Do you want to boost your testosterone levels? You SHOULD want to boost your testosterone. High testosterone is associated with lower cases of depression, improved libido, increased income and net worth, overall success, a better, stronger physique, and lower body fat. (Read: the Testosterone Diet for Men)
You’re simply better when you boost your testosterone levels. When you have low T (low testosterone), the opposite is true.
You’ll likely have more fat, low libido, you won’t be able to build muscle as easily, you won’t be sleeping as well or living as well as you can be.
High testosterone is vital for the life you want to live, and the life you want to live, as the strong, powerful, successful guy you can be, is the life you must live.
Keep your body fat low.
You want your body fat percentage to be lower that 15% – ideally around 8-12%, which is lean, but not light. Being a scrawny weakling isn’t going to help you boost your testosterone. A few studies have shown that more body fat = lower testosterone, and it makes sense. (Mogri M, Dhindsa S, Quattrin T, Ghanim H, Dandona P. Testosterone concentrations in young pubertal and post-pubertal obese males. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2013;78(4):593-599.)
Estrogen is stored in body fat in men. The more body fat you have – within reason – the more estrogen you will also have. (Cohen P. Aromatase, adiposity, aging and disease. The hypogonadal-metabolic-atherogenic-disease and aging connection. Med Hypotheses. 2001;56(6):702-708.)
You simply cannot have the high testosterone levels you need if you’re fat. Your estrogen levels are going to be too high to allow your testosterone levels to thrive.
Want to get lean? Check out the Testosterone Workout
Get a better sleep.
One study found that every extra hour of sleep up to 8 hours can result in a 15% increase in your testosterone levels. (Goh V, Tong T. Sleep, sex steroid hormones, sexual activities, and aging in Asian men. J Androl. 2010;31(2):131-137.)
Another incredible study found that men who sleep 4 hours a night have testosterone levels at around 200-300 ng/dl while men who sleep 8 hours a night product between 500-700 ng/dl. (Penev P. Association between sleep and morning testosterone levels in older men. Sleep. 2007;30(4):427-432.)
Reducing fat and getting a better sleep are at the top of the list because if you don’t solve these two issues, it’s unlikely that you’re going to reach your hormonal potential.
Take care of these first, then move down the list (some of what follows with definitely help with the first two, in fact, a workout in the morning has been shown to help with sleep and fat loss). (Read: 13 Most Powerful Testosterone Boosters on Planet Earth)
Weight training helps men produce more testosterone during the weight training session, especially with more explosive, heavy, compound lifts. (Neuromuscular and hormonal adaptations in athletes to strength training in two years. Journal of Applied Physiology. http://jap.physiology.org/content/65/6/2406. Accessed February 4, 2017.)
But weight training also helps testosterone production in the long run. One study found that after 4 weeks of weight training, young men who’d never previously trained saw a baseline, resting increase in their testosterone levels of 40% on average, and a reduction in overall cortisol as well. (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00421-006-0319-1)
It’s best to keep the intensity high, using explosive movements as well as heavier compound lifts like you’ll find in the Testosterone Workout
Keep your stress low.
Chronic high stress levels will result in chronically high cortisol levels, which is a hormone that lowers testosterone. While we need some stress, and some cortisol, most suffer from too much stress, and the form that comes from worrying. You need the stress of improvement, not the stress of worrying about things that have not yet happened and may likely never happen. (Read: How to Lower Cortisol and Boost Testosterone)
Get rid of chemical estrogens in your home.
Why are men producing 1.3% LESS testosterone every year independent of age? One of the causes may be an increasing dependence on chemicals.
Much of the chemicals we use in plastics, soaps, shampoo, cleaners and deodorants, and more, can dramatically increase estrogen levels in men.
Watch our for the following chemicals:
- Parabens – used in sun tan lotions, lubricants, shampoo, shaving gels, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizers.
- Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most common chemicals used all over the world as a way to harden plastics. Most plastics contain BPA, which is a good reason to avoid plastics altogether, when possible.
- Phthalates make plastics more flexible – again, avoid plastics and keep your eye out for this chemical.
- Benzophenones are most commonly found in sunscreen.
- Triclosan and Triclocarban are antibacterial agents found in many antibacterial soaps, lotions, and hand sanitizers.
Compete and Win (and make more money)
Making more money is simply one aspect of winning in life, and men need to win. Money also – if used properly – allows us to have more freedom and to make a bigger impact. In one study done on traders, however, found that after going on a 6-day win streak, they had 78% higher testosterone levels. (Coates J, Herbert J. Endogenous steroids and financial risk taking on a London trading floor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105(16):6167-6172.)
The benefits of victory, however, aren’t relegated to making money. Any form of competition and victory will help you increase your testosterone levels. Of course, you’ll see a reduction in testosterone if you lose. (Bernhardt P, Dabbs J, Fielden J, Lutter C. Testosterone changes during vicarious experiences of winning and losing among fans at sporting events. Physiol Behav. 1998;65(1):59-62.)
Other studies showed that men increase their testosterone levels when the team they cheer for wins. Of course, actually winning and competing in life is better than watching others do it, but it shows the power of testosterone as a reward system.
The better you are, the more testosterone you should have flowing through your veins, which will make you even better. It’s a cyclical effect, much the same with fat loss. The more fat you lose, the higher your testosterone levels will be, which in turn makes it even easier to burn fat.
Put Down the Beer
Alcohol in general is estrogenic, but beer is by far the more estrogenic of the alcoholic beverages. Enjoy one every now and then (I do). Just don’t get hammered on a daily basis and don’t be a daily drinker of beer.
Eat More Fat
There are a number of studies that show how increasing dietary fat intake can increase testosterone levels.(Bélanger A, Locong A, Noel C, et al. Influence of diet on plasma steroids and sex hormone-binding globulin levels in adult men. J Steroid Biochem. 1989;32(6):829-833.)
The kind of fat, however, matters. Polyunsaturated fats and trans fats lower testosterone in men, while saturated and monounsaturated fats increase testosterone levels in men.
You need fat in your diet to be able to produce testosterone at all. Saturdated is best, which is why a diet with a good amount of meat is a good diet.
Don’t, however, go too far. Too much fat isn’t the best either. You’re going to consume too many calories, and gain too much body fat, and you need carbs (as we’ll see below) as well.
If you want a diet specifically for boosting testosterone, cutting fat, and gaining muscle, check out the Man Diet (get a free copy here).
Eat More Carbs
A couple studies have found that when fat and caloric intake are controlled, a diet high in carbs and low in protein leads to higher testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels when compared to low carb/high protein diets.
I don’t think you should cut out protein, but definitely have a healthy amount of carbs throughout your day coming from sources like fruits, vegetables, and potatoes. (Anderson K, Rosner W, Khan M, et al. Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man. Life Sci. 1987;40(18):1761-1768.) (Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. http://jap.physiology.org/content/82/1/49. Accessed February 4, 2017.)