It’s no secret that the path to bigger muscles, less fat, and a better sex life is testosterone. It’s the ultimate man-making hormone. It’s what gives high-level athletes and elite bodybuilders their lean, muscular physiques and enables them to utterly obliterate the competition. With greater testosterone, everything from cognitive function to physical performance is better.
Unfortunately, once men hit age 30, their T-levels begin a slow, steady, and continuous decline throughout the rest of the life, heightening their chances of losing muscle, gaining body fat, and developing diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Lucky for you, there are a few things you can do every day to naturally boost your testosterone and not have to resort injecting yourself with all sorts of potentially hazardous chemicals. Ahead, we’ve got the 5 best ways for you to boost testosterone.
Do’s and Don’ts of Testosterone Boosting
A lot of things impact your body’s natural testosterone production capabilities. Some things you can control (diet, exercise, etc.) and others aren’t so easy to control (genetics). With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective, research based methods for naturally increasing your testosterone and becoming a through and through man of steel.
Don’t Avoid Fat
The importance of a man’s diet isn’t stressed enough when it comes to his testosterone producing abilities. It’s true, what you put in your mouth has a direct, and significant, impact on whether your body produces sufficient testosterone.
For the longest time, men and women alike were advised to avoid fat, as it was blamed for heart disease, obesity, and just about everything terrible that could possibly happen to you. As it turns out, that’s not entire true. Quite the opposite actually — fat is good for you and required for optimal testosterone production.
Research shows that diets with higher amounts of monounsaturated and saturated fats lead to higher testosterone levels. Other studies show that men who once followed a high-fat diet and then switched to a low-fat diet experienced a substantial decline in testosterone production and had lower overall androgen levels.
Suffice it to say that you need to eat fat. How much?
Aim for around 0.4 – 0.5g per pound of bodyweight. For example, a 180lb male should consume around 90g of fat per day from a variety of sources (meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, olive oil, butter).Do Compound Lifts
Not only what you eat impacts your testosterone production capabilities, but also what kind of exercise you perform. Don’t think a simple 30 minute stroll around the block or medium jog on the treadmill is going to do the trick. While nothing is wrong with those forms of exercise, they’re not the right forms of exercise for naturally increasing testosterone levels.
The type of exercise you should be performing is resistance training (i.e. weight lifting). But don’t think you can simply use your Total Gym or leg curl machine at the gym. You need to be performing heavy compound exercises, such as the squat, deadlift, bench, and pull up. Research shows that heavy, free weight compound lifts (squats) elicit a greater testosterone response than machine-based, isolation exercises (leg presses).
Free weight compound lifts require more muscle recruitment than either isolation exercises or machine-based exercises. In addition to your primary muscles used to move the weight, there’s also a host of secondary stabilizer muscles than work to keep you upright while you lift the weight.
For your testosterone production sake, stop doing so many bicep curls and leg extensions and start squatting and deadlifting more!
Stress is your body’s way of dealing with any sort of perceived threat. Certain times, like getting chased in the wild by a cheetah, stress can be a good thing, but long-term, chronic stress is something no man wants, especially if he’s concerned about his T-levels.
When you’re stressed, cortisol levels rise, and when you’re chronically stressed, cortisol remains elevated all the time, which spells doom for more than just your testosterone levels. Chronically elevated cortisol levels reduce testosterone production, encourage fat storage, impair sleep, inhibit muscle growth, and heighten your chances of an early date with the Grim Reaper.[4,5,6,7,8]
For optimal health and testosterone production, you need to reduce the repeated bouts of stressful situations you place yourself in as well as improve the way you respond to stressful situations when they arise (they always do). Getting a solid night’s sleep, regularly exercising, laughing, meditating, and living a balanced lifestyle all help to reduce stress and support your health and testosterone production.Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Sleep is crucial to everything in life. You might say it’s the single biggest factor contributing to health and performance, that’s never discussed. This has led to men and women alike forgoing sleep to work, watch TV, or stay out late partying with the mentality of “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. You need sleep and plenty of it if you’re serious about your testosterone levels, muscle growth, and overall health. Constantly skimping on sleep can significantly reduce the amount of testosterone your body produces. Research notes that the longer men sleep, the higher their morning testosterone levels were. In as little as one week of getting just 5 hours of sleep per night, subjects experienced a 10-15% decline in testosterone levels.
