The Ten Commandments of Natural Testosterone Boosting
Most gym rats face this issue sooner or later: how to boost testosterone levels with a little help “from outside”. However, most people who visit the gym regularly still opt for natural bodybuilding. But, just because you are not using, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t try to achieve the highest testosterone levels possible in your own way, naturally (even if this will not be as significant as it would be with drugs). But let’s face it: you cannot expect supernatural (or unnatural) results from natural methods. On the other hand, you can boost your testosterone levels using safe and legal methods, so you can remain natural.
Although declining testosterone levels are usually associated with old age, you better know that you can have symptoms related to low testosterone levels already above 30. Plus, low testosterone levels can have a seriously adverse effect on life quality.
Normal testosterone levels range on a quite wide scale, between the limits 250 and 850 ng/l. Those who visit the gym regularly and want to bring out the best in themselves in bed, too, obviously aim for the 850 value, even though 300 is still considered normal. And you have the opportunity to rev up your testosterone production through your training schedule, diet and supplements.
10 tips for increasing testosterone levels
Do weight training
This may be so self-evident that we might not need to write it down on a bodybuilding site, still we need it for the whole picture. Weight training increases serum testosterone levels. More specifically, doing basic compound exercises (squats, deadlifts, pushes, bent-over rows) with low rep counts (6-8) and short rest breaks (1-2 minutes) trigger an even better endocrine response from your system.
This needs no explanation. Muscles need nutrients for building material. Everybody knows that. But not everyone knows that it also helps keep testosterone levels high! Eggs, white and red meat, fish, dairy and whey protein products are excellent protein sources. Consume 2g/kg of bodyweight a day or more. If you are dieting, you may need larger amounts. Regarding supplements, whey protein can be considered the #1 protein source, but slow-digesting proteins can also be useful at certain times of the day.
Of course we don’t mean the good old corn dogs. However, fats should not be feared. At least, not all types of fat. Unsaturated fats like flaxseed oil, fish oil, extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil etc. have many health benefits. On the other hand, saturated fats, which can be found in meat and eggs, are critical for testosterone production, so it is not recommended to rule them out of your diet completely. 10 to 15% of your calorie intake should come from unsaturated fats and 10% from saturated fats.
Do not underestimate the importance of sleep
It is proven that insufficient amount of sleep has a negative impact on testosterone levels. Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. If you can add a 20- or 30-minute nap during daytime, it is even better.
By the way, sleep is not only important for increasing testosterone levels, but for growth hormone levels as well. After testosterone, growth hormone is the second most important hormone for muscle building and fat loss. Your body produces growth hormone in the largest amounts while you are sleeping. So, if you ensure you get enough sleep, you can kill two birds with one stone.
Spend less time at the gym
Overtraining is one of the biggest testosterone killers. 4 or 5 workout sessions a week are just right for ideal endocrine response, but rest days are equally important. Plus, your workout should not be longer than 60-90 minutes. You simply won’t profit from longer workout sessions. You will get into a catabolic state as the proportion of testosterone and cortisol is getting less favorable. Contrary to popular belief, muscles do not grow during training. Training only provides a stimulus; growth takes place during recovery. And this stimulus should be short but intense! This means: if you spend 2 hours or more in the gym, it’s high time to consider that you are probably doing something wrong. Anyway, you cannot train with proper intensity for such a long time.
Work out in the evening
Since testosterone levels are the highest in the morning, this implies that you could be the strongest at this time of the day (even though many people are afraid to work out in the morning, because they are not yet fully loaded with nutrients). However, research has shown that testosterone levels drop in the evening, which you can outweigh by doing weight training in the evening (provided that your workout fulfills the above criteria, i.e. it is short and intense).
The phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables help keep testosterone levels high. So, the good old broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts should make an integral part of your diet.
If you are looking for legal supplements to keep your testosterone level high or make it even higher, tribulus, longjack, fenugreek extract, carnitine and ZMA are your friends. Besides, sodium aspartate or N-methyl glycine are just as useful. It is also a good idea to control your estrogen levels. To that end, active substances like diindolmethane can be of great help. Plus, you can indirectly help maintain high testosterone levels by controlling the level of cortisol, the catabolic hormone. For example, leucine and HMB are fit for this purpose. Although these active substances do not increase testosterone levels, they can contribute to creating a favorable endocrine environment through reducing cortisol levels.
Alcohol and testosterone do not match!
Regular or even occasional alcohol consumption is the “best” way to reduce your testosterone levels. If you take exercising seriously, you should not drink. Not even in moderate amounts.
And, last but not least: you’ll like this one!
According to popular belief, sex has a negative impact on sports performance. But the fact is, regular ejaculations actually increase the body’s own testosterone production! In our humble opinion, it is best to have a partner for this activity :)
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