Let’s face it, the million dollar question related to men’s primary hormone has always been: what is the best method to boost testosterone? I’m sure this enigmatic question bothers you as well and that’s why I did my fair share and research to provide you with the one million dollar answer!
The best way to increase your own testosterone production naturally is by getting enough sleep (7 hours at least), reducing stress, eliminating bad habits (e.g. alcohol) and weightlifting/working out. And no, using anabolic steroids to achieve that can’t and shouldn’t be considered the “best” method for ramping up your T levels.
But even if you make the needed habitual lifestyle, nutrition and activity changes, don’t expect to have the combined testosterone levels of both Arnold and Sly in their prime! While steroids will always be more effective, the potential risks mean that there are more cons than pros when it comes to using such banned substances.
What Is The SINGLE Best Thing For Increasing Testosterone?
It’s hard to pinpoint only a single method for raising your masculinity, but for the most part, your best bet would be to exercise (weightlift). That still doesn’t mean that you should neglect your sleep or nutrition, but in my opinion, while there are definitely certain aspects that simply work in terms of optimizing your testosterone, but you have to remember that:
Different techniques such as adjusting your level of physical activity or nutrition ARE indeed the way to go when it comes to strengthening your virility without harmful substances. Obviously, that means excluding things like synthetic testosterone or other crap of this sort!
Unless you have a particular disease or condition that’s hindering your body’s ability to produce T on its own, then you’re fully in control of your manliness – you just need the right tools to maximize it!
How Does Lifestyle Affect Your T Levels?
How you live and what you do with your body (or what you don’t do) are all taken into consideration when looking to increase your primary male hormone. If you don’t change your car’s oil it’ll be toast – same goes for your body. We’re constantly bombarded with negative aspects that ruin our manhood so it’s time to act!
In the coming paragraphs, you will join me as we venture into the depths of factors such as sleep, stress and bad habits. And while every single human being (including ladies) is affected by stress, we also have to deal with our nasty habits, as well as not getting enough quality sleep due to the hectic lifestyle of modern people.
Stress = More Cortisol = Less Testosterone
Stress is part of our daily lives and we can’t escape it. I mean, even if you are a hermit and you live in a remote area far from big city life, chances are you’ll still be stressed out, one way or another!
It’s simple, stress is everywhere! And stress can literally DESTROY your testosterone – here’s how:
- Increased stress levels mean more cortisol
- Cortisol and testosterone hate each other
- When cortisol levels are elevated, testosterone tends to plummet
- More stress leads to eating more and gaining weight (fat) as a result
- Stress means more visceral fat (fat around your organs)
Quite obviously, stress can screw you up big time. Academic work claims that prolonged stress raises cortisol levels in your bloodstream (1). To make matters even worse, clinical trials show that as cortisol values climb, testosterone levels decrease (2)!
Oh, and did I already mention the connection between stress (and the related cortisol spike) and getting more fat? Studies are conclusive on this subject – stress can mess up with your appetite and eventually even lead to obesity (3).
But there’s more it since the aromatase enzyme becomes MORE active when you carry more excess weight to your frame. That’s bad news for your T due to the fact that aromatase converts testosterone into estrogen, the female hormone!
Sleep (or lack of) has a direct impact on your T levels
There’s no way that ANYONE could possibly downgrade the sheer importance of sleep. Actually, I’m rather sleepy as I’m writing this since it’s getting rather late and I can already feel how my masculinity is fading away… maybe not literally, but you get my point!
Sleep is vital for EVERY single function in your body (not only testosterone production), so give it the respect it deserves!
Messing up your sleep patterns means that your entire endocrine system takes a huge blow as relevant studies suggest (4). Nonetheless, here’s how sleep can determine whether you’re a MANLY man or not:
- Not enough sleep results in less overall T – a study from 2011 concluded that sleeping for only 5 hours per night results in less testosterone and more cortisol (5)!
- More sleep equals more androgen-friendly environment in your system – around one more hour more sleep on average has been proven to have testosterone-friendly effects (6).
- Sleeping for only as four hours per night is catastrophic for your masculinity, as researchers have found (7).
It’s crystal clear that if we neglect this crucial element of our lifestyles, we’ll have to deal with the consequences. Neglecting the quality of your sleep would eventually have a negative impact on your entire endocrine system, including our beloved primary male hormone.
