Table of Contents
- What is Testosterone?
- Why is Testosterone Important?
- Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally
- Boosting Your Testosterone Naturally
Testosterone is a crucial hormone that affects various processes and functions in the body; therefore, it can be daunting and frustrating to face a lowered level of testosterone.
If you are facing low levels of testosterone, there are a few different things you can do to try and boost those levels.
While you may be faced with synthetic options of dangerous medical treatments, it is possible to consider natural options as well.
This guide offers natural and achievable treatments that can help improve or maintain your testosterone levels without expensive therapies or intimidating synthetic options.
Additionally, these are great options if you are simply trying to keep the testosterone levels you currently have.
After looking at these natural options, you will see that there are many ways to take control of your life and alleviate any symptoms of low testosterone you may be experiencing.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is most commonly known as the “male hormone,” but it is found in both men and women. It is a hormone made through Leydig cells.
In men, testosterone is the key factors in the development of secondary sexual characteristics, such as body hair and voice changes.
In women, testosterone assists in regulating menstruation, sexual drive, and ovulation.
For a more extensive overview of testosterone and how it works, check out our previous article on testosterone entitled “Everything You Need to Know About Testosterone.”
Why is Testosterone Important?
Testosterone, like many other hormones found in the body, is crucial to regulation of the body’s processes and functions.
Testosterone affects the distribution of fat and muscle in both men and women. It affects bone density and muscle growth, while it also plays a part in regulating memory and learning. Furthermore, it is often associated with the development of spatial awareness.
For men, testosterone is crucial for the development of sexual characteristics. Testosterone influences the production of facial hair, body hair, maturation of sperm, regulation of the sex drive, and the development of muscle.
Testosterone is crucial for the development of the body, sexual functions, and biological processes. You can learn more about the roles of testosterone in our complete guide.
Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally
If testosterone is crucial how do you boost testosterone naturally we hear you ask. Here are some of our findings:
1. Exercise Consistently at Any Intensity
One of the best ways to boost testosterone productions and maintain those levels is through consistent exercise.
The word consistent is the key here. Exercise causes testosterone levels to spike, so regularly scheduled exercise keeps those levels of testosterone up.
When you exercise, there are two kinds of testosterone hormones that are produced.
Both types of testosterone produced during exercise are required to build muscle and muscle tissue — these two kinds of testosterone boost energy levels overall and during the workout.
You may think that the longer your workout or, the higher the intensity, then the higher the testosterone levels in the body. However, a study by the European Journal of Applied Physiology demonstrates that the intensity of the workout and strength training does not matter in testosterone rates (Baird).
Instead, what matters in keeping testosterone levels high is consistent exercise and strength training.
The consistency will cause the body to keep producing testosterone to offer energy and muscle-building hormones during daily workout regimes.
2. Establish a Normal Sleeping Schedule
Hormone levels, including testosterone hormones, naturally fluctuate and change during the day. During the nighttime, the body repairs and regulates the body.
Especially during the nighttime, the body produces, sends, and regulates testosterone levels. This makes testosterone levels at their highest in the morning, just after sleep.
Irregular sleep can diminish the body’s ability to produce and regulate testosterone levels during the nighttime. Additionally, irregular sleep can include sleep apnea, inconsistent sleep schedules, interrupted sleep, not enough sleep, or waking during the middle of a sleep cycle.
Therefore, to assist the body in regulating testosterone levels, it is best to keep a regimented sleep schedule. It is also beneficial to get the daily recommended amount of sleep for your age and gender.
Moreover, practice healthy sleeping habits. Looking at electronic devices with bright blue light, such as phones or computers, can trick the brain into remaining active and awake longer. Having a phone in your room, especially if you sleep with a phone under your pillow, can interrupt your sleep.
Try to keep phones out of the room as you sleep. If you must look at electronics before bed, try installing a “night mode” that renders the backlight a reddish color instead of a stimulating blue.
Practicing good sleep habits and establishing a routine to maximize your sleep can help your body manage and maintain your testosterone and production during the night.
3. Reduce Stress
Long-term and ongoing stress, both physically, emotionally, and psychologically, can significantly reduce levels of testosterone. Stress causes the body to release higher amounts of cortisol.
