What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the body. In men, Testosterone is used to stimulate muscle growth and supports the healthy generation of skin, sexual organs, sperm development and bone density. The creation of Testosterone begins to increase rapidly during puberty and then decreases by roughly 1% each year after the age of 30. Unfortunately, low levels of Testosterone are becoming increasingly more common in men, with the number of supplement prescriptions increasing by 5 times since 2012, it is therefore unsurprising why many are seeking natural remedies to enhance hormonal production.
What are the effects of Low Testosterone?
The most common causes for low Testosterone include injury or trauma to the testes, inflammatory diseases and metabolic disorders which creates too much iron in the body. Testosterone deficiency can lead to an assortment of symptoms in men, including:
- Reduced energy
- Weight gain
- Feelings of low mood or depression
- Low self-esteem
- Decreased sex drive
It is entirely natural for Testosterone levels to decline as a person ages, however, if this causes physical or emotional difficulties, some steps can be taken to slow down this process.
How do I increase my Testosterone levels?
One of the best ways to improve Testosterone levels is by adopting lifestyle habits that can improve overall health and well-being.
1. Improve your sleep routine
Missing out on that all-important sleep can have dramatic effects on the levels of Testosterone in the body. A research study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that a lack of sleep significantly reduces a healthy man’s Testosterone levels and dramatically impairs the function of hormones in the body.
To keep your Testosterone levels at their optimal level, we should be aiming to sleep at least 7 to 8 hours each night. This can be made easier by setting a regular time to get into bed and waking up alongside keeping your bedroom cool, dark and free of distractions.
2. Maintain a balanced diet
The research has long identified that maintaining a balanced diet is essential to preserving levels of physical, mental and hormonal health. We know that being overweight contributes to reduced levels of Testosterone, however, a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology reported that obese males have up to a 50% decrease in their Testosterone levels when compared to individuals of a healthy weight.
To maintain a balanced diet, it is recommended to eat a balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Some research even suggests that we can promote Testosterone levels by including foods into our existing diet such as:
- Egg Yolks
- Fortified Cereals
3. Keep yourself active
The European Journal of Applied Physiology found that the more exercise and activity that we do, the more Testosterone we have available. In particular, lifting heavy weights is the best form of exercise to boost the hormone as increased muscle mass leads to further Testosterone creation.
However, it is very important to remember to keep a healthy balance, as too much exercise has been shown to reduce Testosterone. This is often seen in long-distance runners who are believed to have lower Testosterone levels due to inadequate energy and improper nutrition.
4. Reduce your stress levels
The research is clear that long-term chronic stress can lead to negative effects on both our psychological and physical health. When we experience stress, a hormone called cortisol is released. Elevated cortisol levels can negatively impact Testosterone levels and cause irregular changes, particularly in males.
If you are experiencing ongoing stress, there are several techniques that you can incorporate to help you to relax including:
- Spending quality time with friends and family
- Scheduling tasks so you do not feel overwhelmed
- Accept things that you cannot change
- Focus on activities that you can control
- Make time for hobbies
Speak to a Professional
If you are concerned that you may be experiencing low levels of Testosterone, it is important to consult with your physician. For more information about our Testosterone deficiency treatments, please feel free to contact us and book an appointment with The Hormone Clinic today.