Bad habits like drinking will lower your T
I’ve already partially covered the ‘bad habits’ subject in my article about naturally increasing testosterone and the time has come to talk about them once again! Don’t worry, we all have our fair share of vices, but what truly matters is how we deal with them.
Talking about bad habits, these include:
- Opioid abuse (drug addiction)
- Eating the wrong foods
- Overeating and being fat as a result
- Disrupted sleep patterns (we covered this one already)
There’s no point of even starting a debate about whether or not alcohol can screw your T production up. Loads of academic data is available on the internet and scientists all agree that alcohol-related intoxication decrease T levels (8).
Opioids (drugs), on the other hand, do a lot of damage to your manhood as well. Studies show alarming results that point to the development of opioid-associated androgen deficiency (OPIAD) (9). That means that your body produces fewer sex hormones or in other words, your testicles will release less T!
As for nutritional habits and overeating (being fat as a result), foods that lower your virility should be avoided at all costs. And again, being obese would mean that more of your T transforms into estrogen, because of the extra activity of the aromatase enzyme, essentially feminizing you.
Now the vast majority of you are now probably wondering…
How Do You Repair All The Damage Done By Your Bad Habits?
To put it simply – by doing the exact opposite. Getting more quality sleep, reducing stress and waving goodbye to alcohol consumption are the missing pieces of your ‘optimal testosterone levels’ puzzle!
So, to help with our natural T optimization, the following parts HAVE got to be adjusted accordingly:
- Sleep – More of it basically. Treating yourself with enough rest (and at the right times of course) is one of the BEST things for your masculinity. Researchers support such claims, as they point out to the fact that sleep should be utilized at night – preferably your head should hit the pillow at around 10 pm (9). And remember – 7 hours of sleep are the bare MINIMUM to ensure that you’re male hormones are working optimally.
- Stress – Aim to reduce your stress levels because there’s no good stress. Sign up for a cooking class, enter a marathon, get yourself a gym membership, cast your burden on the Lord and he will relieve you of your stress and anxiety etc., just try to relax more by doing something you really enjoy.
- Bad habits – Alcohol is bad for your T and so are drugs. Also, don’t forget about the nasty temptation of fast (junk) food – this is one of the worst habits that will not only lead to you becoming a walking sphere of fat, but you’ll have the T levels of a 10-year-old girl too.
Lifting Heavy Weights Will Make You Manlier!
Picking up heavy objects from the ground has been one of the primary activities of us men since ancient times. Think about the mighty Spartans for a second. Did they watch feminizing TV shows while slouching on the couch? NO, they were active all the time.
Guys nowadays are the exact opposite although we require physical activity for our bodies to function properly! Working in a 9 to 5 setting daily ain’t doing you any good, especially when you’re concerned with your male hormone utilization. In case you’re wondering what to do about it, here’s the solution – get into weightlifting!
- Start hitting the gym on a regular basis – For a beginning, training 3x week is ideal.
- Don’t spend too much time training – Work put for a maximum of 60 minutes, with decent intensity and shorter rest periods.
- Go for heavy compound movements – Squats, deadlifts, bench presses, pull ups, dips etc. these big boys provide the greatest hormonal response.
- Utilize progressive overload – Aim to either increase the number of repetitions you do for a single movement or the amount of weight you’re lifting. If not every single workout, then try to do that at least every other workout.
- Don’t pick a weight that’s too heavy for you – It’s not worth risking injury just to show-off. Progress might come slowly, but it’ll be well worth it.
Clearly, there’s no need to be Mr. Olympia (they’re all steroid freaks anyway) in order to train effectively. The point is that the undeniable facts backed by science show that strength training can most definitely help by delivering a natural boost steroid hormone production (i.e. testosterone) (10). Even more astonishingly, researchers claim that even workouts with moderate volume provide a boost in serum testosterone values (11).
Don’t take this as an excuse to do half-assed workouts – it’s just to show you that you don’t need to bench 100 kilograms (around 220lbs) for 20 reps in order to spike your masculinity. Strength training stimulates your endocrine system more than enough, so just get your rear end to the closest gym!
The added bonus of burning more calories both during a workout and as an after-effect is another cool perk related to weightlifting. Speaking of cool perks, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a very popular trend these days, mainly because it’s awesome and it works.
