Testosterone: The Complete Guide for Men to Feel Great
Testosterone is one of the many hormones that regulate your body function. In this article, we explore testosterone in detail. What is it? What does it do? How does it fit in with your overall endocrine function?
Millions of men live with the side effects of low testosterone. But the condition often goes undiagnosed and untreated because of outdated and imprecise testosterone scales. As a result, too many men live with weight gain, fatigue, reduced sex drive and function, and mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
Our aim with this guide is to help you learn about testosterone so that if you have symptoms of low testosterone, you can get the help you need. We want you to know when and why to ask for help and the details you need to share with your doctor to get the testosterone therapy you need.
In addition to equipping you to talk to a doctor about your needs, we also provide some information about the best lifestyle choices to enhance your testosterone and other hormone levels for optimal health and wellness.
You don’t need to accept your symptoms as an inevitable part of aging. Read on to learn more about testosterone, and remember, when it comes to hormones — normal doesn’t mean optimal.
Chapter 1 - Testosterone 101
Your body produces around 50 different hormones. Your hormones control or regulate almost all of your body functions, including your metabolism, sexual development, libido, heart rate, blood pressure, and more.
Testosterone is identified as a male hormone, although women’s bodies also produce testosterone . It stimulates and supports the appearance of adult male characteristics from facial hair to sperm production.
But these are just the surface facts. Let’s dig a little deeper.
HISTORY OF TESTOSTERONE
Further research determined that oral testosterone wasn’t effective, so the substance was pressed into subcutaneous pellets or a derivative of testosterone (17a-methyl T) was given orally. 17a-methyl T was eventually found to have toxic side effects, and it’s now obsolete.
In the 1950s, an injectable form of testosterone became available, which led to a focus isolating and enhancing the anabolic effects of testosterone to create anabolic steroids. On a side note, anabolic steroids quickly disappeared from clinical medicine, although some still use them for illegal doping.
In the 1970s, an effective oral form of testosterone became available, and soon a transdermal patch was developed. In recent years short-acting buccal T and long-acting injectable T undecanoate have become available.
WHAT IS TESTOSTERONE AND HOW DOES IT WORK
We know that testosterone is the male sex hormone that’s primarily produced in your testes. Both men and women also produce small amounts of testosterone in their adrenal glands, and women’s ovaries also make a small amount of the hormone.
Your testosterone levels begin to rise during puberty as you start to develop adult male characteristics. For example, increasing testosterone levels trigger the change in your larynx that deepens your voice. It helps your genitals, pubic hair, body, hair, and overall muscle mass grow. Additionally, it triggers the emergence of your sexual desire.
Your testosterone levels peak in your late teen years, but around the age of 30, your testosterone levels begin to decrease slightly every year. While decreasing testosterone levels are normal, the range that’s considered healthy is too broad, and many men suffer the effects of low testosterone while their blood work still shows a “normal” amount of the hormone.
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HOW IS TESTOSTERONE MADE
Testosterone production begins in your brain. Your brain sends a signal to your hypothalamus, telling it to produce testosterone. Then, your hypothalamus releases gonadotropin that your pituitary gland picks up. Next, your pituitary gland releases luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones trigger the Leydig cells in your testes to produce testosterone.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF LOW TESTOSTERONE
DECREASED SEX DRIVE
Testosterone controls your sex drive, which means that as your testosterone levels decline, so does your desire and erectile function. A healthy sex life is a critical part of your overall wellness.
Changes to your desire and performance can be extremely distressing.
REDUCED ENERGY LEVELS
While your sexual energy decreases, you might also notice that you have less energy overall. You might find yourself dozing off on the couch after dinner or struggling to get going in the morning. Perhaps instead of being able to power through your day, you become a little fatigued around 3:00 or 4:00 pm and turn to caffeine or sugary snacks to get you through the rest of your day.
Whether you’re snacking more often to make up for low energy or not, low testosterone levels lead to weight gain on your own. Testosterone contributes to your metabolism, and low testosterone levels equal slow metabolism. If nothing else has changed in your life, but the number on your scale or waist size is creeping up, reduced testosterone could be the cause.
