How To Naturally Boost Your Testosterone
For many of us, performance is the most important aspect of training in the gym each day. Although some of us may have goals of losing weight, the glory of achieving rock hard abs and a chest of steel outweighs the benefits of cutting down five pounds.
Whatever your goal, there is one factor that plays a crucial importance when you are trianing day in and day out - but some some reason, it's largely avoided.
What are we referring to? Testosterone, of course.
The lifeblood of a man - there is no single ingredient to your workout program that requires more attention than this. To put it plainly, if your testosterone is not in check you will struggle to perform, sustain new high-performance results and recover effectively.
What is Testosterone
Testosterone is a natural hormone that we all have - men in larger amounts. At its bare essentials, testosterone is a steroid hormone that stimulates development of male secondary sexual characteristics, produced mainly in the testes - in other words, it's the stuff that makes a man, a man.
Think back to your teenage years, hair started growing in places that may have shocked you, your voice became deeper, and you started to grow taller and stronger - this is testosterone at work, with the combination of growth hormone.
Testosterone works like any other stimulatory steroid hormone - it raises and lowers depending on the response from your body.
In your younger years your body is trying to grow, and the combination of very high testosterone levels and growth hormone help to enable growth.
Trouble is, as we age, our need for growth decreases - and so does testosterone.
To a certain extent, many men after the age of about 25 will start to experience a loss in testosterone levels.
Without a happy balance of testosterone and stimulation of muscle you will struggle to find success - especially in strength training and fat loss.
Understanding that testosterone works on a fluctuating line of higher/lower levels you can see that balance is the most important thing to keep in mind. Testosterone levels that are too low have been shown to decrease mental clarity, increase fat storage and decrease muscle mass. In contrast, testosterone levels that are too high have been shown to set of symptoms of depression, insomnia - and in some cases, even cancer in the testes.
The solution can be relatively simple - but we must start by understanding how testosterone influences training and performance.
How Testosterone Influences Training And Performance
We know that testosterone is a natural hormone that works to balance the very traits that make a man, a man - but just how much of an effect could this hormone have on aspects of the gym?
Perhaps the most common reason we go to the gym is for pure strength training. There is truly nothing better than growing stronger and stronger, week in and week out.
Unfortunately, low testosterone levels could put a major damper on your results.
The problem arises when you train for hypertrophy - that is, the increase in muscle cell size. The best method for this is to train through high weight, low reps. Researchers wanted to see if testosterone would have any effect on the stimulation of hypertrophy during training sessions.
Results indicate that irrespective of the amount of resistance and variable training method used, patients who had lower testosterone levels were unable to effectively stimulate hypertrophy.
What does this mean?
You can train your butt off, but if your testosterone levels are too low you will struggle to stimulate little to any growth in muscle tissue size and strength.
What about fat loss? Surely low testosterone will not have as massive of an effect on fat loss. Truth be told, low testosterone is almost identically tied to an increase in fat stores.
It seems that testosterone secretion has an added benefit to decrease the amount of stored fat in your body. This is the basic premise behind a fatty diet - especially in omega fatty acids - as they serve as a transport of testosterone.
When it comes to fat loss, users who have low testosterone are more prone to holding onto fat stores. In contrast, men and women who have adequate testosterone levels will show much lower testosterone levels.
Some studies have even shown that a nutrition plan that stimulated an increase in testosterone could induce a loss of total fat and visceral fat mass, and preserved lean mass.
The importance of regulating your testosterone levels takes a huge priority when you are addressing the overall effects of your strength training and weight loss plan.
Without adequate test levels you will not only struggle to perform at a high level, but even when you train hard you may not see the results you are looking for.
Fat stores could accumulate, and even with the best strength training plan you will be unable to effectively increase muscle size and strength.
This isn't all bad news - after all, learning is what we're all after. You can naturally stimulate an increase in testosterone through daily activities, changes in your diet and even some forms of exercise.
How To Boost Testosterone
Before we get into various ways to naturally boost testosterone, be sure you have this basic checklist covered.
Sleep more than 7 hours/night
Sleep is an essential component of natural stimulation of free testosterone. Free testosterone is secreted during REM cycles - without adequate sleep you will not see optimal testosterone secretion.
Exercise for 30-60 min daily
This does not have to be intense workouts - even going for a walk and being active can help to naturally increase testosterone production.
Avoid processed foods
Processed foods can be one of the biggest restrictors for blood flow and in turn, transport of testosterone - avoiding processed foods is a must for regulation of testosterone.
Moderate Intake of Fat
Many of us view fat as a unhealthy source of nutrients - when in reality we need to always seek balance in the food we are eating. Consuming 15-25% of your intake of calories from fat is perfect for adequate testosterone
Natural Methods To Increase Testosterone
There are many ways we can naturally boost testosterone. Let's take a look at some of the best methods.
Above all other methods of training, HIIT workouts have been shown to stimulate the greatest benefits in natural testosterone levels. It seems that the variable tempo of intensity of training helps to improve metabolic function which can lead to a greater regulation of testosterone.
This is easier said than done, but any method you can take to reduce the amount of stress you have in your life can help contribute to better blood flow, less cholesterol and a more abundant source of testosterone.
Limit Sugar Intake
Sugar tastes great, and we do need a minimal amount in our diet for daily energy - but the amount that modern americans consume is excessive. This excessive amount of sugar can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and has been shown to limit testosterone production.
Try Fasting Cycles
Fasting is one of the most effective methods for naturally increasing testosterone. The human species was not built to constantly eat food - and although this can increase your performance in the gym, you should take note that fasting, with a diet higher in fat has been an effective method to increase low testosterone levels.
The last and most effective way to stimulate testosterone production is with ingredients that help to either directly stimulate greater test production - or a regulation of testosterone. Here are the best supplements you can take to boost testosterone. It’s important to speak with a doctor to understand your testosterone levels before taking any supplements.
One of the best supplements that you can take to naturally boost testosterone. Not only has zinc been shown to elevate testosterone levels, but research has shown that over 45% of users who experience low testosterone levels also have corresponding low zinc levels.
A natural amino acid that comes packed with many high-protein yielding food, supplement in a dosage of 1600-2000 mg has been shown to put a short-term increase in natural testosterone levels.
An age old method for increasing fertility and corresponding testosterone levels in men - tribulus terrestris has been shown to increase the potential not only for strength, but also the male arousal for sexual desire.
Many test boosters work to only stimulate testosterone and do not focus on the production of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) - an estrogenic compound that can lead to gynecomastia. Fenugreek is not necessarily a test booster, but it does work in conjunction with other test boosters to limit and block the production of DHT.
Testosterone - The Lifeblood of Performance
There is a reason than many elite level athletes who have been banned from competition were caught injecting steroid testosterone - it has a massive effect on overall performance.
All of these natural methods will help you to achieve greater body composition and performance without any of the nasty side effects of traditional steroids.
For best results, go see your doctor - they can give you some simple blood tests to see exactly what will work best for you.