Guys! It’s seriously time we had a talk. It is time to you gently open your man purse, carefully retrieve your testicles, and reattach them where they belong!
There is an epidemic sweeping men and it is increasing at an alarming rate.
And no. It’s got nothing to do with Clementine Ford or Gillette.
This is serious.
I’m talking about your Testosterone levels.
And it is a hormone that is decreasing to levels that is literally destroying your health and wellbeing.
Chronically low testosterone levels are becoming an epidemic of sweeping proportions and it has serious health consequences.
This coming week during The Silver Fox Project is Testosterone week, and we are going to look at what testosterone does, the downside of having too little, and the scientifically proven ways you can increase yours NATURALLY.
Why Is Testosterone So Important For Your Health?
Testosterone is one of – if not THE MOST – important hormones for men.
Despite the public fascination with it, and even the negative connotations that come up these days with “too much” testosterone or “testosterone fuelled behaviour” (I’m looking at you toxic masculinity), it seriously is one of the most important hormones for health and function in men.
Honestly, so much good stuff happens with optimum levels of testosterone.
- Increased Strength and Muscle Mass
- Increased Bone Health
- Decreased Body Fat
- Better Heart Health and Decreased Risk Type II Diabetes
- Increased Sex Drive
- Improved Mood
“Testosterone regulates sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm.” (Wein)
“Testosterone has a critical role in the modulation of adult male reproductive health, sexual function, bone health, fat metabolism, and muscle mass and strength” (McBride, 2016)
I know. That all sounds absolutely amazing. But, there is one BIGGGG problem…
Your Testosterone Levels Are Dropping…Fast.
Some of it is due to ageing…
In fact, as men age, Testosterone levels naturally drop about 1% to 2% each year
“Testosterone levels also decrease with age as rapidly as 0.4–2% annually after age 30 years” (Harman et al. 2001; Kaufman and Vermeulen, 2005; Wu et al. 2008)
But. Test levels are declining even more rapidly than this. Men just aren’t the men they used to be.
“Even up to 13% of older age men are meeting diagnostic levels for hypogonadism (small testicles)” (McBride, 2016)
It’s a freaking epidemic affecting SO MANY areas of our health and, quite frankly, not enough people are talking about.
You may think “so, what’s the big deal?” Well it IS a big deal. Low Testosterone levels are like Kryptonite for guys.
“The majority of clinical symptoms associated with hypogonadism in ageing men can be categorised as sexual or nonsexual:
Sexual symptoms include:
- Low Sex Drive
- Low Sperm Count and Infertility
- Decreased Frequency of Sexual Thoughts
- Decreased Frequency or Rigidity of Nocturnal Erections
- Erectile Dysfunction [Morelli et al. 2007; Corona et al. 2014].
Nonsexual symptoms include
- Decreased Energy
- Poor Concentration
- Decreased Sense of Well-Being
- Depressed Mood, Decreased Vitality [Bhasin et al. 2010; Buvat et al. 2010].
Additional signs often associated with symptomatic hypogonadism include:
- Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes
- Decreased Muscle Mass and Strength
- Increased Breast Size
- Decreased Bone-Mineral Density (BMD)
- Hot Flashes, and Mild Anemia [Dohle et al. 2012].
Sounds terrible right?
Here are some more fun facts
“Central obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low high-density lipid cholesterol, hypertension, or insulin resistance, has been highly associated with TD and low SHBG levels (Cunningham, 2015), in up to 50–70% of patients” (Vermeulen et al. 1993; Wu et al. 2010; McBride, 2016)
No wonder Testosterone Replacement Therapy has grown exponentially and turned to a billion dollar industry over the last few years.
So what are the things destroying your testosterone?
Well, like most things these days, it’s actually your lifestyle that is damaging you in so many more ways than your natural ageing is.
Here are some of the common culprits. Let me know if you tick any one or more of the following boxes…
- Lack of Exercise
- Carrying Too Much Body Fat
- Too Much Alcohol
- Not Enough Sleep
- Restricting Calories Too Much
- Not Enough Vitamin D and Zinc
- Restricting Fat Intake Too Much
What Can You Do About It?
Sounds like it’s all bad news right? Well, it is. But here’s the good news. It doesn’t have to be that way.
As mentioned above, natural age related changes do occur, BUT!!! When you look at all of the other factors, you can see these are Lifestyle Related!
Meaning YOU HAVE CONTROL over them. Pretty simple. All the things you are doing that is killing your Test levels, do the opposite…
I know right. Mind Blowing.
So, without further ado, here are 10 Science Backed Approaches to Boosting Your Testosterone Levels, NATURALLY!
