Big testosterone is built on the back end of back squats and deadlifts…
Big lifts, big weights, and big progress…
But hitting the gym isn’t the only way to build big testosterone.
In fact, there are ways to boost testosterone without hitting the gym at all.
And even though I’d never recommend cutting the gym out of your weekly routine, I definitely recommend adding these 5 natural testosterone boosters to your day-to-day.
As important as exercise is to your testosterone levels, sleeping is even more important…
In fact, if you’re not getting a good quality and quantity of sleep every night, I don’t care how much you can squat or deadlift, your testosterone levels are suffering.
Studies have shown a direct correlation between the amount of time you sleep and the amount of testosterone your body produces…
Because your body produces most of your testosterone while you sleep.
So if you only give yourself 4 hours to sleep instead of 6, you can count on your testosterone levels snoozing until you give it something sufficient to work off of.
But just as important as quantity of sleep, is quality of sleep…
Your body begins producing its peak amount of testosterone just as you hit your first bout of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
That peak sets the tone for the rest of the night…
That’s why it’s important for you to avoid sleep disruptors like watching late night television, scrolling through social media, or keeping your bedroom too warm.
Sleep is one of the easiest ways to boost testosterone, yet oftentimes we turn sleep into a chore…
Better quality of sleep. More quantity of sleep. Higher testosterone.
I don’t mean to bring back the #winning epidemic, but when it comes to boosting testosterone, #winning is the mindset you need to have…
One study, involving university tennis players, measured the testosterone levels of men before and after a competition.
The result was that men who won their competitions had higher levels of testosterone than their losing counterparts…
Winning boosts testosterone.
But winning doesn’t always require beating someone in a competition…
Sometimes winning doesn’t involve anyone except yourself.
In my opinion, winning looks more like achieving something…
Sure, that achievement could mean beating one of your buddies in a one-on-one game of basketball.
But it could also mean sawing back large tree branches to make your hard look nice.
It could be fixing a leaky faucet.
Each day set a goal and achieve it.
Pose Like Superman
It’s one of the more cheesy ways to boost testosterone…
But it’s an effective way nonetheless.
According to one study, holding a power pose for 2 minutes a day is a surefire way to increase your testosterone.
A power pose can be anything from standing with your legs shoulder-length apart and your hands on your hips (Superman style) to pulling a front double-bicep pose in the mirror.
You could even perform a power pose in your chair at work by leaning back, and putting your hands behind your head.
The more confident you feel in any room, even a room by yourself, the better off your testosterone will be.
So strike a pose from time to time throughout the day.
Get Our More
If you’re an outdoor kind of guy, this is one of the easiest ways to boost testosterone for you…
If you’re not an outdoor guy, become one.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for boosting testosterone levels (one of many featured in my Barbarian Manhood Multi).
And natural sunlight is full of it.
A recent study explored the testosterone levels of 2,299 men over the course of a year and discovered that testosterone levels followed a seasonal pattern – peaking in the summer months and falling in the winter months.
This research drew a clear correlation between sunlight and testosterone levels.
Research also suggests that early morning sunlight exposure increases luteinizing hormone, a precursor to testosterone, by almost 70%…
So even though this is a list about ways to boost testosterone without hitting the gym, it wouldn’t hurt to move a workout or two a week into that early morning sunrise for an extra testosterone perk.
Never underestimate the importance of a good multivitamin to boost your testosterone levels.
In fact, I’d say that a strong men’s multivitamin is one of the easiest ways increase testosterone simply because it covers all of your nutritional blind spots.
It’s an effective, convenient, and affordable answer to low testosterone levels, and even to give you guys who are doing all the right things an extra anabolic edge.
Barbarian contains zinc, and selenium, two undisputed and necessary minerals for testosterone production that most men simply don’t get enough of through diet alone.
It also contains vitamins A, B complex, D3, and C – a tandem that will lower estrogen levels, cortisol, and oxidative damage (contributors of low testosterone), and as a result will boost your testosterone.
Barbarian is a multivitamin that’s built to do exactly what this list is all about.
It’s got all of your essential vitamins to boost testosterone packed into one daily punch.