Intermittent fasting for men is especially effective since HIIT has been scientifically validated to be spot on for increasing free testosterone in men (12). It’s obviously more advanced in its effectiveness when compared to steady-pace cardio for example. Don’t be shy to give it a try – you’ll be burning calories and fat for hours, even after you’ve finished your gym session!
It’s basically shifting from maximum to lower intensity (hence the name). Say you’re busting your butt for 1 minute, then you slow down for 30 seconds and repeat the process few more times (or until your basically dead). You can use it for weight lifting too – just reduce the amount of time you’re resting for between sets (or simply remove rest periods) and you’ll rev up your fat burning engine.
How Nutrition Impacts Your Hormonal Profile
You are what you eat, right? Well, there’s an undeniable connection between testosterone and food. To sum it up, this is how nutrition affects your primary male hormone:
- Fats like monounsaturated fats are GREAT for your testosterone
- Fasting e.g. intermittent fasting is also GREAT for your T
- Junk food is not GREAT for your manliness
Time to rev up the engine and break down these three into something more specific and science-backed.
No, don’t be one of the many people that instantly deem fats as AWFUL! There are good and bad fatty acids – keep that in mind. When you deliberately shorten your intake of healthy fats, your sex hormones take a plunge (into the deep), this, of course, includes free and total testosterone and academic works supports this (13).
Saturated fats found in coconut oil (coconut oil has many benefits for men) are for an example superb for testosterone production. Monounsaturated fats are another example of awesome fatty acids that happen to be really T-friendly. Olive oil is packed with them and that’s why it’s one of the top testosterone boosting foods, period!
Either way, trans fats are the worst of the worst when it comes to fats. By all means, please DO try to avoid these when you see them on any nutritional label – fast food is jam-packed with this particular kind of fatty acids! Polyunsaturated fatty-acids like margarine are another type of fats to avoid.
If done right, deliberately putting yourself into starvation mode for a certain time period, does result in a positive enhancement for your androgens! IF or Intermittent fasting is something that I’ve tried myself (and loved it), mainly because of how straightforward it is – the fact that it’s clear of unneeded bells and whistles helps a lot too!
Intermittent fasting is a trendy fasting protocol puts you in a fasted state for say 16 hours, while you feed yourself with all the needed calories in the remaining 8 hours. Sounds simple? You bet! Let me show you why this is so brilliant folks:
- IF has been scientifically shown to up the T levels by a whopping 180% in test subjects (14).
- Another study done by US researchers came to the conclusion that 24 hours of fasting leads to a 2000% increase in human growth hormone (15).
Next time someone starts an argument with you on whether or not periodical fasting is good – give them a SOUND slap on their face! Fasting works and it’s super T-friendly as well.
Now, the drums of war start echoing as we approach the dreaded fast (junk) nutrition…
A brutal cliche would sound like – ‘fast food is bad for your health’. But, if that’s the harsh truth, how could I argue? All that nasty old grease that they use for preparing those burgers, the nasty meat filled with antibiotics and the kryptonite fries (i.e. french fries), are anything but good, for your body.
Such crap ends up messing with your endocrine system in a nasty manner and as a “bonus”, you’ll become a fat boy with a quadruple chin! I’ve already covered fast food in my post about foods that kill your T, but this topic will never get old in my view.
So yeah, do yourself a favor mate and stay away from fast food chains. I know that this is a hard task, especially for you fellows that live in the states, but your primary male hormone will thank you for that!
You now know what’s the best approach for naturally spiking your testosterone production. So, give yourself a pat on the back… no, actually give yourself a KICK to the butt – you’re too manly now, you cannot simply afford to deal with ‘girly’ things like patting!
Being able to make use of your natural hormone production, in particular, that of testosterone, you dear my friend should take into consideration a lot of factors. You’re bound to have a difficult time optimizing your androgen profile because we live in a feminized world.
Yet the gratification of achieving a manlier state will be 100% worth it, I promise you that! When you tackle the whole issue, starting by adjusting even one element (sleep for example) is going to make a difference for a beginning. After that, it’s all about combining and fixing all the aspects that we’ve already covered and voila – you’re a new man!
I just had to include an empowering quote for a happy end. Memorize it so that it can help you as you proceed with your alpha male goals!
What’s your favorite way of increasing your T production btw? Let me know in the comments below!
Founder of Testosterone Nerd