Have you experienced a plateau in your lean muscle mass despite regularly working out? Are you over the age of 40? There is a chance that your body is experiencing a natural decrease in testosterone that comes with aging and in this article we’ll show you how to naturally boost your testosterone levels to see increased muscle mass, higher energy and better weight control.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is not only the main male sex hormone, it also plays a major role in muscle mass, fat distribution and even red blood cell production. This hormone regulates a number of processes throughout the body and testosterone levels do tend to drop as men age.
Why Would you Want to naturally boost your testosterone?
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for increased muscle mass. If you’re looking to build leaner body mass to help control your weight and increase your energy all while getting more trim then you want to be on top of your testosterone levels.
Link between Exercise and Testosterone
Several studies have been shown to link higher levels of testosterone in men who lift weights and engage in regular physical activity. Not all exercises affect testosterone levels in the same way, however. Resistance exercises help both short and long-term testosterone levels while high intensity training like 90 seconds of intensity on an indoor bicycle followed by 90 seconds recovery time boosted testosterone more than by running for 45 minutes. To improve your resistance training consider a home gym that will allow you to weight train all the major muscle groups with one convenient machine.
Foods to Increase Testosterone
Because diet plays such a major role in naturally boosting your testosterone, it’s important to look at what foods could be potential testosterone-boosters. Two nutrients that are precursors for making testosterone in the body are both Vitamin D and Zinc. These food recommendations are high in both nutrients linked to testosterone production.
1.Low-fat milk with vitamin D
Milk is often recommended as a great source of protein and calcium and as a way to build up strong bones but it’s also high in vitamin D. If your milk has been fortified with vitamin D then you’ll be getting that extra nutrient boost that can keep testosterone levels where they should be.
Whether you choose canned or fresh tuna, either source is rich in vitamin D. Tuna is also a great choice for a heart-healthy diet with it’s high protein level and low calories. Just one serving of Tuna makes your vitamin D requirement for the day. If tuna isn’t your favorite, consider salmon or sardines as another source.
Egg yolks often get a bad rap for being high in cholesterol but they actually contain more nutrients than the actual egg whites. If you don’t have any cholesterol problems then consider eating one egg a day for a rich source of vitamin D.
4. Oysters and Shellfish
Zinc has played a role in male hormones since the onset of puberty and this vital nutrient can keep those hormones in check through adulthood. Both oysters and shellfish such as lobster and crab are rich in Zinc.
5. Fortified Cereals
Start your day with some testosterone boosting cereal. Certain brands of cereal are fortified with vitamin D, making this a good choice (especially if cholesterol issues keep you from eating the egg yolks).
It might come as a surprise but many legumes like chickpeas and lentils are considered a good source of zinc. These high fiber proteins are also heart healthy choices.
Ginger has been long used for its medicinal purposes for centuries. New research is showing that this root may also help increase testosterone levels as well. If ginger is too spicy for your taste, you can also find ginger supplements.
Foods that Decrease Testosterone
While some foods can prove to be testosterone boosters, the adverse is true as well. Watch out for these 5 foods that lower testosterone levels.
1. Soy Products
Soy products such as edamame, tofu and soy milk have been shown to decrease testosterone levels when regularly consumed. Soy foods are high in phytoestrogens — a plant-based substance that mimics the effects of estrogen in your body, messing with your hormones and possibly lowering testosterone.
2. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil, including canola, soybean, corn and cottonseed oil are all high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. While these are often considered a healthy source of fat, studies have shown they may also decrease testosterone levels.
3. Processed Foods
Convenience meals, frozen foods, fast food and pre-packaged snack food are often all high in trans fats. This unhealthy source of trans fat has been linked to a decrease in testosterone when regularly consumed over time.
Excessive alcohol consumption could cause testosterone levels to drop in men. More data is needed as studies have had some mixed results however.
While nuts are generally considered a healthy food thanks to their heart-healthy fats and minerals, they have also been linked to lower testosterone. SHBG is a type of protein that binds to testosterone and studies have been shown that high nut intake increases SHBG in the body, decreasing the levels of free testosterone in your body. Studies are still looking into the amounts and certain types of nuts and their impact.
Other tips to naturally increase your testosterone for increased muscle mass:
Eat a healthy well-balanced diet
Reduce your stress levels — cortisol spikes cause you to hang on to belly fat
Try vitamin supplements for zinc and vitamin B
Get some natural vitamin D from spending time in the sun
Get 7 to 10 hours of sleep each night
So if you find yourself wanting to lose weight and increase your lean muscle mass then start an exercise program that includes both aerobic exercise and strength training, eat a balanced diet rich in foods with high levels of zinc and vitamin D to naturally boost your testosterone levels.