What are these essential vitamins to boost testosterone?
Let’s take a look.
Most people I ask don’t know what selenium is…
But you need to know that it’s a powerful testosterone booster.
One study, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, shows selenium is linked to improved sperm counts and increased testosterone levels…
In this study, 50 men between the ages of 25-55 had their serum levels of selenium tested while also having their serum levels of testosterone tested…
The results were obvious…
There was a direct correlation…
Men with higher selenium levels had higher testosterone, while those with lower selenium had lower testosterone.
No disputes men…
You need selenium.
According to a recent report from Oregon State University over 2 billion people are deficient in Zinc around the world…
That’s a whole lot of people…
And research has shown that low zinc means low testosterone.
One study, involving 10 male wrestlers over a 4-week span, measured testosterone levels before and after zinc supplementation.
It’s no surprise that their testosterone levels peaked post-zinc intake…
But the question you have to ask yourself is are you zinc deficient?
Because if you haven’t been keeping track of your zinc intake, you’re probably missing out on one of the most essential vitamins to boost testosterone.
Vitamin A and Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin A and vitamin B complex are important for every man because it plays a little bit of defense for you…
Against your estrogen levels…
Now, every man has some estrogen in him…
But if those numbers get too high, you’ll be looking at excess body fat in all the wrong places.
According to a report published in The Journal of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility when you’re deficient in vitamin A, estrogen synthesis skyrockets…
The same also rings true for vitamin B deficiencies.
So vitamin A and vitamin B complex are essential vitamins to boost testosterone in a bit of a backwards way…
They play defense for you against your estrogen levels so that your testosterone levels will be higher.
But you know how the old saying still ring true, here…
The best offense is a good defense.
Just like in hockey, two defenders won’t make much of a difference if you don’t have a goalie…
So there’s no point in vitamin A or vitamin B playing defense without another guy in the net…
Well, the good news is that vitamin C is that guy.
Studies have shown that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights against elevated cortisol levels and shrinks oxidative damage that could lower testosterone levels.
See, when cortisol levels go up, testosterone levels go down…
Which makes vitamin C one of the essential vitamins to boost testosterone in any man’s supplementation.
Plenty of vitamin C a day will keep the cortisol away.
If you didn’t know already, there are two types of testosterone in your bloodstream…
Free testosterone and bound testosterone…
And unfortunately, most of it’s bound, meaning that it doesn’t provoke any advantage to the qualities that make you a man.
But vitamin D cuts the ropes off of what’s binding your testosterone.
This study, published in the medical journal, Osteoporosis International shows Vitamin D supplementation increases testosterone levels by “freeing up” bound testosterone.
When this testosterone is freed up, it’s then usable to help you build muscle better, grow a Viking-esque beard, have better sex, think more clearly, and the list goes on.
Calcium is often promoted to strengthen your bones and your teeth…
Because, well, it does…
But calcium has also been shown to boost testosterone levels in men.
A recent study published in the Journal of Biological Trace Element Research, found that calcium raised the free testosterone levels of active men by 18% compared to a placebo group.
And even though researchers aren’t sure exactly why calcium boosts testosterone, they suspect that calcium improves signaling between cells and hormones, and as a result boosts testosterone production.
Magnesium is similar to zinc in that if you’re deficient in your magnesium intake, you’ll reap some poor consequences for your testosterone health.
One study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine shows 70% of adults in the United States eat below the recommended amount of magnesium…
With up to 19% eating less than half of the daily need for magnesium…
This is partly due to the fact that magnesium evaporates from the body through sweat.
A study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine shows that roughly one gram of magnesium a day is enough to boost testosterone levels by 24% when combined with intense exercise…
Another study simply drew a direct correlation between magnesium intake and testosterone levels in older men, making magnesium one of the essential vitamins to boost testosterone across the board.
Your Next Step
Men, look at this list…
There are a lot of essential vitamins to boost testosterone.
And trying to manage each one of them is a pain in the you-know-what.
I created it to boost your testosterone so that, as a man, you can stay healthy, fill up on energy and perform at your peak in the workplace, the bedroom, at the gym and everywhere in between…
Here are 4 big benefits of Barbarian that’ll bring back the “man” that’s missing today.
