Natural testosterone boosters are primarily practicing healthy habits. Healthy habits such as regular exercise, sufficient amount of sleep, proper dieting and nutrition, managing weight and reducing stress (mentally and physically) all contribute to a testosterone increase.
The benefits of natural testosterone boosters aren’t strictly with testosterone production. Regular exercise can aid in strength gain, a better cardiovascular system, better rest quality and increased happiness due to endorphins. Better rest and reducing stress is connected to having a better immune system, and longer and a better quality of life. Managing weight by avoiding reaching overweight or obese levels aid in preventing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a male sex hormone, controlled by the brain and produced in the testicles for men and the ovaries in women. Women have smaller amounts of testosterone compared to men as their main sex hormone is estrogen.
The hormone handles the growth of the physical attributes of males and is clear once they have reached puberty. Body growth and changes handled by testosterone are body hair, the voice (normally deepening it), sex organs, muscles, and height.
Effects of Having Low Testosterone
Low testosterone production is a common problem for aging men usually in their 40’s and above but can also occur in men with certain diseases or unhealthy lifestyles. Those with low testosterone will experience symptoms such as:
- Poor libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Weakening muscles
- Loss of strength
A study by the Massachusetts General Hospital observed these problems during a test conducted with 400 men. They gave a drug that halted the testosterone production to the test subjects and after 3 months of tests found that there were substantial negative effects on their health.
Effects of Having High Testosterone
High testosterone production can also present probleamtic symptoms. In women, high testosterone can give unwanted traits (mostly “un-feminine” features) such as:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Excessive body hair growth
- Smaller breasts
- A more “muscular” build
In some cases, women can suffer from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) due to high testosterone which can lead to infertility.
For men, the presence of high testosterone can lead to more “masculine” features, or an earlier stage of puberty (puberty is normally experienced as a teen) that can occur as early as the age of 9.
There are also claims and observations that high testosterone can lead to aggressive changes in a man’s behavior.
Aggressive behavior is often linked to having high testosterone though no final conclusion has been made that this phenomenon is present in all men. A study in Canada found that higher testosterone levels can lead to a more aggressive mood however this was only found in males with an impulsive and dominant personality. Another study conducted by The National Institutes of Health (NIH) MRI Study of Normal Brain Development using a sample of people aged 6 to 22 years old concluded that there was a relationship between increased aggression and increased testosterone regardless of age and sex.
Ways to Boost Testosterone
Regular exercise is one of the best natural testosterone boosters, but precaution must be taken to make sure that one does not over-train and receive rest. Additionally, resistance training (e.g. strength training or bodybuilding) has been observed to be more effective and beneficial than endurance training (e.g. running). In some cases endurance training could lead to no increase or worse, lowering testosterone production.
A study by the National Institute for Sport and Fitness had young and old subjects train for 45 to 60 minutes in a 12 week period using a weight machine and found that it induced an increase in testosterone production albeit it was lower in the elderly subjects.
Evidence of reduced levels due to endurance training was found in a 1984 study where 31 men who ran 64 km weekly found that their testosterone levels were lowered though still in a healthy range. This was also found in a study conducted in 1986 where subjects exercised on a cycle machine saw their testosterone levels rise within 20 minutes but fall back to baseline within 10 minutes.
Take Vitamin D and Zinc
Consider taking supplements containing Vitamin D and Zinc as both have been observed to be helpful in boosting testosterone production.
A 2015 study in Malaysia found that Chinese and Malaysian men who took Vitamin D saw a significant and positive effect on their testosterone levels though it was dependent on the body mass index of the subject. This was also supported by a clinical trial with 54 male subjects.
Vitamin D deficiency was also found to increase the risk of testosterone deficiency in a study done in Germany with 225 men aged between 30 years and 41 years old.
It’s possible that Zinc can treat those suffering from testosterone deficiency according to a 2017 study in China, where 66 males were followed up after 18 months.
Reduce Stress and Fatigue
Low testosterone has been observed with people suffering from both mental and physical stress. Finding time to rest and recover from daily stressors such as overworking or overexercising is crucial and can help boost testosterone naturally.
One study found that male medicine students who have sleep deprivation and stress due to studying had lower testosterone concentrations compared to other hospital staff.
Those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea have also been observed to have testosterone deficiency and needed testosterone replacement therapy.
Psychological or emotional stress also affects testosterone production negatively according to clinical studies found by the Homerton University Hospital in London.
Being overweight obese has been observed to result in lower testosterone levels circulation in men which can lead to higher fat mass and less lean muscle. Losing weight through a change in diet and regular exercise can see immediate results in testosterone production.
Overweight and obese men who participated in a 12-week study wherein they were subjected to vigorous and intense physical activity saw the circulation of testosterone in their body increase.
A 2013 study wherein 32 men suffering from testosterone deficiency were put in a 52-week diet and exercise program saw a significant increase in their testosterone levels after the program.
The examples above are effective natural testosterone boosters that can aid anyone with testosterone levels on below the average. However, more urgent and severe cases will most likely need testosterone replacement therapy conducted by a medical professional as several health factors will inhibit the positive effects of natural testosterone boosters above.