Helping men boost testosterone is big business. The testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) industry is growing by BILLIONS annually, and the supplement side of the same industry may be even bigger.
You know that TRT stops you from producing testosterone naturally, making you dependent on the tens of thousands you’ll have to spend to keep those testosterone levels high, which probably made you search for natural sources of increasing your testosterone levels.
High testosterone have been shown to improve your ability to burn fat, gain muscle, keep a high sex drive, and fight off depression, among other things.
And producing it naturally is way better than going the synthetic route.
The problem: almost 99% of the ‘testosterone boosters’ on supplement shelves and online don’t work, and their ‘most potent ingredients’ don’t actually help you increase your testosterone levels.
Thankfully, there are herbs that do help you increase testosterone, you just won’t find them in many test-boosting supplements for a couple reasons:
The people making these supplements don’t actually know what they’re doing.
The herbs that work aren’t cheap or easy to produce, but I’ll show you an inexpensive way to get them all.
First, PLEASE read about the claimed ‘test-boosters’ you’ll see in almost all test-boosting products that don’t actually do a single thing for your testosterone levels.
Don’t Boost Testosterone But Claim To
This is the most popular test boosting ingredient on the market, but does it work?
First, why do some claim it works at increasing testosterone levels? Well, because there are some studies that show it increases testosterone in animals.
The only problem is that for human studies, there’s no increase in testosterone.
There was one study that found increases in testosterone in men and women, but it wasn’t the tribulus that did it, rather, it was an active ingredient called Protodioscin that 99.999% of supplements don’t have.
It’s rare to see tribulus with Protodioscin. And when you don’t have that active ingredient, tribulus is useless.
It’s a waste of money, and while it’s pitched as ‘the be all end all’ test booster, it really doesn’t do anything. Supplement companies have just begun to blindly put it in their ‘test boosters’ even though it does nothing.
Verdict: Don’t waste your money.
If you’ve searched for a natural testosterone booster you’ve come across fenugreek, it’s unavoidable.
Being that it’s so popular it must work, right? Why else would it be in so many testosterone boosting supplements (or at least supplements labeled as such)?
No! In fact, other than a study produced by the fenugreek manufacturer, other studies have shown that it LOWERS testosterone levels.
So please, if you value your hormones, stay away from this anti-androgenic herb.
The logic is that antler velvet from deer species grows at an alarming rate, and thus contains large amounts of growth hormone and testosterone.
We can keep this one pretty quick.
In all studies, antler velvet doesn’t increase testosterone one bit, and it doesn’t increase growth hormone.
Herbs That Boost Testosterone
Dreams have been crushed, and after reading that opening, you’re likely pissed that you’ve spent money on anything containing those herbs.
Am I right?
Well, I’m with you.
I’ve dished out dollars on that stuff that I’ll never get back.
Does that mean that there are NO herbs that increase testosterone?
Are we stuck with a society that increasingly lowers men’s testosterone levels with nothing we’re able to do about it?
No! Actually, there are some very effective testosterone-boosting herbs that actually do work, they’re proven to work, and I’ll show you how you can add them to your morning routine to help you produce more testosterone, fast.
Ashwadandha is an adaptogen, a term coined by Russian scientists to describe a herb that helps the body regain hormonal and psychological homeostasis – ie. it helps reduce stress. Studies are showing that it also increases testosterone in men.
In two different studies ashwadandha was shown to reduce cortisol levels by 27% and 33% respectively. Cortisol is a stress hormone. When your cortisol levels are high you’re going to have trouble sleeping, but you’re also going to use more protein for fuel than fat.
Reducing this stress hormone is vital. Not only does ashwagandha lower cortisol, it improves sleep quality, reduces inflammation, and increases HDL-cholesterol, all of which are important in producing optimal testosterone levels in men.
When we look directly at how ashwagandha effects testosterone, one study showed a 17% boost in testosterone (a pretty incredible increase from a single ingredient), with a 36% increase in luteinizing hormone, leading researchers to believe that ashwagandha stimulates testosterone production at the brain level, which is powerful, seeing as this is where the entire process of producing testosterone is begun.
Forskolin is a rare supplement that you’ll almost never find in conventional ‘testosterone boosters’, but it’s one of the most potent there is because of what it does with androgen receptors in the body.
Forskolin increases cyclic adenosine monopohosphate (cAMP) levels. cAMP is a messenger that transports biological signals between cells and hormones. Thus, increasing cAMP levels should increase the sensitivity, amount, and activity of hormones in the body, with one study showing an increase of 33% in obese men.
Icaarin (Horny Goat Weed)
I was very skeptical about Horny Goat Weed simply because of its name. It sounds like a cheap marketing ploy designed to make money. Then, however, I dug into the research and found that Horny Goat Weed has not only been used for thousands of years, but it also has a very important ingredient that helps men both improve their testosterone levels, but also acts as a pro-erectile agent much in the same way that viagra does, albeit without any synthetic ingredients.