Probably the most obvious on the list, but also one of the most important. Strength exercise and Endurance exercises both boost testosterone levels, albeit briefly. Research has shown increases up to 20%. For guys, Higher Intensity (i.e. weights and HIIT) work better. (Jewell, 2019)
2) Don’t Get Too Fat
I have written about this in previous articles, but your fat cells are not just a storage dump for excess calories. Your fat cells are in fact an endocrine organ. Meaning they respond to, and also release hormones. Estrogen is one such hormone that gets released from your fat cells. Being too fat inhibits Testosterone and increases Estrogen levels. Obese individuals have been found to have as much as 30-50% decrease in testosterone. Man Boobs anyone?? (Arnarson, 2017, Barham, 2018)
3) Don’t Restrict Calories Too Much Or For Too Long
Proper nutrition and also the nutrition around your workout can all influence your testosterone levels. (Kraemer, 1998, Barhum, 2018) That is why on The Silver Fox Project we consistently have scheduled diet breaks so we don’t stay in any sort of calorie deficit for too long.
4) Don’t Eliminate Fat Completely From Your Diet
And don’t eliminate saturated fat from your diet. Overall try not to get below about 20% of total calories from fat. (Fantus, et al, 2020)
5) Get Enough Sleep
Getting less than 7 hours sleep each night results in you having the testosterone levels of someone 10 years older . Your test levels can drop by as much as 15-20% if you are chronically sleep deprived. (Walker, 2018) This drop happens FAST too, another study round “after only 1 week of restricted sleep, daytime testosterone levels dropped by up to 15 percent.” (Barhum, 2018)
6) Avoid Excessive Alcohol
Do I really need to elaborate?
7) Manage Stress
Cortisol is your “chronic stress” hormone and elevated levels can destroy your Testosterone levels. These two are so tightly linked, scientists will often refer to something called your Testosterone – Cortisol ratio. Simple equation, Increased Cortisol = Lower Test Levels. Finding a way to manage your stress is ESSENTIAL.
8) Don’t Overtrain
To be honest, not a problem I usually encounter with the general population. But also still important for those who always think that “more is better” is the way to go.
9) Get Some Sun
Vitamin D levels can affect your testosterone levels. Aim for approx 10-30min of outdoors per day. (Raman, 2018)
10) Take Supplements. Well, Not Really, But Maybe…
As much as some people increase their levels in a less than legal way (cough steroids, cough), it is human nature to want to find an easier way, or some magic pill they can take to increase their levels. Unfortunately, when it comes to supplementation there is limited research showing supplementation works. Actual Testosterone Replacement Therapy can definitely be indicated if you are clinically diagnosed with hypogonadism and medically tested situations. Encouragingly, there still are a few supplements that have at least some research to show they can help improve test levels. Keep in mind, there is often conflicting evidence and the amount these can work varies. But here are some that have shown more positive research than some others.
The Supplement Quick List:
- Vitamin D
Tribulus is popular testosterone boosting supplement, but there has been no real proven benefit in the literature.
“The results of a few studies have showed that the combination of TT with other pharmacological components increases testosterone levels, but it was not discovered which components of the mixture contributed to that effect…So far, the published data concerning TT do not provide strong evidence for either usefulness or safe usage in sport.” (Pokrywka, 2014)
If you’ve been keeping up to date with ANYTHING I have been writing over the last 15 years or so you’ll see a trend. There is a LOT of overlap on the RIGHT THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING when it comes to fat loss, increasing muscle, improving health, function and decreasing risk of injury. The things you you should be doing to feel younger, to look better and to move better.
It always comes back to some basic, core fundamental principles. It’s no secret that ALL of these core principles are the foundation and primary focus in The Silver Fox Project.
I’ve worked hard over the years developing these concepts in to the right balance that is easily accessible for everybody, especially as we age and “life” gets in the way. And, ironically, is when we need it more than ever.
If you are interested in learning more, or wanting to know how to optimally implement these strategies in to your own lifestyle, click on here for more information about The Silver Fox Project
How do you boost testosterone naturally? July 18, 2018 — Written by Lana Barhum
‘Testosterone Boosting’ Supplements Composition and Claims Are not Supported by the Academic Literature Chase G. Clemesha,1 Hatim Thaker,2 and Mary K. Samplaski2 World J Mens Health. 2020 Jan; 38(1): 115–122.
Increased Risk of Hypogonadal Symptoms in Shift Workers with Shift Work Sleep Disorder.Balasubramanian A1, Kohn TP2, Santiago JE3, Sigalos JT4, Kirby EW5, Hockenberry MS5, Pickett SM6, Pastuszak AW7, Lipshultz LI8.Urology. 2020 Jan 6.
Hormonal Responses to consecutive days of heavy resistance exercise with or without nutritional supplementation. Kraemer, WJ, Volek JS, Bush JA, Putukian M, Sebastian W J App Physiol 1998
The Association Between Popular Diets and Serum Testosterone Among Men In The United States. Fantus RJ, Halpern JA, Chang C, Keeter MK, Bennett NE, Halfand B, Brannigan RE J Urol 2020
Effects of Vitamin D3 Supplementation for 12 weeks on serum levels of anabolic hormones, anaerobic power, and aerobic performance in active male subjects: A rondomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial. Ramezani AA, Mohammadshahi M, Alizadeh A, Ahmadi AK, Jahanshahi A Eur J Sport Sci 2020
Why We Sleep 2018 Matthew Walker