As we age, our testosterone levels can take a hit. It's normal for testosterone production to slow down after the age of 30, and by the time we're in our 50s and beyond, we may be feeling the effects of low testosterone--especially the decline in our sex drive that may result.
But testosterone is important for more than just sex. It's central to a healthy pain response, the production of red blood cells, regular sleep patterns, optimal bone density, muscle mass, and high energy levels. And according to Harvard University, testosterone is an important hormone for brain function. Higher testosterone levels are linked to better cognitive performance, a reduced risk of dementia, better preservation of brain tissue, and better visual and verbal memory.
If you have low testosterone levels, you may be interested in testosterone replacement therapy, but this can have negative side-effects. These include a higher risk of prostate diseases, including cancer; sleep apnea; breast enlargement; liver disease; and acne. Before you opt for testosterone therapy, give the natural route a try. There are a number of ways to naturally increase testosterone production, and here are six of the most effective.
Fasting can help increase testosterone levels. One fasting method is to eat all of your calories in an eight-hour window and fast for the remaining 16 hours each day. Another method is to eat nothing for two days out of the week, such as Tuesdays and Fridays. Whichever method you choose, fasting has been shown to increase testosterone production by 180 percent, according to one study. Another study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that growth hormones, which are correlated with testosterone, increased 2,000 percent in men who fasted for 24 hours.
A study published in the journal Mechanisms of Aging and Development found that working the major muscle groups with eight to ten reps per set increased testosterone and growth hormone production in both young and older men alike. For even more testosterone-boosting effects, combine weight lifting with high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, which involves exercising at 90 to 100 percent of your maximum exertion for a short period of time--30 seconds to one minute--followed by a couple of minutes of low-impact recovery. HIIT promotes a greater fat burn and can help reduce your blood pressure as well.
When stress hormones like cortisol are elevated in the body, testosterone levels plummet. Chronic stress can lead to consistently low testosterone levels and busting your stress can improve testosterone production--and improve other areas of your life. Address the issues that are giving you stress. To reduce stress hormone levels, exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week and engage in deep breathing exercises to reduce cortisol levels on the spot. Meditation is another powerful stress reducer and even helps your body respond better to external events later on.
Excessive sugar in the diet can lead to diabetes, which makes you twice as likely to suffer from low testosterone levels, according to the American Diabetes Association. The average American consumes 12 teaspoons of sugar each day, or roughly 48 grams. The maximum recommended daily intake for men is nine teaspoons, or 36 grams. For women, it's six teaspoons, or 24 grams. Maintaining a healthy diet that's low in sugar and processed foods can improve your testosterone levels--and your overall health.
One of the best ways to naturally increase your testosterone is to get enough sleep and make sure you're sleeping for at least one hour between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. According to an article published in the Current Opinion of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, your body does important work while you sleep, including balancing hormone levels and increasing testosterone production.
Some supplements contain ingredients that can increase testosterone production through a variety of mechanisms. Prostavol's Natural Testosterone Booster promotes healthy hormone levels and muscle growth, and it increases your energy and can improve erectile function. Research-based ingredients in Natural Testosterone Booster include maca root powder, L-Arginine HCL, and tongkat ali root powder.
Low testosterone doesn't have to be a death sentence for your sex life, your cognitive function, your energy levels, or anything else. Naturally increasing your testosterone is largely a matter of living a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, daily exercise, and natural supplementation. Try these natural testosterone boosters before you opt for testosterone replacement therapy, and you may find that you can get along just fine on your own.
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