That ingredient is called icariin. Icariin inhibits the PDE-5 enzyme, which is also what viagra and cialis do with synthetic agents, while also increasing nitric oxide, which helps improve blood flow. One study on horny goat weed was used to overturn a patent made by the Viagra company stating that their formula was the only source of icariin in the world.
On top if this, other studies have shown that icariin has mimetic properties, and is able to mimic testosterone in the testes.
The benefits of Horny Goat Weed, however, don’t stop with libido and testosterone. Goat Weed is also a very healthy sounds of 37 different flavonoids while also being a very strong antioxidant.
Problem: You Won’t Find These In Test Boosters on the Shelves, But You Can Find Them in a Recently Discovered Formula For Men Called MAN GREENS
Not only do you get these proven, potent testosterone boosting herbs in Man Greens, but you also get vegetables and greens that lower estrogen, boost libido, including a full 5 grams of maca, which has been proven to skyrocket libido in men.
Where no testosterone boosters contain these potent testosterone boosting herbs, Man Greens has ALL of them at their bioavailable amount, meaning the amount your body actually needs to see the benefits from them.
On top of that, men need more greens! But almost all greens powders contain mint, flax, or alfalfa, 3 commonly used ingredients in greens powders that increase estrogen in men!
Man Greens has none of them, and full bioavailable amounts of things like beet root, which helps increase nitric oxide, helping you ‘get it up’ whenever you damn well need to.
Is there an active attack on your testosterone levels and on your manhood? There most definitely is one socially, as men are taught from a young age to be soft, emotional, more passive, less aggressive, and less dangerous by a soft, extremely feminine and left-leaning education system.
There’s also the rise of identity politics, where victimhood is prized and applauded and the honorable virtues of manhood, competition, aggression, dominance, self-reliance, and winning, are condemned.
But is there an attack on our hormones, those building blocks of manhood that make men, men? The main hormone is testosterone, it’s responsible for our increased muscle mass in comparison to our wonderful female counterparts, as well as our body hair, aptitude to take more risk, and even aggression, you know, the things that serve us well when we’re standing at the city gates or our doorstep keeping those who are inside safe and ignorant of the battles being waged on the periphery.
Something is making men produce lower testosterone levels, and it doesn’t appear to be an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, though it’s a factor, that can explain the massive decline found in a Massachusetts Male Aging Study where they found an age-independent decrease in male testosterone levels of about 1.3% each year, with the total testosterone levels of an average male independent of his age in 2004 were found to be 17% lower than those of an average man who was the same age in 1987.
This steep decline in manhood, in the hormone that makes men, men, is absolutely shocking and has to be seen as an epidemic, though it’s not being given nearly enough attention.
Why You Need High Testosterone Levels
From a young age young men, otherwise known as boys, display very different ways of entertaining themselves. We like battle. We like guns. We like danger and adventure.
Boys don’t like tea or talking on the phone about emotional issues, we prefer to be outside always nearly injuring ourselves in the pursuit of something that feeds our soul, makes us feel alive, and makes us feel like men.
Testosterone both helps us be better at being men, and it acts as a reward system for being better at being a man.
You get a boost in testosterone when you compete, another increase when you win. You get increases in the short term and in the long term from working out with heavy weights. You get an increase in testosterone from having sex. You also see in increase in testosterone when you make money.
High testosterone also helps you burn more fat by recruiting more fat as a fuel source, repair muscle tissue, helping you build more muscle, and it greatly impacts your libido and sex drive. High testosterone also reduces your likelihood of experiencing depression, certain cancers, and heart disease.
Men are better when their testosterone levels are high. Society is better when our men have high testosterone levels.
Yet, this important hormone is on the decline in men. In this article we’ll look at the society-wide factors, not just the individual ones like poor diet, inactivity, incorrect training that we’ve already covered at length on this website.
FACT: Your Grandfather’s Testosterone Levels Were Double Yours
At the aforementioned 1.3% decline in testosterone, my grandfather’s testosterone levels at my age would be 74% higher than mine.
What has led to this? What are the factors in our society that have dramatically degraded male testosterone levels across society and age?
We’ll go through them, from a real desire to effeminate men, to innovations that are having a negative effect on our hormones.
If you look at the two main culprits (your laptop and cell phones, but mainly cell phones), our testosterone levels have nearly halved since they became popular.
From a correlational standpoint, this deserves a ton of attention. Cell phones become popular, testosterone levels in men plummet.
But is it causational or is the cause, the increasingly sedentary life we live as a result of technology more the culprit of this decline, or something else all together?
There is evidence that testosterone levels plummet when exposed to radiation, and that sperm count does the same.
From faradays.co — a company that’s created a boxer that limits radiation exposure to the testicals (just bought my first pair) — this image shows the correlation between an increase in both cell phone use and the power of the airwaves used to transmit data, and the decline of both sperm count and testosterone levels in men.
Again, causation, or mere chance that the two would align so dramatically?