MUSCLE MASS LOSS
Somehow, even though you’re gaining weight, you’re simultaneously losing muscle mass. How does this even happen? Testosterone increases the neurotransmitters that stimulate tissue growth and protein synthesis. It also increases your growth hormone levels. These are all critical to maintaining muscle mass.
DECREASED BONE DENSITY
The same factors that contribute to muscle mass loss also contribute to reduced bone density. If your bones become too porous, you have an increased risk of fracturing a bone at a time when your body’s regenerative and healing abilities are also declining.
DEPRESSION AND MOOD CHANGES
Chapter 2 - Biological Effects of Testosterone
Testosterone is well known as the hormone that drives the development of adult male characteristics and sexual development. However, testosterone, like your other hormones, plays various roles throughout your life.
Even before you’re born, testosterone supports your development. The role of testosterone in your prenatal stages depends on how far along you are in gestation.
For example, the earliest signs of male characteristics occur between four and six weeks, although dihydrotestosterone plays a more critical role at this stage. At this point, your genitals start to develop, including a phallic urethra, scrotal thinning, and the emergence of a penis. You also begin to form a prostate gland and seminal vesicles.
Then during your second trimester of development, testosterone is even more closely aligned with sex formation. Testosterone, along with anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), triggers the growth of the Wolffian duct and degeneration of the Müllerian duct.
The Wolfian duct is a structure that eventually forms the male internal genitalia. The Müllerian ducts, on the other hand, are the structures that start the development of the female reproductive tract.
The effects of testosterone and androgens in early infancy aren’t understood completely. We do know that in the first weeks of life after birth, male infants’ testosterone levels increase, but remain in barely detectable prepubescent range for several months. Some theories speculate that masculinization is already occurring at this stage. Still, there isn’t any clinical evidence to support these theories as there are no other changes in other parts of the body.
Testosterone continues to rest at barely detectable levels throughout childhood. However, as you approach puberty, your testosterone and androgen levels begin to increase, and you start to show early signs of puberty, including increased body odor, oil and sebum production, acne, and public and underarm hair. Some children also experience a growth spurt right before puberty, which is triggered by hormonal changes, including the beginning of the increase of testosterone.
As you reach puberty, your testosterone levels are higher than ever before and have been elevated for months or even years. At this point in your development, testosterone works with other hormones, such as the human growth hormone, to trigger:
- Development of spermatogenic tissue in your testicles
- Penis enlargement
- Libido emergence
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You also begin to develop male facial characteristics, including the growth of your jaw, brow, chin, and nose. As you progress through puberty, you reach your full height, and your bones mature. You start to develop enhanced muscle mass and strength. Your shoulders get broader, and your ribcage expands.
Your Adam’s apple enlarges, and your voice deepens. Your sebaceous glands continue to grow, which can lead to acne, and your face becomes more angular as you lose your subcutaneous “baby” fat. Your public, body, and underarm hair becomes thicker and spreads across your body.
As an adult male, testosterone activates genes in your Sertoli cells, which are responsible for the differentiation of spermatogonia and normal sperm development. It also supports platelet aggregation, which helps your blood clot appropriately.
Testosterone also regulates your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPT) axis, which controls your central stress response system. These glands work together to produce the hormones that fuel your fight-or-flight response and help you respond to the challenges of life.
Testosterone also drives your libido and sexual arousal. Your testosterone levels also spike during sexual arousal.
While there is a decrease in testosterone production as you age, the drop off in testosterone and the increase in disruptive symptoms that many men experience is due to environmental factors and endocrine system issues. We cover this in more detail in chapters 3 and 10.
Chapter 3 - Hypogonadism
WHAT IS HYPOGONADISM?
Hypogonadism occurs when your testes don’t produce testosterone the way they should. There are two types of hypogonadism, primary and secondary.
Primary hypogonadism occurs when there is a defect or problem with your testes. For example, if you are involved in an accident that causes physical trauma to your testicles, it could interfere with their function. Or, in some cases, you might have a problem with your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Increased luteinizing hormone (LH) and/or follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) are often signs of problems with your HPT axis.
