There are a ton of supplements out there that claim to raise testosterone but very few live up to the hype. In this article, I'll outline several lifestyle changes that'll help you optimize your testosterone levels.
The first step you need to take is to either order some blood work through a site like (privatemdlabs.com) or going to your doctor and asking for a hormone panel. Some Doctors are cool while others want a reason for running such tests, so it depends on your relationship. Tell him you've been super tired, depressed and that your libido is down and that should do the trick. You should get a basic metabolic panel done with an extensive hormone panel that covers everything from Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, Estradiol along with an extensive thyroid panel. If you're serious about your training and maximizing everything then you should already be doing this and if not start NOW. It's something I've done for the last decade and it's really nice to learn how to not only check your health but also spot any potential health issues. Plus, if you want to optimize your hormones then you need to know where you stand for future comparison and to make sure there's no issues/disease.
If you don't already know, consistent weight training is a sure-fire way to increase a man's testosterone. Combine some high-intensity weight training with the correct diet catered towards fat loss and you can see a nice test boost. With more body fat comes an increased amount of aromatase enzymes which converts your lovely testosterone into estrogen. So reducing body fat should help raise your TT ( total testosterone) However, if your content with man boobs then read no further.
Consuming The Correct Dietary Fats
Yes, I know we've been told for years and years that fat is bad for us. That it causes heart disease, inflammation and that we should avoid excessive meat consumption. This couldn't be farther from the truth, so long as you consume the correct fats. Healthy fats that I now consume come from avocado's, hemp seed oil, flax-seed and almond butter (probably the least healthy but it's tasty) Other healthy fats include extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and grass-fed butter. You should avoid canola oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, etc at all costs! Processed vegetable oils are lead to things such as heart disease. Just look on the back of processed food and you'll be hard-pressed to find something without some sort of vegetable oil in it. To make matters even worse when you order a nice healthy meal at a restaurant it's normally cooked in a pool of canola oil. On another note don't be afraid of cholesterol, after all every single sex hormone is synthesized from it. (Whole eggs being a great source)
Avoid/Limit Sugar IntakeI have a huge sweet tooth so this is a rough one for me. In fact for several year's I would eat an entire bag of M&M's nightly. You may think that isn't so bad, well this was the family-sized bag. Yes, you read that right, 2300 calories per bag and that was just my nightly snack which was typically downed with a bag of goldfish as well. Luckily I have a fast metabolism so it never really contributed to weight gain (even though I was trying to gain weight/build muscle) it was most certainly very unhealthy. Sugar not only causes inflammation and insulin resistance but is also harmful to testosterone. Personally, it's best if I just avoid it all together otherwise I just find it too addicting. I do allow myself one or two cheat meals a week for two reasons. One it helps to break up the blandness of diet food and just enjoy a meal outside of your usual intake. Secondly, being that I'm trying to put on muscle but now eat at or below my maintenance, it's nice to consume some junk to help boost up my total calorie intake for the day.
I'm sure you've heard this one before and everyone knows it's bad yet it's so socially acceptable that the harmful effects are vastly overlooked. Currently, we see more focus being placed on opioid issues when alcohol itself contributes to more deaths per year. However, as people, we get to choose how we live our lives and what we put into our bodies. That said if you're looking to maximize your potential then you should certainly look at limiting or eliminating alcohol intake altogether.
Boron SupplementationI have to admit this is one I've yet to try but it comes highly recommended from many that are more knowledgeable than myself. It supposedly helps convert our total testosterone into more available free testosterone. I just got some recent lab work done so I may try to supplement for a month or two and follow it up with more blood work to see if there's any real increase. Until then I'd recommend you do some of your own research and see what you think personally.
While it may seem obvious, sleep is paramount in ensuring your body gets the time it needs to keep the machine running optimally. This is easier said then done for many due to hectic schedules but try to focus on getting in bed 30 minutes earlier if you're getting 6 hours or less of sleep a night.
What Should My Testosterone Level Be?
This is a very individual specific question because while one person may feel fine at a certain value the other may feel like complete garbage. The general reference range for Total Testosterone (TT) on blood work is between 250-1000 ng/dL but varies between labs. Many medical professionals will tell you that you're fine even if you fall into the very bottom of this reference range. In my opinion, if you're below the age of 40 and have a TT of 400 or less it's too low, especially if you're wanting to perform optimally in all aspects of life. You can see from the above picture that some 75-84-year-old men that have a higher TT then you. For peak performance, one should aim to be around 600-1000 ng/dl depending on one's individual goals and just simply by how you feel. One person may feel great around 600 while another needs to get around 800 to feel the same. We also have to realize that all reference ranges are built off the average American which is typically very unhealthy, to begin with. You'll also have to consider one's free testosterone along with other markers. Now if you already live a healthy lifestyle and have lower testosterone or if you are on the lower end and start leading a healthier lifestyle with no improvement you'll want to look into TRT (testosterone replacement therapy)
I hope this helps some of you out there to lead a more healthy lifestyle and increase your testosterone so you can pack on some extra muscle!
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