“Doc, I think I have Low T” – men everywhere
The all mighty Testosterone. Fellas are familiar with this “mecca hormone” and try everything to increase it, especially with age. But why do so many fail? The benefits of increasing testosterone include:
- Reduce fat
- Increase muscle
- Improve your concentration
- Maintain sleep
- Feel more rested
- Maintain bone density/strength
- Increase strength and athletic performance
- Improve mood
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Improve erectile function
- Heighten your motivation
- Increase your sense of well-being
Ok, so you get it. Testosterone is a good thing to have optimal levels of. But in a day in age where it seems like the cards are stacked against the general public, what are something things that you can do to improve this bleak situation? Tips for improving testosterone:
- Implement good lifestyle behaviors
- Sound nutrition principles
- Avoid overtraining
- Know the circadian rhythm
Lifestyle factors play a huge role with testosterone. Sleep, stress and mindset are huge precursors for optimal testosterone production. Sleep quality is something often overlooked. The old-school mindset of “rise and grind” where 4-5 hours of sleep a night is enough to get you through the day is not ideal for optimal health, performance, productivity, mental acuity and…you guessed it, testosterone. You want to try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night in a room that is as dark as possible. Do yourself an added bonus and avoid any and all electronics such as cell phones, computers and TV’s in the hours before you call it a night. Stress management, both good and bad stress, need to be managed. This is done through modalities such as: headspace, meditation, hot/cold therapy, contrast showers and breathing sequences. It is not uncommon to see men raise their resting levels anywhere from 200 to 500ng/dL in 90 day protocols with lifestyle changes and organic, natural supplements.
Sound nutrition principles. Eat real food. What is real food? Food that has an ingredients list shorter than your name. Make sure that energy expenditure is not in excess of your energy intake. Simple right, eat more than you burn off, think again. With the popularity of low-fat diets, because eating fat will make you fat, majority of men are not eating enough fat. Add in a few of the following to your daily diet to receive all of the benefits that fat has to offer: olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, fish, red meat, egg yolks or even peanut butter.
The right training program to avoid the dangerous pitfall known as overtraining is key to avoid a hormonal train wreck. Based on the data, it appears that programs designed to stimulate testosterone secretion should be structured around large muscle mass exercises. Short, acute, intense sessions (lifting and even sprinting) usually increase testosterone while prolonged exercise usually reduces serum testosterone levels acutely and chronically. Perhaps the most influential mediating factor in the acute responses and subsequent adaptations is the resistance exercise stimulus. Proper resistance exercise prescription and manipulation of the acute program variables (e.g. intensity, volume, rest intervals, exercise selection, sequence, repetition, velocity and frequency) all need to be managed. Program design should incorporate three fundamental concepts of progression (e.g. progressive overload, variation and specificity) that attempt to maximize adaptations of the neuromuscular system. One to two weeks of overtraining have been shown to reduce resting concentrations of testosterone and IGF-1. These decreases were significantly correlated to a reduction of overall strength.Testosterone follows a circadian rhythm, meaning that it peaks early and as time goes on begins to decrease. Testosterone levels peak in the late teens or early twenties and then plateau until the 30’s or 40’s when testosterone starts decreasing by 1-2% per year. Let me repeat that, testosterone starts decreasing by 1-2% per year once you hit your 30’s. Salivary testosterone secretion has been shown to be secreted in a circadian manner as well with the greatest elevations observed early in the morning, around 9am, with less throughout the rest of the waking day.
Jesse, one of our clients, boosted his testosterone 57% in 22 days by following protocols similar to those mentioned above. He was skeptical about being able to naturally boost his testosterone levels but went all in for 22 days. Check out his lab results and experience here.
Citations Daly, W., Seegers, C. A., Rubin, D. A., Dobridge, J. D., & Hackney, A. C. (2005). Relationship between Stress Hormones and Testosterone with Prolonged Endurance Exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 93(4), 375-380.Hackney, A.C., et al (2012). Testosterone Responses to Intensive Interval Versus Steady-State Endurance Exercise. J Endocrinol Invest, 35:947. Kraemer, W.J., Loebel, C.C., Volek, J.S., et al (2001). The Effect of Heavy Resistance Exercise on the Circadian Rhythm of Salivary Testosterone in Men. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 84: 13-18. Kraemer, W. J., & Ratamess, N.A. (2005). Hormonal Responses and Adaptations to Resistance Exercise and Training. Sports Medicine, 35(4), 339-361. Sale, D.G. (1988). Neural Adaptations to Resistance Training. Med Science Sports Exercise, 135-145.