Additionally, reduced sleep leads to less recovery, impaired cognitive function, and decreases physical performance. Why anyone still believes sleep isn’t absolutely crucial is a mystery!
To maximize your muscle growth and testosterone production, aim to get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep each and every night, including weekends.Do Supplement
Effective supplementation can play a valuable role in supporting your body’s testosterone producing abilities. Unfortunately, most products billing themselves as “testosterone boosters” are complete and utter garbage. The reason most products fail is twofold:
- Ineffective ingredients
- Underdosed ingredients
However, there are a few proven commodities that have been shown to enhance a man’s testosterone production, boosting his sex drive, energy, and performance. A few of those are:
Fenugreek extract: inhibits certain enzymes that breakdown testosterone. Supplementing with fenugreek promotes increased testosterone levels as well as reduces levels of body fat.
Vitamin D: the “sunshine” vitamin is actually a powerful bioactive steroid naturally produced by the body. It plays a vital role in testosterone production in the body, and sadly many people are deficient in it. Less vitamin D means less testosterone. If you’re not getting outdoors enough, start supplementing with Vitamin D3 ASAP. Your T-levels will thank you.
Arimistane: an extremely powerful aromatase inhibitor (AI) that prevents the formation of excess estrogen in your body. Arimistane effectively destroys the aromatase enzyme, protecting your precious testosterone from conversion to estradiol, a form of estrogen. With Arimistane, you’ll notice significant hardening and drying out, making for an incredibly lean, chiseled frame.
Mucuna Pruriens: improves sense of well-being by increasing dopamine levels. Mucuna also reduces cortisol while boosting libido, luteinizing hormone and testosterone levels.
The Ultimate Testosterone Boosting Supplement
EPG Steel 75 is the first truly effective testosterone booster formulated using proven ingredients that deliver tangible results as soon as you take your first serving. Steel 75 boasts a powerful 75mg dose of Arimistane, the most powerful OTC aromatase inhibitor available. Arimistane single-handedly shuts down estrogen down, allowing the way for maximum testosterone production. There’s also a host of other muscle-building, libido boosting compounds including Horny Goat Weed, Fenugreek, and Mucuna Pruriens.
- Volek, J. S., Kraemer, W. J., Bush, J. A., Incledon, T., & Boetes, M. (1997). Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 82(1), 49-54.
- Wang, C., Catlin, D. H., Starcevic, B., Heber, D., Ambler, C., Berman, N., … & Swerdloff, R. S. (2005). Low-fat high-fiber diet decreased serum and urine androgens in men. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 90(6), 3550-3559.
- Shaner, A. A., Vingren, J. L., Hatfield, D. L., Budnar Jr, R. G., Duplanty, A. A., & Hill, D. W. (2014). The acute hormonal response to free weight and machine weight resistance exercise. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 28(4), 1032-1040.
- Hoogeveen AR, Zonderland ML. Relationships between testosterone, cortisol and performance in professional cyclists. Int J Sports Med. 1996;17(6):423-428.
- Epel EE, Moyer AE, Martin CD, et al. Stress-induced cortisol, mood, and fat distribution in men. Obes Res. 1999;7(1):9-15.
- Han KS, Kim L, Shim I. Stress and Sleep Disorder. Experimental Neurobiology. 2012;21(4):141-150. doi:10.5607/en.2012.21.4.141.
- Brownlee KK, Moore AW, Hackney AC. Relationship Between Circulating Cortisol and Testosterone: Influence of Physical Exercise. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 2005;4(1):76-83.
- Vlastelica M. Emotional stress as a trigger in sudden cardiac death. Psychiatr Danub. 2008;20(3):411-414.
- Leproult R, Van Cauter E. Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy MenFREE. JAMA. 2011;305(21):2173-2174. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.710.