Testosterone levels. Pretty much what the Fast and Furious movie series are running on. And pretty much what makes a man, well, a man. What is it from a biological point of view?
It is a steroid. Plain and simple. Testosterone is responsible for the development of the male genital system, sperm production and the secondary sexual characteristics like facial hair, increased muscle and bone mass, body hair, deepening of the voice, and let’s not forget a crowd favourite, acne!
Fun fact, did you know that up until the 7th week, the foetus is sex-less? And for a few unlucky individuals, this condition progresses well into their adulthood. Without further ado, let me tell you how to increase your testosterone levels both naturally and artificially.
A study, one of many, showed that the levels of testosterone in sedentary individuals was lower than those who are physically active. The secretion of testosterone increases as you start exercising, and then reaches a plateau phase after your body gets used to the increased physical activity.
Now, what kind of exercises should you do? Mainly resistance training and strength training. And the more number of muscle groups that are engaged, the better. For example, burpees, squats, step-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, dips, jump lunges, kettlebell swings, handstands, box jumping.Read our article on
ULTIMATE 7 DAYS BEGINNER’S WORKOUT PLAN and as you progress, you can add more exercises to it and add more reps and sets to your liking.
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to learn how to do them. Use heavier weights and do fewer reps or use lighter weights and many more reps.Also keep a shorter rest period between the sets.120 seconds between sets is the ideal rest time.
Don’t just commit to weight training though. Do some cardio in between like walking, running, cycling, or a personal favourite, swimming. All round health increases this way.
2.What to avoid?
Now you must be thinking that I will tell you to avoid doing things like smoking, drinking and drugs. Well, you are right, my friend. All these three have been found to be detrimental to the testosterone levels, and general health too. I mean, everybody knows about smoking and lung cancer. And if you don’t, which rock are you living under? Here is a list of
10 THINGS THAT EVERY MAN SHOULD STOP DOING RIGHT NOW for a better future!
A study conducted in China reported that although smoking causes an initial increase in the level of testosterone, long term exposure decreases testosterone levels as it harms the Leydig cells which reduces testosterone biosynthesis. And yes, this is one Chinese product that I can believe in.
Drugs like morphine, heroinand marijuana alter the hypothalamic-pituitary control of hormones and cause a decrease in the testosterone production.
Alcohol causes an immediate reduction in the testosterone levels and long term use of alcohol causes an irreversible reduction of testosterone levels.
What is a balanced diet? Something that provides you with the adequate quantities of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and other micronutrients like essential minerals, vitamins, fibre. It ensures proper functioning of the body. There is a fancier worded definition, but I like to follow Baba Ranchoddas (3 Idiots), with simplicity in everything.
Men who don’t give their bodies the necessary nutrients see a fall in their testosterone levels. What can you do to prevent this? Follow a diet that is high in proteins and low in fats, which promotes the production of testosterone and also aids in weight loss.
A diet that includes fruits, egg yolks, tuna, lean beef, shellfish, white/kidney/black bean, olive oil and oysters promote testosterone production. A few studies have shown that soy-based foods, vegetable oil and processed foods (which have a high salt and sugar content) decrease the production of testosterone.
Oh, by the way, I have some good news for the coffee addicts. Caffeine promotes testosterone levels. You’re welcome.
For all those with the BMI on the higher side, this is some wake-up news for you. Obesity decreases the production of testosterone, reduces sperm count, reduces sperm motility and that is just the beginning of the downward spiral of problems. It’s like the stack of files that never seem to end, cause somebody is adding something to it ALL the time.
Most obese people tend to have higher sugar levels, and sugar circulating in the brain controls the release of hormones like testosterone. A higher sugar levels reduces the testosterone production and release.
For obese men, just regular physical exercise was found to be beneficial than actually losing weight. So, if you want to get your testosterone levels back up to the magic number, look at the number on the Fitbit that just hangs around your wrist, and do something about it!Read our article on the
TOP 5 SUPPLEMENTS FOR WEIGHT LOSS that you can take to lose weight without losing muscle mass.
This seems to be the new fad nowadays. You don’t have it naturally in your body? That’s alright, we can make it for you! Take care with this section guys, as supplementation by anything artificial is always going to have some side effects on your body.
