Testosterone deficiency has been the focus of a lot of attention recently. Men who feel a little less energized rush to see their doctors and get hormone tests hoping for a quick fix with a patch, gel, injection or pill. But before doing the same, you can fix the problem naturally. The secret is not really one: a healthy lifestyle.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that is naturally produced in both men and women. It is more present in men and it is what makes the beard grow and makes your voice deeper. It elevates your libido and helps build muscle mass. Its production is increased during puberty and begins to slow from the thirties.
Symptoms of low testosterone
Men suffering from low testosterone levels often complain of fatigue and a diminished libido. They may also experience erectile dysfunction and weight gain. In addition to this, a correlation between testosterone deficiency and certain metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance and diabetes, has been shown.
If you have these symptoms, you may want to see your doctor. But the symptoms are not necessarily related to low testosterone. If your tests show a level below normal, try these five natural remedies before seeing if testosterone replacement therapy is indicated.
Check your waistline
Research shows a link between a large waistline and decreased testosterone. A 2011 study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology studied more than 200 men between the ages of 54 and 86. It has been reported that men with the highest waist-to-height (height) ratios tend to have lower testosterone levels. This does not mean that all men who are passionate about beer kegs have less testosterone. It just means there is a higher risk.
Here's how. Take a tape measure and wrap it around your waist, above your hip bones. This number should be close to half your size (height). A lower weight with the same size may not do the trick. Your pants should really be looser in the middle. Keep reading, the following two points will help you get there.
A blow for those who love sweets. Irish researchers have studied the effects of sugar consumption on testosterone secretion. They found that high blood sugar levels can harm your testosterone production by reducing its production by up to 25%. Even two hours after consuming 75 grams of glucose, 15 percent of the subjects still had very low testosterone levels. Reduce your consumption of sugar and flour. Beer is probably just as guilty. It is therefore essential to know this – if you are testing your testosterone, you must be fasting.
As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass. A regular weight training program will help you maintain it and increase your testosterone levels at the same time. Exercises that use a lot of muscles will benefit you the most. Studies show that higher intensity exercise tends to have a greater effect on testosterone production. So choose exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups.
To help you be successful in your bodybuilding program, you need to recover properly. Your body does not get stronger during exercise; it becomes stronger after exercise. If you've done your share of the work by lifting weights, your body needs time to adapt to the stress and get stronger. Proper undisturbed sleep cycles are necessary. Thus, a good night's sleep will help maintain healthy testosterone levels.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at a group of young, healthy men who cut their sleep time from eight hours to five hours for a week. The result? Their testosterone levels decreased by 10 to 15 percent. Granted, the scope of the study was small, with just 10 participants, but it was only a week of sleep restriction for men in their 20s. Can you imagine what happens to a man who recently became a father in his late thirties?
Now, let's reconsider this recently fathered, sleep-deprived man, and put him under pressure for 60 hours a week as is often the case at work. Men who report higher levels of anxiety, hostility and depression have lower testosterone levels. If your testosterone levels are dropping drastically, taking steps to manage your stress levels will do you a lot of good. It could simply be saying no to a few social commitments, devoting more time to your favorite hobby, doing some meditation, or even seeking professional help.
Give your body what it needs and it will stay healthy. Hormone replacement therapy has its risks. So consider this treatment only as a last resort. The suggestions in this article will not only boost your hormones, but they will also energize you and provide you with invaluable well-being.