Low testosterone is a common challenge faced by many men and yes even women today. Your ability to perform at your peak will be severely impacted unless you take charge of this important aspect of your health.
How do you know if you might have low testosterone?
· If you experience muscle loss or inability to gain muscle.
· If you experience fat gain.
· If you are fatigued or have sleep problems.
· If you have gynecomastia (male breasts).
· If you experience hot flashes.
· If you have night sweats.
· If you have low sex drive and weak erections.
· If you are irritable.
· If you are depressed.
· If you have memory problems.
Get your T-levels checked. If you are alive today you almost certainly have elevated estrogen and low testosterone levels. Testosterone levels are falling worldwide at astronomical rates. Most of the food you have been eating for you entire life has estrogenic effects. Your milk and beef is modified with hormones, fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, your water is laced with estrogen enhancing chemicals, soy has been shown to raise estrogen levels and is an ingredient added to almost all processed foods and a large percentage of all food and drink is stored in plastic which seeps estrogen enhancing chemicals.
In the U.S., the total testosterone levels measured in men’s blood dropped 22% between 1987 and 2004. Approximately 30 percent of men ages 40 to 79 are now affected by hypogonadism, also called androgen deficiency.
Studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the journal Diabetes Care, the journal Heart and other major medical journals show that low testosterone levels not only lead to obesity, loss of muscle, weak bones and depression, but also increase the odds of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other major health problems.
In addition, low testosterone levels are correlated with decreased confidence, drive, ability to concentrate, and cognitive abilities.
The bottom line: Most men and even some women – and especially those over 30, who have been exposed to toxic chemicals or potent medications – need to maintain their testosterone levels to keep their health, power and confidence.
What is clear is that for whatever reason – men and women are taking some big biological punches from modern life; however there are things you can do to take charge of your health. Two of the best ways to boost your T-levels is with the right kind of exercise and diet.
Exercise Tips to Boost Testosterone
1. Compound Exercise
If your aim is to boost your testosterone naturally, a stroll in the park is not going to be of much help. You need to work out with intensity.
Compound exercises that tend to put stress on a group of muscles are highly effective as far as increasing testosterone production is concerned.
Some of the best examples include:
· Bench Press
· Military Presses
· Chin ups
2. Train Your Legs Equally Hard
Most people, men in particular, tend to ignore their legs while working out. This can be a big mistake. You must train your legs equally hard as the upper body. In fact leg exercises such as squats and lunges are the most highly effective at increasing testosterone production.
3. Limit Your Workout to 30-40 Minutes
Intense exercise tends to increase testosterone production in your body but over training can lead to an increase in Cortisol levels in your blood. This can lower your testosterone levels.
This is why you must limit your workout to 30-40 minutes in a single session.
Another thing to keep in mind is that after an intense workout you must give your body enough rest as well.
4. Avoid Conventional Cardio
When you perform conventional cardio for long periods of time, it's been found to deteriorate muscle tissue and decrease testosterone levels. That's bad, obviously, but things get even worse. A recent study in The American Journal of Physiology found that steady-state cardio decreases the ability of muscles to absorb glucose after training.
This happens because cardio immobilizes the GLUT4 transport system, which is responsible for the insulin-regulated translocation of glucose into cells. Cardio further limits hypertrophy by shutting down the mTOR pathway, which is one of the primary regulators of muscle growth. When this happens, you burn the same amount of muscle as you do fat.
5. Sprint and do other forms of High Intensity Interval Training
The "right" brand of cardio for anabolic fat loss is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This consists, in practice, of a set of bursts of balls-out, massive output cardio work followed by timed rest periods. This type of cardio is similar to the Fartlek style favored by old-school track athletes and it's been around for years, but it has enjoyed resurgence with this everything-old-is-new-again movement so prevalent in today's fitness industry. It's a simple concept, however, and since we know a lot more about how to program it—in terms of volume, intensity and duration—it's a perfect solution for anyone looking to drop fat.
It's all backed up by plenty of research, too. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published recent work showing that HIIT can actually increase testosterone levels and GLUT4 concentration. Steady-state cardio, as I wrote earlier, has the exact opposite effect. Research has also shown that HIIT increases 24-hour mitochondrial biogenesis. This is the formation of new energy-producing mitochondria in cells, a process that typically shuts down mTOR during steady-state cardio.
Diet Tips to Boost Testosterone
Overall you should avoid processed foods and strive to eat a whole food organic and locally produced diet. Choose your meat form pastured farms, your chicken and eggs should be free range and your fish should be wild not farmed.
Meat is well known in bodybuilding for its high protein content; it also has many other benefits, elevating your testosterone levels being one of the major advantages. The healthy saturated fat found in pastured (not factory farmed) meat causes your testosterone levels to increase.
Eat pastured beef several times a week to boost your overall protein intake and send you testosterone levels through the roof.
Eggs are one of the best sources of protein you can eat. It is the yolk that contains all the nutrients; this is where all the healthy cholesterol and saturated fat is. The fats found in the yolk will greatly increase your testosterone.
Regularly eat an abundance of eggs from chickens that are raised free range and not fed soy products and you will see major increases in testosterone levels. The combination of the higher hormone levels and the quality protein the eggs provide will also support fast muscle growth.
Fish oils are a great source of omega 3's so I encourage you to eat fatty fish several times a week. Make sure to choose wild caught salmon and I highly recommend the canned sardines from Wild Planet packed in water. These fish are an incredible source of quality protein and loaded with vitamins, minerals and Omega 3 fish oils that will increase your energy levels, concentration, improve your skin, hair and nails and most importantly support healthy testosterone levels.
Everyone knows how important it is to eat your vegetables, but most people struggle to include them regularly and at times end up forgetting about them. Eating a variety of fresh vegetables will give your body a big boost in nutrients and will help maintain healthy levels of testosterone.
All vegetables will help with the optimal production of testosterone in your body. Aim to get an array of different types every day. Eat at least two veggies with each meal.
As shown by studies published in the Journal of Hormones and Behavior, the European Journal of Applied Physiology and elsewhere, prolonged stress produces cortisol, which reduces T levels.
So take breaks and play sports, go for a walk, meditate, do yoga or do whatever else de-stresses you.
Get Some Sun - Keep Your Vitamin D Levels Up
Vitamin D positively correlates with testosterone levels in men, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and researchers at the Medical University of Graz in Austria as little as 10 to 15 minutes of direct sun exposure 3 times per week will provide adequate levels of Vitamin D. So take time to make sure you get enough vitamin D.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you take charge of your life and give you the vitality needed to perform at your peak.
A lifetime of poor dietary and lifestyle choices will not be reversed immediately but over time you should see a dramatic reversal in health issues and improved levels of testosterone.
Many men are choosing hormone replacement therapy to deal with this issue. If you are considering this option I encourage you to try my blog recommendations first and see how you respond.
If you do choose the HRT path make sure you do so under a doctor’s supervision.