When it comes to sperm count, radiation definitely has an effect.
In this study, cancer patients saw a 35% reduction in testosterone after treatment.
The radiation from cell phones and laptops is particularly concerning. Radiation emitted from laptops can be measured using a device called a gaus meter, with the 0.3 milligauss level being considered safe, and many laptops have readings higher than 200 milligauss level.
Don’t rest your laptop on your nuts, where the majority of your testosterone levels are produced and all of your sperm resides.
In this study 32 healthy men with normal semen levels gave a sperm sample that was then divided into two equal portions (A and B).
“Portions A of all involved men were placed for 5 hours in a thermostat, and portions B were placed into a second thermostat for the same period of time, where a mobile phone in standby/talk mode was placed. After 5 hours of incubation the sperm samples from both thermostats were re–evaluated regarding basic motility parameters. The presence of DNA fragmentation in both A and B portions of each sample was determined each hour using a standard sperm chromatin dispersion test.
The number of spermatozoa with progressive movement in the group, influenced by electromagnetic radiation, is statistically lower than the number of spermatozoa with progressive movement in the group under no effect of the mobile phone. The number of non–progressive movement spermatozoa was significantly higher in the group, which was influenced by cell phone radiation. The DNA fragmentation was also significantly higher in this group.”
“A study from Zhejiang University compared 77 men who work at a power plant that generates electricity with 77 controls with low occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields.
The power-plant workers, compared to the controls, had statistically significantly lower levels of testosterone (β = −0.3 nmol/L; p = 0.015), testosterone-to-estradiol ratio (β = −15.6; p = 0.037), and NF-κB (β = −20.8 ng/L; p = 0.045).
From this article on MDMag.com: “The researchers then analyzed how each of the power plant workers used electronic devices in private life, and they found still more evidence of the effects of electromagnetic fields. Higher mobile phone fees, more years of mobile phone usage, and higher home electric bills were all found to have significant effects on testosterone levels and testosterone-to-estradiol ratios.”
The thing that hasn’t been studied is the effects of radiation in general, as it increasingly surrounds us on a daily basis. I’m on my desktop as I write this, with my cell phone a few feet away, and a couple more feed away from that, my wireless modem or whatever they call those things.
As the technology gets stronger and our use increases is this decline in both testosterone levels in men and overall sperm counts going to continue to fall?
Is removing ourselves from technology all-together going to be the solution that will bring back our manhood?
While radiation and electromagnetic fields are a concern, chemicals seem to be an even greater concern as many of the chemicals we use, touch, clothe ourselves, lather ourselves with, and even consume on a daily basis have been conclusively shown to increase estrogen in men, which is one of testosterone’s arch enemies.
The Biggest Culprit is Likely Chemicals
We’ve become not only dependent on, but surrounded by and filled up with chemicals that lower testosterone and increase estrogen in men.
These chemicals that increase estrogen levels in men are found everywhere, including:
In the pesticides used on fruits and vegetables
We have plastics in our clothing, we brush our teeth with plastic bristles and brushes, with toothpaste filled with chemicals that increase estrogen. We lather ourselves with deodorants so we don’t stink, and shampoos, and soap.
The good news is that for most things there’s now a natural alternative – thanks to capitalism doing its thing. The problem is that most people don’t know what to look out for.
Being that these chemical estrogens are everywhere, in our food, on our food, genetically integrated into our food, and so on, it’s tough to rid them completely from our lives, but we can come relatively close.
A few steps to take:
Never carry or heat food in plastic, always use glass or metal.
Buy your produce from a farmer you know, a farmer’s market that actually doesn’t use pesticides, or buy organic. The problem, not all ‘organic’ is actually organic and devoid of chemical estrogens, and the fastest growing sector in organic produce is coming from the shady land of China. If you can grow your own, with good seeds, do it, otherwise, just do your best and don’t worry about this too much.
Buy good clothing that’s made out of cotton or real materials, not polyester (common in workout clothing).
Buy natural deodorant, shampoo, soap, and toothpaste. There are options for all of this very readily available today.
The more you can move away from the chemicals that we’ve adopted more and more, and from the radiation that’s a relatively new addition and coincides with this decline in testosterone we’re seeing across all ages in men in the West, especially, the greater chance you have to create the high testosterone levels you need to live at your best.
“Researchers – from Israel, the US, Denmark, Brazil and Spain – said total sperm count had fallen by 59.3 per cent between 1971 and 2011 in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Sperm concentration fell by 52.4 per cent.”
“Sperm count and other semen parameters have been plausibly associated with multiple environmental influences, including endocrine disrupting chemicals, pesticides, heat and lifestyle factors, including diet, stress, smoking and body-mass index… Therefore, sperm count may sensitively reflect the impacts of the modern environment on male health throughout the life course.”
Researchers all over the world are waking up to the fact that sperm count and testosterone levels are declining, yet they’re not fully certain as to what the cause of the decline is. It’s likely a number of factors.
