years since I started practicing Age Management & Hormone Optimization, I’ve noticed a startling change in men’s physiologies. Across the board, testosterone levels are declining at earlier and earlier ages.
Instead of men coming in from ages 35-45 with less-than-optimal testosterone levels (or “low T”) they’re coming in their late 20s!"
It used to be that doctors would treat men in their 40s, 60s, and beyond for issues relating to low testosterone issues. Today, the picture is dangerously different as doctors are now treating men in their 30s and even 20s for Low T issues.
Your 20s are supposed to be when you're in your prime from a testosterone perspective. This is when you should have an abundance of T flowing through your body, not going to the doctor for issues relating to Low T!
The short answer is that there isn't scientific report that says exactly why testosterone rates are dropping faster and why men have less testosterone in their system than in generations past.
However, there is lots of evidence pointing to the fact that it probably has to do with a combination of different diet, exercise, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
What we have come to learn with the latest research on natural ways to increase T levels, is that testosterone doesn't exist in a vacuum. It is heavily influenced by those factors I just listed, and when you look at today's modern man through the lens of those four factors, we get a much better idea about what is going on and why we're seeing faster rates of decrease and lower T levels in general.
Men seem to be taking some big biological body blows from today's modern and convenient lifestyle.
Men were just more physical in the past compared to today. They had to be. They farmed more, had more blue collar jobs, they were outside chopping wood and building things, and the list just goes on and on.
There's a definitive connection between physical activity and raising T levels.
Physical exertion causes your body to produce a hormonal response, like increasing testosterone, to accomplish the physical task at hand. That's why specific kinds of workouts are really good for boosting testosterone. Even getting men to exercise is becoming increasingly more difficult.
Today's modern man has him inside more often than not sitting on the couch watching TV or in a chair looking at a computer screen for hours.
Throw in time for all the social media accounts, mobile phones, and video games, and it's a wonder a man ever steps outside and gets physical.
Men really need to consciously think about getting off the couch, the computer, the video games, etc, and get outside and do some physical things.
It's no wonder with all the sedentary comforts of modern society that men are heavier on average now than they've ever been.
Scientific data tells us that being overweight actually causes testosterone levels to drop in men.
A gallop poll was done in 2011, and what that poll showed was that men were nearly 20 pounds heavier in 2011 compared to 1991.
"We are not doing nearly enough to control and reverse the obesity epidemic and doing far too much to propagate it. This is another notice of that sad fact," said Dr. David Katz. He directs the Yale University Prevention Research Center and is president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
The problem is that because of the close connection between weight and testosterone, what happens is that as a man's weight increases, his testosterone will naturally lower. To make it worse, when testosterone levels are lower, it naturally opens the door to more weight gain, and that cycle goes around and around.
Dr. Julius Goepp
"Low testosterone promotes abdominal obesity in aging men. As men age, many men become trapped in a vicious cycle that leads to life-threatening abdominal obesity."
"It has been demonstrated that low testosterone and obesity reinforced each other, trapping men in a spiral of weight gain and hormonal imbalance."
Let's not forget the food men are eating today compared to the past. Men of the past just ate healthier. They ate more natural and whole foods compared to men of today.
Junk food is more prevalent now than ever before. You can't go to any street corner now without running into multiple fast food joints and convenient stores.
Not only that, but the prevalence of all the sugary snacks and food made of simple carbohydrates and hydrogenated oils and trans fats is flat out overwhelming.
Let me also slip in prepackaged processed foods, even the "healthy" ones. With the hustle and bustle of today's on-the-go modern man, there are so many more prepackaged options now that are just loaded with artificial preservatives, colorants, flavor additives, texturants, trans fats, and processed vegetable oils that are just downright awful for the physical body and especially testosterone levels.
All these types of unhealthy foods don't help your body produce any extra testosterone.
It's much worse than that, because these foods actually kill testosterone! Why? Because they produce estrogen - lots of estrogen.
What is estrogen? Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone. Just like testosterone is the primary hormone that makes a man masculine and alpha, estrogen is the primary hormone that makes a woman uniquely feminine and female.
Estrogen kills testosterone! More junk food consumption means more estrogen production. More estrogen means less testosterone. Less testosterone means goodbye Alpha Male. It's just that simple.
Now, even if a man chooses to eat the right kinds of testosterone boosting foods, he has to wonder and worry about all the chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides that all his food as been exposed to and/or treated with.
Many pesticides have been shown to have antiandrogen properties and have been linked to suppressed testosterone production. Many have also been shown to be highly estrogenic.
This is why eating organic foods is so important. Will you eradicate every chemical or pesticide? No, but you will get rid of the majority of them.
So where it makes sense, choose organic.
Yes, it's more expensive, but the benefits you will receive are more than worth the extra money it costs to buy organic vs. non-organic.
