All men rely on their chief sex hormone, testosterone, to keep them in good health. Learn how to maintain optimal testosterone levels throughout your life and tackle testosterone decline.
If you’re wondering what hormones are all about, then here goes: hormones are chemical messengers in our bodies. While women rely on estrogen and progesterone for good health, men need testosterone for their functions. Aside from sperm production, testosterone regulates sex drive, muscle building, fat distribution and the production of healthy blood.
Though healthy males start producing this hormone during puberty, the level declines after the age of 40. So, what happens when the level of testosterone starts dropping? Plenty, say experts.
In fact, a decline in T levels may lead to loss of muscle mass, bone density, and sex drive. Also, a deficiency of this hormone in men can up the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease.
Here are 5 ways to boost testosterone levels:
#1 Maintain a healthy amount of body fat
If you have too much body fat, the danger of a drop in testosterone levels is acute. Paradoxically, low body fat has the same impact. So make sure you get your fat composition right: 10-15% body fat is considered ideal, to ensure peak testosterone.
#2 Reduce your stress
Mental or physical stress quickly reduces your testosterone level, since stress causes the anxiety hormone cortisol to surge. Consequently, this suppresses your body’s ability to produce testosterone.
So, find ways of de-stressing on a daily basis!
#3 Eat enough dietary fats
Believe it or not, the relationship between fat intake and testosterone levels in men is almost direct. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that diets high in monounsaturated and saturated fats actually raise T levels.
But, when it comes to dietary fats, quality matters as much as quantity. So, make sure the fats you consume are healthy too.
#4 Keep your workouts short but intense
The duration of your workouts can influence your T levels. For instance, if your workout is lengthy, with longer rest periods, or includes too much endurance exercise, this can lead to a drop in testosterone.
Also, a workout of more than one hour may spike cortisol levels, and decrease testosterone. So, keep your rest period short, and total workout time below 60 minutes.
#5 Limit alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol beyond a certain limit directly influences your testosterone level. A recent Dutch study shows that men who drank moderate amounts of alcohol daily for 3 weeks experienced a 7 percent decrease in their testosterone levels.
So, limit your alcohol intake to a couple of glasses of beer or wine a night, to avoid a drop in your T levels.
#6 Get enough sleep
The most of your body’s testosterone is produced when you are asleep. The more sleep you get, the more testosterone you produce. So, focus on getting a restful sleep of at least 7-9 hours a day.