When To See A Doctor For Low T
If youre experiencing any symptoms of low testosterone, see your doctor. You can see a urologist, endocrinologist, family physician, or internist for help. Your healthcare provider will take a health history and, if symptoms point to low testosterone, order a blood test for a definitive diagnosis. Several blood draws may be needed, as testosterone levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day. Physicians generally dont treat low testosterone unless you are symptomatic and blood test results confirm low levels.
As men age, it can be typical for their testosterone levels to drop, assures Dr. Ramin. This drop does not necessarily indicate there is a problem, especially if the man is not experiencing any related symptoms.
Foods That May Help Boost Testosterone
Testosterone is a sex hormone that affects:
- sperm production
- blood cell production
Testosterone declines as you age, but other factors can also cause low testosterone, including certain medications, high body-fat levels, and some health conditions .
Low testosterone, also called hypogonadism or low T, occurs when testosterone levels fall below 300 nanograms/deciliter . Low testosterone can be medically treated through testosterone replacement therapy .
Hypogonadism is very common. In fact, around 40% of men over 45 years old and 50% of men in their 80s are considered hypogonadal .
A health-promoting lifestyle, including diet, is important for maintaining optimal testosterone levels. Some studies have found that diets high in ultra-processed foods and low in nutrient-dense foods may reduce testosterone levels .
If you have low testosterone levels, follow a medical professionals recommendations. Additionally, you may consider adopting a dietary pattern rich in foods that contain nutrients important for maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
Many nutrients, including vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc, are important for maintaining optimal testosterone levels .
However, theres limited research investigating the impact of specific foods on testosterone levels.
This article covers 7 foods that are rich in nutrients that may help promote healthy testosterone levels.
Longer Workouts Are Not Better
Another aspect of your training that can influence your testosterone levels is the duration of your workouts. If you’re regularly engaging in lengthy, drawn-out workouts with long rest periods or excessive endurance exercise, then your testosterone levels may take a hit.
Workouts lasting longer than about an hour may begin to spike cortisol levels and subsequently decrease testosterone. Additionally, research has demonstrated that a shorter rest period between sets elicited higher acute hormonal responses following a bout of resistance training.11 To maximize your testosterone response, keep your rest periods short and total workout time to 60 minutes or fewer.
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Take Control Of Your Stress
If you’re under constant stress, your body will churn out a steady stream of the stress hormone cortisol. When it does, it will be less able to create testosterone. So, controlling your stress is important for keeping up your testosterone, Miner says.
Miner’s advice to the over-stressed men he sees in his office is to:
- Cut back on long work hours. If you’re logging lots of overtime, try to whittle your workday down to 10 hours or less.
- Spend 2 hours a day on activities you like that aren’t work- or exercise-related, such as reading or playing music.
Avoid Xenoestrogen And Estrogen
Certain chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, have negatively affected hormone levels in animal models. These include BPA , phthalates, and parabens . They may act as xenoestrogens or synthetic estrogensthis means your body thinks they are estrogen, potentially throwing off your normal hormonal balances .
Human studies have not shown that xenoestrogens or phytoestrogens affect testosterone levels. But the research is limited. However, some of these compounds have been linked to increased risks of cancer .
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Avoid Drugs And Alcohol Abuse
Abuse of drugs and alcohol has been linked to lower testosterone.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism , alcohol use affects the glands and hormones involved in male reproductive health.
Further, alcohol can cause low testosterone levels due to the effects it has on the body, including causing hormonal reactions and cell damage.
- Afrisham, R., Sadejh-Nejadi, S., SoliemaniFar, O., Kooti, W., Ashtary-Larky, D., Alamiri, F., Khaneh-Keshi, A. . Salivary testosterone levels under psychological stress and its relationship with rumination and five personality traits in medical students. Psychiatry Investigations, 13, 637643
A Note From Healthline
Youll notice that the language used to share stats and other data points is pretty binary, fluctuating between the use of male and female or men and women.
We recognize that this language doesnt encompass all identities and experiences. However, specificity is key when reporting on research participants and clinical findings.
Unfortunately, the studies and surveys referenced in this article didnt report data on, or include, participants who were transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, intersex, or genderless.
We encourage you to talk with a healthcare professional if you need support navigating how the information in this article may apply to you.
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Perform Big Compound Movements
Lifting weight is excellent for increasing your testosterone, but performing big compound movements, such as squats and deadlifts, work the largest muscles in your body and require the most energy output. According to research, complex compound movements like deadlifts increase your testosterone levels more than other exercises .