It's easy to gloss over this one and not pay much attention to it. Quality sleep could be one of the biggest ways to boost your testosterone naturally and significantly.
We are so distracted by our mobile devices, TVs, video games, and more that in general we are going to bed later and later. Then when finally do go to bed, we are getting poor quality sleep on top it. Double whammy.
There are studies that show we don't get the same quality of sleep anymore because it's taking longer for our bodies to get into deep REM sleep mode because of the "blue light" from all our electronic screens impairing our pineal gland's ability to produce natural melatonin which gets us into the deep sleep that we need.
When you're in your REM sleep, the endocrine system goes to work sending all the appropriate signals for your body to produce more T.
Sleep is the time when your body produces the most amount of testosterone to prepare for the next day. This is why you have "morning wood", or at least you should if you have healthy T levels.
The difference between getting 4 hours of sleep and 8 hours of sleep can literally be twice as much testosterone according to this study.
This topic, as with the others, requires their own unique and complete post, but suffice it to say that today's modern man handles stress is very different way than men of the past.
Men of today are under higher amounts of stress and have a lot more distractions that don't allow them to properly decompress and recover from stressful situations. When you combine this with the more sedentary lifestyle it's just throwing gas on an already burning fire. Physical exercise is an amazingly powerful way to release built up stress and reduce the cortisol levels that chronic stress produces.
As a result of chronic stress, men are producing more Cortisol for extended and chronic periods of time.
To be fair, Cortisol is good for the body in short term temporary situations when you need a fight or flight response to a stressful situation.
The problem occurs when you are in a constant high stress situation or environment, and your body just continues to produce cortisol.
Extended cortisol production has a whole slew of bad ramifications to the body and mind, and chief among of them is that it kills testosterone.
That alone will set off a domino effect of bad things to affect your entire body.
Just some of the negative effects of chronic cortisol production include an increase in weight & belly fat, a decrease in metabolism, a decrease in testosterone production, an increase in insulin resistance, and an increase in blood sugar. There are others that we'll go into in a separate post, but let's just say that cortisol is right up there with estrogen in terms of testosterone killers.
These are just some of the possible macro reasons why men today have less testosterone today than men of past generations.
The bottom line is that more men and younger men are suffering from issues relating to low testosterone, so let's take a moment to cover that topic.
Normal total testosterone level ranges are typically measured between 300 ng/dL and 1050 ng/dL. When total testosterone levels fall below the 300 ng/dL level, that's when the classic definition of Low T enters the discussion.
The issue with this definition is that it really doesn't take age into account, and that plays a pretty significant role when it comes to Low T.
The graph below shows an what the average T levels are for men in a particular age group. For the purposes of this discussion, I'm just going to focus on the total testosterone levels (blue line) and I'll save free testosterone (red line) for a separate discussion.
So in this case, if a 25-year old male has a testosterone level of 325 ng/dL he is technically still considered in the "normal range" even though the average for his age is double that, whereas a 65-year old male with the same T level would be less dramatically different from where most other 65- year old males are. The same T levels create a very different picture depending on the age, so you need to be careful of this and look for the signs that come with having lower testosterone levels or even full blown Low T.
The following table below was created by D. Simon (1996) and it shows where men's total testosterone levels are at by age. It shows the lower end of the spectrum (5th%), the higher end of the spectrum (95th %), and it shows the middle (mean and median)
Mean: This is the average. T levels were added up and divided by the number of men
Median: The middle value in the list of all T levels of men in an age group
5th%: These men are placed in the bottom 5th percentile compared to all the other men
95th%: These men are placed in the top 95th percentile compared to all the other men
The difference in your overall health and quality of life between the 5th% and the 95th% from a T level perspective is incredible even though the 5th% is still considered "normal" (except for the 289).
Our goal is to provide you with the information and tools needed to get as many men as possible into that 95th% range where you will be at optimal levels of health, vibrancy, and peak performance.
The most definitive way to tell what your T levels are is to go to the doctor and have them do a blood test to determine your exact levels. This way you know exactly what you're dealing with.
In the meantime, there are some definite signs and symptoms associated with low T levels that you should be aware of and on the look out for.
From a mental and emotional perspective, you want look for unexpected mood changes, depression, and lack of motivation or desire. It is not uncommon for men dealing with Low T to withdraw socially and keep to themselves.
One of the biggest and most common signs that you might be struggling with low T levels is that your desire for sex starts to plummet and can even become non-existent. To go along with that, you may also have issues maintaining or even getting a strong healthy erection.
Another very common symptom is a noticeable gain in weight, and especially in belly fat. To go along with this, you might also notice an enlargement of fatty and jiggly man boobs (gynecomastia). In this same category of symptoms, men also experience a noticeable decrease in lean muscle mass.
