For an average man, the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream should hit between 350-1,000(ng/dl) nanaograms per deciliter. Along with your hairline, these numbers begin thin out when you’re 40. After age 30, you lose 1% or more testosterone each year according to mayoclinic.com. What seems harmless at first can cause obesity, heart disease, brittle bones, osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, sexual dysfunction and impotence when you reach your late 50s-if you make it that long. Low testosterone levels- below 350ng/dl- increases the chances of dying from a heart attack.
This isn’t just a problem for older men. Men as young as 30 are falling into the low blood serum levels. This is a condition called hypogonadism. Hypogonadism can be caused by an infection, testicle injury, hypothalamus or pituitary gland disorder and even the use of certain medication. This condition can go undiagnosed for years, until one realizes they can’t get an erection anymore.
"If you have reduced levels of sexual desire, have your testosterone level checked immediately," says Dr. Allen Seftel, an urologist at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals of Cleveland. You can restore your testosterone levels with injections, gels and pill if one chooses too. The most common method of supplementing testosterone levels back is through DHEA or androstenedione. Although these products are safe, they require cycling- taking time off from use. This leaves men with time in-between cycles to work on keeping their testosterone levels healthy.
"For men with borderline testosterone scores, I advise them to try to raise their levels through exercise and weight loss before going on testosterone therapy," says Dr. Goldberg. It’s advisable to start early. "Since your testosterone declines at a steady rate, it's conceivable that raising your hormone levels naturally in your 20s and 30s could help you maintain higher levels later on," he says. Doing so will lead to developing lean mass, speeding up your metabolism and performing in the bedroom better than ever.
Here below are tips to elevate androgens level up naturally and safely!
- Loose the Belly Fat
Else you could develop man breasts (Gynecomastia) too. “Carrying excess body fat elevates your estrogen levels, and that may cause your testosterone levels to sink”, says Joseph Zmuda, an epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh. A few extra pounds won’t create this hormonal imbalance, but it becomes pronounced when you become 30% over your healthy bodyweight. "Unfortunately, that's pretty common now," says Dr. Dobs.
- A Better Way to Diet
Anyone looking to drops some pounds is often not eating and doing cardio as much as possible. The reason this doesn’t work well in your 30s is because your already reduced natural testosterone levels drop lower during this time. When calorie consumption is reduced by more than 15%, your body goes into “starving mode” and lowers natural testosterone production to make up for it. "There's no need to reproduce if you're starving," explains Thomas Incledon of Human Performance Specialists in Plantation, Fla.
- Atkins was wrong
New studies show that eating a protein rich, low carb diet may reduce testosterone levels. “High amounts of dietary protein in your blood can eventually lower the amount of testosterone produced in your testes”, says Thomas Incledon, when studying this occurrence at Penn State with 12 healthy athletes. Daily protein consumption should make up 16% of your total calories, Incledon says. For the average 170lbs man with a diet of 2,900 calories per day, 140 grams of protein is enough.
- Sex in the Morning
Scientists have noted that being sexually stimulated can cause testosterone to increase dramatically. Having sex in the morning when testosterone is the highest will help and probably help burn a few calories, too. In a study done by Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Urban Ethology in Vienna 10 men were sexually aroused and the men's testosterone levels increased 100 percent afterwards.
- Workout like a Man
If you’re going to buff your testosterone levels back up, the sum of your routine should be composed of compound exercises. Training several larger muscles adds a higher workload on the body and signals for more testosterone. These exercises will be: Power Cleans, Squats, Bench presses, Deadlifts, Chin-ups, Dips, and Military presses. If you want to build bigger biceps, do squats, bench presses and rows- skip the curls and triceps pushdowns for when you need definition.
- Nuts before Bed
Studies have shown that eating a diet high in monounsaturated fat- such as peanuts- produces the greatest testosterone levels. "It's not known why this occurs, but some scientists believe that monounsaturated fats have a direct effect on the testes," says Incledon. Good sources of monounsaturated fat are: peanuts, avocados, olives, sunflower oil, hazelnuts, and almonds.
- Lower Reps per Set
Doing countless curls with 10 lbs isn’t going to stress your body to produce more testosterone. Your first set should be done with a heavier weight for 5 repetitions. This will equals to 85% of your 1RM. According to a Finnish study, a heavier resistance shocks the body into compensating to the workload- end result more testosterone.
- Three Sets per Exercise
Studies at Penn State have concluded that doing 3 sets per exercise increases more testosterone then one or two sets. Give yourself adequate rest in between sets, at least 1 minute. Then continue lifting with 70% of your 1RM for the existing sets left.
- Work Hard, Sleep Harder
Over training is a common problem for athletes that goes unrecognized and over looked- but the effect is undeniable. Becoming over trained is a result of not allowing your body to recuperate and rest properly between workouts. This can result in your testosterone decreasing 40 according to a study at the University of North Carolina. You may be inadequately rested if you have these symptoms: insomnia, weakness, loss of muscle size, restlessness, hyper-excitability, sudden illness.
Sleep at least a full 8 hours each night and rest each muscle group at least two days before training again to avoid over training.
- Drink Less
To keep testosterone at its peak- and erections hard- limit yourself to three or less alcoholic drinks. "Binge drinking will kill your testosterone levels," warns Incledon. “..Studies clearly demonstrate that chronic consumption of high dosages of alcohol appears to be consistently inhibitory and suppresses reproductive function," said Dennis D. Rasmussen, research associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Washington
- Mid-day Meal
A large factor in keeping your testosterone levels high is eating an adequate amount of calories. Skipping meals is a quick way to lower your hormones. Having a low calories intake means less GnRH (a very important hormone) being released by the brain and less testosterone enzymes (luteinizing hormone) to convert cholesterol into testosterone.
Eat some Fat
Testosterone can be raised by eating diet that is 30% fat. Your body needs a certain amount of dietary fat for testosterone production. Eating like a vegetarian yoga instructor will drop your vital hormones levels-so don’t! Research states that most saturated fat found in beef, chicken and pork does not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Don’t Stay up Late Partying
When you don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, your circadian rhythm (internal clock) becomes off balance. This cycle in your body is in charge of hormone production, cell regeneration, and other important functions. If your work shift or social life is keeping you tired constantly, it’s likely you’ll lose your morning woods and sex drive.