Testosterone is a vital hormone for men and women. Not only does testosterone play an important role in helping people build muscle mass and develop an aesthetic body, but it plays a crucial role in several aspects of getting healthy and staying healthy.
However, numerous men and women have problems with low testosterone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, almost 40% of men over the age of 45 have low testosterone, but this health issue affects men and women of other age ranges as well.
Unfortunately, low-testosterone is steadily growing in our modern era as people are less physically active and eat worse diets than ever before.
In this article, I will describe some of the signs and symptoms of low testosterone in men and women to be aware of, as well as a few healthy ways to increase testosterone levels naturally!
Why is Testosterone Important?
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone for men, and a crucial hormone for women as well. In men, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive organs, as well as additional characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair.
For women, some of the functions of testosterone include producing new blood cells, enhancing libido, influencing additional hormones that can affect reproduction, as well as supporting healthy muscle mass and bone health.
In general, testosterone regulates many functions inside the human body, such as:
- Fat Distribution
- Muscle Mass
- Production of Red Blood Cells
- Bone Density
In fact, testosterone levels could even be associated with mortality (death) itself. According to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,
“In an observational cohort of men with low testosterone levels, testosterone treatment was associated with decreased mortality compared with no testosterone treatment.”
Older men are the age group who are most prone to experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone.
Testosterone levels are at a peak when you are in your 20s, and then after your 30’s, they begin to slow down. Generally, testosterone levels will gradually decline as we get older by about .4-2% every year after the age of 30 years old.
This is natural, yet, you can slow down the reduction of testosterone which can improve your overall health.
Having low testosterone levels can cause rampant issues within the body, which is why it is important to know how to notice when you have decreasing testosterone levels and know how to increase your testosterone levels naturally!
Causes of Low-Testosterone (Testosterone Deficiency)
There are many factors that contribute to testosterone deficiency, including:
- Poor Eating Habits
- Lack of Physical Exercise
- Not Taking Proper Vitamins and Minerals
- Eating Processed Foods
- Drinking Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Refined Carbohydrate Consumption
Much of the food that those with a typical Western diet eat in a day is saturated with processed carbohydrates. Having cow’s milk with a bowl of cereal, or a bun with fries and pasta leads to an extreme elevation of insulin secretion from the pancreas.
Elevated insulin is the initial cause of diabetes and disturbs the main hormone pathway in the human body, which later extinguish testosterone production.
Hormones in Meat
Some meat products with heavy use of hormones are beef and pork.
Therefore, being a “potatoes and meat” kind of guy may be contributing to the loss of testosterone. It is recommended to substitute more vegetables that support healthy hormone production.
If however, you wish to eat meat, go for grass-fed and hormone-free meat.
These days we can find some artificial chemicals in the environment that were absent years ago, and most of them involve estrogen-like activities.
Regular exposure to these endocrine-disrupting materials such as phthalates and BPA can cause a reduction in testosterone levels at all ages and can even threaten the occurrence of puberty at a very young age.
One of the best ways to avoid such circumstances is switching to organic food products.
Estrogens in Water
Estrogen content that can be extracted from females on medication containing artificial estrogens has been witnessed in municipal water supplies in substantial quantities. These chemicals are significant factors causing sex changes and low population in different species of aquatic animals found in the water.
To avoid exposure to these estrogen-contaminated elements, it is recommended to go for filtered water or installing a reverse-osmosis filtering system.
It is important to know that many beers contain estrogen-like properties that can significantly affect the testosterone level in men. These estrogenic properties in alcohol drinks are so strong that they can treat menopause in women.
It is advised to lower down the consumption of beer or any alcoholic drinks to restore the level of testosterone in the body.
Although you certainly can drink a couple of good Belgian or Polish beers per week, you should not consume more than one or two in a day.
Varicocele is a generally common condition, influencing roughly 10 percent of men amid the second or third decade of their life, and it is the enlargement of the veins within the loose bag of skin that holds the testicles, called the scrotum.
Varicocele is simply a varicose vein that appears in the scrotum. Veins are a piece of the cardiovascular system, yet varicose veins function contrastingly. While some veins carry oxygenated blood to the tissues, varicose veins contain one-way valves that draw de-oxygenated blood far from tissues and back to the heart.
If veins wind up damaged, blood can’t travel rapidly, forcing the vein to grow.
Varicocele can cause significant drops in testosterone production, and fixing varicocele can repair these issues.
