Low Testosterone: 8+ Simple Ways to Boost Levels
Low testosterone is much more common now than ever, and it’s found in both men and women. It’s been detected in 43% of middle-aged men and is increasing in women. In women, returning the testosterone levels back up to normal increases arousal, desire, and sexual satisfaction. Low testosterone causes low libido, depression, osteoporosis, fatigue, loss of self-confidence, irritability, impaired sexual function, and timidity. As you age, hormone levels naturally decline; however, there are steps you can take to increase your levels of testosterone naturally.
Here’s a list of simple ways to boost your testosterone levels:
- Take DHEA: Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a complete workup on your hormones whenever you suspect they are out of balance. High prolactin levels can cause low testosterone. High estrogen levels can also be related to low testosterone. Once you know your DHEA and testosterone levels are low, it may be an easy fix. Ask your health practitioner if you should take 10 mg DHEA, 25 mg, or 50 mg, and for what length of time.
- Increase the Fat in Your Diet: Many health experts attribute the lack of healthy fats in the diet as a cause. Hormones are created from fat, and with just about everyone on a low fat diet for this reason or that, you can expect testosterone levels as well as other hormone levels to fall. Put the healthy fats – butter, coconut, avocado, and olive oil – back in your diet. Avoid the skim milk and go for the 2% milk. Trim visible fats off meat but don’t worry about every little speck of fat in meats anymore.
- Get Your Levels of Progesterone Tested: If your progesterone levels are too low (women only), you’ll end up with low testosterone. See your doctor for a natural progesterone cream supplement for six months. These creams can also reverse estrogen dominance, which is related to low testosterone. Signs of too much testosterone are male pattern baldness and facial hair growth in women.
- Get Your Zinc Level Tested: Low levels of zinc can be the cause of low testosterone. Zinc is essential for the production of testosterone. In fact, in one study, marginally deficient older men took a 30 mg zinc supplement for six months and almost doubled their testosterone levels. Increasing the foods high in zinc – dark meats such as turkey and chicken thighs and liver won’t be enough; add the supplement.
- Start Pumping Iron at Home or at the Gym: Strength training is known to boost testosterone levels. Check out the Body for Life Program of strength training, created by Bill Phillips. You’ll increase your strength drastically in 90 days and shape your body into what you’ve never seen it become before. After working out, supplement with 3 grams branched-chain amino acids in a whey shake. Some shakes come ready made and include them in the shake for bodybuilders. The branched-chain amino acids will also raise testosterone levels.
- Lose Belly Fat: Overweight men are more likely to have low testosterone levels, but once the fat comes off the body, the testosterone levels increase. One good way to make the weight loss a reality is to do high intensity exercise for 20 minutes. If you’re pedaling a bike, it means ride as if a dog is chasing you for one full minute, then slow down for a minute and a half. Imagine around the corner comes a bigger dog so you again pedal fast for one full minute. Then slow down for another minute and a half. Continue for the 20 minutes with a 3-minute warm-up in the beginning and a 2-minute cool-down at the end. Afterwards, take a 3 gram supplement of branched-chain amino acids.
- Get Your Vitamin D Levels Optimized: Vitamin D increases your levels of sex hormones and helps improve libido, too. Optimally, your level should be 55-65 ug/dl on a 0-100 ug/dl scale. If you’re lower than 30 ug/dl, you’ll need 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for three months and then 2000 IU daily to maintain good levels.
- Cut Out the Sugar in Your Diet: No one wants to hear this one, but it may be the bottom line on why your testosterone levels are low. Sugar causes high insulin, which in turn causes low testosterone. If you’re consuming sugar regularly in your diet, reduce it in half by eliminating beverages with sugars (and diet sugars as well as high fructose corn syrup), breakfast cereals and desserts six days a week. Reward yourself with sugar only one day a week – and that’s if you absolutely have to. Otherwise, cut it out completely.
There are medical reasons why these won’t work in some people, so always have a visit with your medical doctor to try to resolve the condition if you notice no difference within a few months.
DHEA – Part II. Beneficial Supplement with Increasing Proof of Efficacy. Education and Nutrition for a Better Life. (Special Report for Health Practitioners from www.formyhealth.com)
J Strength Condit Research 2010 Apr; 24(4): 1125-30.