Secondary hypogonadism occurs because of defects in your hypothalamus or pituitary gland. These problems are sometimes linked to obesity, diabetes or insulin resistance, or environmental factors. Your LH and FSH levels are typically normal or low, which shows that the problem could be due to your HPA axis or your hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Secondary hypogonadism is the most common diagnosis associated with adult men suffering from low T.
IS HYPOGONADISM AN ENDOCRINE DISORDER?
Secondary hypogonadism is an endocrine disorder. Your endocrine system includes the glands that produce and secrete the hormones that regulate your body function. Secondary hypogonadism is due to dysfunction in other parts of your endocrine system. Primary hypogonadism, on the other hand, is due to a physical issue in the testes that prevents normal testosterone production.
HOW DOES HYPOGONADISM AFFECT THE BODY?
Hypogonadism causes a variety of disruptive and distressing changes in your body. The effects vary, depending on the age that the condition develops. For example, if you have low testosterone levels before the end of puberty, you could:
|Low testosterone levels before the end of puberty:|
|Look younger than your age|
|Have small genitalia and testicles|
|Lack of facial hair|
|Have trouble gaining muscle mass|
|Have enlarged breasts (gynecomastia)|
However, if you develop hypogonadism as an adult, you might have symptoms such as:
|Low testosterone levels as an adult:|
|Low energy and lethargy|
|Decreased sperm count|
|Muscle mass and strength loss|
|Depression and irritability|
|Loss of body and facial hair|
DOES HYPOGONADISM CAUSE ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?
Hypogonadism can contribute to erectile dysfunction. However, a wide range of issues ranging from high blood pressure to mental health can affect your erections, so make an appointment to talk to a doctor about your concerns for an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your erectile dysfunction.
WHAT CAUSES HYPOGONADISM?
Primary and secondary hypogonadism have different causes. For example, primary hypogonadism could be caused by cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation. Klinefelter’s syndrome, mumps, and trauma to the testes can also cause primary hypogonadism.
Secondary hypogonadism has a wide variety of potential causes, including:
A WORD ON ANDROPAUSE
Andropause describes the natural slowing of testosterone production that occurs with age. Think of it as the male version of menopause. This does happen, but you don’t have to accept the changes in your wellness and lifestyle as inevitable, especially as there are so many factors that can accelerate or exacerbate this process.
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HOW IS HYPOGONADISM DIAGNOSED?
A doctor can order the necessary bloodwork to assess your testosterone levels. In addition to evaluating your bound and unbound testosterone, your doctor should also test the levels of all the hormones produced by the HPG, HPA, and APT axes.
Your doctor should order multiple blood draws at different times of day, as most men’s testosterone levels peak in the morning. Multiple tests allow your doctor to track your testosterone levels throughout the day, which gives a more accurate representation of your hormone levels.
You might have seen salivary tests available via the internet. While these tests can provide some information, they’re not extensive or accurate enough to confirm a hypogonadism diagnosis or inform an effective personalized treatment plan.
In addition to blood work, your physician should review the Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male questionnaire. It includes questions such as:
|Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male questionnaire|
|Do you have a decrease in sex drive?|
|Do you lack energy?|
|Have you experienced a decrease in strength or endurance?|
|Have you lost height?|
|Are you enjoying life less?|
|Are you sad and/or grumpy?|
|Are your erections less strong or absent?|
|Have you had trouble maintaining an erection?|
|Do you fall asleep after dinner?|
|Has your work performance deteriorated recently?|
Other signs of a testosterone deficiency include losing the ability to interact with or relate to the people around you, not acting lovingly toward your partner, and losing concentration and focus.
If your answer is yes to many of these questions, it’s time to talk to a physician about your health and testosterone levels. Many conditions can cause similar symptoms, so it’s critical to start the testing process to find out what is interfering with your health and quality of life.
CAN HYPOGONADISM BE TREATED?
Fortunately, treatment is available for hypogonadism. You might have thought that hormone replacement therapy is just for menopausal women, but hormone therapy has a much broader scope.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is part of an effective treatment plan. It’s available in several forms, including topical gels, transdermal (skin) patches, subdermal pellets, and injections. TRT isn’t usually provided in an oral tablet as this form has a high risk of side effects.