According to the Balkan Medical Journal,
“Experience from large clinical studies in the literature suggests that varicocele repair may increase serum testosterone level in men with varicoceles and testosterone deficiency. “
Although there are surgical options for varicocele, varicocele treatment without surgery is often successful as well.
Common Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Men
A normal testosterone level typically ranges from 300 to 1000 ng/dl.
If your testosterone levels fall below this range, you will likely start to experience some symptoms of low testosterone.
The symptoms of testosterone deficiency depend on the age of the person.
If you are in your childhood, then you could see visible problems in the development of the male sexual organs.
If you are in your early teenage years, then can see problems in late puberty, including:
- Poor Growth of Male Sexual Organs
- Poor Growth of Facial and Pubic Hairs
- Poor Development of Muscles
- No Deepening of the Voice
- Breast Development
If you are in your adulthood, then you might see symptoms such as:
- Low Energy Levels
- Poor Focus and Concentration
- Reduction in Muscle Size
- Increase in Body Fat
- Low Interest in Sexual Activities
- Not Able to Get Regular Erections
- Low Semen Volume
- Reduction in Body Hair
- Development in the Size of Male Breasts
- Decrease in Bone Density
- Premature Ejaculation
Lastly, if you are above 60 years of age, you can see some problems like:
- Poor Focus and Concentration
- Increase in Body Fat
- Decrease in Lean Muscle Mass
- Development of Male Breasts
- Always Feeling Tired
- Low Libido (Sexual Drive)
Here’s a deeper look at a few of the more prominent symptoms of low testosterone levels in men:
Lack of Sexual Desire
Health experts say that men’s sex drive will decline as they age. This is true, however, if the desire to have sex is drastically lowered, then it may be due to a lower testosterone level. A lack of sexual desire or low libido is one of the most common symptoms of having low testosterone level.
Likewise, if you experience a drop in testosterone levels, then you will also have a subsequent decrease in your libido.
According to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,
“Libido and T displayed a significant association.”
Testosterone not only stimulates sexual desire but also aids in achieving and maintaining an erection. A man with low testosterone may have difficulty in maintaining an erection prior to or during sexual intercourse.
All these issues are inter-related.
If you have a lack of sex drive, then you will naturally find difficulty in having a proper erection.
According to a study published in Reviews in Urology,
“Erections are clearly androgen-dependent, as evidenced by the observation that men with marked hypogonadism have a marked reduction in the frequency, amplitude, and rigidity of erections. However, the level of hypogonadism required to induce this ED is debatable. It is believed that normal adult testosterone levels are not required for normal erections to occur and that when this threshold of testosterone is reached, additional amounts do not further increase the frequency, amplitude, or rigidity of erections.”
While testosterone isn’t directly responsible for erections, it stimulates receptors in the brain. After which, the neurons in the brain help in producing nitric oxide, which is the chemical required for an erection.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to use medicine, delay wipes, or other techniques to improve erectile dysfunction, instead, you can improve erectile dysfunction naturally, as suggested by the Mayo Clinic.
Medications such as Viagra are effective, but citrulline malate or L-citrulline supplements are an effective and more natural option.
According to a study published in Urology,
“Although less effective than phosphodiesterase type-5 enzyme inhibitors, at least in the short term, L-citrulline supplementation has been proved to be safe and psychologically well accepted by patients. Its role as an alternative treatment for mild to moderate ED, particularly in patients with a psychologically fear of phosphodiesterase type-5 enzyme inhibitors, deserves further research.”
Although you may need a prescription to help erectile dysfunction, as demonstrated here, you may see significant improvements simply by improving testosterone levels.
A Decrease in Energy Level and Increased Chronic Fatigue
A man with low-T will likely experience significant fatigue and a significant decrease in energy. If you are always feeling tired or have a lack of motivation for doing physical activities, even if you have enough sleep, then you might have low-T.
Decrease in Muscle Mass and Increase in Body Fat
Testosterone is the hormone that is most responsible for muscle development. A significant decrease in muscle mass can be due to a decrease in testosterone level.
Increasing testosterone levels can reverse these changes.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,
“Testosterone administration was associated with dose-dependent increases in skeletal muscle mass (SMM), leg strength and power, but did not improve muscle fatigability or physical function.”
If you suddenly start noticing a slump in your physique, then it’s about time you checked your hormones.
Similarly, men with low T have a greater chance of gaining body fat. As stated by a study published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology,
“Several studies have confirmed the significant inverse correlation between testosterone and obesity. Indeed after decades of intense controversy, a consensus has emerged that androgens are important regulators of fat mass and distribution in mammals and that androgen status affects cellularity in vivo. The high correlation of testosterone levels with body composition and its contribution to the balance of lipid metabolism are also suggested by the fact that testosterone lowering is associated with important clinical disorders such as dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.”
