Raising testosterone levels naturally involves a combination of lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, exercise routines, and stress management techniques. Keep in mind that genetics play a significant role in baseline testosterone levels, and individual responses to these strategies may vary.
Testosterone plays an important role in both male and female health and sexual well-being; as well as improving heart disease risk, bone density, and restorative sleep. At Blue Sky MD, we screen and optimize testosterone levels in both men and women to maintain and improve lean muscle mass, which has been shown to improve and/or maintain an optimal metabolism.
Here are some natural ways to potentially boost testosterone levels:
1. Incorporate Dietary Changes
Eat a Balanced Diet
Consume a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients, including healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Incorporate monounsaturated fats found in foods like avocados, olive oil, and nuts. These fats support hormone production, including testosterone.
Ensure you get enough protein from sources like lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and legumes. Proteins are composed of amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body’s tissues and molecules. Some of these amino acids are critical for the synthesis of hormones, including testosterone. L-arginine, for example, is an amino acid that plays a role in testosterone production.
Additionally, protein intake is crucial for muscle maintenance and growth, and having more muscle mass can support healthy testosterone levels.
Protein-rich diets have also been associated with higher metabolic rates. A well-functioning metabolism supports overall hormonal health, including testosterone regulation.
Zinc and Vitamin D
Include foods rich in zinc (e.g., oysters, nuts, and beans) and vitamin D (e.g., fatty fish, fortified dairy, and sunlight exposure) as they play a role in testosterone production. Taking supplements to optimize D and zinc may be necessary.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption can lower testosterone levels. While moderate alcohol consumption may not have a significant impact on testosterone levels for most people, excessive or chronic alcohol use can lead to hormonal imbalances, including reduced testosterone.
2. Make Key Lifestyle Changes
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese can lead to lower testosterone levels. Adipose tissue, or body fat, is not just a passive energy storage depot; it is also metabolically active. Fat cells (adipocytes) can convert testosterone into estrogen through a process called aromatization. As body fat levels increase, so does the production of estrogen. Elevated estrogen levels relative to testosterone can lead to hormonal imbalances and reduce testosterone’s overall effects.
Insulin resistance can lead to higher insulin levels in the blood, which may suppress testosterone production. Insulin resistance can also lead to reduced sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) production, further decreasing testosterone’s bioavailability.
Obesity is also risk factor for sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing is interrupted during sleep. If you are concerned about your own weight and overall health, a medical weight loss program like ours at Blue Sky MD may help you learn healthy habits and skills to manage your weight.
Get Adequate Sleep
Ensure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, as sleep is crucial for hormone regulation. Sleep apnea has been linked to lower testosterone levels due to the intermittent oxygen deprivation and increased stress on the body.
Chronic stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can suppress testosterone production. Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
Limit Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors
Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins, such as BPA and phthalates, found in some plastics and personal care products. In recent years, it’s become more common to see labels on things like water bottles that say “BPA-free”. Make it a habit to check for these labels on plastic containers and opt for those products instead.
3. Exercise Regularly
Engage in resistance training exercises like weightlifting, as they can help increase testosterone levels. Exercise, especially resistance training, can stimulate the HPG axis, a complex hormonal system that regulates testosterone production. Resistance exercises, such as weightlifting and bodyweight exercises, create mechanical stress on the muscles, signaling the body to adapt and grow stronger. In response to this stress, the hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone (LH). LH then signals the testes to produce more testosterone. This exercise-induced increase in LH and testosterone secretion can lead to higher testosterone levels over time.
Incorporating HIIT workouts into your routine may also boost testosterone.
4. Focus on Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Limit Sugar and Processed Foods
High sugar intake can lead to insulin resistance, which may negatively impact testosterone levels.
Smoking has been linked to lower testosterone levels. Smoking tobacco introduces numerous toxic chemicals into the body, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These chemicals can disrupt the endocrine system, which includes the glands and hormones that regulate various bodily functions, including testosterone production.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Limit alcohol consumption, as excessive alcohol intake can lower testosterone.
Avoid Pain Medications
It’s known narcotic pain medications have a negative impact on your testosterone level. In fact, testosterone has anti-inflammatory properties, at Blue Sky MD, we find by optimizing testosterone levels can improve pain, especially in inflammatory conditions like Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
5. Herbal Supplements
Some herbal supplements like ashwagandha, fenugreek, and Tribulus terrestris are believed to have potential testosterone-boosting effects. However, the scientific evidence supporting their efficacy is limited. At Blue Sky MD, we do look at strategies to maximize Nitric Oxide levels, which may help sexual function in both men and women, as well as erectile dysfunction. (link to nitric oxide article here)
6. Medical Evaluation
If you suspect you have low testosterone levels, reach out to us at Blue Sky MD! We can perform blood tests to assess your hormone levels and discuss potential treatment options.
Natural approaches may not work for everyone, and individual responses can vary. It’s crucial to approach these strategies with a focus on overall health and well-being rather than solely seeking to boost testosterone levels.
Dr. David LaMond, MD
Founder, Medical Director, Blue Sky MD
Dr. LaMond is a nutrition and prevention expert; who is a successful medical entrepreneur. Dave developed and operates numerous successful medical practices, along with a consulting company which helps physicians and medical practitioners operate successful independent practices. Drawing from his foundation and board certification in Family Medicine, he developed the innovative medical principles behind the Blue Sky MD concept of total patient care. Blue Sky MD has appeared on the INC 5000 list three times; as one of the 5000 fastest growing privately held companies in the US.
Dave has been a featured speaker for numerous medical conferences and has been a business and health consultant and has made several appearances on health television broadcasts. His written work has been featured in medical journals and other print media; with a focus on sports medicine, nutrition, wellness and non-invasive cosmetic procedures.
Additionally, Dr. LaMond has been a luminary, speaker and consultant for Crescent Health Solutions, Eleme Medical, Osyris, Suneva Medical and Candela Corporations, served as a clinical professor for Wake Forest University and is an expert in non-invasive and minimally invasive body contouring and cosmetic laser surgery.
Dr LaMond is passionate about the outdoors and has a love for mountain biking. He works as a nutritional coach and physician for professional cyclists, and enjoys training and riding along-side them. Dave has competed in high level mountain bike events regionally and nationally in masters level competition and has been on the podium at USA cycling National Championships.