Cortisol, known as “the stress hormone,” inhibits the body’s growth and digestive processes. It also inhibits the reproductive system.
When stress is ongoing and sustained, the body can experience depression, sleeping problems, and weight gain.
An increase in cortisol affects the body’s ability to produce and regulate testosterone, so you should reduce cortisol levels by managing and reducing stress.
The reduction of stress allows the body to redirect attention to testosterone production.
4. Manage Your Depression
Studies have shown that testosterone deficiency can be related to episodes and feelings or depression, as well as changes in moods.
On the other hand, depression can suppress testosterone levels, making depression and testosterone work hand in hand (Hyun, J. J. & Hong, S. S.).
Depression affects the production and regulation of the hormone known as serotonin.
Serotonin influences the body’s appetite, energy levels, blood flow, bone mass, temperature, sexual drive, and sleep cycles.
To manage all these bodily processes and features, serotonin works in tandem with vitamin D, cortisol, and testosterone.
Therefore, the reduction of serotonin during depression affects the production of testosterone. Importantly, the body cannot use the combination of testosterone and serotonin to manage the essential functions of the body (Placzek).
If you find that your testosterone levels are dropping, and you are experiencing depression or changes in mood, then it is essential to either manage those feelings of depression or visit a professional for help in management.
Managing depression can alleviate or control the levels of testosterone in the body.
5. Take Vitamins and Natural Supplements
For those with vitamin deficiencies, testosterone levels can be significantly reduced. It is essential that individuals maintain levels of essential vitamins, which can be taken.
According to a study in the Hormone and Metabolic Research journal, vitamin D is especially vital to for the tissues in the male reproductive tract. In their study, men who were who regulated their vitamin D levels saw a rise in levels of testosterone in the body.
Vitamin D can be taken through supplements, but this vitamin can also be consumed through foods like fatty fish (tuna, salmon, etc.), cheeses, and eggs. Additionally, vitamin D can also be obtained through orange juice and soy milk.
Zinc is also essential to regulate testosterone. The body uses zinc to grow and develop bones and tissues in the body. It also influences sexual health through testosterone production. Therefore, zinc deficiencies can lower testosterone levels.
Zinc can also be taken through supplements. Zinc can also be consumed through meats, shellfish, eggs, nuts, seeds, whole grains, yogurt, and chickpeas. Fruits high in zinc include blackberries, avocados, and cantaloupes, peaches, and raspberries.
Managing the vitamins and minerals in your body is essential to its health, including the production and regulation of testosterone. Many multivitamins contain these vitamins and minerals.
6. Establish Healthy Eating Habits
Along with the importance of taking managing vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D and zinc, you can eat a balanced diet that includes testosterone-boosting foods.
You can consume foods that target testosterone production, but you can also focus on general health that also affects testosterone production.
The best diet for testosterone production and a healthy heart is one that is balanced. It is ideal to avoid red meats and consume lean or white meats.
It is not suggested to remove protein completely. Low protein diets produce more SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin), which binds to different hormones while making testosterone scare in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids, aside from acting as an anti-inflammatory, reduce stress and can persuade the body to produce testosterone. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts, fish (salmon, mackerel, etc.), and other nuts. Omega-3 can also be taken as a supplement.
Cruciferous vegetables should also be integrated into a healthy and balanced diet due to their many health benefits, especially concerning testosterone production.
These vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale, contain omega-3s and minerals.
Eating a balanced diet with testosterone-boosting foods can help regulate the body’s health while promoting healthy levels of energy and testosterone.
7. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
While it may not be the first to come to mind, reducing alcohol consumption or regulating alcohol consumption can improve low or lowering testosterone levels.
While everyone knows that alcohol affects the brain, it is vital to remember that alcohol influences the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis.
The HPG axis includes the network of endocrine glands the hormones associated with them that affect the reproductive system, especially the male reproductive system.
Alcohol can hinder the production of these reproductive hormones.
Studies have shown that both short-term and long-term alcohol use correlates to lowered testosterone levels (Emanuele & Emanuele).
Specifically, the alcohol hinders the secretion of testosterone by the testes and creates changes in the hypothalamus.
