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5 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, but females also have small amounts of it.

It is a steroid hormone, produced in men’s testicles and women’s ovaries (1).

The adrenal glands also produce small amounts.

During puberty in boys, testosterone is one of the main drivers of physical changes like increased muscle, deeper voice and hair growth.

However, having optimal levels is also important throughout adulthood and even during old age.

In adults, healthy levels are important for general health, disease risk, body composition, sexual function and just about everything else .

Additionally, increasing your testosterone levels can cause rapid gains in muscle mass and vitality in only a matter of weeks .

Interestingly, it also plays an important role in female health and sexual well-being .

The research is pretty conclusive: both genders should ensure they have healthy levels of testosterone, especially as they age (.

Here are 5 evidence-based ways to increase testosterone levels naturally.

Eat the Right Kinds of Food

What you eat has a major impact on all hormone levels and there are multiple studies which show that constant dieting may disrupt your testosterone levels just as significantly as overeating does. Rigorous dieting is not only hard on the psyche, it can be detrimental to your overall health and hormonal balance. Have you noticed what happens to your libido and overall energy during prolonged periods of cutting?

Yes, it’s true – severe calorie restrictions destroy testosterone production.

But let’s be a bit clearer about this one. If you have a lot of excess fat, it’s highly recommendable to eat less than your body uses, i.e. create a caloric deficit. This will lower your testosterone production in the short term, but as the body burns away the fat reserves, your testosterone production should improve, given that you also engage in resistance training.

However, if you’re already pretty lean and have very little fat mass to burn, the situation is entirely different. That’s why bodybuilding competitors who try to take their fat mass below 5% experience terrible drops in testosterone.

Sleep Deep and Sleep a Lot

Whether you choose to sleep four hours or eight hours, can mean a difference similar to night and day in your T production.

Partial sleep restriction lasting one-week (5h/night) in a laboratory setting has been shown to decrease overall 24-hour testosterone levels in healthy young men by ~15%6.

On a study by Penev et al. the men who slept for ~4 hours had an average of 200-300 ng/dL testosterone levels in serum, whereas the guys who slept for ~8 hours had levels closer to 500-700 ng/dL7.

A study from Gov et al8. showed similar results. On 531 Chinese men, increased sleep time was highly correlated with higher total and -free testosterone levels. The researchers also calculated that each extra hour of sleep led to about 15% more testosterone.

Exercise and Lift Weights

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent many lifestyle-related diseases. Interestingly, it can also boost your testosterone.

A large review study found that people who exercised regularly had higher testosterone levels. In the elderly, exercise increases testosterone levels, fitness and reaction time .

New research in obese men suggests that increased physical activity was even more beneficial than a weight loss diet for increasing testosterone levels.

Resistance training, such as weight lifting, is the best type of exercise to boost testosterone in both the short- and long-term.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be very effective, although all types of exercise should work to some extent.

Taking caffeine and creatine monohydrate as supplements may further boost your levels when combined with a training program.

Spark Up Your Sex Life

Admittedly one of the most satisfying ways on how to increase testosterone levels naturally is; sexual activity.

It’s not fully understood why this happens, but many studies have theorized that its an interplay with dominance, feeling of power, feeling of success, pheromones, dopamine, and interpersonal touch. For this reason it’s also likely that sex with an actual human instead of the palm of ones hand,would be a much better way to boost T.

Is there any research on increased sexual activity and testosterone levels? You bet there is.

A study of 44 men visiting a sex club actually showed that the guys who went there only to watch other people have sex, had an average increase of 11% in their testosterone levels, whereas the guys who went and actually had sex there noted an average increase of 72%28. It’s also seen in couples that on the nights that there is “sexual activity”, testosterone levels are significantly higher than on the nights that they don’t have sex29. One of the many findings in the Baltimore Longitudal Study on Aging was that in men over 60-years of age, those with higher level of sexual activity had significantly greater serum testosterone levels30.

Much has been theorized about ejaculations and testosterone, and there seems to be this common misbelief that busting a nut would “drain” the body from testosterone (which fortunately isn’t the case).

Get your Zinc

It turns out that low T-levels can be caused by something as simple as mineral deficiency. Or to be more scientifically accurate, severe and moderate deficiency of zinc is associated with hypogonadism in men. Zinc, one of the essential dietary minerals, is needed for your immune system to function properly and for cell division.

It also plays an important role in protein synthesis, nutrient absorption and the functioning of hormone systems. While scientists haven’t yet discovered exactly how a lack of zinc influences testosterone levels, studies have already shown that there is a strong link between the two.

According to one of the first studies to claim this, published in 1996 in “Nutrition”, zinc plays an important role in regulating testosterone levels. However, this study focus on individuals with zinc deficiencies and didn’t offer any evidence of the effect of increased zinc consumption on testosterone production in men who already eat a zinc-rich diet.

Still, modern researchers have provided new data suggesting that getting adequate doses of zinc on a daily basis can help you enhance your manliness. For example, supplementing your diet with zinc for as little as six weeks has been shown to cause a significant improvement in testosterone among men with low levels, while restricting dietary sources of zinc has been found to lead to noticeable decreases.

Since your body can’t store zinc, you have to make sure you take enough of it through your diet every day. The recommended daily amount is 11 milligrams – along with protein-rich foods like meats, fish and oysters, those can be obtained by consuming foods such beans, eggs, yogurt, nuts and oatmeal. Taking zinc supplements can also be useful, but it might cause you to take in too much of it, which could be harmful.