If you’re a male bodybuilder, weightlifter, or any kind of gym-goer trying to pack on muscle, you may be aware of the importance of your testosterone levels!
In order to maximize muscle growth from your hard efforts at the gym, you must consider the lifestyle and nutritional habits you need to adopt to be able to maintain healthy levels, as well as naturally boost them.
This article outlines the many ways in which you can naturally boost your testosterone levels, spotting the signs of low testosterone levels, and whether supplementation can help!
Firstly, a quick look at what testosterone is and why it’s important to maintain healthy levels.
Testosterone: A Brief Overview
Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testes in men and is the hormone connected to sexual development, muscle building, fat loss, some aspects of cognition, and hair loss.1
Total testosterone can be divided into three categories:
- Tightly bound testosterone: About two-thirds of the testosterone in your blood is bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and is not readily available for use.
- Loosely bound testosterone: About one-third of the testosterone in your blood is weakly bound to albumin, and once the bond is broken it then circulates in your body as free testosterone.
- Free testosterone: A small percentage of blood testosterone circulates freely around the body, and the body can readily use it, or it can be converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a potent androgen.1
Your loosely bound and free testosterone make up your bioavailable testosterone, which is what has the biggest health impacts as opposed to total testosterone.
It’s important for overall health and wellbeing that your testosterone levels are maintained within a healthy range. Poor sleep, lack of quality nutritional intake, a sedentary lifestyle, and weight management issues can all have a negative impact on your testosterone levels.
Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms and health risks of low testosterone!
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
While symptoms of low testosterone can look different for every individual, some of the more common symptoms of abnormally low T levels in men can result in symptoms such as:
- Delayed puberty
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair loss
- Increased body fat
- Fertility issues
- Loss of muscle mass
- Low libido
- Low sperm count
There are many potential reasons for abnormally low testosterone levels such as medication, medical conditions, and age, which are typically more difficult to avoid and require specific medical attention.1
However, there are plenty of nutrition and lifestyle factors that can also be addressed to ensure your testosterone levels are maintained within a healthy range, and as a result may naturally increase levels.
How to Naturally Boost Your Testosterone
Maintaining a Balanced Diet
Vitamin D, Zinc, and Magnesium are the key nutrients needed for supporting healthy testosterone levels. It’s important to get enough of these in your diet, through foods such as:
- Oily fish
- Egg yolks
- Red meat
- Nuts and seeds
- Leafy greens
Supplementing these nutrients may be necessary if your nutrient intake is inadequate or if you follow a diet that typically lacks some of these foods, such as veganism.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can significantly decrease testosterone production, thus facilitating fat gain.1
It’s important to adopt the basic sleep hygiene principles in order to maximize your testosterone production, some examples include:
- Sleeping at least 7-8 hours per night
- Having a consistent sleep routine
- Ceasing caffeine intake after 2-3pm
- Ensuring your room is cool and dark, enabling you to fall asleep quicker
- Limiting screen time in the evenings, as blue light can disrupt your melatonin production
Monitoring Your Weight
If the two above points are dialled in, it would be a lot easier to manage your weight.
Chronic diseases associated with fat gain are strongly linked to decreased testosterone levels, particularly in middle-aged and older men.1
If you are currently attempting to lose fat, rest assured, even the smallest amount of fat loss can boost your testosterone levels.
Maintain a healthy, balanced diet alongside plenty of daily physical activity, either in the form of exercise or general day-to-day movement.
Even a half hour weight training session can boost your testosterone levels!1
A consistent weight training program will complement the above points, ensuring you maintain an active and healthy lifestyle which promotes increased testosterone levels.
Be sure to avoid over-training though, as this can have the opposite effect, so train smart as opposed to hard!
Managing Your Stress
Chronic stress can lead to many issues in the body, including decreasing testosterone levels.
Ensure you are effectively managing your stress levels, whether that be through meditation, getting more sleep, exercising, or finding other ways to wind down.
Supplementation may be helpful in some scenarios, particularly if you want to increase your testosterone from a performance perspective.
While you can choose to supplement with the key nutrients needed for testosterone production (zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D), you could also consider a T booster.
There are many T boosters on the market which are ineffective and a waste of money. However, choosing a T booster which is backed by research and can naturally and safety increase testosterone levels is your best bet.
For example, Testo Lab Pro includes those key nutrients (zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D), combined with ingredients such as ashwagandha, which support all-round testosterone production and male health.
Testosterone is a hormone produced men’s testes and is responsible for sexual development, muscle building, fat loss, hair loss, and some aspects of cognition.
If you want to optimize your gains in the gym, it’s key to consider your testosterone levels, and your nutrition and lifestyle factors, which can potentially have a negative impact if they are neglected.
Signs of abnormally low testosterone levels include hair loss, delayed puberty, erectile dysfunction, and loss of muscle mass.
There are many ways to boost your testosterone levels naturally, such as maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough sleep, managing your weight, and potentially considering a supplement.
Testo Lab Pro is one of the best natural T boosters on the market, which includes all the essential nutrients you need to maintain healthy levels of T, as well as boost them, thus improving your performance in the gym!
- Hull. M. Testosterone. Examine.com. 2020.