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Natural ways to boost testosterone

If you get the importance of testosterone, then you may be interested in ways to help you naturally boost your testosterone, or at least maintain your testosterone levels. 

Testosterone isn't just a sex hormone; it plays a crucial role throughout the body from muscles to the production of blood cells.

Below are some natural ways to boost testosterone. Some more obvious than others, and some easier than others. Bottom line is the goal should be a healthy level of testosterone for your shape, size and capability. 

1. Get active, 

Studies show that people who exercise regularly (at least 3 days per week, for 4 weeks showed a longer-term boost) have higher testosterone, and in the elderly, exercise can increase testosterone levels.

Exercise, especially resistance training or weight/ strength training stimulates muscle building hormones, including testosterone, and is considered the best form of exercise to boost testosterone.

The bottom line is all forms of exercise may help increase testosterone levels, but weightlifting and HIIT or high-intensity interval training are the most effective. 

Testosterone levels do rise for short periods of time after exercise, and younger men get a bigger boost post exercise. Testosterone levels will vary throughout the day and are usually higher in the morning. Consistent work outs can have a lasting impact on testosterone levels in the body.

Try to improve:

Volume: Higher volumes (3-6 sets), usually means lighter weights. 

Intensity: High enough to induce an increase, but not enough to get injured, again, weights and resistance you can handle. Build over time.

2. Healthy weight

Fat cells convert testosterone to estrogen. Men with higher body fat, who lose some weight can counter that. Low calorie diets were also found to boost testosterone levels in men who were overweight or obese. Find the research here.

3. Get into a healthy lifestyle

A healthy sex life, laughter, happiness, and success can help boost not only your health, but also your testosterone levels, both bound and unbound testosterone.

Sleep

Get some good sleep. One study found 5 hours of sleep a night was linked to a 15% reduction in testosterone levels.

Another study showed those who only slept 4 hours were borderline testosterone deficient.

Ideally 7-10 hours per night for long-term health, and your testosterone levels. Testosterone is actually produced at night, so quality sleep is essential. Watch the Ted Talk by Matt Walker on Sleep and Testosterone.

 

Nutrition/ diet

Not eating or eating too much can impact testosterone levels. Enjoy a balanced diet. Excess alcohol or substance abuse is not going to help and overall is usually a larger issue than any single food. Also remember, testosterone is one of many hormones that may be affected by lifestyle and diet.

Leafy greens, fatty fish, healthy oils and onions can help increase testosterone naturally as part of a healthy diet. Trans fats from sources like processed food (junk food) can impact levels and one such study showed a decrease of 15% and can impact on sperm count.  You can read that study here.

Manage or reduce yout stress

Stress elevates levels of the hormone cortisol, which reduces testosterone. Get stress under control or learn to manage stress or your testosterone levels will most likely suffer as a result. Elevated cortisol levels as a result of chronic stress will lead to a decrease or hormonal imbalance.

Try meditation, changing your attitude to an optimistic one, or just taking some time off. Read more about stress here. Have a look at our stress & cognition formula here.

Alcohol in moderation

The not so good news. Alcohol can increase the conversion of testosterone to oestrogen in men, cue man boobs.

Alcohol can also reduce testosterone production, but usually more so from heavy drinking done chronically, but occasional and light to moderate drinking may actually increase it. (Study on 314 Korean men)

Sex - Yes

Finally, a healthy sex life plays a role in regulating sex hormones and testosterone levels.

You should do this anyway. Start to build a healthier lifestyle around the core areas of Sleep, Nutrition and Activity

What impacts testosterone

4. Testosterone supplements

Consider supplements such as Vitamin D3 and Zinc.

Vitamin D is a natural testosterone booster. Despite becoming a popular vitamin many remain deficient. Over these 12 months, 3,000IUs of vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone by 25%. Also helped the elderly to reduce the risk of falling testosterone levels.

Cells in the testicles have vitamin D receptors and when activated, might drive testosterone production. Vitamin D also keeps your bones healthy. Just to be clear the link between testosterone and vitamin D is not clearly understood. 

A study of Zinc on elite athletes showed higher testosterone levels. Zinc is also key for testosterone production, if your current zinc levels are low. Zinc influences the release of a hormone which activates the testicles to go into testosterone production.

The herb with the most research behind it in this area is Ashwagandha. One study showed significant increases in spermatogenic activity in oligospermic patients. Results showed increases in sperm count and sperm volume. Another study also showed it lowered cortisol, the stress hormone by 25%.

Ginger, although most studies have been done on animals there was a single study on infertile humans that showed an increase in testosterone of 17%.

The final point to note is that much research in this area has been on animals or in many cases on people with known infertility.

The good news is doing these things in combination can improve and/ or support your testosterone levels naturally. 

Other specific minerals and vitamins may also be beneficial. 

5. So, what is the optimal testosterone level?

Ideally a level that is healthy, but this will differ by age. Ask your doctor to test and check your levels and discuss your ideal levels if you are worried.

 

Disclaimer: The information provided by Old Bull Health in this article is for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice. Our content is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and thus reliance should not be placed on it. If you are experiencing testosterone related symptoms, please consult a healthcare professional.

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