We all know the importance of a healthy diet…
Without one, you can kiss your testosterone levels goodbye.
And if want to eat to boost your testosterone you’ll need to eat plenty of healthy fats, gluten-free carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein, while also getting in a good portion of greens throughout the day…
But even if you’re killing it in the diet department, there’s a good chance that you’re still missing out on the essential micronutrients you need.
Which is where the Barbarian Manhood Multi comes in…
This supplement is packed with proven testosterone-boosting micronutrients that you could be missing out on…
For example, Barbarian contains selenium…
Which may sound like a foreign micronutrient to some of you…
There is a lot of misconceptions about the effects that protein has on a men’s testosterone level and overall hormonal health.
Most of what is commonly understood about the relationship between the two compounds is spread by word-of-mouth.
Unfortunately, most of what is commonly understood is not the truth.
Protein and Testosterone
There are some well-known facts about the relationship between protein and testosterone that have led to this common misconception.
First off, it is well known that protein deficiency can cause the body to produce much less testosterone than it should. And this can lead to a significant loss of muscle mass.
Many people see this as a suggestion to overcompensate. Why just eliminate the deficiency when you can eat as much protein as you want?
Also, since the body uses testosterone to help with the synthesis of protein from amino acids, then people think getting extremely high levels of protein will cause freer testosterone to be available in the blood instead of being used to create protein.
Both of these assumptions lead to one suggestion: eat as much protein as possible. This is so widespread that many bodybuilding websites and programs encourage people to consume high protein diets – some people consume as much as 50% of their calories from protein.
People are often told that protein is the major contributing factor to the creation of testosterone. While it is necessary to have some protein to create testosterone, it’s not the only important building block.
Many other nutrients are required for a healthy hormonal system. More important than high levels of protein is ensuring that you have a good balance of different nutrients.
Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat
A lot of bodybuilders think that they should eat as much protein as they can and cut out as many carbs and fats from their diet as possible. This makes sense on the surface:
If protein is responsible for the growth of muscle mass, then we should get as much of it as possible to see the most muscle gains, right? Wrong.
If carbohydrates are used as energy, and our body stores excess carbohydrates and calories as fat, we should keep our carbohydrates low and protein high, right? Wrong.
This one’s obvious. If we’re trying to build muscle, we want protein, so why would we want a high-fat diet? Fat will just overshadow our gains, right? Wrong.
These are common assumptions that form the guidelines for many athletes and bodybuilders’ diet programs. Unfortunately, this particular diet is a recipe for a low testosterone and a high cortisol hormonal system.
First off, one of the most important things a bodybuilder needs is a good balance of these nutrients. Yes, fat is a nutrient. Anyway, here’s how these nutrients each impact your hormone levels and your muscle growth.
Protein and Carbs
The optimal percentage of protein for an athlete’s diet is around 12-15%. Protein levels in this range revealed the highest serum levels of testosterone when compared with people who had a diet that contained between 20%, 25%, or 30% protein
It’s also important that the ratio of protein and carbohydrates is paid attention to. People who eat diets that are very high in protein and low in carbohydrates, which is typical for many athletes, have significantly lower levels of testosterone.
However, those who have diets that are high in carbs and lower in protein have much better levels of testosterone in the body.
Carbs are Champions
The information above suggest that carbohydrates have a much bigger impact than protein on our body’s production of testosterone.
If you are really looking to boost testosterone levels, don’t focus so much on protein.
A high-carbohydrate diet will also help you lower levels of cortisol, which is pretty much the worst hormone a bodybuilder could have in abundance.
Cortisol works in the opposite way of testosterone, helping your body break down muscle instead of building it.
Fats and Testosterone
Studies have shown that people who have low fat diets are less likely to have high concentrations of testosterone.
In fact, one study that was done on 12 volunteers – all men who were familiar with working out – proved that fat can have an acute and significant natural steroid effect on testosterone levels.
The study observed serum levels of testosterone in twelve men over the course of 17 days. Those who ate diets high in fat were shown to have higher levels of testosterone both during the day (which could provide them with more drive and motivation to put in extra effort at the gym) and during the well-known post workout testosterone boost.