Other symptoms include hair loss, testicular shrinkage, and a loss of strength & energy just to name a few.
The first thing you can do is arm yourself with the information you need to understand that your T levels are being attacked from a variety of different angles.
Four major areas where your T levels are being attacked have been identified:
Now you have to get very proactive and attack back and protect your testosterone levels.
In order to attack back and protect, you first have to know what actions you can take that have been scientifically proven to increase testosterone naturally.
I emphasize the word NATURALLY because if you're struggling with issues related to low testosterone, there are two different routes that you can take to increase your T.
One route is a natural route that includes making changes and taking specific actions in the four major areas where testosterone is being attacked today (diet, physical exercise, lifestyle, and environment).
The other route to increasing testosterone if you're struggling with low T levels is called testosterone replacement therapy. Let's pause and talk about this route for a moment.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a doctor prescribed and supervised hormone replacement therapy whereby you receive testosterone from an outside source by way of patches, creams, gels, implants or injections.
This form of therapy has nothing to do with getting your body to produce more testosterone on its own. It's about your body being low on T, and you getting more of it into your body from an outside source.
There really isn't much debate on whether this is an effective way to increase your testosterone levels because if you're taking in new amounts of testosterone, your levels have to increase.
The debate around TRT occurs once you start talking about the potential negative health risks and side effects associated with this hormone replacement therapy.
As was stated earlier, there's no arguing that getting injected with outside sources of testosterone will definitely increase your testosterone levels and have you feeling better in no time. This is fine in the very short term, but after that, a darkness seems to overshadow this form of hormone therapy.
This is fundamentally why I don't subscribe to the concept of testosterone replacement therapy and why I have always gravitated towards natural ways and means of increasing testosterone.
One of the biggest problems with TRT is that once you start this form of therapy, you're basically committing to it for life, and here's why I say that.
By increasing the blood levels of testosterone from an outside source the pituitary gland naturally shuts down the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) (source). Luteinzing hormone is a precursor to testosterone production. If you want the body to produce more testosterone, then the pituitary gland needs to release more luteinizing hormone. Less LH means less testosterone.
Why does this happen?
There's probably a complicated medical way to describe what happens to cause the body to do this, but in laymen's terms, what happens is the body detects an abundance of testosterone, so the normal triggers and biological processes that are used to cause the body to produce testosterone are no longer there. Since they are no longer there, then the body dramatically shuts down or even turns off natural testosterone production.
Men placed on Testosterone Replacement Therapy may be risking long term suppression of testicular function.
You may think that simply by stopping the TRT, then your body will just start producing testosterone again, but unfortunately, that's not what is happening. Once you introduce testosterone from an outside source, something triggers in the body that causes it to suppress testosterone production.
It's also been shown that if you do TRT for long enough, you can cause permanent damage to the leydig cells (study), and for some men, their testosterone never quite gets back to normal production levels ever again, and that means they end up staying on TRT for the rest of their lives.
Some men are absolutely fine with having to be on TRT for the rest of their lives, and if that's you, you have every right to that view, but it's one that I just have a different point of view on.
Let's take a look at the other most commonly talked about side effects and health risks of TRT.
The two most publicized health risks associated with TRT are increased risk of heart attack and increased risk of stroke.
In 2013, the Journal of American Medical Association published a study that really put TRT under the negative spotlight. It was a study of 1,223 men approximately 60 years of age all suffering from Low T and all had undergone TRT treatment. What the study revealed were that these men had a 30% greater chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or even death compared to men who did not have go through TRT.
Then there was another study done by PLOS One where they found that heart attacks increased by 2x in men that were 65 or older after only being on TRT for just 90 days. They also showed that men under the age of 65 who had a history of heart disease had a 2x-3x increased chance of having a heart attack in the same time period.
Let me summarize by saying that there are just way too many negative downsides for me to consider testosterone replacement therapy as a viable or preferred method to increasing testosterone levels. There may be some extreme corner cases where TRT really is the only option that makes sense, but outside of those anomalies, I'm definitely sticking to scientifically proven ways to naturally increase testosterone.
What could be better than having your own body produce more of its own testosterone?
No doctors, no expensive treatments, no injections, no negative health risks, and no negative side effects.
If there really are natural ways to significantly increase testosterone without any negative health risks or side effects, wouldn't you want to know about them and try them?
As I eluded to earlier, testosterone levels are most affected by four major categories, and those are diet, exercise, environment, and lifestyle.
It just makes sense that if we can make adjustments in those categories, we can affect testosterone levels in a positive and powerful way.
I'm going to share with you some of the best ways that have been proven by science to dramatically increase testosterone levels.
It's really important for me to note, that there are a whole host of other ways that are being talked about that are said to increase testosterone levels, but I only want to share those specific ways that have real scientific studies backing them up because I don't want to risk you being disappointed because you tried something that hasn't been proven yet and you didn't get good results.