That is, modern life is detrimental to male sperm counts. That is, modern society is detrimental to male sperm counts. Thus, men have to de-modernize, we have to do the non-modern.
What’s ‘modern’? Being surrounded by plastics and chemicals that lower our testosterone levels. Sitting inside all day. Watching TV. Worrying about things that don’t need to be worried about. Whining and complaining. Spending more time on our butt than on our feet. Spending more time inside, with central heating and the ease that is modern life.
The fall of manhood, this decline is sperm count, in testosterone, in the manly virtues that made western nations so great, so free for everyone, so powerful, and so opportunistic, are failing and falling because we’re living in a way that is not human.
Live Like a Man
To ask an alpha male chimpanzee to not aim to be the alpha is asking him to be something that is not in his nature. To live a sedated, easy life, is to ask men to do something that is not in their nature.
Being fat is not a natural state for a human, especially a human male. You just didn’t get fat 10,000 years ago. It was impossible. Other men wouldn’t go out and hunt so you could sit there gorging yourself. To eat, as a man, you had to hunt.
The chemicals, the pesticides, the cleaning products, the radiation, all of this goes against our nature. To not compete, to not adventure, to not dare, goes against the masculine soul, and our bodies, our societies suffer by us not living manfully.
So, get off your ass.
Lift heavy things, push your body.
Surround yourself with natural things as best you can.
Eat animals, lots of them. Saturated fats are vital for testosterone levels, as are the non-pesticide latent fruits, potatoes, and carbs that help you lower cortisol.
Let’s reclaim our manhood even while our modern society aims to crush it.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Forget about what typically comes up from Google searches about boosting testosterone naturally for men, or ‘how to boost testosterone‘, or ‘how to eat to boost testosterone‘, or even, ‘testosterone diet for men‘. Most of the content will focus on a gimmick, a quick fix, a pill, powder, or potion, that may temporarily improve your testosterone levels but won’t have the sustained, permanent effect on your testosterone levels that you want.
The goal should be to naturally increase testosterone forever, not for a minute or a moment. And if you’re going to produce high testosterone levels, it will start with your lifestyle, your training, and maybe even more importantly, with your diet.
In the Man Diet – my best-selling book that you can get a free copy of here – I go into greater detail about how to boost testosterone from a diet, training, and lifestyle perspective. You come out with a full plan that will help you create optimal testosterone levels. In this article, we’ll focus on diet, using me as an example, but also giving you all the resources you need to create a good meal plan that will help you increase your testosterone levels.
You have to eat foods that help with your testosterone levels, not foods that hurt them. There are a number of foods that increase estrogen that you just shouldn’t consume, things like flax and soy, mint, black licorice, alfalfa, and others. Foods that increase estrogen, just like plastics and toothpaste and deodorants and soaps, that contain chemicals that increase estrogen in men, should be avoided.
2. If you’re over 14% body fat, cut fat first.
This will mean cutting calories. It will also mean increasing your protein intake while you’re cutting fat. So why is cutting fat so important? Well, you quite literally cannot have thriving testosterone levels if you’re fat.
Estrogen hides in a man’s body fat and that’s where our bodies turn testosterone into estrogen (not something we want to do). That’s where our body converts testosterone to estrogen, a process we do not want to happen. So first and foremost, cut body fat.
3. Cycle your cut to avoid a cortisol increase.
It’s better to dramatically cut calories for a week or two, then get back to a maintenance, than to stay at a caloric deficit (where you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming). For a few reasons…
For one, by getting back to a maintenance every couple of weeks, you keep your metabolism healthy. Second, by getting to a caloric maintenance every couple of weeks, you avoid a cortisol rise that can occur with prolonged starvation – which is essentially what a caloric deficit is.
Cortisol is a real enemy of testosterone. We want to do everything we can to lower our cortisol levels and to keep them in check. Part of this is consuming the right amount of carbs (up to 45% of your calories should come from carbs – 35-45% range).
Finally, from a supplement aspect, there’s one primary thing you can do that’ll help, and that’s a supplement I created that’s a double-dose of Organic Ashwagandha (which has been shown to lower cortisol by 27%). This isn’t some magic, synthetic supplement. It’s just a herb that tastes horrible, so it’s not nice to eat, plus it’s hard to find.
4. Calculate your TDEE (Today Daily Energy Expenditure)
Your TDEE is your today daily energy expenditure. It’s not 100% exact, but it’s close. And what you’re after is close. If you’re not trying to cut fat, eat your TDEE. If you need to cut fat, eat about 500 calories less than your TDEE. This is the simple part because I have a calculator here for you to figure this stuff out. Just plug your info in and get the number below.
5. Find the Food.
The next part is finding the right food. We’ll use my day as an example day. I like starting light and ending heavy. I also workout in the morning, then have the shake. The end meal just knocks me out for sleep time, plus it gets the majority of the calories in there.