Protein in Older Men
Most of these studies were done on younger men. If you are an older man, between the ages of 40 and 70, then the rules might be a little bit different for you.
Men who have consumed low protein diets, who then switch to a high protein diet later in life, will see the most significant benefits. (Though this doesn’t mean that you should eat a low protein diet for your early life just so you can switch to a high protein diet later.)
SHBG is a compound that our body produces that binds to sex hormones like testosterone. The higher the blood serum concentrations of SHBG are, the more testosterone will be bound by it, and the lower the overall levels of free testosterone in the body will be. For this reason it’s very important to reduce SHBG as much as possible.
Fortunately, we don’t have to entirely rewire our brains to process this information. All we have to remember is that it’s important to maintain the proper ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat in our diets.
All of these nutrients work together to create a hormonal system that functions properly. For the best production of testosterone, you aren’t going to want to consume more than 15% protein. Make sure your body gets plenty of good quality carbohydrates and fats as well.
If you want to build muscle maximally, you’ve got to consume more calories than you’re expending. If you’re a fitness enthusiast then there is a likely chance that you have heard the terms “bulking””and “cutting”. Bulking is the phase where you eat in a calorie surplus (i.e. eat more calories than you burn) in order to gain muscle and the cutting phase is when you eat in a calorie deficit (i.e. eat fewer calories than you burn) in order to lean out and reduce fat so that your muscles stand out in all of their glory.
Now, the trouble many people have with eating in a calorie surplus is that you will put on fat. Unfortunately, we cannot control how our bodies use the extra energy we provide them through food. Most of the extra calories are guaranteed to go towards repairing and building muscles, but some of it will end up as fat – which is why the cutting phase is so important.
If you are in a cutting phase and eating at a suitable deficit and still not losing weight, then you should seek medical advice. Symptoms of low testosterone levels are often overlooked; however, low testosterone levels and high estrogen levels result in excess fat being held around the abdomen. This is definitely not ideal if you’re looking to get lean.
It is possible to make your own life easier by controlling your bulk to only gain a minimal amount of fat; which will make your cutting phase much easier. Many people see their bulking phase as a time to throw all diet rules out of the window. They think they can eat whatever they want, whenever they want because the goal is to gain weight. Unfortunately, human beings grow muscles at a very slow rate which makes the overload of calories completely pointless and even harmful to your final goals.
Here are 5 rules to keep in mind when you’re bulking in order to grow lean muscles with minimal fat:
1. Ditch Hours of Cardio and Opt for Sprints or HIIT Cardio
I know, I know, cardio is incredibly effective for fat loss. But if you’re afraid of gaining fat during your bulk and overdoing it with hours and hours of cardio then you’re doing your gains a disservice.
Do not despair, sprints and high intensity interval training (HIIT) will be your saving grace. Think of a sprinter’s body. A sprinter has minimal fat and loads of muscle. This is due to the fact that sprints and HIIT have an after burn effect which keeps on burning fat for hours after the exercise. The short period of high intensity has been proven to burn fat while retaining muscle.
2. Cycle Your Carbs and Eat Enough Protein
Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins are known as macronutrients and they make up everything we eat. Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy, fat for micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) absorption, and protein to build muscles.
Most men and women do not eat enough protein in their day to day lives. Protein is the building block of muscles and a lack of protein will result in a plateau in the gym. You need to eat protein to gain muscle, it’s that simple. The general rule is to eat around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day.
Carbohydrates are essential for energy. This is why it’s a good idea to eat more carbs on training days and fewer carbs on non-training days, or less intense arm focused days. This will ensure you have enough energy to smash your intense workouts while monitoring the number of calories you consume in a week to avoid excess fat gains.
3. Lift Heavy
Lifting heavy will ensure you’re overloading your muscles; which is the only way your muscles will grow.
Compound movements are ideal for getting the heart rate up. An increase in heart rate means you’ll be burning more calories when you exercise and, in turn, burning more fat. If you’re not working hard in the gym, then the extra calories will have no muscle damage to repair.