The following strategies and tactics that will be shared are the best of the best with the most amount of scientific evidence and proof backing them up. I'll share many of the studies and proof points with you so you can look at them yourselves.
The best proof, however, is getting real results for yourself.
I've had the privilege of working directly with my some of my personal training clients on this very issue, where we implemented these upcoming strategies & tactics and saw testosterone levels more than double in many cases.
I know this because I actually had my clients get their T levels measured before beginning these new strategies, and then I had them measure again after 90 days to see what the black and white lab numbers would reveal. In every case, testosterone levels increased dramatically.
The Snowball Effect
There's a "snowball effect" that occurs once you start implementing these strategies. It's just like what you see in a cartoon when a snowball rolls down a hill. It starts off small, but it continues to get bigger and bigger as momentum rolls it down the hill.
Conceptually, it's exactly the same way once you start implementing these strategies. At first, you'll start noticing subtle positive changes, and as time goes by with consistent commitment to these strategies, the positive benefits and changes will build on each other and grow exponentially.
You are going to notice an incredible difference in how you ultimately feel, and that's because your T levels are going to rise, and you are going to be significantly healthier and operating at much higher performance levels!
Here's the best way to get proof for yourself as to whether these strategies really work and produce results. My recommendation to you is the same one I give my clients. If you really want to measure the results, make a quick appointment and get your T levels measured. It's actually kind of nice to know what your starting levels are before making any changes.
Then implement at least 5 of the strategies I'm about to share. You should do more if you can if you want the best results, but at least give 5 of the recommendations an honest and committed effort for 90 days, and then get your T levels measured again, so you can see the fruits of your labor.
I guarantee that if you commit to doing at least 5 (hopefully more), you are going to get some incredibly positive results; life changing results.
Hopefully, you'll also set up some new patterns and ways of living that you'll carry forward with you in life so you can keep your testosterone levels continually flowing in a healthy and vibrant way, and you can stay in that 95th%!
Let's take a look at the best natural ways to boost testosterone that have been scientifically proven to get you real and meaningful results.
Let me get straight to the point here, if you're overweight you're missing out on testosterone that you should have flowing through your body. If you want to see a significant increase in your T, simply lose weight.
There is a tightly linked connection or relationship between weight and testosterone. If you are overweight, then you are likely to have lower testosterone levels. If you have lower testosterone levels, then you are likely to be overweight. The relationship between these two is very circular.
In this study of a group of healthy men, it showed that a decrease in testosterone levels from 600 ng/dL to 300 ng caused a whopping 36% increase in fat mass.
In 2012, a study was done on nearly 900 middle aged overweight men with an average age of 54. Their T levels were measured at the start and then they were put on a diet & exercise program to lose weight. They did the program for one year, and then measured the testosterone levels of these men who had lost weight over the course of that year.
What they found was that on average, the men's testosterone levels increased by 50%!
Recommendations For Losing Weight
1) Start working out with weights 3 days a week
2) Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training into your workout routine 2-3 days a week
3) Incorporate an Intermittent Fasting strategy into your diet
4) Avoid processed and prepackaged foods as much as possible
5) Focus on healthy proteins, healthy saturated and monounsaturated fats, and fresh veggies
If you would like to go more in-depth with weight and testosterone, you can read: Lose Weight And Increase Testosterone
There is a strong connection between being physical with your body and testosterone. Earlier, I said that one reason why men have lower testosterone levels is because they're less physical than they used to be.
When you physically tax your body, you're causing your body to produce a hormonal response (increase testosterone and HGH) so it can accomplish the task you are putting in front of it.
This is why weight lifting is such a great way to increase testosterone. You can safely but consistently force your body to produce the hormonal response needed to lift the weights.
Scientific studies like this one have verified and proven that weight lifting really does in fact increase testosterone levels.
Recommendations For Weight Lifting
1) Make sure you're hitting the weights at least 3 times a week. This gives you a good balance of workout time and recovery time.
2) Lift at least 75% of your max weight, and you want to do at least 6-8 reps and 3-4 sets to really tax your body and invoke that neuroendocrine trigger that releases T.
3) Track your weight and increase that amount by at least 5% every two weeks
The Snowball Effect
Lifting weights increases testosterone and helps lose weight. Less weight and more testosterone just encourages more weight loss and fat burn. Increased testosterone makes it easier to create more lean muscle mass which burn more calories and metabolize fat more efficiently.
If you're interested in going more in-depth with this topic, you can read: Pump Up Your Testosterone By Lifting Weights
High Intensity Interval Training is one of the most popular methods of exercise right now, and for good reason. It is just loaded with health benefits, and increasing your testosterone levels is just one of them.