TRT delivers the testosterone that your testes are no longer producing and relieves your symptoms. That said, TRT is not a miracle cure. You still need to take care of your health and wellness in other ways, too.
TRT doesn’t make up for an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle. If you want to improve your health and vitality, you have to adjust your diet and exercise habits and make other lifestyle changes.
We explore how your diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors affect your testosterone production and overall health in chapters 10-11.
IS HYPOGONADISM REVERSIBLE?
Chapter 4 - Testosterone Levels
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE TESTOSTERONE LEVEL BY AGE?
|7 months to 9 years||Less than 30 ng/dL|
|10-13 years||1-619 ng/dL|
|14-15 years||100-540 ng/dL|
|16-19 years||200-970 ng/dL|
|20-39 years||270-1,080 ng/dL|
|40-59 years||350-890 ng/dL|
|60+ years||350-720 ng/dL|
|20-29 years||9.3-26.5 pg/mL|
|30-39 years||8.7/25.1 pg/mL|
|40-49 years||6.8-21.5 pg/mL|
|50-59 years||7.2-24.0 pg/mL|
Again, despite the microscopic levels of hormones being studied, these are massive ranges for large age groups.
WHY DO MEN STOP PRODUCING TESTOSTERONE?
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Dysfunction elsewhere in your endocrine system, including your hypothalamus, pituitary gland, adrenal glands, pancreas, and thyroid, can also impact your testosterone production and function.
Medications like opioids, steroids like prednisone, and hormonal treatments for prostate cancer can also lower testosterone production. Chemotherapy and radiation can impact your testosterone production, as can health conditions like HIV/AIDS, renal failure, and inflammatory conditions.
HOW DO YOU CHECK YOUR TESTOSTERONE LEVEL?
The most crucial step in monitoring your testosterone levels and getting personalized treatment is to find a physician who takes your symptoms and health seriously. Your symptoms should be the key indicator in when and how to measure your testosterone and start a testosterone replacement treatment program.
Chapter 5 - Effects of Low Testosterone
We’ve covered the effects of low testosterone in previous chapters, but let’s take a deep dive into some of the most common effects of low testosterone.
It’s important to remember that your body is complex and many hormones and tissues work together to regulate your body functionality. Often, the relationship between low testosterone and common symptoms isn’t fully understood.
LOWERED SEX DRIVE
Around the time you reach puberty, you begin to experience sexual desire. It’s normal and healthy to think about sex and feel desire for another person.
While men aren’t the sex-mad neanderthals modern media makes them out to be, sexual desire and activity is a critical part of your health and wellness.
Sexual desire is a complicated process. While your testosterone drives it, your libido might lower during times of stress, fatigue, illness, or even if you don’t feel comfortable in your body.
HAIR LOSSAround 50 million American men have male pattern baldness , also known as androgenic alopecia. The condition develops as your hair follicles shrink and eventually become dormant. Your genes and hormones are the primary drivers of hair loss. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone that occurs when the 5-alpha reductase enzyme acts on testosterone. Enzymes can only act on free or unbound testosterone, so there is a misconception that elevated testosterone levels lead to baldness. You can have normal total testosterone levels, but higher than average free testosterone.
However, DHT doesn’t cause baldness on its own. Your genes have to respond to DHT levels with hair follicle sensitivity for hair loss to occur.
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The relationship between testosterone and your body composition is multi-directional. Consider these details:
BONE MASS LOSS
SLEEPING DIFFICULTYThe relationship between testosterone and quality sleep is complicated. Your body replenishes its testosterone levels while you sleep — during your REM sleep in particular . Studies show that insufficient quality sleep reduces your testosterone levels . Additionally, low testosterone is linked to sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing, which disrupts your quality and quantity of sleep and interferes with testosterone production. So, if you have low T, you have an increased chance of a sleep disorder, which can lead to lowered testosterone levels.
