As the body ages, testosterone levels begin to drop. With that, all the benefits of having a body that produces high testosterone start to slowly fade away. That doesn’t mean it’s the end though. There are several options on how to hold onto that youth, vigor, and confidence without all that hormone therapy.

Try some of the following 15 ways to keep testosterone levels up naturally, and to even prevent them from declining in the first place. And really, the underlying secret to all these tips: live a healthy, vibrant lifestyle above all else!

DIET

Want to keep feeling young? Then clean up that diet! This advice applies at any point in life (of course), but it becomes more urgent as people get older.

Plus, a lot of diet advice during older years—beyond preventing high blood pressure and cholesterol—has to do with combating low testosterone in men. If preventing low testosterone is a priority, keep a few of these diet tips in mind.

Eat a balanced, healthy diet. We support a nutrient dense diet such as Paleo(ish) with a ton of greens, healthy fats, and smart proteins.

Don’t go completely fat-free. Yes, we know keeping cholesterol low is a priority. But keep in mind that testosterone is synthesized from cholesterol.

Make sure to include at least some healthy saturated fats in the rotation. We’re talking specifically about those healthy omega-3 polyunsaturated fats: plentiful in foods like coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and meat fed its natural diet (like grass-fed beef) or wild caught fish as salmon.

Say “no” to sugar. Try to keep sugar consumption as low as possible. Sugar makes the body’s insulin spike, which can over time cause weight gain and lower testosterone—and, of course, open the body up to the risk of diabetes. For those that have a sweet tooth try substitution sweeteners that don’t have an impact on insulin levels such as stevia.

Shelf the alcohol. It is best to try and keep any drinking habit to a minimum—but what’s even better is to ditch booze altogether. Why? Because most booze is high in empty calories and simple carbs, which are—in essence—just like sugar.

Plus, the hops in beer are phytoestrogens, which can tie up the body’s testosterone in turn. We’ll explore estrogens in foods a little later.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Don’t go stone-cold vegetarian or vegan. Yes, these diet trends are famously healthy, in a way. But cutting out too much meat makes testosterone levels plummet, mostly due to lack of food-sourced natural vitamin D—which helps the body synthesize testosterone (we’ll explore vitamin D in a little bit).

Too little meat can also take away important protein sources, which can cause the body to lose muscle mass, and thus lower testosterone.

Has eating meat ever really been manly? In this sense, it surely is. And on the bright side, now there’s an excuse to eat a grass-feed t-bone steak once in awhile.

For those that are vegetarian/vegan for ethical reasons, there is a way around this: mushrooms. Stock up on varieties like portobellos, shiitakes, and oysters—which are very rich in vitamin D (if they were exposed to UV rays prior to harvesting) and protein—and continue the meat-free lifestyle.

For an even more convenient source of vitamin D, try medicinal mushrooms in a convenient supplement form. They’re a great option, as well.

EXERCISE

Here’s the skinny (no pun intended): being inactive leads to weight gain. Weight gain contributes to fat deposits.

And fat deposits—though we shouldn’t be ashamed of them if we choose to love our bodies no matter what—create large stores of the female hormone estrogen.

Science shows that estrogens can curb the effects of testosterone, definitively lowering them and stifling their effects (better energy, fertility, and virility). As men age, the body has a desire to turn more testosterone into estrogen, too—thus the classic signs of male pattern baldness, lower sex drive, and weight gain as men age.

So to prevent estrogen conversion, boost testosterone, and make sure the testosterone the body does have has an impact: stay active!

Get up off the couch, exercise, and lose some of that excess fat. And here’s some guidance in that area:

  • Weight loss – Though it’s not specifically about weight, but about fat. If the body’s a tad overweight or obese and struggling with low testosterone symptoms, get a trainer—or get into a regime—that will burn away fat (and not just water weight) and restore the hormones.
  • Build muscleBecause the more muscle the body builds, the faster it’ll burn fat, even when not even working out. That’s right: the more muscle, the more the body burns fat and calories, sometimes just by standing around!
  • Strength training – Of course, strength training is the key to muscle building. Make sure it’s intense and not a moderate, unchallenging workout. Deadlifts, squats, and Olympic lifting are ideal workouts.
  • Core training – Science has shown that most estrogens and fat deposits tend to develop around the abdomen in men. If getting fat loss to happen there is important, getting those core muscles in gear is a must!

HIIT TRAINING

The most effective exercise approach to help boost testosterone: turning up the intensity. Definitely, give HIIT workouts a try. That’s High-Intensity Interval Training, for short.