If you're not familiar with high intensity interval training (HIIT), it is a method of exercise that uses cycles or sets of short bursts of exercise with maximum energy output followed by a rest or recovery period with little or no energy output.
The idea is that you do several sets of these maximum output / rest cycles where the total optimal workout time is between 15 and 25 minutes long. You might be wondering if you really can get any benefit out of a 15-25 minute workout, and the answer is a resounding YES!
Don't let the short total workout time fool you, for most people HIIT workouts are more physically taxing than most other forms of traditional exercise that last much longer.
The other nice thing about HIIT is that it's so flexible with regards to what exercises you can do with it. You basically can do anything as long as you follow the basic max energy output / rest model. You can do sprints, body weight exercises, resistance training, spinning, treadmill, and any hybrid form combining multiple different exercise types.
Because you're taxing the body so significantly, HIIT causes a similar hormonal response like weight lifting does where your body produces a neuroendocrine response of increasing testosterone and growth hormone to accomplish the physical HIIT task. (study)
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning recently published a study that showed how HIIT significantly increased testosterone and growth hormone.
Other benefits of HIIT include the fact that it burns more fat than any other form of exercise, improves libido, improves the quality of sleep, increases muscle mass & density, increases HGH, increases insulin sensitivity, and helps to turn back the clock on aging.
Personally, my favorite form of HIIT exercise is sprinting. It's my favorite because I feel like I get a total body workout and I feel like it taxes my body the most. If you haven't sprinted in a long time, you might want to build up first and start with 10 second all out sprints and then add more time slowly until you get to 20-30 second sprints. Sprints (or any form of HIIT) aren't easy, but the payoff in the benefits they provide are enormous.
Recommendations For High Intensity Interval Training
1) Incorporate HIIT into your workout routine 2-3 days a week
2) Keep workouts in the range of 15 to 25 minutes
3) Give yourself 48 hours between HIIT workouts
The Snowball Effect
HIIT dramatically increases testosterone and is powerfully effective at weight loss and fat burning. This positively compounds the testosterone / weight loss snowball effect. On top of this, you get all the additional benefits that come with HIIT like increased muscle mass, normalized blood sugar, increased nitric oxide, and increased insulin sensitivity.
If you're interested in going more in-depth on this topic, read: Increase Testosterone With HIIT
Intermittent fasting is one of the hottest health & fitness trends these days because it provides a plethora of health benefits. It quite possibly could be the most powerful method of dieting that produces the greatest overall results.
First and foremost, it's an excellent method of managing your diet to lose weight. Again, losing weight is one of the most powerful ways to increase testosterone.
Not only does intermittent fasting help you lose weight (which ultimately leads to increased testosterone), but it also increases testosterone levels as high as 200% to 400% in and of itself according to some studies.
Intermittent fasting by itself is one of the most powerful natural testosterone boosting methods available even if you didn't lose a single pound from it.
If you're not familiar with what intermittent fasting (IF) is, it is a method eating that is centered around two blocks of time. One block of time is called the fed state, whereby you consume any and all calories for the day. The other block of time is called the fasted state, and in this block, you consume no calories and remain in a fasted state.
One of the most popular IF methods is the 16:8. You fast for 16 hours and consume all your calories in the remaining 8 hours. Imagine finishing dinner at 7 p.m. and going into your fasted state for the next 16 hours. With this method, you would not consume any calories until the next day starting at 11 a.m., and then you would be able to consume any and all calories for the next 8 hours (taking you to 7 p.m.). The idea is that you would do this method of eating every day.
Another popular IF method is Brad Pilon's Eat-Stop-Eat method. With Eat-Stop-Eat, the idea is that you eat good healthy foods 5 days a week, and for 2 days a week, you do a 24-hour fast. Imagine finishing your dinner at 7 p.m. and then not eating any calories again until dinner 7 p.m. the next day.
You pick two fasting days spread apart during the week. So Monday and Thursday could be fasting days, for example.
Personally, I have found the best results using this method, and I have found that it's easiest for me to fast from lunch one day to lunch the next day.
What' great about this method is that you get all the benefits of a 24 hour fast, yet you still get to eat one good meal in a day.
There are many other health benefits associated with IF, and if you would like more in-depth information on this topic, read: Increase Testosterone With Intermittent Fasting
Recommendations For Intermittent Fasting
1) I recommend the Eat-Stop-Eat method of IF for best and most dramatic results
2) Do a 24 hour fast two days a week with at least 48 hours of time in between fasts
3) Be especially mindful of the foods you eat right after coming off a fast. Stay in control.
The Snowball Effect
Intermittent fasting comes with one of the most potent and powerful snowball effects of all the natural ways to increase testosterone. Not only does it dramatically increase testosterone levels 200% - 400% in some cases, but it also is one of the most effective weight loss methods on the planet (which also increases testosterone). Furthermore, it provides at least ten other amazing health benefits that would make it more than worth implementing even if it didn't raise testosterone or decrease weight.