TESTICLE SIZE REDUCTION
Chapter 6 - Benefits of Testosterone Therapy on Your Body
Now that we’ve explored how low testosterone can affect your health and well-being let’s take a look at how testosterone therapy can potentially benefit your body function and overall wellness.
IMPROVES MEMORY AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION
DOPAMINE INTERACTIONStudies  show that dopamine and testosterone influence sexual function. Additionally, during research, scientists found that dopamine and testosterone influence each other. Their work on rats indicates that low testosterone or low dopamine can reduce sexual function and libido and that both need to be present to stimulate any type of motivation.
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IMPROVES BODY COMPOSITION
Testosterone therapy keeps your hormone levels balanced so you don’t experience thinning bones that can contribute to osteoporosis. Additionally, resistance training is an important part of a testosterone treatment plan. It not only boosts your body’s testosterone production but also helps keep your bones strong and healthy.
IMPROVES HEART HEALTH
Chapter 7 - Monitoring Your Health with Testosterone Therapy
Every medical treatment has some potential side effects, even the over-the-counter medicines you have in your home, like ibuprofen and antihistamines.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is no different. However, you have close supervision from a physician while you have TRT. Many of the reported side effects and problems that you hear about are due to people taking unregulated, unsupervised testosterone from “some guy at the gym” or buying it from an unprofessional, nonmedical online source.
Some of the more serious TRT-related concerns that have come up over the years include prostate health, liver function, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Let’s take a closer look at these potential risks.
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Some men can develop high blood pressure while they have TRT. When you have higher levels of unbound testosterone, your estradiol levels also increase. Estradiol can cause water retention, which increases your blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, you should get it under control before starting TRT. Many patients can lower their blood pressure by cutting salt, sugar, and fat from their diets, getting more exercise, and reducing their stress levels. In some cases, you might need prescription medicine to lower and regulate your blood pressure.
You should also monitor your blood pressure regularly while you have TRT. You can pick up a reliable at-home blood pressure monitor for around $50. If you notice an upward trend, talk to your doctor.
Chapter 8 - Testosterone and Dysfunction
While testosterone might be primarily viewed as a sex hormone, it’s a critical component of your overall endocrine system function and body function. The hormones in your body work together to stimulate and control every aspect of your body function. When you have low testosterone, it can have a severe impact on other aspects of your well-being.
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Chapter 9 - Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is most often thought of as a treatment for menopause and perimenopause. While this is a valuable therapy that helps many people, HRT has much broader applications.
TYPES OF HRT AND TRT
CREAMS AND GELS
Depending on who you talk to, you’ll find different opinions on TRT creams and gels. Some say that creams and gels are easy to use and an excellent way to increase the testosterone in your body with few side effects. Supporters also say that creams and gels provide testosterone peaks and troughs that mimic your natural hormonal fluctuations.
Others say that the absorption rate is difficult to control. Not only is it a nuisance to have to apply the solutions throughout the day, but you can’t sweat, swim, or bathe for hours after you apply your treatment. Also, all gels and creams are not created equal. Not only does the percentage of testosterone in different products vary, but the other components in the cream or gel can increase or inhibit effective absorption.
Dermal patches are another popular transdermal TRT option. You wear a patch for 24 hours and then replace it.
You need to rotate your patch locations, and some men develop skin irritation from the adhesive in the patches. While you can exercise and shower with the patch, you need to wait for at least three hours after you apply it, and there’s always a risk that the sweat or water will reduce the stickiness of the patch.
You tuck a tablet between your gum and cheek, where it’s absorbed into your bloodstream. Unfortunately, this is proving to be an inefficient delivery method. The tablets offer poor bioavailability of testosterone and are often dislodged. Some users also report side effects like sores, ulcers, and bleeding gums.
Many men like taking testosterone tablets orally. The formulations currently available are absorbed by your lymphatic system, which bypasses your liver. There are few side effects, and physicians report increased compliance.
Subdermal pellets are a popular method of TRT and other HRT products. Your physician makes a small incision in your skin, usually on your hip or upper buttock, and inserts the pellet. Many men have a positive experience with subdermal testosterone pellets.
However, if the dose isn’t quite right, your physician has to make another incision in your body to remove and replace your pellet, which is time-consuming for you. Additionally, the more incisions you have in your body, the higher your risk of infection.
