10 Daily Habits That Can Increase Testosterone
Testosterone plays a crucial role in your overall health. As a matter of fact, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), testosterone can help improve muscle mass, bone density, mood, body composition, libido, and even cognition. Some men maintain high testosterone levels throughout their lives, but the majority of them experience a decline when they hit about 40 years of age, Harvard Health Publishing explains. If you're looking to boost your testosterone, there are certain daily habits you can implement into your routine that can help you achieve that goal naturally. Eat This, Not That! spoke with Ronny Garcia, CPT, Blink Fitness, who shares with us some of the best daily habits to increase testosterone.
"Fitness and nutrition are key if you are looking to increase your testosterone levels naturally," Garcia stresses. "Exercise helps build muscle and improve overall health. A balanced diet includes the nutrients needed to support hormone production and regulation."
Keep reading to learn what Garcia has to say about the best daily habits to increase testosterone. And when you're finished, be sure to check out these 7 Essential Exercises for Men To Prevent Muscle Loss After 50.
If you don't already have a regular exercise routine down pat, it's time to change that. Exercise works wonders for the mind, body, soul… and your testosterone. "Engaging in physical activity, especially weightlifting or HIIT, can boost testosterone production," Garcia tells us. "These exercises stimulate muscle growth and increase testosterone release during and after exercise." So start heading to the gym and lifting weights or engaging in some high-intensity exercise.
Let's be honest: Daily life can be stressful. But it's important to keep unnecessary stress at bay and maybe even reevaluate your mentality surrounding "stress." For instance, if the act of being stressed is making you even more stressed just thinking about it, it's time to introduce some stress management techniques into your routine that will help alleviate excess weight on your shoulders.
"Stress increases cortisol levels which can suppress testosterone production," Garcia explains. "Engaging in meditation or yoga can help you manage stress." You may also find it beneficial to practice deep belly breathing exercises to calm your nervous system down.
Getting enough restful sleep
Another sneaky little habit that can negatively impact your testosterone? Not getting enough sleep. So be sure your sleep environment and bedtime routine are optimized for ideal Z's. (For instance, sleep in a cool, dark room and be sure to power down any blue light devices long before you hit the sheets.)
"Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night is essential for hormone regulation," Garcia stresses. "During sleep, the body produces hormones, so lack of sleep can lead to lower levels."
Following a balanced diet
The benefits of following a well-balanced diet can't be denied—and they go far beyond weight loss. You are what you eat, so what you put into your body has the potential to make you feel pretty amazing on the inside and on the outside. When you eat healthy every day, your body will be fueled with the proper nutrients it requires to function at its very best, you may have fewer "junk food" cravings, you'll be energized, and you'll boost your gut health.
In addition, your testosterone reaps the benefits of a balanced diet. "A nutrient-rich diet, like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats, supports hormonal balance," Garcia says. "Zinc and vitamin D are particularly important for testosterone production."
If you want to boost your testosterone, it's necessary to maintain a healthy weight. "Excess fat accumulation can lead to increased estrogen levels and [a] decrease [in] testosterone levels," Garcia points out. All of these healthy habits such as getting in regular exercise, following a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, and not sweating the small stuff can aid in weight management (and weight loss).
Spending time outdoors
Spending time in the good old outdoors soaking up warm rays of sun and breathing in the fresh air not only gives you an instant mood boost; it can also be beneficial to your testosterone. "As mentioned [previously], vitamin D is key to testosterone production, and spending time in the sun and getting it naturally is the best," Garcia explains.
Limiting alcohol consumption
Cracking open some beers with the guys is all in good fun, but you may want to dial it back a bit on how much alcohol you consume. "Drinking alcohol can interfere with hormone levels and lower testosterone," Garcia cautions. It's best to limit alcoholic beverages altogether, but if you want to indulge every now and then, follow the guidelines of reducing your intake to two drinks or fewer in a given day (for men), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.
Consuming healthy fats
As part of a nutrient-dense, well-rounded diet, prioritizing healthy fats is the name of the game for a multitude of reasons. For one, "foods like avocado, nuts, and olive oil all have healthy fats which are important for hormone production," Garcia tells us. In addition, healthy fats help you feel full and protect you against cardiovascular disease.
Limiting sugar and ultra-processed foods
Processed, greasy fried foods may hit the spot for a late-night treat or when you're watching sports with friends, but they aren't doing your body any favors. The same goes for foods that are packed with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
"Overconsumption of these types of foods can lead to insulin resistance, which is associated with lower testosterone levels," Garcia explains. He encourages you to limit processed items and foods that are high in the sugar department.
The dangers of being dehydrated shouldn't be messed with. When you don't drink enough water, you might be hungrier, get headaches, feel more tired, find it difficult to concentrate, and your metabolism may slow down. Your testosterone will also feel the effects of dehydration. "Dehydration can negatively affect hormone production so it's important to stay hydrated. (It's also essential to your overall health!)," Garcia stresses.
If you find it challenging to remember to refill your water bottle when it's empty, consider investing in a water bottle that reminds you to drink or when you're in need of a refill. It will surely be an investment well-spent!
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