The hormone that gives men their masculine traits and features is testosterone, and if it wasn’t for that vital hormone, men would simply not be men. This hormone governs and controls a vast array of vital body functions, of which one of the most important to most men is sex drive or sexual function. Bodybuilding.com tells us,
Testosterone is the hormone that propels all bodybuilders towards greatness. It is the key hormone that separates men from woman. Testosterone gives us male characteristics such as confidence, aggressiveness, sex drive, increased muscle mass, facial hair, and a deep voice.
During the years of puberty, increased testosterone production is what is responsible for the changes in your body that transform you from a young boy into a man. Growth of beard and torso hair, increase in the size of penis, and increased muscle mass and strength, are all attributed to this hormone.
But as we get older, the production of this hormone can start to decline. Most men begin to lose testosterone at a rate of about 1% a year, and though the decline is usually gradual with no immediate effects, over a 10 year span, you can lose up to about 10% or more. The majority of men start to feel the effects of the loss of this hormone by the time they reach 40. If you are starting to experience a drop in sex drive or libido, weight gain with a marked increase in body fat, erectile dysfunction, depression or mood swings, or a loss of lean muscle, you may be suffering from low testosterone.
Apart from the above, you may also notice a drop in your energy levels, and most men feel like they are constantly tired, or becoming more and more irritable. Many males tend to get highly irritated without rhyme or reason when their testosterone levels drop. Because of this, there is hardly anything in your body that remains untouched due to a decline in testosterone. Though hormone replacement therapy can help to restore levels, there are some natural ways to boost the production of testosterone in your body.
Here are some ways to raise your testosterone levels naturally:
As the old saying goes, you are what you eat, and when talking about lowered testosterone, it could not be further from the truth. The process of raising your testosterone levels begins with changes in your diet, and boosting this hormone can be as simple as eating the right foods.
Some people find that the protein in eggs and whey can give them a testosterone boost, along with many fruits and vegetables. The reason for this is because they help your body to break down fat. Increased fat deposits can lead to higher levels of estrogen which in turn, affects testosterone production negatively. If you cut down your intake of fat, you can use fruits and vegetables to give you lower estrogen levels, resulting in increased levels of testosterone.
Meat is great source of zinc, and that nutrient aids your body in the production of testosterone as well. If you are looking to boost your levels, you need to make a point of including animal proteins in your diet. Other sources of protein can include nuts and beans, and they are rich in essential fatty acids, and your body requires them for the production of all anabolic steroid hormones like testosterone.
Diet alone will not be enough to do the job, and you will also need to be as physically active as possible. A lack of physical activity can definitely be a culprit of testosterone loss. Speaking of exercise, it is weight bearing exercises that are the most effective in testosterone production.
A simple walk around the block is not enough to boost your sex hormone, but you should limit your physical activity to about 45 to 60 minutes a day. The reason for this is that after an hour of strenuous workout your body will start to produce the hormone Cortisol which affects testosterone production adversely. After all that exercise, you will need to make sure to get plenty of sleep. At Men’s Fitness we learn how important it is to get a good night’s sleep;
Poor sleep quality and having less than seven hours a night can slash your testosterone levels by more than 30 per cent and dampen growth hormones, restricting your muscle-building potential.
Try to get at least 8 hours a night of sleep since sleep deprivation not only affects your hormonal cycle but also increases stress. This can have a negative impact on testosterone production. Adequate sleep is a natural testosterone booster and can help elevate the production of this vital hormone.
Other Things You Can Do
Reducing your alcohol consumption is key to raising testosterone levels. Alcohol is a suppressant and affects testosterone production negatively. When you drink alcohol, your system works to process it out of your body, and the process to produce testosterone is affected adversely. At Men’s Health we learn,
Happy hour can wreak havoc on your manly hormones. In a recent Dutch study, men who drank moderate amounts of alcohol daily for 3 weeks experienced a 7 percent decrease in their testosterone levels. Limit your drinking to one or two glasses of beer or wine a night…
Natural or Herbal Supplements
You can also try natural or herbal supplements, as they have been proven to raise testosterone levels, as well. Some specific herbs have been used for many years to enhance both testosterone and libido in men. When mixed in the right proportions, herbs like ginseng, ginkgo, muira pauma, saw palmetto, etc., not only increase testosterone production but also help to boost blood circulation and reduce stress.
These herbal supplements have become so popular, and more and more men are using them to help improve their overall sexual health and well-being. Some of the high quality supplements have even been backed with clinical approvals and can be bought without a prescription, but most importantly, the best ones are safe, and free of side effects.