Currently, researchers are examining how alcohol influences the production and use of enzymes in the body which are crucial to testosterone production and distribution in the body. Tests are currently inconclusive.
However, if you experience lowered testosterone, one easy way to improve testosterone production is to reduce alcohol consumption or eliminate alcohol from your diet completely.
8. Look into Natural Testosterone Boosters
While it may take some research and time, you can find testosterone boosters on the market made with natural and safe ingredients.
These boosters are primarily made with testosterone-boosting herbs, vitamins, and minerals that convince the body to boost testosterone production.
Some boosters will include ginger or ginger extract. Aside from acting as an anti-inflammatory and helping with digestion, ginger may provide a means to influence testosterone production.
Other testosterone boosters may contain D-aspartic acid, which is an amino acid found in several different tissues in animals.
D-aspartic acid can be found in the endocrine system, especially parts of the reproductive system. It moves through the adrenal gland, pituitary glands, and testes.
D-aspartic helps regulate testosterone production in the testes so that many boosters will have this amino acid.
Other boosters may contain Tribulus, also written as Tribulus Terrestris, which derives from a plant in the Mediterranean that produces fruit.
This plant has been used to both improve the health of the urinary tract as well as boost testosterone levels.
While many athletes use this to increase muscle mass, there are no known studies that prove its benefits in muscle recovery or muscle strengthening.
A vast majority of boosters include Ashwagandha, also written as withania somnifera. While this sounds intimidating, it also is known as Indian ginseng.
Ashwagandha is often used to help with sleep issues, digestive issues, inflammation, and stress. It is also used to promote testosterone production along with overall health.
Many boosters contain all-natural ingredients such as vitamins, herbs, and minerals. However, numerous boosters on the market do not include natural ingredients and may not be approved by the FDA.
It is crucial that you know the ingredients in your booster and understand if those are (1) natural and (2) approved by the FDA.
Be careful when picking and choosing boosters. Do your research and read the labels. Knowing the ingredients can help avoid consuming unnatural or synthetic ingredients that you are avoiding.
Boosting Your Testosterone Naturally
Facing lowered levels of testosterone can be intimidating to face, but your options do not have to be frightening or confusing.
While there are therapies, such as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and other synthetic boosters, that you may come across, there are also natural options for those who prefer to put natural ingredients in their body before reverting to synthetic and medical treatments.
For those who are looking to regulate better or maintain their testosterone, these natural boosters and lifestyle chances are great options to manage naturally fluctuating testosterone levels.
However, this may also be an excellent start for those who are looking to add natural options on top of hormone therapies or medically prescribed synthetic treatments.
Most of these options can easily be paired with hormone replacement therapies or medically prescribed boosters. Options like sleep regulation will help supplement any medical treatments for testosterone.
When using any of these natural options, especially when considering boosters, it is also essential to understand your own body.
Know what kind of result you are looking for and what option can help you healthily achieve that result.
If you are looking into boosters with natural ingredients, always double check the product labels. Know what those ingredients are and understand how they work with the body.
Not all ingredients in boosters are natural or approved by the FDA, so be aware of what you are putting in your body at all times.
Having low levels of testosterone or experience, its side effects can be demoralizing but know that there are many options out there to help you manage those symptoms and improve your ability to maintain it.
You always have the ability to take control of your life and work to improve and regulate your testosterone production naturally and healthily.
Hyun, J. J. & Hong, S. S. (2016). “Effect of testosterone replacement therapy on cognitive performance and depression in men with testosterone deficiency syndrome.” World Journal Men’s Health, 34(3): 194-99.
Pilz, S., Frisch, S. Kertke, H., & Kuhn, J. (2010). “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.” Hormone and Metabolic Research, 43(3): 223-5.
Placzek, Kate. (2018) “Impact of hormones on serotonin in depression.” ZRT Laboratory. https://www.zrtlab.com/blog/archive/impact-hormones-serotonin-depression
Roshanzamir, F., & Safavi, S. M. (2017). “the putative effects of D-aspartic acid on blood testosterone levels: A systematic review.” International Journal of Reproductive Biomedicine, (15)1: 1-10.
Zander, J. Fabl, C. & Randler C. (2019). “Does a change in sleep timing increase testosterone in men?” Biological Rhythm Research, 50(2): 214.