Increase testosterone levels naturally

How to increase testosterone to build muscle, burn fat and boost your sex drive

Do you want to lose body fat? Do you want to add lean muscle muscle? And do you want to feel as good and perform as well as you did in your 20s?

Then you need your hormones – specifically testosterone – to be working for you not, not against you, if you’re to realise your goals. Before we get to the easy ways to naturally increase testosterone (or your T level), let’s look at what hormones are, how they work, and why they’re so important to your health and happiness.

What are hormones?

Put simply, hormones are chemical messengers that deliver instructions and messages around your body. Different hormones have different jobs. Some manage your hunger and appetite. Others dictate your memory, mood and motivation. Some control your levels of tiredness and wakefulness. Think of any single part of your life and they’ll be a hormone at work somewhere! Therefore, your hormones are responsible for how you look, feel and perform.

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Increase testosterone fast

When most men are asked to name a hormone they say testosterone. It’s the primary male sex hormone that’s behind your sex drive and reproductive health. Testosterone is why men have beards and body hair. It also has a big say in how quickly and efficiently you build muscle and burn fat.

The hormone is also involved in your bone health by improving bone mass and strength. Women, whose primary sex hormone is oestrogen, also have some testosterone but their levels are around eight times lower than men.

But while the T count in women is meant to be low, men’s levels are in freefall. The amount of testosterone produced by the typical man was 17% lower in 2007 than it was in the 1980s, according to the Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology And Metabolism. It’s estimated that 38% men will suffer from low testosterone levels by 2025.

Most men want to increase testosterone levels because sub-optimal levels because it makes building muscle and burning fat far harder. It also causes other detrimental physical effects, such as man boobs and more lower back fat (love handles), to mental health issues, such as depression.

From the age of 30 testosterone levels begin to decline, by around 1-2% a year. But there’s a few simple lifestyle changes that will keep your levels sky high to look, feel and perform at your best.

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Sleep better to increase testosterone

Anyone who suffers from a few nights of poor sleep knows that it zaps your energy levels, and any motivation to train hard and eat well goes out the window. That’s the result of your hormones going haywire to try and get your mind and body back in balance. Testosterone levels in particular take a real hit when you don’t get enough sleep. In fact, just one week of restricted sleep – around five hours per night – reduced subjects’ daytime levels of T by a whopping 15%, according to research by the University of Chicago.

Aim for around eight hours of sleep per night. Sleep deeper for longer by not drinking caffeine after lunch, putting your laptop or phone away an hour before you want to turn in, and keeping your room as quiet and dark as you can.

Increase testosterone by lifting weights

Lifting weights is the best way to improve body composition, the technical term for increasing lean muscle mass while reducing body fat levels. And a key part of the reason why is that pumping iron increases testosterone – and if you train the smart way the bigger your spike.

Compound lifts – those that work multiple muscle groups at once, such as the barbell back squat and dumbbell bench press – are best. Use a relatively heavy weight for sets of 6-12 reps, and keep rest periods short. This training approach is the most effective for increasing T levels, causing the biggest jump 15 to 30 minutes after training, according to the journal Sports Medicine.

These sessions also increase other anabolic (or muscle-building) hormones, including human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1, which is great news for your better-body ambitions.

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Increase testosterone by losing weight

One of the best ways to elevate T is to lose excess body fat, because men who are obese have testosterone levels half those of their average-weight peers, according to the journal Clinical Endocrinology. But trying to lose weight by cutting out dietary fat isn’t the answer because fat is needed by your body to manufacture hormones, including testosterone.

A lack of dietary fat from a very low-fat diet will therefore significantly reduce levels of free testosterone with one study, published in the same journal, finding that men who went on a low-fat and high-carb diet suffered a 12% decline in testosterone levels. That’s why it’s so important to eat the right kinds of dietary fat.

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