While many people balk at the idea of giving themselves a shot every day, injectable TRT is proving to be the most reliable, effective, and customizable method of delivery. There are four main types of injectable testosterone available today:
The absorption rate of your TRT isn’t the only detail to consider or study while researching your TRT options. TRT is not without side effects. Remember, unbound testosterone eventually converts into estradiol, a type of estrogen that can cause gynecomastia and other unwanted side effects.
Your physician should order blood tests before starting your TRT and throughout your treatment to make sure that your dose is and remains appropriate for your needs. Depending on your specific needs, you might need a small daily injection or a larger weekly injection, or anything in between. When it comes to TRT, there’s no single approach that works best for everyone — it’s a highly individualized treatment.
Safe injection protocol
If you and your physician move forward with injectable TRT, you need to learn how to draw your dose and inject yourself safely. Your physician gives you instructions, and honestly, it gets easier with practice.
You might need to use different gauged (sized) needles to draw your TRT into the syringe and to inject it into your body. Some find it easier to draw with a larger gauge and then switch to a thinner needle to insert into your body.
It’s safest and most comfortable to inject muscle tissue. Depending on your preference, you can inject your buttocks, quadriceps, or deltoids. You can rotate your injection sites to minimize the risk of scar tissue formation. We also recommend foam rolling after injecting your TRT. It helps reduce the risk of scar tissue and can help move the TRT into your body.
You should use clean needles every time. The safest way to dispose of them is to purchase a Sharps Container Biohazard Needle Disposal container. And of course, keep your needles and TRT out of the reach of children.
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Common TRT mistakes
TRT side effects
Chapter 10 - Optimizing Testosterone Naturally
Your lifestyle has a significant effect on your hormone levels and overall health. Understanding your body’s needs and how your choices affect your health gives you the information you need to make the best decisions about what to eat and do.
FOODS THAT BOOST TESTOSTERONE
VEGETABLESWhen it comes to vegetables, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and swiss chard are a great source of magnesium. Zinc is neither fat nor water-soluble, so how you prepare your greens doesn’t affect how well your body absorbs what you need. However, leafy greens are also rich in vitamins A and K, which are fat-soluble. Cooking them with a small amount of oil or putting a tablespoon of dressing on a salad can help your body absorb the other vitamins . Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage are also good for your testosterone levels. Cruciferous vegetables help your body remove extra estrogen, which can boost your testosterone levels. You can prepare your vegetables by sauteing, roasting, or steaming. Boiling or slow-cooking them can reduce their nutrient content .
Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges lower your cortisol levels, which supports healthy testosterone production. Bananas are also a great fruit to support healthy testosterone production. They contain bromelain, an enzyme that promotes healthy testosterone levels.
Garlic, ginger, and honey include testosterone boosting properties. Garlic is rich in allicin, a compound that lowers your cortisol and your physiological stress response. As a result, your adrenal gland can produce testosterone correctly. Ginger also reduces inflammation in your body, which supports healthy endocrine system function. Honey includes boron, a mineral that promotes testosterone production as well as healthy bones and muscle growth.
When it comes to oils, stick to high-quality extra virgin olive oil and the omega-3s found in fish and nuts. Make sure to consume these products moderately.
Seafood is an excellent source of vitamin D, zinc, and omega-3s. Oily fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel are excellent options, although you shouldn’t have more than three servings in a week as fish is also high in mercury. Shellfish and oysters are also excellent sources of zinc.
Beef products are an excellent source of the nutrients your body uses for testosterone production. For example, beef liver provides vitamin D, ground beef and chuck roast have zinc. You should always choose the leanest cuts of meat from organic, hormone-free sources.
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, zinc, and natural cholesterol, which help your body produce testosterone. These delicious nuts are also rich in antioxidants, which help your body flush out toxic substances that can affect your hormone health. You only need two brazil nuts each day and should eat them raw for maximum nutrient absorption.
Porridge oats are rich in B vitamins, including B6, which suppresses estrogen production, which increases your testosterone. They’re also an excellent supply of energy and a great breakfast option. You can add chopped brazil nuts, almonds, or bananas for extra testosterone-boosting nutrients.