You won’t find ingredients that increase estrogen. You will find animals, fruits, and vegetables. When you first start a meal plan, make 1 or 2 days, then alternatives for each protein type and carb and fat. Keep it simple. As you get used to eating this way, you’ll be able to intuitively know how much to eat and it will get a lot easier.
At the begining, however, do the work.
My Meals Today
Goal: 2,900 calories
Goal Macros: 35% of calories from carbs, 35% of calories from fat, 30% of calories from protein.
Pineapple and oranges both block aromatase which is the precursor to estrogen.
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, water
Meal 2: Chicken Salad
1 Cup Chicken (shredded)
1 Cup Spinach
2 Medium Tomatoes
2 Cups Carrots
2 Stalks Celery (good for libido)
Add olive oil and mix.
Meal 3: Steak + Potatoes
Steak 12 ounces
1 Potato Baked
2 Large Hardboiled Eggs
Alternatives: Game meat (preferable), Brazil nuts.
Adding More Meals
Sometimes I’ll make it 3 meals and a shake, other times, just 2 meals and a shake. You can make your meal plan however you like it. But it’ll take time. That’s why I prefer to have two meals and a shake.
And that shake, sometimes I’ll train on an empty stomach, other times I’ll have half of the shake before the workout and half after.
The key components are your macros, understanding your TDEE (how much you energy you expend in a day), and your goal. Meal plans help because more often than not we don’t actually know what we should eat or how much we should eat.
As you can also see, creating a good meal plan that has the right foods (which you’ll learn after reading the Man Diet) takes time, and time is money. Though it is worth it, 100%, especially if you’re trying to cut fat, it takes a heck of a lot of time.
So, if you want to get the most from your training, your hormones, and if you want to visibly see results in the mirror, I can set you up with a custom meal plan that fits your schedule and your goals, just click here to learn more about how to work with me and my team to get a custom meal plan that you’ll actually stick to.
Quickly, I’m still working on the full nutrition article that’ll help you create your Man Diet Approved meal plan to cut fat, increase testosterone in men, and gain muscle, so I should have that for you by tomorrow.
Why is sleep important?
Every extra hour of sleep you get up until 8 hours helps you see a jump in testosterone of about 15%.
Think about that…
Your T levels will increase by 60% if you get 8 hours of sleep vs 4 hours of sleep.
Cortisol – along with estrogen – is one of the biggest obstacles you face in trying to create optimal testosterone levels. Sleep helps you dramatically lower your cortisol levels.
On top of that, we produce the vast majority of our testosterone levels when we sleep (primarily in REM sleep, or ‘deep sleep’).
So how do you get more REM sleep?
Well, I’m the perfect guy to write this email because for YEARS I suffered from insomnia. I’ve visited dozens of sleep doctors, tried nearly everything, and over the years I’ve created routines, habits, even diets that have helped me get great sleeps.
So, here’s what I’ve come up with thus far that has helped me sleep from years of research but also a ton of trial and error.
How to Get an EPIC Sleep (Routine)
1. Coffee in the morning.
Coffee is awesome, it helps with energy levels, clarity, and focus. It tastes great. 2 cups before a workout helps increase testosterone levels during said workout. It also increases cortisol levels, which isn’t bad while we work, and that helps us lower our cortisol levels later in the evening.
When your body works to lower your cortisol levels, it increases melatonin, which helps us sleep.
2. Morning workout.
A few studies have shown that training in the morning helps you sleep. So, I’ve been training in the morning for a while now, and it helps.
Compared to not-exercising at all, working out will help you sleep no matter when you do it, but the effect of a workout in the morning is greater than afternoon or evening.
3. Your last meal.
I consume a hefty amount of carbs in my last meal – which occurs at round 5 or 6. Carbs help lower cortisol levels, which helps us relax, be calm, and get sleepy. It isn’t immediate, but a few hours after that last meal I’m fading.
I take ZMA (zinc, magnesium) an hour before bed, along with ashwagandha.
It lowers cortisol by 27%, which is a lot. That final cortisol reduction really helps with sleep quantity and quantity, which is one of the main reasons why I created VIKING. I’m a fan of ashwagandha, and with VIKING we give you an overdose (which is good).
5. Brain dump/reflection.
At the end of every work day I reflect on the work done, set up the next day, write something I’m grateful for, and close the book on that work day.
If I don’t do this, my mind races, I don’t reflect on the day so I’m continually thinking about what I should’ve done or have to do tomorrow. This is vital.
Every evening (mostly every evening) I’ll throw on an episode of the Office or Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm, and laugh.
I love to laugh. I need it. Does it help me sleep? I think so. Watching the news has the opposite effect, and actually so does reading a good book.
At night, when we’re tired, we’re irrational. The logical part of our brain doesn’t work the same. So thinking about deep, important topics isn’t advised.
Laughing, again, lowers cortisol, which helps you relax, produce more melatonin, and sleep better.
Give that little list a shot.
The sleep QUALITY is important. Not just the quantity, so lowering your cortisol levels at night is vital.