There's no question that your diet is one of the most influential factors pertaining to your testosterone levels, and it's important to know that there are known power foods that supply your body with the essential nutrients it needs to generate and produce testosterone.
Get familiar and acquainted with these food categories as well as some specific foods in these categories so they can play a more prominent role in your dietary choices.
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Saturated Fatty Acids
Foods High In Vitamin D
Foods Containing Magnesium
Foods High In Zinc
Recommendations For T Boosting Foods
1) View food as fuel for your body
2) If you fall off the wagon, don't throw in the towel on the whole day and make things worse
3) It's all about making consistent and positive changes to the foods you eat
4) For even more powerful and dramatic results, incorporate two 24-hour fasts a week
The Snowball Effect
Eating these types of foods will absolutely increase your testosterone, and when testosterone increases, weight naturally decreases. Also eating these foods will cause you to lose weight because you aren't eating bad testosterone killing food, and losing weight increases testosterone.
Just as important as it is to know what foods play a prominent role in boosting your T levels, knowing what food types kill your testosterone is absolutely critical as well.
The three main categories of foods that are considered testosterone killers are sugars, simple carbs, and soy.
Foods Containing Sugar (really need to read food labels)
Starches that have been refined and stripped of their natural fiber and nutrients
Foods Containing Soy (many surprising foods contain soy; reading food labels is key)
How do these three food categories kill testosterone?
All three of these food categories are highly estrogenic, meaning they are big producers of the testosterone killing hormone estrogen.
Estrogen is typically known as the "female hormone". Estrogen is to females what testosterone is to males. It's what makes women uniquely female. Even though it's considered a female hormone, men also have some level of estrogen in their systems, just like women have some level of testosterone.
It becomes a real and serious problem for men when they have high levels of estrogen flowing through their male bodies. High estrogen levels set off a very negative domino effect of negative health risks and side effects.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of how many different foods encourage estrogen production and kill testosterone. It's also important to understand what a serious problem it is when you have excess estrogen.
One more important fact to know is that there are specific foods that are known to be anti-estrogenic (estrogen blockers). It makes sense to not only remove foods that are known estrogen producers, but to also incorporate foods that are known to block production of estrogen.
If you'd like more in-depth information, read Worst Foods That Kill Testosterone
Recommendations For Removing Estrogen Producing Foods
1) For the next 90 days keep a detailed food journal of everything you eat and drink
2) Take note of the foods you eat and gravitate towards to see if they're estrogen producers
3) Identify your top estrogen producing foods and do your best to get rid of them for 90 days
4) Top 3 foods to stay away from - sugar, white bread, and white pasta
5) Use coconut oil for cooking instead of vegetable oil or other oil
6) Use olive oil for salads (with balsamic vinegar)
The Snowball Effect
Highly estrogenic foods are typically foods that are really bad for you and cause you to gain weight. Combine that with the fact that they produce estrogen and kill testosterone means you will gain even more weight. Ridding yourself of these foods creates a whole new positive snowball effect. Adding in anti estrogen foods makes the positive snowball effect even more powerful. You will experience natural weight loss just by removing estrogenic foods. That fact and the fact that removing estrogen will increase testosterone substantially, and thus will aid in even more weight reduction.
It's important recognize that we all have some level of stress that we deal with on a daily basis.
Stress is a normal part of life, and in most cases, it's nothing to be concerned about. In fact, there's a large percentage of people that actually thrive and do their best work under stress.
Our bodies have a built in mechanism to handle this kind of short term situational stress, and it's the production of a hormone called cortisol.
In and of itself, limited cortisol production is beneficial and helpful in providing us with the increased energy, focus, clarity, and so forth to get us through short term stressful situations. Sometimes cortisol is referred to as the "fight or flight" hormone since this is what the body produces under these conditions.
Cortisol becomes a huge health risk and testosterone killer when it produced excessively on a chronic basis.
Excessive cortisol production is one of the biggest testosterone killers along with estrogen.
What kind of situations are considered chronically high stress situations?
It's different for everyone depending on the person, their personality, their situation, and what they're doing to alleviate stress, but here are some common chronically stressful situations that create prolonged and excess cortisol:
These are just some examples, but they have a common theme among all of them, and that is that they create very highly stressful environments that are day in and day out with no apparent end in site. Situations like these tend to go on for weeks, months or even years.
If obliterating your testosterone levels isn't enough to get your attention and make you want to get your chronic stress levels under control, check out the additional health risks associated with excess cortisol production:
The bottom line is that chronic cortisol-producing stress is one of the biggest testosterone killers for men today.