This is because they tend to work multiple muscle groups at once, demanding a higher anabolic output from your body. For example, squats will work your gluteus maximus, aka butt, the largest muscle in your body, along with a variety of other large muscles in your lower body. While an isolation movement like curls, will only work your biceps and release a much smaller amount of testosterone than squats will.
Natural Ways To Increase Testosterone
Changing levels of testosterone are part of a mans life cycle.
Youre born with a little, then start to have a lot as a teen and young man. Sometime around middle age, your production slacks off gradually.
For some men, that lower production happens earlier or more drastically than is normal.
A mans low-T situation can come from illness, toxic environment, lifestyle, diet, or simple aging.
Regardless of why, the results are the same: higher risk of:
- Sexual problems like lower libido, trouble ejaculating, unsatisfying orgasms, and erectile dysfunction
- Mental health challenges like fatigue, depression and anxiety
- Structural changes to the body such as increased body fat, lower muscle and thinning bones
- Serious health problems ranging from heart disease to type 2 diabetes
If your testosterone is lower than your health and sexual health need it to be, you pretty much have three options:
- Live with the symptoms and change your lifestyle from what you want to what you can have with your condition
- Undergo big pharma testosterone therapy, with all of its risks and side effects
- Use natural methods to get your body to produce all the testosterone it needs on its own
You get three guesses which method I recommend.
Natural ways to increase testosterone fall into four broad categories: diet, activity, lifestyle and environment. What follows is a detailed list of different things you can do to up your T naturally by making changes in any or all of the four.
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May Reduce Male Pattern Baldness
Saw palmetto may help prevent androgenic alopecia a type of hair loss also known as male and female pattern baldness in men and women, respectively.
Its thought to work by blocking the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone , an androgen-type hormone believed to cause this form of hair loss .
Higher levels of androgen hormones like DHT are thought to shorten the hair growth cycle and lead to the growth of shorter and thinner strands of hair .
One small study reports that a daily 200-mg dose of saw palmetto taken with another beneficial plant compound known as beta-sitosterol reduced hair loss in 60% of men with androgenic alopecia compared to a placebo .
In a 2-year study, men with male pattern baldness were given 320 mg of saw palmetto per day or finasteride, a conventional hair loss medication.
A small study also reports a small increase in hair count in about half of the men treated with a saw palmetto hair lotion. However, this lotion also contained other active ingredients, making it difficult to isolate the effect of saw palmetto .
Although promising, the research on saw palmettos effect on hair loss is limited. More studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Saw palmetto may help fight male and female pattern baldness. Still, it appears less effective than conventional hair loss medications, and more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Shorter Workouts Shorter Breaks
Another aspect of strength training that can boost your testosterone levels is the duration of your workouts and how much youre resting between reps. If youre regularly working out over very lengthy times and are taking long rest periods, then your testosterone levels may take a hit. Workouts lasting longer than an hour may start to spike cortisol levels, which may lower testosterone. Additionally, research has demonstrated that a shorter rest period between sets resulted in temporarily higher testosterone following exercise using weights. To boost your testosterone, keep your rest periods short and total workout time to 60 minutes or less.
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Proven Ways To Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone. People assigned female at birth also have small amounts of it.
Its a steroid hormone thats mostly produced in the testicles and ovaries. The adrenal glands produce small amounts too.
During puberty in people assigned male at birth, testosterone is one of the main drivers of physical changes like increased muscle, a deeper voice, and hair growth .
Having optimal levels is also important throughout adulthood.
In adult males, healthy levels are important for general health and just about everything else, including disease risk, body composition, and sexual function (
Vital Hormones: 10 Natural Ways To Boost Testosterone
A few small changes to your life can have a big impact on your health! Consider using these natural ways to boost testosterone this year. As you learn how to boost testosterone naturally, you might notice changes to other aspects of your health.
You can avoid hormonal instability, even as you get older.
Concerned about your own hormone levels? We can help you take back control over your own life.
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Increase Your Vitamin D Level
Vitamin D is crucial for the development of the sperm cell and maintenance of high sperm count and quality. A lot of men who suffer from low testosterone symptoms discover that they are deficient in vitamin D as well.
The best way to get vitamin D is by getting some sun . Yes, I am saying that going for a swim, playing basketball, and taking a vacation are amazingly natural ways to increase testosterone.
If its cold or you have a tendency to burn, though, there are other natural ways to increase testosterone with vitamin D, like consuming fatty fish , fortified milk or juice, and egg yolks .
Obtaining Enough Quality Sleep
Current studies have shown how sleep significantly impacts health. One way that sleep influences health is through hormone production. A consistent lack of high-quality sleep can decrease testosterone production. Sleep deprivation not only results in reduced testosterone levels in men but also leads to weight gain.