Sometimes, this can cause gynecomastia – a development of larger breast tissue.
According to the Mayo Clinic Proceedings,
“Gynecomastia, defined as benign proliferation of male breast glandular tissue, is usually caused by increased estrogen activity, decreased testosterone activity, or the use of numerous medications”
If you start experiencing a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in your body fat, low testosterone levels could be the cause!
While it is true that balding is a natural effect of aging for many men, and some inherit balding through their genes, having low T also contributes to it. Balding is related to the natural aging process, but men who have low testosterone tend to experience it more than others. In fact, some men even lose their body and facial hair.
Testosterone also plays a vital role in physical development, including hair production.
If you notice sudden hair loss, then it can be a sign of low testosterone.
Increased Mood Swings
According to a study in The Aging Male,
“Gender differences in spatial recognition, and age-related declines in cognition and mood, point towards testosterone as an important modulator of cerebral functions.”
People with low testosterone often experience mood swings such as irritability, lack of focus and depression.
According to a study published in Psychosomatics,
“Based on limited studies, high levels of testosterone are related to increased rates of depression as well as hypomania, whereas low levels of testosterone are related to depressive disorders in certain subpopulations of patients.”
Depression also can suppress testicles’ ability to produce testosterone, which worsens the effect.
People with low testosterone can also develop osteoporosis or have weaker bones. According to a study in The Journals of Geronotology,
“Fifty-two percent of older men with low bioavailable testosterone levels had BMD levels below the young adult normal range and are likely at an increased risk of fracture.”
Lack of Sleep
If you experience low testosterone levels, then this might also result in a poor sleep pattern.
Similarly, researchers have pointed out that sometimes sleep apnea can also lead to low testosterone levels.
How to Increase Testosterone Naturally
Regardless of whether you are a man or woman, it is important to have normal and stable levels of testosterone in your body. If you suffer from low-testosterone, these tips can help you with increasing your testosterone levels naturally:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you are underweight, overweight, or obese, the first step you should take to increase your testosterone levels is to maintain a healthy weight.
Although being underweight can also contribute to testosterone issues, being overweight or obese is more common and affects more men and women.
Being overweight or obese is attributed to many health problems, and low testosterone is one of those issues because obesity leads to the overproduction of estrogen, the female sex hormone.
This leads to reduced production of testosterone, thus causing a hormonal imbalance.
There are also other ways that maintaining a healthy weight will improve your testosterone levels, as maintaining a healthy weight likely requires the consumption of nutrient-dense testosterone boosting foods and exercising, which will both additionally increase your testosterone.
Intermittent fasting is a great option for weight loss because it restricts the time when you are allowed to eat during the day, but it does not necessarily restrict your food choices.
You should still aim to consume as many nutrient-dense foods per day because these are also testosterone boosting foods and will result in reduced calorie intake, but the primary focus of intermittent fasting is to control the “feeding window” which leads to weight loss.
For more information, check out my article on the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Lift Heavy Weights
Weight lifting can increase your testosterone and it is one of the best ways to increase your testosterone levels naturally.
Lifting weights won’t necessarilly have you looking like a bodybuilder or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson immediately, but it can absolutely help you with your testosterone production.
According to the journal Sports Medicine,
“Testosterone has also been shown to acutely rise immediately following an acute resistance exercise bout. While this substantial mobilization of testosterone is brief, its effects are seen for several hours through the upregulation of the androgen receptor.”
However, if you want to increase your testosterone levels as much as possible, you should do heavy compound exercises like the back squat or deadlift.
Exercise, in general, has several benefits for increasing testosterone because it will help you maintain a healthy body weight, but lifting heavy weights provides a unique stimulus that even other forms of exercise do not.
According to a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness,
“We conclude that back-squat exercise can change the hormonal state of the body after an intense resistance training workout, while an exercise with a lower amount of muscle mass (i.e. bench press) has almost no influence on tesotsterone and cortisol.”
For a more personalized approach to exercise, feel free to check out my online fitness consultant service.
Stress can contribute to a variety of health issues, and it certainly can interfere with your ability to synthesize testosterone.
According to a study published in Health Psychology,
“Men in cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention showed significant increases in testosterone, whereas control participants showed significant decreases. Those participating in CBSM had significant distress reductions, whereas controls showed no such change. Alterations in free testosterone were inversely related to changes in distress states over time, independent of any changes in cortisol.”