If you'd like more in-depth info on this topic read Chronic Stress Kills Testosterone
Recommendations For Reducing Stress And Increasing T
1) Exercise is a key stress reducer. Incorporate weight lifting 3 days a week and HIIT training 2-3 days a week. This will reduce the effects of chronic stress as well as aligns with the goals of raising testosterone naturally.
2) Tap into whatever your spiritual beliefs are and use this belief system as an integrated way to view and handle these tough and stressful situations
3) Consider a daily meditation routine. Mobile apps like Calm and Headspace are perfect for this. Look for ways to incorporate gratitude into your meditation because it has a natural calming effect that reduces overall stress.
4) Look for ways to incorporate fun back into your life. Find a hobby or something else that you enjoy either on your own or with your family or spouse and get your mind off the stressful problem and give yourself a fun outlet.
The Snowball Effect
Reducing stress creates a snowball effect in two ways. The first way is that it reduces testosterone killing cortisol. This fact increases testosterone which opens to the door to weight loss and fat burn. The second way is that cortisol also increases weight and belly fat, and reducing it will naturally decrease weight loss, and will open the door to increased testosterone production. That list of health risks associated with excess cortisol production is downright scary, so handling this issue will reverse all of those things creating a dramatically positive snowball effect.
It seems like with the topic of sleep there are mainly two different points of view that get bantered about.
One point of view says something along the lines that you should get at least 8 hours of sleep and that sleep is really good for your body, etc.
Another point of view basically says that sleep is highly over rated and if you want to be successful in achieving your goals and dreams, make better use of the 24 hours you have in a day. One way to get some additional hours of productivity into your day is by sleeping less and getting up earlier. Getting 4-6 hours of sleep is perfectly acceptable, and many of the most successful people in the past and present lived by this standard, and they did extremely well.
Usually you see some variant of those two basic approaches to the subject of sleep. I'm not here to debate the merits of either philosophical perspective. Instead, I'm just going to present the scientific facts as they relate to the connection between testosterone and sleep.
Let me say that when I first researched the topic of sleep and testosterone I was flat out amazed at how much of an impact getting good quality sleep has on your testosterone levels.
Some testosterone experts even went as far as saying it could be the most important factor when it comes to your T levels.
Ali Kuoppali (Founder of AnabolicMen)
"There are three major things that lay the foundation for your testosterone levels.
They're sleep, diet, and exercise.
The utmost important of them all is sleep"
Let me get right to what science is saying about the connection between sleep and testosterone levels.
Two major studies were done on men where they tested their T levels in the morning after getting just 4 hours of sleep and also tested them after getting 8 hours of sleep. Both major studies produced essentially the same results.
In general, what experts say is that each extra hour of sleep increases your T by approximately 15%.
If doubling your testosterone levels isn't motivation enough to get more quality sleep, you should also know that poor sleep also increases cortisol levels, and you already know how devastating that is not only to T levels, but to many other aspects to your overall health as well.
Recommendations For Getting Better Quality Sleep
1) Stick to a sleep schedule that allows you to get 8 hours of sleep
2) Sleep in total darkness
3) Power off all electronic devices at least an hour before bed
4) Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual (meditation and calm breathing are perfect)
5) Keep your room comfortably cool
The Snowball Effect
How incredible is it that you can more than double your testosterone levels by getting more quality sleep? The snowball effect of increasing T substantially and lowering cortisol opens the door to all kinds positive benefits including more energy and stamina, better weight loss & fat burn, increased lean muscle mass, lower insulin resistance & blood sugar levels, and more optimal pituitary gland function.
If you'd like more in-depth info on this topic, then read: Increase Testosterone With Sleep
Are you aware that the act of having sex actually increases your testosterone levels?
Talk about a win/win situation, right?
What better way can you think of to increase your testosterone levels than by having sex?
Let's get right to the science. Here is a study done on older men, and they found that the men who were having sex had higher testosterone levels.
Here's another study they did on couples. They found out that on the nights the couple had sex, testosterone levels were significantly higher than on the nights they didn't have sex.
Finally, here's a study that found that even just the anticipation of having sex increases testosterone levels because because the anticipation of doing something so pleasurable and exciting like sex causes a release of dopamine. Testosterone and dopamine have a bidirectional relationship.
Recommendations For Heating Up Your Sex Life
1) Make time to connect sexually with your partner
2) It doesn't sound romantic, but sometimes making time requires planning a time to have sex
3) Do little things throughout the week as foreplay or build up to having sex
4) Understand and know what your partner likes sexually and focus on pleasing her first. The pleasure will come back to you and then some!
The Snowball Effect
Having sex increases testosterone. When you have more testosterone, your libido naturally increases more, and you end up having more sex. All of sudden you’re creating this tremendously powerful and positive cycle of more testosterone and more sex. Also studies show that not only will your libido increase by having more sex, but your partner's will to! Plus, you get all the added health benefits you get with increased testosterone like more energy, more stamina, increased lean muscle mass, easier weight loss and fat burn, etc.
