Testosterone levels can fall for a number of reasons and the impact can be notable for a man. There are numerous external factors that can cause a fall in testosterone levels. Being aware of these means you can counter them and act to prevent them causing issues. Here are six ways to improve

  1. Ensure you get enough, high quality sleep

How many hours of sleep do you get on average?

Well, you should know that the majority of your testosterone is produced while you sleep. As such, low testosterone levels are associated with a lack of sleep.

A lot of studies have actually revealed that sleep restraint is one of the factors that have the greatest impact on testosterone levels. In a recent study, about 10% to 15% drop in daily testosterone levels was measured in healthy young men who spent one week sleeping only 5 hours a night. That’s such a significant drop!

Many other studies have also confirmed the same thing the total amount of sleep is a powerful predictor of your testosterone levels.

While there’s no magic number here, it’s recommended that you get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night if you want to maintain high levels of testosterone in your body. In case you’re struggling to sleep well, here are a few things that can help out:

  • Ensure your room is cool enough – consider using an AC, fan, or leave a window slightly open
  • A fan can also help you drown out any noises that might wake you up
  • Don’t take any caffeinated drink for at least 6 hours before bedtime
  • Darken your room for as much as possible – black blinds can be helpful
  • Avoid any exciting or stressful activities for at least 2 hours before sleep

If you’re serious about optimizing your testosterone levels, then getting ample sleep every night should at the top of your to-do list.

  1. Lower the fat percentage of your body

Being overweight comes with a whole host of problems: joint pain, fatigue, increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, etc., high blood pressure, and many others. And not to mention, you most likely look like shit.

A number of recent studies confirm that high body fat percentages are linked with lower levels of testosterone. Along with that, similar trends have been shown with other essential hormones. For instance, high levels of body fat are linked to decreased sensitivity to insulin.

Why is this important?

Well, both insulin and testosterone sensitivity have key roles in the synthesis of muscle protein, which is the basic process through which your body builds muscles. As such, your body might struggle to build muscles when the fat percentage is high compared to when you are lean.

Testosterone levels also influence your sex drive along with your overall energy levels. As such, those things will be affected when you’re chubby.

If you’ve been struggling with excess weight, you’ve likely come across many articles aimed at helping people lose weight. So, let’s not add onto the confusion. The key point here is that you should focus on the basics eat less food, lift weights, and be active. Everything else is optional.

But how lean do you need to get?

Most guys should aim to reach about 12% to 15% body fat. This will help to optimize your overall testosterone levels, get you looking great while naked, and not have to starve yourself trying to get way too lean.

Being lean will have a significant impact on the overall quality of life. So, make this your priority.

  1. Eat enough carbs and fats

Protein is universally important when it comes to building muscle and fitness, though carbs and fats are often regarded as unhealthy. But the truth is, both fats and carbs have a role to play when it comes to providing your body with energy, and in regulating hormone levels.

Let’s get this out of the way; fats don’t necessarily make you fat. You only gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn, regardless of where these calories come from. In fact, fats are essential in the body for synthesizing and transporting hormones such as testosterone throughout the body.

A recent study compared two groups of healthy men to assess their testosterone levels. One group consumed a low-fat diet with about 20% total calories, while the other are a high-fat diet of about 40% total calories. In a 10-week period, the group that ate a high-fat diet had about 15% higher testosterone levels compared to the low-fat group.

From Slow carb to Paleo, many of the popular diets usually call for carb restriction. And people tend to lose an average of 5 to 10 pounds in a week or two after starting these diets. But the fact is that the reason for the initial drop in weight is because carbs are stored in the body as glycogen. Since glycogen is 3 to 4 parts water, restricting your carb intake causes the glycogen stores to be emptied. As a result, you lose a bunch of water weight.

In other words, you basically didn’t lose actual fat – just some water weight. Moreover, all of your glycogen stores were lost in the process, which can deplete your energy, cripple your ability to build muscle, and even make you weaker in the gym. Restricting your carbs intake will also decrease your testosterone levels.

A study conducted by two groups of athletes confirms this. One of the groups ate a diet of high carbs (60% total) while the other ate one with low carbs (30% total). After training intensively for three days, the high carb diet group were found to have a much higher (43% +) ratio of testosterone to cortisol.

