Testosterone is a key hormone that regulates fertility, muscularity, fat distribution, and red blood cell production. Lower testosterone levels often result in decreased libido, energy dips, and weakened immune responses, among many other negative side affects.
While men naturally produce more testosterone than women, both sexes require adequate supplies to satisfy their body’s needs. Unfortunately, the modern sedentary lifestyle and processed-food diet is contributing to testosterone levels sinking faster than an anchor on the lake.
Around the turn of the century, the average male reported T-levels of 605.39 ng/dL. Now almost 25 years later, despite all of our medical and technological advancements, the average male reports T-levels 25 percent lower than in 1999.
And here’s the real kicker. No magic pill or shot in the arm will fix this crisis of chemistry. The way out is to simply double back and retrace the steps in — to reverse course and relinquish the bad habits that got us here. Give the body what it craves, and it will naturally produce that coveted hormone which provides us so much of our strength and clarity.
Here are four easy changes you can make even during a holiday weekend to elevate testosterone levels
First, cut the sugar down significantly. Increased sugar levels mean increased insulin levels. The higher insulin levels rise, the harder the pancreas has to work to maintain healthy glucose levels in the blood. Studies have also shows a correlation between low T-levels and increased insulin levels; meaning that higher sugar intake ultimately leads to decreased testosterone levels.
At your cookout this weekend, try to limit needless sugar or carbohydrate (which becomes sugar in the blood) intake. Opt for more protein when possible; and be sure to drink plenty of water.
Next, get some sun on your bare chest. Before you lather on sunscreen or oil, be sure to expose your chest to direct sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes. The exposure triggers a natural increase in Vitamin D3 levels that is more readily available to the cells of the body than any supplement form of the vitamin. Plus, elevated Vitamin D levels have been reliably linked to increased testosterone production many times over the years.
Get healthier as you sleep
Third, eat more “good” fats, from which the body extracts cholesterol. For years, special interest groups warned of the dangers of high cholesterol; but it turns out these fats are the building blocks of testosterone. Beef, eggs, and shellfish are all great sources of cholesterol, as long as the quality of the animal is high, as well.
Lastly, take your sleep seriously. Long days at the lake or on the beach this weekend should tire you out nicely come bedtime. Take advantage of the natural circadian rhythm and go to sleep earlier with the intention of 7-8 continuous hours of sleep. Some simple and effective sleep hacks like blue light blocking glasses and reduced caffeine intake will help the body naturally fall asleep easier and for longer.
Lack of sleep cause spikes in cortisol, a stress hormone responsible for worry and fear — poor soil for cultivating testosterone.