There are many natural remedies for stress which are effective for helping you learn how to reduce stress on your own.
Daily meditation, prayer, deep breathing, taking a contrast shower, and practicing yoga are excellent ways to reduce stress.
Consume Testosterone Boosting Foods
Consuming a healthy diet is one of the most important factors for increasing your testosterone levels naturally because there are many testosterone-boosting foods that will improve your overall health and increase your testosterone levels.
Although you don’t have to stick to a specific diet, the Ketogenic Diet is a great option for increasing testosterone because the Ketogenic Diet has been proven to increase testosterone levels due to containing a variety of food options high in healthy dietary fat and cholesterol, which stimulate testosterone production.
Here are a few specific testosterone-boosting foods that you should add to your diet regularly.
In general, foods high in dietary fats are great testosterone-boosting foods. According to a study published in The Journal of Urology,
“Men adhering to low fat diets had lower serum testosterone levels even when controlling for comorbidities, age, body mass index and activity levels.”
However, you should try to consume unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats when possible because there are still health risks of consuming too much saturated fat in your diet.
Examples of healthy dietary fats are:
- Olive Oil
- Fatty Fish
- Nuts and Seeds
Eggs are one of the best foods for increasing testosterone levels because they are rich in Vitamin D, healthy dietary fats, and protein.
Research has indicated that the egg yolk assists with increasing testosterone levels, so you should consume whole eggs, not just egg whites.
Oats are one of the best complex carbohydrates, and they are loaded with nutrients that increase serotonin- a chemical that helps largely to decrease the level of stress and anxiety within your body.
Stress and anxiety are directly proportional to poor testosterone production. Not only are oats an incredible metabolism boosting food for breakfast, but oats also increase testosterone levels as well!
Garlic is a well-known testosterone booster. Garlic may be known as a fast way to get bad-breath, but it can easily be added to your foods in more nondescript ways.
Garlic can be taken in supplement form with great effectiveness, although you should still look to add more whole garlic to your foods as well. Pasta sauces, salads, soups, and many other types of meals can be made healthier by adding a little bit of garlic to them!
Use Testosterone Boosting Supplements
Outside of these types of testosterone boosting supplements, there are several more well-known supplements that have been shown to increase testosterone levels naturally and can improve your health in a variety of other ways as well!
Here are a few of the best testosterone boosting supplements:
Fish oil is one of the best supplements to take because research has indicated it is great for your health in a variety of ways.
Although most fish oil supplements can be helpful, you should look for fish oil supplements that have a high amount of DHA to get the best effect. DHA-enriched fish oil supplementation has been shown to increase testosterone levels in overweight and obese men.
If you would like to try a fish oil supplement to increase your testosterone, I suggest Utzy Naturals U-Omega:
- FRESH & PURE – Our premium fish oil is made with the finest quality and purity standards to create...
- ETHICALLY SOURCED - High absorption fish oil
- EASY TO CONSUME - We’ve even added a hint of natural lemon flavor to make the perfect blend of...
- PREMIUM QUALITY - Made in the USA in a cGMP manufacturing facility
Having a healthy gut and healthy gut bacteria is crucial for having healthy hormonal levels and a variety of other aspects of health. Unfortunately, due to toxins in our environment and poor food quality and diet quality, most people do not have a healthy gut.
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, preclinical and early human research has shown potential probiotic benefits for normalizing age-related declines in testosterone levels.
Most fermented foods are rich in probiotics, including:
If you do not enjoy consuming these foods, there are also benefits of consuming probiotic supplements as well. Personally, I suggest you choose a vegan probiotic supplement.
If you would like to try a probiotic supplement for boosting your testosterone level, I believe this is the best vegan probiotic supplement:
- Supports Enhanced Digestion, Vitality & Beauty — The beneficial bacteria in Feel Good SBO...
- Soil Based Organisms — This unique dairy-free digestive supplement contains 16 billion CFU of...
- Nutrients + Prebiotics and Postbiotics — Humic Acid is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and aids...
- Ancient Probiotic Formula — Soil Based Probiotics most closely reflect the probiotics that...
- Shelf-Stable & Vegan-Friendly — Soil Based Probiotics are the best probiotics for Vegans! They're...
For more information, Wired Guy has reviews of testosterone boosting supplements that can assist you.
Drink More Coffee
Drinking coffee is good for your health in many ways, and research has indicated it can increase testosterone levels as well.
