By: Drew Peters, MS, CSCs
& Duke Armstrong, Co-founder & CEO of Propello Life
Do you, or someone you love, suffer from Low Testosterone?
Don't suffer in silence! "Low T" is an increasing and more common problem than you may think, and it can cause long term problems for any relationship. If you think you, or someone you love, may have Low T read the article below and take action now!
The leading symptoms associated with Low Testosterone (Low T) include: decreased sex drive, decreased energy levels, sexual reproduction issues (lower sperm count), faster accumulation of body fat, reduced muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, decreased bone density, decreased red blood cell production, reduced sense of well-being and more.
If you suffer from any, or all, of these symptoms, first know that you are not alone. 1 in 4 (or 25%) men over the age of 30 suffer from low T (*ABC News). Second, seek the guidance of a specialized medical professional (Endocrinologist, or your primary care Physician) and get a blood test to confirm your suspicions. If the test comes back positive for Low T, you will be faced with a few options. The two leading options are:
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
At Propello Life, we always encourage holistic, natural living as the first line of defense. So, this article will look at the best ways to naturally increase your Testosterone levels and minimize, or eliminate, the need for Testosterone Replacement Therapy or other pharmaceutical treatments.
Let’s take a look at 5 key actions you can take to help raise testosterone levels naturally.
Lift Weights & HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Resistance training (lifting weights) can boost testosterone production directly. To maximize the result, use compound movements and heavier weights with lower reps instead of doing more reps with less weight. Because you are using heavier weights and compound movements, focus on form to prevent injury. Examples of compound movements are squats, dead lifts, pull ups, push ups, bench press, farmer carries, etc… As a rule of thumb, free weights will reign supreme compared to machines for the testosterone response.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and other explosive exercises are also great for increasing testosterone levels. Make sure you warm up properly before attempting any of the following exercises: sprints, sled pushes, box jumps, broad jumps, assault bike, etc.
Optimize your Vitamins & Minerals
For the below vitamins & minerals, speak to your health care professional about the highest quality form, how much, and how often to take if you choose to supplement.
Vitamin D is essential for a variety of functions in the body such as production of healthy testosterone levels, libido balance, the healthy development of sperm production and semen quality. There are 3 main ways to raise your Vitamin D levels:
- Natural exposure to sun – there is a fine line between safe sun exposure and risk of sun burn, so do your research before trying this method.
- Tanning Bed – there are specific types of tanning beds and the bulbs used that can help expose your skin to the Vitamin D producing light rays. This method is also difficult to get right, so do your homework on this method as well.
- Vitamin D3 supplement – using a high-quality Vitamin D3 supplement may be the easiest and safest way to optimize your Vitamin D levels.
Zinc is important for testosterone production, and many men have lower than optimal levels of zinc. Additionally, as your exercise and sexual activity increases so does your dietary need of zinc. The best dietary sources of zinc are meat and fish. But be cautious since conventional farming methods have been linked to decreases in the levels of zinc in our animal proteins. A high-quality zinc supplement can be used to optimize any dietary shortcoming.
By some estimates, upwards of 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium (**Dr. Mercola). This is in large part due to the high stress lives we lead today. Magnesium plays a critical role in many health functions; especially the ones we are trying to improve to increase testosterone.
The most natural way to increase your magnesium levels is by eating more plant based nutrients. If this still doesn’t fix the problem, speak to your medical professional to get a high-quality supplement.
Reduce your Stress
We have all heard that we need to stress less and laugh more, but did you know that high stress levels can also lower testosterone levels? Stress causes the release of the hormone cortisol, which can have a ‘blocking’ effect on testosterone in the body. Long term stress is even worse, because it leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels and lower testosterone levels.
Here are a few ways to reduce stress on a daily basis.
- Sleep (8 hours)
- Foam roll
- Go for a walk
- Turn off your electronics and just relax
- Watch a funny movie
Improve your Diet
Reduce/Eliminate your Sugar
We all know sugar is bad for us. But, not everyone knows all the names and forms of sugar. Here is a list of 56!
Reduce your Alcohol Consumption
Keep it in moderation. Studies have shown that as few as 5 drinks per week have been shown to lower testosterone levels and hamper muscle recovery following exercise. For a more in depth review of Alcohol's impact on Testosterone, read our blog The Impact of Alcohol on Testosterone.
For a long time, fat got a bad rap. Thankfully, that era is over and we now know that healthy fats are essential to our health. Specifically, saturated fat is essential to testosterone production. Fat is calorie dense, so you need to eat it in moderation. But don’t be afraid of it either. Some great sources of healthy fats are: olives/olive oil, coconut/coconut oil, grass fed butter, raw nuts, avocados/avocado oil, grass-fed beef, whole eggs, salmon or other wild caught fatty fish and natural nut butters.
Lose the Extra Weight
One of the biggest factors that may affect your natural testosterone production is being overweight. Not surprisingly, among other long-term health complications, excess body fat can negatively impact your natural testosterone production. It has been shown that not only does higher body fat decrease natural testosterone production, but it can increase your estrogen levels (the female sex hormone), further compounding the problem.
There are many approaches for shedding excess body fat, but the tried and true methods are:
Diet: whole foods, nutrient dense foods, limiting sugar & alcohol, and avoiding fried foods and fast foods. Cook at home and shop the outside edge of the grocery store!
Physical Activity: strength training, HIIT, and generally moving around more each day
Don’t do a crash diet or some other drastic method to drop the weight as this can lead you to a lifetime of ‘yo-yo’ dieting. The better option is to make lifestyle changes. This means instead of doing a diet that can only be temporarily followed and sustained, instead start altering your behavior for changes that you can sustain and build on over time. Make one lasting change at a time. For ideas on where to start, read our 10 Steps to a Healthier, Leaner, Stronger You
Additionally, consider getting a firmer grip on your daily calorie intake vs. actual requirements with a free tracking app such as MyFitnessPal. Your phone is with you all day so you will be less likely to forget to log your food intake, and this will help keep you accountable.
Low T is a sensitive and real problem for a lot of men. It is affecting many men and families, and needs to be addressed. We hope you have found this article to be helpful, and that you can incorporate some, or all, of the natural remedies into your life. Please email us at email@example.com
with any questions and please share this article with your friends and family. Knowledge is power!
*ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4508669&page=1
**Dr. Mercola: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/19/magnesium-deficiency.aspx