The mere thought of testosterone likely conjures up images of rowdy rugby matches or teenage parties.
But this sex steroid hormone actually plays an incredibly important role in male health across the lifespan, from sexual function to disease risk. So supporting optimal levels through diet, exercise, sleep and general lifestyle is incredibly important.
In the following article we will show you some simple strategies to improve your testosterone levels naturally.
Testosterone is produced primarily in the testicles and ovaries, with the adrenal glands producing small amounts too. In men testosterone is responsible for the significant physiological changes that occur during puberty, including increased muscle mass, deepening of the voice and increased hair growth.
Maintaining normal levels of testosterone through adulthood and beyond is important as low testosterone has been associated with an increased risk of disease such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, unfavourable changes to body composition, with an increase in fat mass and reduction in muscle mass. Testosterone also plays an important role in muscle and bone strength, both of which are known to decline as we age and are associated with their own issues.
Sleep like a baby
In recent years research has clearly demonstrated that sleep is just as important as diet and exercise in relation to our health and body composition.
Both sleep duration and quality play an important role in maintaining normal levels of testosterone and all other hormones. Some research has linked impaired sleep with low levels of testosterone, with 5 hours per night associated with a 10 - 15% reduction in circulating testosterone. Another study found that increasing sleep to 9 hours per night resulted in an increase in testosterone levels.
The recommended duration of sleep remains unclear, although aiming for a minimum of 7-hours of quality sleep per night, in a cool, dark, comfortable room is most certainly going to help in the maintenance of testosterone levels.
Research has also shown that a consistent pre-sleep routine can help improve sleep quality and duration. That may involve reading a book around 1-hour before bed and avoiding bright and blue light from phones and tablets, drinking a B.fresh sleep shot around 30-minutes before sleep, then taking a warm shower before finally getting into bed.
Strength training is likely one of the best things you can do to prevent many of the health issues associated with aging, while also helping to maintain testosterone levels.
Training intensity, duration, type of training and all improve health, although resistance training specifically can help improve testosterone levels, this has been shown in a number of studies. In recent years evidence has demonstrated a beneficial effect of nitrate rich fruits, vegetables and juices on training performance. With beetroot juice in particular resulting in improved power and endurance in various exercise tasks. So including a B.fresh Perform into your daily routine, ideally around 1 hour prior to training can help increase nitric oxide production, improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles.
What you eat and how much you eat both influence your testosterone levels. With both over consumption and under consumption of calories negatively impacting testosterone, so ensuring you are consuming enough to meet your individual energy needs each day is important.
Consuming balanced meals made up of lean proteins, whole grain carbohydrates and various vegetables, fruits and healthy fats will certainly help not only testosterone, but other hormones and aspects of health too.
If we were to make some rough suggestions on serving sizes you might suggest a clenched fist sized serving of lean protein, an open hand sized serving of whole grain carbohydrate, a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables, and a thumb sized serving of healthy fats with breakfast, lunch and the evening meal. Then including snacks such as fruits, nuts, Greek yogurt and fresh smoothies where necessary.
Consider the sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D plays an incredibly important role in numerous aspects of our health, testosterone is no different.
Research has shown that low levels of vitamin D are associated with low testosterone. A group of vitamin D deficient men who consumed a vitamin D supplement to correct that deficiency experienced significant increases in testosterone levels.
Vitamin D deficiency is a global issue, likely a result of being indoors more often. Our primary source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. It takes roughly 9 minutes of safe sunlight exposure to 25% of the body (head and arms) to generate our daily requirement of vitamin D, this is not always possible of course, particularly in winter in the northern hemisphere. So supplementing with B.fresh turmeric immunity or a simple capsule is recommended.
Consider some simple supplements
Supplements are like the icing on the cake. In the media they gain significant attention as the companies that produce them generate huge profits from supplement sales and thus they can commit large sums of money to marketing them. This is particularly relevant with testosterone boosters touted widely across the internet, although research actually shows that these products are pretty much useless. The fact is that supplements will not help if all of the above factors are not in place to begin with.
So to optimize your testosterone levels first ensure you are sleeping well, eating a well balanced diet, with sufficient levels of vitamin D, while also strength training. If these factors are all in place then you may consider some supplements.
Existing evidence suggests that zinc supplementation be beneficial to testosterone levels, if you have a zinc deficiency that is. The B.fresh Ginger+ shot provides 270% of the reference intake for zinc and is certainly worthy of consideration.
Beyond zinc, some herbal supplements have gathered evidence to suggest that they may help increase testosterone levels, they include fenugreek and ashwagandha. There is growing evidence to suggest that ashwagandha maybe useful in maintaining optimal levels of testosterone. It is currently unclear whether or not this is a direct relationship on testosterone, or perhaps via ashwagandha’s ability to reduce cortisol and systemic stress, and promote recovery. But research has linked ashwagandha intake to elevated testosterone, especially in those undertaking strength training and with initial low testosterone levels.
In men testosterone levels will peak at the age of 19 and then gradually decline by 1 - 2% per year from the age of 30. Adjusting your sleep, diet, exercise regime, lifestyle and adding some simple supplements or B.fresh shots can certainly aid in the maintenance of normal levels as you age, which will help maintain muscle mass, bone and reduce the risk of various cardiovascular diseases.