Why recommend these? Because they’re known to be very effective at burning fat. And, as we know very well, fat is the bane of low testosterone.

But here’s the real clincher: studies show that HIIT workouts are more effective than lower-intensity, time-consuming aerobic workouts, such as jogging. What more: they’ll only take 20-30 minutes out of the day.

It’s a win-win: a less timely workout that’s more effective, and more likely to help restore the body’s testosterone. What’s not to love?

INTERMITTENT FASTING

We’re not talking about a master cleanse or a juice fast. We’re talking about intermittent fasting, which has been shown to catalyze weight loss and metabolism in an incredible way never seen before.

All it takes for some people is to skip one crucial meal per day, such as breakfast or dinner (either works). We prefer an eating window of 9-10 hours per day.

Studies have shown that this eating pattern can jump-start metabolism and start burning stubborn fat (and like crazy). Even better, try combining some fasting periods with a high-intensity workout (HIIT). And the faster the body loses fat, the quicker natural testosterone production will stabilize!

EAT WHOLE FOODS

Eating whole foods is a must. Going organic and sustainably raised doesn’t hurt, either—but it’s much more about kicking those processed foods to the curb, and welcoming in only the purest, most whole foods in their natural form.

But really, why processed versus whole? Why chemical-free versus all-natural? Here are the reasons.

  • Whole foods don’t hide what they are. The more foods consumed in their natural state, the less harmful chemicals the body gets—like artificial colors, preservatives, and additives—that can make the body’s hormones go whacko. It is also important to get the best supply of the natural vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that further help the body hang on to any testosterone slipping away.
  • No pesticides or herbicides. A lot of conventional farms spray their foods, and studies have shown that these can warp hormone levels—and even increase cancer risk. Going for organic and chemical-free means food will be totally safe (and more nutritious, too).
  • No plastic packaging, no problem. Processed foods often get packaged up with plastic and packaging that can be full of phytoestrogens, which act like estrogen and wreck the body’s natural testosterone. We’ll explore more on that later.

NUTRIENTS

There are also certain dietary nutrients that are important building blocks to healthy testosterone levels. Let’s go alphabetically through two major nutrients that impact testosterone levels.

Vitamin D. Many people may not realize that, in effect, vitamin D is a hormone—and it sure acts like one. It is essential for both healthy sperm and testosterone levels. The more the body gets this vitamin, the more support it will have to boost the male hormones naturally.

So where can the body get vitamin D? There are supplements aplenty. More often than not, however, these fall way short of what the body needs. Instead, get the most effective form of vitamin D (D₃) from meat, seafood, culinary mushrooms, and…(drumroll….) sunlight exposure.

Zinc has been a known vital element for testosterone production in men. In fact, intentional supplementation of zinc has been shown to boost the hormone noticeably in as little as 3 weeks, according to one study.

With research like that, don’t skip it!

SUNBATHING

Let’s hopscotch back to vitamin D real quick. It’s a solid nutritional fact that vitamin D(not vitamin D₂) is the form that has the most important impact on the body (and, thus, testosterone).

And the best source of D? The sun.

Get outside and expose the skin to sunlight for at least 15-20 minutes and the melanin in the skin creates the D the body needs right then, and right there.

So what’s even better than pounding down meat, seafood, mushrooms, or even Dsupplements to meet the body’s needs? Just getting outside for a little bit on a sunny day.

TAKE A BEAT – RELAX

Stress can (and does) have a way of altering testosterone levels for the worse.

Finding some moments of calm, relaxation, and meditation in a daily routine is key. It’s yet another step closer to replenishing the body’s testosterone and feeling the youthful energy and vigor.

And here’s the science behind stress and hormones: too much stress causes the body to produce cortisol (the stress hormone) which in turn has eventual side effects on the body.

Some of these are reduced digestion and assimilation of nutrients, which—in the long run—leads to weight gain. And weight gain means more fat, more estrogen, and less testosterone.

Plus, cortisol can directly block testosterone, the more there is floating around the body. So if life is a snowballing mess of uncontrollable stress, it’ll need to change so the body can hold onto testosterone!

IMPROVE SLEEP

Earth to all the night owls out there: staying up late or not getting enough sleep wrecks the body’s hormones, pure and simple. Many don’t realize that sleep is important far beyond just resting our brains and minds. In fact, it’s a lot like restarting or rebooting a computer—except, in this case, it’s the body.

Sleep resets everything: including our immune system and endocrine system. The endocrine system is what dictates hormone levels and how much the body produces.

The body can’t properly function on just 5 hours of sleep a night. It needs a solid 6 -8 hours. If getting testosterone levels up to snuff is important, then make it happen—no excuses!