Thoreau said, Most men lead a life of quiet desperation.
I remember when I was there. I was waking up every morning, eating horrible foods, working away at a job that I knew I had no future in.
I was wandering, lost, not in any way living a story worth reading.
Average is the enemy of every man on this planet, and it’s an enemy that almost none of us will defeat.
In fact, we’re actually becoming biologically more average than we’ve ever been. The average guy today has 20% less testosterone than a guy at his same age only a decade ago.
When I was wandering, I was a shell of what I could be and thank God I had the wherewithal to understand that my hormones could have something to do with this steady state of quiet desperation.
Testosterone is much more than just a fat loss or muscle building hormone, it’s at the core of what makes you a man.
You get a surge in testosterone when you compete, another when you win, another when you make a bunch of money.
Testosterone acts like a hormonal reward system, rewarding the winners and punishing the losers.
To be the man you first have to act like the man, and your hormones will reward you for doing so.
Stay soft and sedated, and you’ll experience atrophy, regression, you’ll become something, someone smaller and more insignificant than you were created to become.
Act ambitiously, audaciously, and you’ll grow and evolve.
When I was in this state of average I found out that my hormones were low, that I was in the low end for my age, and while I was told I can take shots, I instead sought ways to force my body into creating more of this powerful hormone by changing how I acted, what I ate, and even how I trained.
While the vast majority of literature I read pushed a pill, potion, or powder, I saw the truth, that the optimal diet for testosterone is simple…
2 meals and a shake. One carbs meal, one fats meal, both meals contain protein.
I saw that men actually need a balanced diet, as carbs help lower cortisol and fats help us produce testosterone, and protein helps us maintain low body fat.
I saw that how I was living was ‘low T’ in itself.
I had finished boxing, so I was no longer competing. I was working a job that really didn’t push me. For the first time I lost the ambition that I’d had my entire life.
So, I changed what I could control.
I fixed my diet. Focused on strength training. And I started acting as the guy I wanted to become.
I started a business that helped other guys fix their training and nutrition and lifestyle issues as well.
My ‘turn’ wasn’t found in a program, but in research, in trial and error, and now, in the Man Diet.
Too many men are living lives of quiet desperation.
They’re living beneath what they’re capable of and this massive decline in testosterone is being almost entirely overlooked by the mainstream.
Certain things act as a foundation from which we can build upon and propell from, being a healthy, optimal ELITE man with ELITE testosterone levels is one of them.
We’ll cover other methods and ways to escape average in the coming weeks, but if you haven’t yet, ensure that you get your free copy of the Man Diet here.
A lot has been discussed about testosterone’s ability to induce fat-loss, enhance muscle growth, and increase libido. That’s all good and well, but testosterone’s true impact extends far beyond just these three areas. As a man, your testosterone levels are a major driving force in your overall health, energy, and well-being. In this article, I’ll go over the importance of this hormone and how it impacts various aspects of your mind, body, and behavior.
Testosterone Improves Cognitive Function
Elderly men (over the age of 50) screened for subjective memory complaints and low testosterone levels were brought into a lab and assessed for various measures of cognitive functioning. After baseline measurements were established, participants were given varying doses of testosterone treatment. The experiment lasted 52-weeks, after which participants across the board showed significant improvements in general cognitive functioning. Similar results were found in another study, in which 8-weeks of testosterone treatment significantly improved verbal fluency in healthy men.
How testosterone impacts the brain is not exactly understood, but researchers theorize that T plays a role in preventing brain tissue decay. This might explain why men with low testosterone have an increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
In a study of 108 elderly men (over the age of 65), participants were randomly assigned to wear either a testosterone patch or a placebo patch for 36 months. Bone mineral density measurements were recorded before and after the 36-month period. At the end of the experiment, researchers found that the lower the pretreatment testosterone level of the subject, the greater the effect that testosterone treatment had on increasing the bone mineral density of their lumbar spine.
In another study, 609 men (over the age of 60) were observed over a period of 16 years. Bone mineral density and lifestyle factors were assessed at baseline and testosterone levels were also taken into account. After analyzing the data and adjusting for factors such as age, weight, fracture history, smoking status, and calcium intake, researchers found serum testosterone to be independently associated with the risk of osteoporotic fracture.
The strength of your bones is directly correlated to the amount of testosterone running through your veins. To minimize your chances of developing osteoporosis and other bone complications, it is essential that you develop the habits to help maintain optimal levels of testosterone.
Testosterone Maintains Heart Health
Testosterone’s primary function is the strengthening of your body’s muscles, and no muscle is more important than your heart.
In an examination of 83,010 elderly men with documented low testosterone levels, researchers observed how testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) impacted the subjects’ cardiovascular health. After analyzing the data, researchers found that the normalization of the subjects’ T-levels after TRT led to a significant reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Similar results were reported in another follow-up study of 11,606 men, in which low testosterone was noted as a possible predictive marker of cardiovascular disease.