Compound moves are ideal for building muscle mass across many muscle groups and isolated movements focus on building strength in targeted muscle groups. Combining the two forms of exercise will ensure optimal growth with minimal fat.
4. Don’t Go Overboard with the Calorie Surplus
As previously mentioned, the body gains muscle very slowly. This means that you must slowly increase your calories and try to make sure you’re eating in just the right surplus balance to repair your muscles.
You are guaranteed to gain a lot of fat if you see a calorie surplus as a time to eat anything and everything. It should be closely monitored so that you can see muscle gain and, if you plateau, then continue to increase your calories slowly.
5. Try a Clean Bulk – A Calorie is Not a Calorie
If you’re counting calories, it’s important to remember that your body will only be able to grow if it’s given all of the right nutrients (carbs. fats, and proteins). If your body receives a lot of junk food, it’s going to be much easier to overeat since these nutrient devoid foods will have a weak appetitive response. If you pump your body with nutrients, it will use the food that you give it which will be less likely to end up as fat.
An added benefit of a clean bulk is that you will be able to eat larger quantities of food which will keep you feeling full for longer.
Follow these rules and you will be able to gain muscle mass without gaining fat.
Catherine Grant is an Editor-in-Chief of America’s best bodybuilding supplements website – TopTestosteroneBoosters.org . She is a health and fitness enthusiast. She wrote health and fitness related articles for numerous reputable sites like Huffpost, EvanCarmichael, MasterHerald, Get-a-Wingman, Lifehack etc… She is passionate about helping others reach their health goals through sharing her own personal experiences.
For many bodybuilders, protein consumption is practically a religion. If you’ve been working on building muscle, you’ve probably had your fair share of protein powder. Testosterone – the ultimate male hormone – has also always been associated with muscle building, but did you know that there is such a thing as too much protein, and that it can affect your testosterone levels?
You may want to rethink your notions on protein and its relationships with muscle gains and with test levels as, apparently, the mechanisms behind these two are rather conflicting.
So does having more protein make you manlier? The answer is actually best given on a case to case basis. In this article we’ll guide you through the science and present you with the important facts you need to know to optimize protein consumption and keep your testosterone levels high.
Why you need to think twice about that off-the-roof protein consumption
No, we’re not saying that protein is bad. It’s true that protein is a crucial macronutrient for bodybuilding. We all need protein to build muscle and have a functional body. However, there is an optimal level and that level is not always at the as-much-as-you-can-eat level.
Somewhere along the timeline of healthy living and legendary bodybuilding history, there started this notion that there’s no such thing as too much protein in your diet. Some people have accepted this as the norm and even forced themselves to consume 11.5g/protein per pound of bodyweight (that’s over 40% of one’s daily caloric intake!).
What’s worse is that this notion has been perpetuated by manufacturers who are more concerned about generating hype and marketing than they are about your health. It’s high time that you know the truth and we get down to the real science!
How varied diet macros affect your body
Here’s what you’ve probably been missing: protein and testosterone, the primary muscle building hormone, have a negative relationship. Don’t take it from us but from the following studies conducted by the experts, this is not broscience my friend. Brace yourself!
Study#1. The Link Between Dietary Protein/ Carbohydrate Ratios and Steroid Hormone Concentrations in Blood (Anderson. 1987)
This study investigated whether significant hormone levels (i.e. testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), cortisol and corticosteroid binding globulin (Transcortin)) were influenced by dietary differences in macronutrients.
Researchers mainly looked for differences between a high carbohydrate: protein dietary ratio, and a higher protein: carb ratio. As for the results, they found out that higher carb: protein diet resulted in higher levels of circulating testosterone.
Moreover, testosterone’s “check” hormone, SHBG, also had lower concentrations in high carb diets. SHBG transports the testosterone in your bloodstream in inactive form, which means that those hormones would not be bioavailable and produce any effects. This is not what you want.
The same diet ratio also resulted in lower levels of circulating stress hormones. Overall, these markers lead to better conditions for improved anabolism and muscle protein synthesis
On the other hand, the opposite has surprisingly been observed in the high protein group. Overall, their results draw the conclusion that higher protein intake is not associated with a superior hormone profile.
