5 Ways to Stop Lowering Your Testosterone Levels

Every so often I bring up the topic of testosterone.  For us men, testosterone should always be on the forefront of our mind especially when it comes to training.  It has a major part in our ability to build muscle, burn fat, and allow our man bodies to function optimally.

Without testosterone, bad things can start to happen…bad things.  Feeling lethargic, weak, depressed, low sex drive (1)….man boobs! (2)

None of those things sound manly to me.

Once you turn 30 years old, your body begins to make less and less testosterone on it’s own, dropping as high as 1% annually.  (3)  Knowing this, coming across it in health articles over and over again, made me feel a need to make sure that I keep mine at it’s optimal level.  I figured it would be easier to keep it there rather than let it drop and try to gain it back.

photo credit: artofmanliness.com

photo credit: artofmanliness.com

Admitting you have low testosterone levels also isn’t very manly, but something you may just need to stand up and face.

If you are feeling a little depressed, tired, weak, and other symptoms stated up, get some blood work done and see where you are currently at.  What do you have to lose?  You’re either going to get some help to bring it up or be told you’re a young, healthy stallion.  Either way it’s a win-win!

So optimal testosterone levels or not, here are five things to avoid to keep your levels from dropping that you can start doing today.

1.  Lacking intensity in your workouts – the amount of hormonal response you get in a workout depends on how many muscles are used and the intensity and volume of the workout.  Heavier weights and compound movements are best for resistance training.  More bang for your buck.  For cardio, short bouts of high intensity intervals or sprints will do more for your testosterone levels than a 5 mile jog, which may even suppress it. [6]

3lb dumbells will NOT help your testosterone levels buddy! Now go put them back and lift like a real man.

3lb dumbells will NOT help your testosterone levels buddy! Now go put them back and lift like a real man.

2.  Consuming a low-fat diet – One study showed a reduction of testosterone levels by 12% after a 8-week long low-fat diet. [7] Our bodies need fats.  Especially, the healthy kind!  If you want to build up muscle and testosterone then healthy fats is a must.  Add some avocados, nut butters, coconut oil, and other healthy fats to your diet.

3.  Not sleeping enough – When you sleep the body does not, it is still working and actually doing a lot in those 6-8 hours hormonal-wise.  So when you skip on the sleep, you are skipping out on getting hormones back in balance after the day.  In one study, a group of young males were monitored for a week and had their sleep reduced to 5 hours a night.  After one week, their testosterone levels were reduced by 10%. [4]  Testosterone levels are at their highest in the morning, so if you are not waking up with a “woody” often, then more sleep may be in order.

4.  Not getting enough Vitamin D – Vitamin D has been a hot topic for the past few years now and surprisingly a lot of people are actually taking it on a regular basis (including myself).  I was taking it to help support my immune system specifically, but when I found out it also helps with testosterone production, I high fived myself.  SCORE!!

photocredit: www.precisionnutrition.com

photocredit: www.precisionnutrition.com

Studies have shown a correlation between low vitamin D and testosterone levels.  We have become inside creatures, trapped indoors all day and not getting outside too much.  Plus if you live in an area that goes through a winter season of not much sunlight and time outside, then you are not getting your vitamin D needs.  A supplementation of Vitamin D especially during the winter months when you are not outside and active is essential for keeping your testosterone in range.

5. Drinking too much alcohol – to specify this is for the binge drinkers on the weekend or those who indulge during the week as well. To be short, chronic alcohol consumption has a drastic impact on your ability to produce testosterone, in turn, it also causes the body to produce more estrogen. (5)  NOOOOO!!!!!  Having a drink here and there, will have a small effect on testosterone levels, but not enough to cause any real issues.  Here is a great article with more detail on alcohol and it’s effects on testosterone, with a lot back links to studies supporting it… [click here]

years of dedication to make this beer belly and estrogen producing machine.... little man boobs!

Years of dedication to make this beer belly and estrogen producing machine…. little man boobs!

Now these are only five things.  There are some more things that can lead to lower testosterone that I will bring up in a later post.

Start working on these for now and once you have them conquered, then you can add some more.

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About The Author

Kevin Fulton

Kevin Fulton is personal trainer in Pittsburgh, PA. His goal is to help his clients look, feel, and move better. In his spare time you can find him under a barbell or practicing jiu jitsu.

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