9 Ways to Keep Testosterone Levels Up
Low testosterone (often called low T) is quickly becoming an epidemic. Since the 1980s, the average man’s testosterone level has plummeted by nearly 24 percent. While this may not seem like serious news, without the right amount of testosterone in the bloodstream, men can experience a wide range of bodily dysfunction.
Men with low testosterone are roughly 50 percent more likely to become obese and develop diabetes. There is also an extremely high risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol for men with low T. Scientists and researchers have begun investigating the reason behind the decline in this male reproductive hormone and have found numerous factors that can affect testosterone levels. Here are 10 ways to keep your testosterone levels up.
Get Plenty of Sleep
It is common knowledge that modern men and women get less sleep than their ancestors thanks to electric light disrupting our circadian sleep cycles. Sleep deprivation is also an increasingly common issue in today’s society with the population recording the highest levels of stress in history. This is detrimental because hormone levels are regulated during sleeping hours. For middle aged men who already suffer from low testosterone, getting less sleep can mean that their meager testosterone stores are not getting replaced. To even the odds, get a full night’s rest every night.
Stress can be detrimental to health in a variety of ways, but it turns out that it can also make men less fertile. The ‘fight or flight’ survival response triggers a release of a hormone called Cortisol. Produced by the adrenal glands, cortisol suppresses the effects of testosterone. When this happens, it decreases the body’s libido. There has also been research that suggests that stress can inhibit the brain’s ability to regulate testosterone production.
Avoid Certain Brands of Beer
Beer — or more specifically the hops within beer — has estrogenic properties. This means that it can lower testosterone production. While studies show that all alcohol has a testosterone lowering effect, beer in particular is the biggest perpetrator. Keep testosterone levels at their normal levels by avoiding excessive alcohol at all times.
Avoid Drinking from Plastic Bottles
Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in plastics, has been linked to declining levels of testosterone in men. Bisphenol-A leaches out of plastics when heated, contaminating whatever is being stored within the plastic. The amounts are so miniscule that for a long time it has been considered harmless, but recent studies have shown that 89 percent of all men visiting fertility clinics had BPA in their urine. Avoid drinking water from plastic bottles to prevent fertility issues due to low testosterone.
Avoid Soy Products
Soy is a very big problem for men. This estrogenic food has been known to drastically reduce sperm counts in men. Avoid soy at all costs. If you use it as a dairy alternative, consider rice or almond milk products as a substitute.
Obesity and its related health complications have a devastating effect on testosterone production. Fat tissue produces the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen. Diabetes has been linked to low testosterone levels as well. Lower body fat percentage is the best way to keep testosterone levels normal.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Good news: there are vitamins and minerals you can ingest to help your body produce testosterone. Zinc, found in certain shellfish and meats, is a mineral responsible for the production of testosterone. If your levels are low, adding a zinc supplement is an easy and effective way to elevate them. Vitamins E and C can help protect your testosterone levels from environmental toxins.
Eat Healthy Fats
While it may seem contradictory, since being obese is one of the factors in low testosterone levels, eating a low fat diet actually leads to low testosterone. Healthy fats, such as fish oil and avocado, are required in a healthy diet to keep hormone production at its peak. There is a difference between healthy fats and fatty foods: If it is deep fried, don’t eat it.
Consider the Sex Factor
Research has proven that when men stare at attractive women their hormone levels increase. Sex, both in thought and in action, can have an effect on men’s testosterone levels (up to 34%). So think about it and talk about it. It is healthy and normal, as proven by your hormone levels.