Vitamin D is a common supplement and it helps to increase testosterone levels along with helping in bone and teeth health.
DHEA is another common supplement that is peddled by one and all as some miracle drug that helps cure many diseases (like depression, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cervical cancer), but research has shown that it has many side effects including oily skin, acne, high blood pressure, male sexual characteristics in women (deepening of voice, facial hair), hair fall, increased risk of certain cancers like prostate, breast and ovarian.
Bottom line, DO NOT TAKE IT. The cons outweigh the pros like how Wilson Fisk outweighs Spider-Man. You have been given the great power of being sensible and intelligent, and with that power comes the responsibility to not do anything stupid.
D-Aspartic acid is another supplement that increases testosterone levels, but since not a lot of research has been done to broaden the view on this particular drug, caution must be exercised in its consumption. Also, it may not work for people who are already active. Conversely, it might cause a drop in testosterone levels.
Zinc, a mineral, helps to increase testosterone levels for low testosterone levels and zinc deficient patients.
6.Reviewing prescription medications
Yes, I know, doctors do give medicines that cause a fall in testosterone levels, but they do so because they are treating a medical condition that is more important to them than a falling testosterone level. And once the course of the medication is over, the effects of the medicine, such as the low testosterone levels, would also disappear.
Prescription drugs like ketoconazole (antifungal), cimetidine (antacid), spironolactone (heart disease), antidepressants, chemotherapy drugs, beta-blockers like propranolol and metoprolol (antihypertensive) and statins (to lower cholesterol levels) are known to reduce testosterone production.
There are a few medicines in that list that need to be taken for a long period of time. In these cases, refer to your doctor and get alternative medicine that don’t cause a fall in testosterone levels. But never self-medicate. Important advice people.
This seems to be the new age mantra for everything. Everything from high blood pressure to anxiety to depression (yes, stress is an ass) to GERD to headaches to a weakened immune system to fertility problems and a low testosterone level.Read our article on
8 HABITS THAT REDUCE FERTILITY IN MEN to have a good look at them, and try and break out of these habits.
Now that we have located the problem, we have to solve it. And how do we solve it? There are many ways.
Regular physical exercise. It releases endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine, the “feel-good” hormones, which causes a sense of well-being. Yes, those Instagram gym freaks do actually love to go to the gym.
Meditation is another time and tested way to reduce stress. It calms the mind down and helps you to focus and get an overall positive outlook on life. The clichéd “the grass is greener on the side that I’m standing on” Instagram caption, although overused, is actually true.
Socialising is another important way to reduce stress. Be it anyway that you like. The all-night weekend parties, the book-reading club, jogging, whatever you want. This again releases the feel-good hormones, which again relieves stress.
Another way is some good ol’ me-time. Spending time with yourself. Read a book. Listen to some music. Paint. Cook. You can’t be bored if you don’t like the person you’re alone with, and here you’re alone with yourself.
You might think that watching TV or playing video games might relieve stress, but they actually increase your stress in the long-term. Also, they’re not really productive ways to spend your time.
And last but not the least, SLEEP! Sleep is essential for our general well-being. Think about how cranky you get when you don’t get enough sleep.
Now imagine that same crankiness in all your organs! Paints a pretty mental picture, right? Studies have shown that lack of sleep causes a fall in testosterone levels. So how many hours sleep is necessary? The long said 8 hours of sleep is the best number!!
Now that you know how to increase your testosterone levels, don’t be a lazy bum and use only the supplements. Do ALL of the steps. This also helps to increase your general well-being and health.
Fun fact number 2, did you know that after getting into a relationship and falling in love, the testosterone levels decrease in males and increases in females, thereby reducing the differences of behaviour in the two? That means our bodies literally change physiologically to adapt to the change in our mental state. It’s called a psychosomatic change, and in my opinion, is super cool. Just think, what we can do when we put our minds to something! The boundaries are quite endless.
And here we’re arguing about building a wall to keep people out, when in reality, we should just study and work a bit harder to get decent jobs ourselves. But, I digress.
Also men with lower testosterone levels tend to stay married and stay committed than men with higher testosterone levels, who tend to cheat or abuse their spouses. Ladies, want to know if the guy is husband material? Get a blood test done.
Please don’t. This crosses over into crazy girlfriend area, from which there is probably no returning.
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