RESTORATIVE HERBS

People and cultures all around the world have long called on the help of certain herbal remedies to retain their stamina, performance, longevity, and energy, both in the bedroom and beyond.

Some herbs are just supported by claims—or even myths and legends—on how they can improve virility. Others, however, have more than just ancient healing knowledge and some street cred to sustain them.

In fact, many have research and studies to demonstrate that yes, they can (and do) help the body get the little boost in testosterone it needs! The following are some of our favorites.

  • Long Jack
  • Pine pollen
  • Sarsaparilla
  • Stinging Nettle

Looking for some herbal remedies to give the body’s testosterone levels a little lift? Find some of the above botanicals in our Alpha Complex Formula. We’ve chosen the best herbs and fungi—supported by research—to optimize testosterone levels to their fullest potential.

AVOID ESTROGENS

We’ve discussed this a couple times in this article already. Estrogens, if the body gets too much of them, can block the effects of testosterone. Further, as men age, their bodies tend to want to convert testosterone into estrogen by various means.

Try to dodge estrogen—such as that found in foods, herbs, and supplements—for the best results, at least on a regular basis. The body is most likely to encounter estrogens in foods, particularly plant foods like fruits, veggies, legumes, and grains.

Compounds in these are called “phytoestrogens,” or plant estrogens, because they are not true human estrogens—though they can have the exact same effects on the body (and the hormones).

Which phytoestrogen-rich foods should be looked out for the most? Try not to eat an excessive over-abundance of these foods, but don’t feel like they must be avoided like the plague to maintain testosterone levels, either.

  • Soy products – Including tofu, tempeh, soymilk, miso, etc. Soy is very high in phytoestrogens.
  • Broccoli (and relatives) – Including cabbage, kale, cauliflower, radishes, and more.
  • Carrots (and relatives) – Including parsley, cilantro, parsnips, and more.
  • Legumes – Including beans, peas, and peanuts in excessive amounts.
  • Certain herbal remedies – Such as black cohosh, angelica, dong quai, licorice root, and evening primrose are estrogenic.

Important note: don’t let the fear of phytoestrogens keep eating a plant-rich diet out of reach. No matter what, eating plants is essential to good health!

More importantly: don’t get rid of every ounce of estrogen from possibly entering the body. It still needs some estrogen to work with testosterone in order to have a healthy sex drive.

If all sources of the estrogens are eliminated this will also create problems. So keep some of it around, but ease off if it’s tampering with testosterone too much.

AVOID PLASTICS

Next to phytoestrogens from plant foods, the next source of estrogens to look out for are xenoestrogens: man-made, estrogen-mimicking toxic compounds that can (it’s true) get into the body when handling plastic too much or eat foods (or drink liquids) that have been in contact with it.

For this reason, avoid plastics. Or, at the very least, purchase plastic materials (such as water bottles, Tupperware, etc.) with BPA-free standards. Try to reduce the amount of food that is consumed that has been in contact with plastic, too—especially processed foods that come in plastic packages.

Studies have shown that xenoestrogens from plastics can be harmful to everyone—both male and female—for many reasons. There’s no way around it. Keep plastic away if keeping testosterone around, in the long run, is a priority.

DROP THE HABIT (SMOKING)

Another way to naturally get the body’s testosterone levels back up again? Stop smoking. Apparently, smoking can have a hand in a number of other factors that contribute to testosterone dips, such as weight gain and inability to build muscle.

Plus, smoking is just plain and all-around terrible for the body. Pass that pack to the trash, and the body’s health will be sure to turn a corner—the testosterone levels will benefit, too.

CUPS—NOT POTS—OF COFFEE

Ardent lover of coffee? Well, we’ve got bad news (though not too bad).

Chugging pots upon pots of coffee to get through the day? Well, that may be unknowingly suppressing the body’s testosterone. That’s because coffee not only increases anxiety and vulnerability to stress (thus raising cortisol), it’s also full of phytoestrogens. Which (as we just discussed) can block the effects of testosterone.

Instead of feeding the coffee fiend, try to limit consumption to cups—not pots—of coffee. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a nice brew in the morning. But keep it to a reasonable amount, and the body’s hormone levels won’t suffer.

KEEP ACTIVE (IN THE BEDROOM)

The more the body uses the testosterone it DOES have, the more the body will be prone to producing it, as is natural.

The more testosterone levels will stabilize. Sometimes, all it takes is a little warm up. So if it feels like the passion is getting a little stale (and testosterone levels are of concern), it may be time to turn the heat back up.

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