However, this does not mean that diets high in carbohydrates are the best. Rather, it means that you should not go too crazy on the protein. A high fat ketogenic diet has shown no negative effects on testosterone levels, so indeed levels of carbohydrates are not the issue.
Study#2: The Relationship Between Testosterone and Cortisol Concentration in Resistance Trained Individuals Relative to Dietary Intake (Volek. 1997)
This study refutes the belief that the “peri workout” window is the most important time to load up on protein with the aim to maximize muscle growth. However, the results show that fat may actually be responsible for one’s gains as a result of post exercise test spikes, not protein!
These findings were mainly reflected in the baseline levels they collected from subjects who consumed a diet with more calories derived from fat, who correspondingly had higher testosterone levels.
This trend has been consistent even more interestingly when testosterone was plotted against saturated fat intake and monosaturated fats. Again, this study points out on the relevance of nutrition for optimal test levels. And as in the previous study, it suggests that you don’t have to stick to the all high protein or high protein + low(er) carbs diet. Focus on healthy fats!
Study#3: Protein Supplementation Does Not Alter Anabolic or Endocrine Hormonal Response Following Resistance Training (Gonzalez. 2015)
In this study, a placebo was tested against a protein supplement consisting of 20g protein, 6g carbs, and 1g fat post workout on the hormonal response of 10 healthy, young men who engaged in resistance training.
Their results show that hormone-wise, there is no significant difference between the two groups — not in testosterone, cortisol, insulin, or even in growth hormone levels.
This cements the notion that protein is indeed crucial in bodybuilding, but there is no need to consume so much. More importantly, this study might make you consider if spending so much money on those protein powders are really worth it.
So who actually needs a high protein diet?
As hinted at in the first study mentioned, it’s older people who have a need for more dietery protein, and this is shown in at least one study. In the study, the subjects are in age ranges from 40 to 70.
The results showed that men who consumed the lowest protein also had highest levels of SHBG, the binding protein which inactivates testosterone and the other sex hormones. And with lower levels of these hormones means less are free to elicit beneficial effects on the body.
However, lets not forget the limits of the study and wait for more studies on men with a younger age range.
So when should you use protein supplements?
Ideally, protein supplements are only advised if you are unable to meet your nutritional requirements or trying to lose weight. You may use online protein intake calculators to find out, or consult a bodybuilding dietician or nutritionist.
When you have established that you do need that extra protein from supplementation, skip the protein powders and instead consume a real post workout meal consisting of real meat or eggs. Enjoy a diet of steak and eggs, which incidentally is highly recommended by legendary body builder Vince Gironda. There is no need for pre workout supplements. Make sure your diet contains ample fats, some carbs, and decent amount of protein. I recommend aiming for 0.8-1g/ pound of bodyweight in protein.
What do we focus on now?
When you break things down into it’s chemistry, you’ll notice that testosterone is in fact closely tied to fatty acids. You’ve might have heard about boosting test through the selenium in Brazilian nuts (popularized by Tim Ferriss) but another way to go is through working on omega 3’s and 6’s, particularly the modified omega 6 fatty acid known as Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). You can always conveniently pop CLA from supplements or you can also just get your CLA from grass-fed meats and butter.
When you’ve established that you’re consuming all the protein you need, it’s time to save some cash and stop buying all those protein powders.
Remember that if your daily requirements for protein does not entail a need for protein powders, a post-workout meal with a good servings of fat and modest servings of carbs and protein will suffice. It’s always better to go for real food whenever you can instead of buying supplements.
Keep in mind that animal protein is an essential part of your diet specifically for your vitamin B12 needs, red blood cell health (iron) and many other vitamins, minerals and fatty acids such as CLA.
In fact animal foods contain more nutrients than the majority of plant foods. This is especially the case with organ meats such as liver though keep in mind that animal protein alone will not give you higher testosterone levels!
About The Author
Alex Eriksson is the founder of Anabolic Health, a men’s health blog dedicated to providing honest and research backed advice for optimal male hormonal health. Check out https://www.anabolichealth.com/ to learn more about Alex and his work..