OTHER FOOD PRODUCTS TO INCREASE TESTOSTERONE
You should also make sure to drink low-fat milk or fortified nut mylk products. Both are an excellent source of vitamin D. Eggs are a complete protein and another excellent source of vitamin D. Additionally, white, kidney, and black beans provide vitamin D and Zinc and as well as an alternative source of protein.
FOODS TO AVOID
Many of the foods that you should avoid to maintain healthy testosterone levels, like vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates, don’t directly affect your testosterone levels. However, these products often contribute to obesity, which can interfere with your hormone production, including testosterone.
You might also have heard that soy-based products like edamame, soymylk, and yogurt, and meat-replacement products decrease testosterone. Studies show that overconsumption of these products can increase your estrogen levels and lead to estrogen dominance. You don’t have to give up soy, but you should limit your consumption.
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ACTIVITIES THAT RAISE TESTOSTERONE
In addition to the food you choose to eat, other aspects of your lifestyle, including your exercise habits, sleep, and stress levels also contribute to optimal testosterone production and your overall health.
Studies show that getting daily exercise, including resistance training, can help increase your testosterone levels. Weight lifting can increase both your short and long-term testosterone production. Additionally, regular exercise can help you lose weight, which in turn regulates your testosterone production as well as your overall endocrine activity.
Finding a physical activity that you enjoy and want to do regularly is critical. Any exercise, whether it’s high-intensity interval training, hiking, weight lifting, or functional training, can improve your health and testosterone production. While a combination of resistance training and cardio is ideal, the routine of daily exercise is essential.
SLEEPGetting enough high-quality sleep is important to maintaining healthy testosterone levels. Everyone has different needs, but in general, you should aim for 7-10 hours each night. Your body replenishes itself while you sleep, including your testosterone levels. This process mostly occurs during your REM sleep cycles . Studies show that men who sleep four hours a night are more likely to have deficient levels of testosterone . Research also indicates that getting five hours of sleep each night can reduce your testosterone levels by 15% . However, for every extra hour of quality sleep, your testosterone can increase by 15% .
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BODY WEIGHTResearch shows that obese men have up to 50% less testosterone  than men who are within a healthy body weight range. The combination of following a healthy diet and getting daily physical activity provides multiple benefits. For example, these lifestyle choices not only help you lose weight but also regulates your insulin production and use as well as your testosterone levels.
Long-term elevated stress levels lead to increased cortisol production, which can cause a variety of health problems including weight gain, increased caloric intake, and fat storage. Additionally, continuously elevated cortisol also interferes with testosterone production.
Finding a stress management activity that works for you can help your body optimize your testosterone production and enhance your overall health. Whether you unwind with exercise, meditation, or another enjoyable activity, taking time to destress is essential to your testosterone levels and your health.
SPEND TIME OUTSIDE
One of the best ways to get vitamin D, which your body needs for testosterone production, is to spend 15 minutes in the sun. Your skin produces vitamin D but needs sunlight to trigger the synthesis. You could also take a vitamin D supplement, but getting outside is also a great way to add some physical activity to your day and improve your physical and mental health.
SUPPLEMENTS THAT CAN IMPROVE TESTOSTERONE
6. The Testosterone Optimization Bible, Jay Campbell, 2018
11. Testosterone: A Man’s Guide, Second Edition, Nelson Vergel, BsChe, MBA, 2011
14. Testosterone: A Man’s Guide, Second Edition, Nelson Vergel, BsChe, MBA, 2011
16. Testosterone: A Man’s Guide, Second Edition, Nelson Vergel, BsChe, MBA, 2011
20. The Testosterone Optimization Bible, Jay Campbell, 2018
41. The Testosterone Optimization Bible, Jay Campbell, 2018
50. Testosterone: A Man’s Guide, Second Edition, Nelson Vergel, BsChe, MBA, 2011
61. The Testosterone Optimization Bible, Jay Campbell, 2018
64. The Testosterone Optimization Bible, Jay Campbell, 2018