9 Body Hacks to Naturally Increase Testosterone
If you’re overweight, shedding the excess pounds may increase your testosterone levels, according to research presented at the Endocrine Society’s 2012 meeting. Overweight men are more likely to have low testosterone levels to begin with, so this is an important trick to increase your body’s testosterone production when you need it most.
2. High-Intensity Exercise like Peak Fitness (Especially Combined with Intermittent Fasting)
Both intermittent fasting and short intense exercise have been shown to boost testosterone. Short intense exercise has a proven positive effect on increasing testosterone levels and preventing its decline. That’s unlike aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise, which have shown to have negative or no effect on testosterone levels.
3. Consume Plenty of Zinc
The mineral zinc is important for testosterone production, and supplementing your diet for as little as six weeks has been shown to cause a marked improvement in testosterone among men with low levels.1 Likewise, research has shown that restricting dietary sources of zinc leads to a significant decrease in testosterone, while zinc supplementation increases it2 — and even protects men from exercised-induced reductions in testosterone levels.3
4. Strength Training
In addition to Peak Fitness, strength training is also known to boost testosterone levels, provided you are doing so intensely enough. When strength training to boost testosterone, you’ll want to increase the weight and lower your number of reps, and then focus on exercises that work a large number of muscles, such as dead lifts or squats.
5. Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D, a steroid hormone, is essential for the healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D also increases levels of testosterone, which may boost libido. In one study, overweight men who were given vitamin D supplements had a significant increase in testosterone levels after one year
6. Reduce Stress
When you’re under a lot of stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone actuallyblocks the effects of testosterone,6 presumably because, from a biological standpoint, testosterone-associated behaviors (mating, competing, aggression) may have lowered your chances of survival in an emergency (hence, the “fight or flight” response is dominant, courtesy of cortisol).
7. Limit or Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet
Testosterone levels decrease after you eat sugar, which is likely because the sugar leads to a high insulin level, another factor leading to low testosterone.7
8. Eat Healthy Fats
By healthy, this means not only mon- and polyunsaturated fats, like that found in avocadoes and nuts, but also saturated, as these are essential for building testosterone. Research shows that a diet with less than 40 percent of energy as fat (and that mainly from animal sources, i.e. saturated) lead to a decrease in testosterone levels.8
9. Boost Your Intake of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) from Foods Like Whey Protein
Research suggests that BCAAs result in higher testosterone levels, particularly when taken along with resistance training.9While BCAAs are available in supplement form, you’ll find the highest concentrations of BCAAs like leucine in dairy products – especially quality cheeses and whey protein.