When compared to men with normal testosterone levels, men with low T tend to have significantly higher body mass index, systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar. All of these factors affect cardiovascular health negatively.
One of the mechanisms through which testosterone improves heart health is by stimulating red blood cell production. Hemoglobin is a compound present within red blood cells that carries oxygen. By increasing red blood cell production, testosterone allows for a more effective transport of oxygen throughout the body.
Testosterone Fuels Your Competitive Drive
In a study of 64 men, each subjects’ T-level was assessed before and after a rigged one-on-one competition. After the first round of competition, participants chose whether or not they wanted to compete again. Researchers found that fluctuations in T-levels independently predicted whether or not subjects would choose to compete again. The losers who experienced a spike in T were more likely to choose to compete again compared to the losers who experienced a drop in T.
In another study, university tennis players were assessed for their testosterone measurements across six matches during their varsity season. Researchers found that T-levels rose just before matches and that the players with the highest pre-match T reported the most positive improvement in mood. After playing the matches, T-levels in the winners were higher compared to the T-levels in the losers. The winners also experienced higher T before their next match compared to the losers who had lower T before their next match.
Competition is a fundamental aspect of our nature as men, and research confirms that testosterone factors in to affect this trait. That being said, this relationship could just as easily be affected in reverse. For example, a mindset centered on performing well could also boost T, which would then further fuel your competitive drive.
Testosterone Makes You Attractive
76 men were brought into a lab in pairs and instructed to compete for the attention of an attractive female. Researchers found that the subjects’ pre-competition testosterone levels were positively associated with their expressions of dominant behavior and with how much the woman indicated that she “clicked” with each participant. The conclusion of the study was that testosterone plays a major role in regulating the behaviors that enhance mating success.
In another study, researchers investigated the relationship between circulating testosterone and both masculinity and attractiveness of facial appearance. What they found was that, across the board, composites from high-testosterone men were judged to be more masculine and more attractive than those from low T men.
Testosterone Improves Your Mood
In a meta-analysis of 16 human trials with a total of 944 subjects, researchers observed a significant positive impact of testosterone treatment on mood. This finding is further exemplified by the results from another study, in which 6-months of testosterone treatment helped 19 out of 30 men overcome depression.
In yet another study, 3987 men were assessed for depressive symptoms, of which 203 were diagnosed with depression. When analyzing the data, researchers found that the participants with depression also had significantly lower testosterone levels than the non-depressed men. They concluded that men with testosterone levels in the lowest quintile have the highest prevalence of depression.
Irritability, anger, uncertainty, and aggression are all emotions that tie back to mood. If you’ve been experiencing these emotions more frequently as of recent, it’s likely that low testosterone is a contributing cause. Taking the steps to increase your T can definitely help overcome these emotions and allow you to feel more relaxed and at ease.
Testosterone Increases Your Appetite For Risk
In an interesting study of male financial traders, researchers found that a trader’s morning level of testosterone was predictive of his day’s profitability. The traders willing to incur the most risk also set themselves up with a higher chance of scoring big. Similar results were found in another study, in which both men and women with high testosterone consistently showed a willingness to incur greater financial risk while gambling than their lower testosterone counterparts. And if that wasn’t enough, MBA students with the highest testosterone levels were more likely to choose the riskiest careers in finance.
By definition, risk is associated with potential downside. That being said, risk is definitely something you have to indulge in in order to rise above your current circumstances. As the saying goes “high risk equals high reward”. Don’t look at risk as something good or bad but just know that, without it, growth cannot occur.
Testosterone Helps You Live Longer
794 men (aged 50-91) were followed up with over a period of 11.8-years. During the follow-up, 548 deaths occurred. When observing the data, researchers found that the men with total testosterone levels in the lowest quartile were 40% more likely to die than those with higher levels. This relationship held true even after adjusting for factors such as age, body fat, and lifestyle.
The research is very clear on this:
Low testosterone levels are independently associated with an increased mortality rate in elderly men.
Of course, it’s not only about living longer. Quality of life is equally important. And given the benefits listed above, testosterone helps in that regard as well.
Testosterone is the biological cause of masculinity. Everything that you would consider “manly” (deep voice, broad shoulders, facial hair, etc.) can be traced back to the amount of testosterone running through one’s veins. That being said, the influence of this hormone is far wider than just controlling these characteristics. The strength of your bones, the health of your heart, and the function of your brain are all aspects on which testosterone exerts a major influence.
By developing the lifestyle habits that align with the maintenance of optimal T, you will ensure that your mind and body are functioning near peak potential. By maintaining these habits over the long-term, you will sustain your youth and virility well into old age.
About the Author
Mo Saleem is an independent men’s health researcher and founder of TripleYourT.com. His mission is to empower men with the evidence-based action steps to help optimize their testosterone levels so that they can actualize their potential.