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Here’s A Bonus Must Do Tip: Shine Red Light On Your Balls
Seriously. Red light exposure on testicles has been shown to boost testosterone levels.
Red light therapy can increase steroid hormones such as testosterone by directly stimulating the energy production in organs associated therewith. An example would be testosterone production in the testicles.
Red light can penetrate deeply into the body, thereby increasing energy production in specific organs. When the correct dose of red light therapy is applied to the testicles, it might actually increase testosterone levels up to three-fold.
Red light therapy has been proven to increase male testosterone levels naturally.
You can also read these great articles for more info on red light therapy naturally boosting testosterone and improving infertility:
Olive Oil And Argan Oil
Cooking with and adding extra virgin olive oil to your food are natural ways to increase testosterone. Olive oil is an anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants, but it also contains elevated levels of oleuropein, a testosterone-loving bitter.
One study found that Moroccan men who added olive oil to their diets saw an increase in testosterone levels by 17%. This study also substituted Argan oil for olive oil, and the testosterone levels increased by about 20%.
Add eitheror bothto your daily consumption for a quick boost of testosterone.
Lead A Healthy Lifestyle And Avoid Estrogen
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Making A Handful Of Smart Lifestyle Choices Can Help Promote Healthy Testosterone Levels In Men
by Health WriteriStock/simonapilolla
Just how important is testosterone, if youre a guy? Metabolism, muscle growth, mood regulation, and sex drive are all controlled by this hormone, even if most men lose about 1% of their testosterone per year after age 30, says Roy Guinto, D.O., clinical assistant professor of medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania, who calls the change a “natural part of aging. Still, by avoiding risk factors that can reduce testosterone prematurely and adopting lifestyle habits to promote healthy hormone levels, you can help keep your T levels in a healthy range for longer. Heres how.
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Get Some Good Old Fashioned Exercise
show that total testosterone levels increase after exercising, especially after resistance training. Low testosterone levels can affect your sex drive and your mood. The good news is that exercise improves mood and stimulates brain chemicals to help you feel happier and more confident. Exercise also boosts energy and endurance, and helps you to sleep better. Fitness experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise every day.
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Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is bad for your body because it releases too much cortisol, which destroys your natural testosterone levels. Exercising, eating healthy, and meditating are all great ways to decrease your cortisol and feel more calm and relaxed.
One 2016 study found that students who are stressed have increased salivary cortisol and anxiety, while their salivary testosterone decreases .
Harvard researchers also discovered that mindfulness meditation could decrease depression, a testosterone thief in most people .
Do: Maintain A Healthy Weight
Obesity is associated with decreased testosterone levels in males. This is mostly because fat cells, which are called adipocytes, express high levels of an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen.
Research shows that rapid weight loss with successful weight maintenance can bring about a sustained increase in free testosterone levels.
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Ways To Naturally Boost Testosterone
A healthy level of testosterone can lead to higher energy levels as well as an increase in strength and virility. But what are your options if you have low testosterone? On this Health Minute, Dr. James Hotaling, urologist and mens health expert, shares four ways you can increase your testosterone levels without turning to hormone injections.
Learn more about this health topic in the full-length interview.
Best Ways To Naturally Boost Testosterone
Testosterone is the foundation of men and plays a critical role in their health. Research shows that it improves libido, muscle building, heart health, motivation, immunity, and brain health.
Today, low testosterone is on the rise, and its even more common to see it in young males. Low testosterone is detrimental for your health, correlated with anxiety, metabolic syndrome, depression, fatigue, and low sex drive.
This decline in testosterone is for numerous reasons, including lack of exercise, a bad diet, stress, and environmental endocrine disruptors. Thankfully, it can be mostly solved with a few lifestyle tweaks.
Below, youll find the 36 best science-backed ways to boost testosterone and maximize your health.
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Get Plenty Of Restful High Quality Sleep
Getting good sleep is just as important for your health as diet and exercise .
Sleep quality may also have major effects on your testosterone levels. In fact, one study involving 2,295 teenage boys and men found that impaired sleep could be linked to lower levels of testosterone .
The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but a small 2011 study found that sleeping only 5 hours per night was linked to a 10%15% reduction in testosterone levels .
Interestingly, one study involving older men found that increased sleep duration of up to 9.9 hours was associated with increased testosterone levels. Conversely, sleeping more than 9.9 hours was actually tied to lower testosterone levels .
Although some people seem to do fine with less sleep, most research recommends aiming for at least 7 hours of sleep every night .
Its important to get plenty of high quality sleep to maintain healthy testosterone levels and optimize overall health.