How to Naturally Boost Testosterone
By Ben Smith
Testosterone is one of the main sex hormones found in males. Testosterone is integral in physical development throughout puberty and for maintaining long term hormonal balance, favorable body composition, and healthy sex drive.
Our bodies are constantly up against a host of stressors. Stress is the number one-way sex hormones, including testosterone, are blunted. Here are a few things we might be doing which harm our ability to produce testosterone at healthy levels:
- Lack of sunlight exposure.
- Quantity of sleep (in hours) and/or inconsistent sleeping patterns (not going to bed at the same time every night).
- Consistent exposure to harmful chemicals via plastics, skin care and/or household products.
- Regular consumption of alcohol.
- Poor insulin management (poor dietary choices).
Read below to see how to mitigate each of the above issues:
- Lack of sunlight exposure:
20 minutes of 40-50% skin exposed sunlight per day is recommended to achieve optimal Vitamin D levels and testosterone production. The best time of day to get your sunlight in is between the hours of 7 and 10 am (maximum Vitamin D absorption). If you can bare it, try not to wear sunglasses either – as Vitamin D is absorbed through the retina… Just make sure not to look directly at the sun! *Disclaimer: It’s worth noting that you should be cautious about the duration of exposure and ONLY stay out in the sun for an appropriate amount of time respective to your skin’s sensitivity levels.
- Quantity of sleep and/or inconsistent sleeping patterns (not going to bed at the same time every night):
Make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep or night respective to your age and activity levels. Do your best to create a habitual bedtime ritual – and try to fall asleep as close to the same time every evening as possible! (This is important as our bodies operate using a circadian rhythm that abides by highly structured time frames). The hour of 10-11pm is the ideal bedtime if you’re operating on a “normal” circadian rhythm.
- Constant exposure to harmful chemicals via plastics and skin care and/or household products:
Regular usage of plastics (water bottles, printed shopping receipts, food containers etc,) results in an up-regulation of estrogen. Estrogen is a useful hormone for both men and women, but too much of it can counteract your testosterone levels and result in hormone imbalances! Additionally, we strongly suggest using all-natural skin care products and household cleaning items.
- Regular consumption of alcohol:
Chronic alcohol usage is one of the least discussed epidemics in the world today. Alcohol has a plethora of negative effects on the body besides just the widely recognized liver inflammation detriment. Alcohol impedes your circadian rhythm, which is critical in facilitating the rebuilding of muscle tissue and hormones during your sleep cycles. Additionally, consuming large amounts of sugary carbohydrates late at night is detrimental to body composition, as your body is accustomed to processing food at that hour. Maintaining a healthy body composition is essential in creating an environment for testosterone to be created and readily available. If you ‘must’ drink, we recommend doing so during normal food processing hours (5-8pm) and limiting yourself to a few drinks (2-3 drinks, max). Additionally, clear, high-quality liquors such as Don Julio Blanco tequila or Tito’s vodka are the least harmful types of alcohol (clear liquors are easier to process than dark liquors). If you really want to see a boost in your physical performance and hormones, try abstaining alcohol for 30 days and keep track of how much better you feel! (Let us know if you do this!)
- Poor insulin management (Poor dietary choices):
Insulin is a protein / hormone created in the Pancreas. The purpose of insulin is to bring glucose (sugar-based energy) to your muscles when they are in need. In short, insulin is not necessarily a bad thing, but spiking it drastically through poor eating habits IS A BAD THING. Like we mentioned above, poor body composition yields lower testosterone production. Constant insulin spikes, typically from eating foods high in sugar, signal the body to store more fat, ultimately resulting in poor body composition, and thus, less testosterone production. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to setup a time to meet with our in-house nutritionist, Caroline, who will build you a meal plan that avoids spiking insulin levels!