Work. Eat. Sleep. Football on Sundays and maybe a hike or two a month. You relax with a stogie and a book and the nervous butterflies that paralyzed you the first time you laid eyes on your then future wife, or the first time you visited a strange land where they spoke a different language and the fear of the unknown wasn’t a deterrent but a challenge, are gone.
Work becomes an excuse not to do things, to not dare mightily even when the best things you’ve done in your life were the most exciting things you’ve done in your life.
We worry about the safety of our family. We worry about being able to give them the life we didn’t have. We worry about every little thing in life and we completely stop living dangerously, but it’s this risk, this danger, this thirst for competition that both makes us feel alive and fills our bodies with the most important hormone we have access to.
Just because you have more responsibility, does not mean you have to be comfortable in how you live because there’s so many other things that make you nervous, that worry you.
Your family, your lady, and you need you to live dangerously, to aim audaciously in what you pursue, and to experience the invigorating experiences that you embarked on when you had fewer responsibilities.
Last year at about this time I was on a flight, on my way to hunt in Africa. On that trip I played with lions, stalked warthogs, and chased (but didn’t kill) giraffes.
Before that I explored Argentina and Uruguay, Italy and Scotland, where spontaneity was a daily habit, and discipline allowed me to win in work while I was winning at life.
Recently, I’ve settled into certain realities that don’t have to be so.
While routine and habit are important, if you’re focused on one thing at a time, and you work on the right things, you can do your work and experience a great, adventurous life as well.
Just because you’re ambitious in your work and you want to be a good husband or boyfriend or father, does not mean that your ambitions in other areas of life, with experiences and journeys and adventures, should cease.
If you want to increase your testosterone levels with your mind, you have to do it with your attitude and actions.
Testosterone is your ‘mojo’, and that’s something you should never relinquish, whether you’re married or a father, old or young. You need to be a man, and to be good at being a man.
When you die you’re going to regret the things you did but the things you didn’t do, especially if they’re things you didn’t do enough.
Living an adventurous life isn’t just about boosting testosterone, though that’s an effect of living in such a way. Living a daring life is living, in its truest sense. It’s feeling life, exhilaration and excitement.
The stats on the decline of testosterone in men as they marry and have kids doesn’t have to be your story. Stay vigilant. Stay hungry. Dare mighty things.
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.
We get surges of testosterone when we compete and when we win. It acts as a reward system for victory. It helps our sexual health. It helps us ward off depression. It helps us with energy levels and our ability to recover.
It’s the most important thing in your body, and it’s on the decline in men across all ages.
Men Need Testosterone To THRIVE
You’re not here to exist. You’re here to thrive.
You want to conquer, to embark on adventures, to create a legacy. Well, testosterone is a massive ally in this quest.
It helps you thrive physically and mentally and keeping (or getting) your T levels optimal, takes strategy.
Below are 3 tricks you can use to create optimal T levels.
They’ll help with certain things that can inhibit your testosterone levels, but to create THRIVING testosterone levels, no matter your age, you should check out the Testosterone Routineto ensure you have no gaps in your diet, routine, or how you’re living.
3 Tricks to Boost Testosterone
1. Combat estrogen by taking zinc.
Testosterone has two primary enemies. One is the female dominant sex hormone, estrogen. The other is the stress hormone, cortisol.
Estrogen is all around us, like never before actually. You can find chemical estrogens in your shampoo, your soap, deodorant, and even the plastics they use to create the water bottles, and the water itself.
Zinc blocks aromatase, which is a precursor to estrogen.
Take 25 mg per day, but check your zinc levels. Some guys need to take as much as 50 mg or more, so it all depends on what you need.
2. Combat estrogen by losing body fat.
You may not want to hear this, but body fat is even horrible for your hormones.
In fact, body fat is every estrogenic. Meaning that guys with high body fat percentages are far more likely to have low testosterone levels.
If you’re carrying 15% or more of body fat, get working on it!
Find a strength program that will help you build lean, anabolic muscle, which will help you boost your metabolism.
Then find the right diet that will give you enough dietary fat so you can CREATE testosterone (testosterone comes from cholesterol), but also enough carbs that you can maintain and gain muscle, but also lower your cortisol levels by periodically boosting your insulin levels.
3. Increase your free T levels by taking vitamin D (and getting outside more).
So, testosterone may not actually matter.
Well, that’s not true. It’s just that free testosterone seems to be much more important than the form of the hormone that’s bound to a protein as it’s ‘free’ to move around the body and repair tissue.
Taking up to 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D a day (and/or getting outside and in the sun more often) helps you increase your Free Testosterone ratio, while also improving your mood.
Take Testosterone Seriously
It’s enraging how little we’re studying the causes of this decline in testosterone in men.
It’s an epidemic. It’s degrading the quality of our lives and the men we produce, and the men we’re able to become.
Don’t be ignorant of both the role that testosterone plays in your life and how you can optimize this powerful hormone naturally through simple lifestyle and diet changes.
Be a man of action, and just be a damn man.
Get after it.
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.