It’s no secret that testosterone one they key hormones behind looking and feeling our best. It’s associated with lower levels of fat mass, high quantities of muscle and increased physical performance.
Yet, many men actually have much lower testosterone levels than what’s optimal or even considered healthy. In fact, around 1 in 40 men over the age of 30 have low testosterone levels, affecting around 4 to 5 million men in the U.S. alone. The natural healthy range is generally defined as being between 400ng/dl (nanograms per decilitre) to 800ng/dl with anything below 300ng/dl being considered ‘low’. Just some of the symptoms that low testosterone can cause are poor sleep, increased fat storage, muscle breakdown, decreased motivation, depression, reduced sexual libido, infertility, and much more. Therefore, not only can low testosterone affect the way you look, but the way you feel, too.
What’s the cause? And can we increase testosterone levels? Well, there are actually a variety of reasons why our testosterone might decline. The most prevalent reason is age. Once we get past thirty our natural testosterone levels start to decline. According to a 2010 paper, between 19 and 39 percent of men over the age of 45 have low levels of this important hormone.
The other big influencer is the way we live. Under exercising and overeating dramatically affect the response and production of our hormones. Not only eating too much food but eating the wrong foods is an easy way to lower your health in a number of ways. The modern western diet is based around convenience opposed to nutrition which means that there’s a high amount of processed food.
Thankfully, this also means there’s an easy way to raise our testosterone back to normal or take it even higher. First, make sure that you’re getting enough physical activity each week. 3-4 45-60 minute sessions per week is enough. Strength training has been shown to have a greater impact on raising testosterone than cardo, so it’s wise to make sure a majority of your time is spent resistance training. In terms of your diet, try to follow the 80/20 rule. This is where 80% of your intake is natural, whole and unprocessed food whilst saving 20% for some less-nutritious indulgences.
Lastly, you can also try including some testosterone boosting supplements. Supplements such as d-aspartic acid, vitamin D, Tribulus Terrestris, fenugreek, DHEA, and ashwagandha have all been associated with naturally increasing testosterone levels.
Testosterone is strongly linked to many aspects of our health and therefore, it really all comes down to common sense. Things we tend to think are unhealthy for us usually are.