The idea here is similar to how foods have vitamins, minerals, and other natural compounds that have been proven to boost testosterone and suppress estrogen production.
Those same botanicals and natural compounds are also available in supplement form. Just like many people today take vitamins and minerals to supplement their diets, you can do the same thing from a testosterone boosting perspective.
In a perfect world, you could theoretically get all the essential nutrient ingredients you need only from the foods you eat. The problem is that with all the chemicals, preservatives, packaging, distribution, and cooking that goes on before the food ever gets ingested, you're only getting a fraction of the real nutrients needed to increase testosterone.
This will vary of course on a per individual basis because some people will spend more time and money than others to get more natural and organic foods to prepare.
If you're on the go quite a bit like most of us are, then you're probably not putting in the time to buy and prepare natural and organic foods. You likely have a lot more packaged processed foods that you can throw in the microwave or oven, and that's where you start to really lose the power and potency of the nutrients you need in order to really increase testosterone.
That's why supplements can be a very powerful tool in your arsenal of ways to increase testosterone naturally.
You just need to know which supplements are scientifically proven to increase testosterone and/or suppress estrogen production.
The following is a list of supplements that have been proven to increase testosterone. Don't be fooled by other supplements out there. There are many other supplements that are labeled as "testosterone boosters" but they're really not. Instead, they provide a benefit that you would expect to get out of a true testosterone booster.
An example would be an ingredient like Tribulus Terrestris which is commonly marketed as a testosterone booster, when there's really no scientific evidence that it increases testosterone. It provides a nice benefit of increased libido, but that's different than being a testosterone booster.
Your goal is to increase testosterone, because when you do, then you will get all the benefits that come with increased testosterone (including heightened libido). And by the way, I'm not bad-mouthing Tribulus Terrestris. The benefit it provides is a good one, and it is definitely one to consider as a secondary ingredient that you may want in addition to the proven testosterone boosting ingredients not instead of.
You can order any of these supplements individually. If you choose to order individual ingredients, then I would recommend choosing at least 5 different supplements. You'll definitely get testosterone boosting benefit with just a couple of ingredients, but what we know now is that when you combine multiple ingredients (5+), it creates a much more powerful and potent testosterone boosting effect.
For all the descriptions of what these ingredients do, how they work, the scientific studies that back them, and recommended dosages, please read: Best Testosterone Booster Supplements
The other route that you can take with supplements if you don't want to take the time and order different individual ingredients, is you can get a natural testosterone booster. The idea behind a natural testosterone booster supplement is that it combines multiple ingredients into a formula for you so it's easier and more convenient for you.
Recommendations For Supplementation
1) If you're going to order individual ingredients, then choose at least 5.
2) My 5 personal favorites are: Mucuna Pruriens, D-Aspartic Acid, Vitamin D, Fenugreek, and Ashwagandha (but you really can't go wrong with any of them)
3) If you go the route of a natural testosterone booster make sure the formula has a minimum of 5 proven T boosting ingredients with proper dosages to go with the ingredients.
4) If you're looking for natural testosterone booster recommendation, here are my 3 favorites. All 3 of them that all have a minimum of 8 proven ingredients with very powerful dosages of each ingredient.
5) For reference info on the 15 proven supplement ingredients including descriptions of how they work, scientific study references, proper dosages, etc. [Click Here]
6) For my three recommended natural testosterone boosters [Click Here]
The Snowball Effect
Implementing 5 or more of the strategies I've outlined above will literally change your life in such a positive and powerful way. Adding a supplementation strategy in addition will just turbo charge not only the reduced time it takes to get your testosterone levels back up but also how much higher you can get them raised. Everything works together and almost feeds off of each to get exponentially better testosterone boosting results.
Guys, that's the 90-day challenge!
Choose and honestly commit to at least 5 of the recommended scientifically proven strategies, and the question won't be IF you'll increase your testosterone, the question will only be by HOW MUCH.
Some of you will increase your testosterone by 40% - 80%, and others of you will increase your testosterone by DOUBLE if not more!
Your results are dependent on several things including what your starting point is, how many strategies you implement, how committed you are, and how consistent you are in implementing the strategies.
You definitely won't have to wait 90 days before you start seeing and feeling the positive and powerful effects. Sometimes it can take just a few days depending on what strategies and tactics you're implementing. For example, if you're only consistently getting 4-6 hours of sleep per day. Try getting 8 hours of sleep for just a few days in a row, and you will notice such an incredible difference just making that one change.
You're now armed with all the info you need.
Now it's up to you to use the information and take the necessary actions that will literally change your life forever.
After 90 days, get your testosterone measured again, and I guarantee you'll be blown away!
I'd also love to hear about your results, so please feel free to shoot me a note after your 90 days!