Such studies prove that you need to include a significant amount of carbs and fats in your diet to maximize your testosterone levels.

  1. Find better ways of dealing with stress

We all get stressed out. It’s inevitable. The only difference is that some of us will let it consume us, and others have better ways of managing it. If you let stress consume you, you’ll find yourself constantly feeling anxious and stressed out, which will cripple your testosterone levels.

Studies demonstrate that the natural response of our bodies to stress is releasing more of a hormone called cortisol. High levels of cortisol in the body will result in suppressed levels of testosterone. So, in other words, when we get stressed, our testosterone levels decrease.

If you can deal with the stress and move on past it, the temporary decrease in testosterone won’t have a significant impact on your body. Nonetheless, if you’re always stressed, your testosterone levels will constantly be low, which will decrease your sex drive, impair your ability to build muscle, and affect your energy levels.

Everyone has their own different ways of dealing with stress. But there’s an effective one that you should try out:

  • Recognize that you’re stressed
  • Accept that you’re stressed out and that it’s on to be stressed
  • Relax your shoulders down and draw back your shoulder blades
  • Next, focus on your breathing – take deep breaths and count 10 exhalations/inhalations

When your master your ability to cope with stress, you can better optimize your resting testosterone levels.

  1. Supplement Vitamin D and Zinc

There are many supplements out there, but only a few of them have been shown to boost testosterone levels. The first of them is zinc. Zinc is pretty common these days. It can cause hair thinning and even diarrhea. It can also affect testosterone levels.

One study set out to assess the effect of zinc supplementation on testosterone levels in two groups of athletes – one group used zinc supplements, and another did not. After 4 weeks, the non-zinc groups showed a significant inhibition of their testosterone levels, while the group that supplemented with zinc maintained high levels.

In other words, zinc can help prevent a potential drop in testosterone levels due to intense exercise. So, for those who train hard, this cannot be ignored.

Vitamin D is one of the micro-nutrients that your body synthesizes when the body is exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, most of us usually don’t get a lot of exposure to the sun. As such, a deficiency of vitamin D is pretty common in both men and women.

Vitamin D has a lot of roles in the body, from supporting the health of the immune system to strengthening teeth and bones. It also has an impact on testosterone levels.

A recent study measured the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the levels of testosterone in healthy men over a duration of one year. At the end of the year, the men who supplemented with vitamin D showed a significant rise in their testosterone levels compared to the men who didn’t.

This demonstrates that supplementation with vitamin D can lead to a long term increase in testosterone levels. For that reason, it’s recommended that you get a solid multi-vitamin with ample amounts of both vitamin D and zinc.

  1. Lift weights but limit Cardio

This might probably not be a surprise. Plus, it’s very likely that you’re reading this post to learn how you can optimize your gains on the gym. Either way, listen up! You’re going to learn something new today. First off, let’s get cardio out of the way.

You most likely include cardio as part of your exercise routine. That’s ok. However, it’s very important that you avoid overdoing it. Why? Well…

One study examined the levels of testosterone in a group of men. At the beginning of the study, none of the men engaged in cardio. However, in the course of the next six months, these men began do run for about 30 miles a week. The result was that their levels of testosterone declined significantly.

From this study, overdoing endurance training can actually cripple your testosterone levels. That’s why it’s better to just do one day of moderate-intensity cardio a week if you want to bulk up. If you’re trying to lose weight, you can do two days a week.

What about weight-lifting?

Of course, weight lifting is the key method we use to gain muscle and enhance our bodies. But what kind of weight lifting is ideal when looking to improve on testosterone levels?

Studies have shown that moderate to high intensity, protocols high in volume, stressing the large muscle masses, and using shorter rest intervals tend to produce high hormonal elevations. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that the spike in testosterone may only last for a short amount of time (usually 15 to 30 minutes) following the workout.

Therefore, keep in mind that lifting weight is a tool for crafting your body and making good use of the spike in testosterone levels; it’s not something you should do for the sole purpose of increasing your testosterone levels. And with muscle building, the most important thing is following a properly designed routine that gradually increases the weights you’re lifting.

An excellent guide can be found at Fitness Volt.

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