The main male sex hormone is called testosterone. A small amount is also assigned to the female at birth. It is a steroid hormone produced mainly in the testes and ovaries. The adrenal glands also produce small amounts. Testosterone is the main driver of physical changes such as increased muscle mass, a deeper voice, and hair growth. Optimal levels are also important in adulthood. In adult men, health levels are important for overall health and just about everything else, including disease risk, body composition, and sexual function. Additionally, increasing testosterone to optimal levels may increase muscle mass and strength. Optimizing testosterone levels requires more than just the right amount of vitamins and minerals. You should also sleep well, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight. Here are some tips for it.
Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can affect chemicals that your body needs to function properly, such as testosterone. According to some studies, 10 healthy men, about 24 years old, spent 8 hours per night at home for a week, followed by 11 nights in the laboratory. They have been sleeping 3 nights at 10 hours a night, followed by 8 nights of restricted sleep, during which they only slept 5 hours. Doctors tested blood every 15 to 30 minutes during the last night they slept for 10 hours and during sleep restriction sessions.
After only one week of sleep deprivation, researchers discovered that daytime testosterone levels dropped by up to 15%. In contrast, in normal aging, testosterone only declines by 1-2% per year.
Prioritizing sleep helps maintain testosterone levels. You should aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble sleeping soundly on a regular basis.
Try Some Supplements
The potential benefits of some vitamins are debated, but certain supplements can help support healthy testosterone levels. In one study, zinc supplementation helped to increase testosterone and improve function in postmenopausal women who had low blood zinc levels. Another review found that zinc supplementation may also be beneficial for men with infertility and low testosterone levels, especially if testosterone is deficient. Older research suggests that some herbal supplements, such as saw palmetto, ginger, and ashwagandha, may also help support healthy testosterone levels. Before adding supplements to your routine, talk to your doctor first, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or are taking other medications. Of course, if you still have some unanswered questions about testosterone or supplements, or you just want to learn more about them, the folks behind https://www.testosterone.org will provide you with all the answers and useful advice. Here are some vitamin supplements you should pay attention to:
Vitamin D helps with your testosterone levels. Ideally, you can produce all the vitamin D you need from sun exposure, but if you are spending most of your time indoors, you may need to supplement your own vitamin D with food or supplements.
In low-magnesium and low-testosterone men, increasing magnesium intake may, directly and indirectly, increase testosterone production (one of the functions of magnesium in the body is to convert vitamin D into its active form).
Magnesium deficiency is common in older people, but it’s not unheard of in younger people either (it is common among athletes because it is being lost through sweat). Still, getting an RDA is easy. Magnesium-rich foods are numerous and suitable for all types of diets.
Is zinc really useful? Zinc deficiency can interfere with the production of testosterone. Like magnesium, zinc is lost through sweat, so athletes and people who sweat are often deficient. Dietary zinc is found primarily in animal foods. However, foods rich in zinc include grains and nuts.
Resistance training can increase testosterone levels for 15-30 minutes after exercise. More importantly, it can boost testosterone production in the long term by improving body composition and reducing insulin resistance.
However, overtraining is counterproductive. Endurance training, especially for long periods of time, can lower testosterone. Ensuring adequate recovery time will help you maximize the benefits of physical activity.
Reduce Stress and Cortisol
Studies often highlight the dangers of long-term stress, which can increase levels of cortisol. A rapid increase in cortisol can lead to a rapid decrease in testosterone. These hormones often act like a seesaw. When one goes up, the other goes down. High cortisol and stress levels can also increase weight gain, food intake, and the accumulation of body fat. These changes can negatively affect testosterone levels. Control your stress levels for your health and hormone levels. Staying active, getting enough sleep each night, and practicing stress-reducing techniques can be beneficial.
Men’s testosterone levels peak at age 19 and begin to decline naturally with age. After the age of 30, it declines by an average of 1% to 2.5 years but may stabilize after the age of 40. The decline is alarming, as extensive research has linked low testosterone to increased disease risk, obesity, and premature death. Take care of your body and overall health.
Also published on Medium.