Not only is drinking coffee good for weight loss and helping you be more active each day but the antioxidants and other compounds in coffee fight against oxidative stress and other causes of poor health.
If you are already a coffee drinker, you might find better results by switching to a better coffee brand. I suggest you try Puroast Low Acid Coffee:
- 70% LESS ACID: Puroast low acid coffee is perfect for every coffee lover, especially those with...
- 7X HIGHER ANTIOXIDANTS: It turns out there is a connection between antioxidant levels and how coffee...
- PURE TO THE POUR: From our humble origins in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, Puroast's secret...
- FEEL BETTER, NEVER BITTER: Take on the daily grind with a smooth, aromatic cup of coffee that tastes...
- QUALITY IN EVERY CUP: Not all coffee is created equal. Our high elevation grown coffee beans are...
Another great option is to make bulletproof coffee because bulletproof coffee contains large amounts of healthy dietary fat, which we have already stated is beneficial for increasing testosterone levels.
Limit the Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol is one of the major long-term killers of testosterone levels. Though alcohol may stimulate you sexually, it drains your energy and causes significant issues over time. According to a study published in Alcoholism – Clinical & Experimental Research,
“Heavy acute alcohol drinking decreases blood testosterone in men due to an effect on the testicular level.”
However, the same study also concluded that testosterone actually increased after low doses of alcohol intake (0.5 g/kg, 10% w/v).
Learn how to boost testosterone by learning how to drink responsibly. Switch from binge drinking to limited-social drinking, and you will experience the change.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the most vital components to having a healthy testosterone level. Many studies have shown the important of sleep for increasing or stabilizing testosterone. For example, a study published in The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism concluded that,
“In conclusion, testosterone increased during sleep and fell during waking, whereas circadian effects seemed marginal. Individual differences were pronounced.”
Furthermore, a short study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded,
“Daytime testosterone levels were decreased by 10% to 15% in this small convenience sample of young healthy men who underwent 1 week of sleep restriction to 5 hours per night, a condition experienced by at least 15% of the US working population. By comparison, normal aging is associated with a decrease of testosterone levels by 1% to 2% per year. This testosterone decline was associated with lower vigor scores but not with increased levels of cortisol, a stress-responsive hormone that can inhibit gonadal function”
Take a melatonin supplement and zinc before bed can help to improve your sleep quality and testosterone levels.
Investing in a quality mattress and a memory foam pillow can also improve your quality of sleep rapidly.
Getting enough sleep and getting proper sleep is vital to increasing your testosterone level.
Concluding Thoughts – Increasing Testosterone Naturally
If the tips for increasing testosterone naturally that I have described in this article do not work for you, another option that people with significant testosterone issues can use is to undergo testosterone therapy to boost testosterone levels.
However, although testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a common therapy, the benefits and side effects are still debated. According to a recent study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design,
“T therapy is not effective in increasing BMD in older men. In addition, it has limited effects on prostate-specific antigen (PSA), the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), body mass index (BMI), fat mass, parathyroid hormone (PTH), 25-VitD and lipid metabolism, although it can increase prostate size, lean mass, and sex hormone levels, and reduce glucose levels and HDL concentrations.”
On the other hand, according to a study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research,
“Body fat percentage, Hb, and HbA1c were significantly improved in the TRT group. In addition, sexual ability and frequency, and sexual desire showed a significant improvement in the TRT group after 1 year TRT. On the other hand, any parameters including glycemic control and sexual functions were not significantly improved in non-TRT groups.
One-year TRT can improve sexual function and glycemic control among hypogonadal men with T2DM.”
So, before using testosterone replacement therapy, you should speak with a TRT medical center and get as much information as possible.
It is advisable to go through testosterone therapy only if low testosterone levels begin to significantly affect your daily life because there are multiple side effects and long-term risks of TRT. According to a study in Endocrine Abstracts,
“TRT in men with hypogonadism helps improve libido, erectile dysfunction, energy levels and bone density. However the risks/benefits of TRT in terms of ischemic heart disease (IHD), stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE) is controversial no definitive answers from current evidence.”
If you think you might need TRT, places such as Testosterone Replacement Therapy San Diego offer a free test to know your testosterone level. If you are qualified for treatment, the team will offer the highest quality testosterone replacement therapy based on your health needs and goals under the care of a licensed individual in a relaxing environment.
TRT appears to be useful for certain issues, although there are various side effects. The best choice is to consult your doctor and other medical specialists to get a full understanding of your situation before proceeding.
If you can, the best solution is to increase your testosterone levels naturally!
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