The guide is broken into 4 big sections; lifestyle, nutrition, training, and supplementation. The four sections hide inside multiple topics from sleep, to macronutrient splits, to testicular health, all the way into neuromuscular training, hypoxia, sleep, sex, walking…
1. Sleep Deep and Sleep a Lot
Whether you choose to sleep four hours or eight hours, can mean a difference similar to night and day in your T production.
Partial sleep restriction lasting one-week (5h/night) in a laboratory setting has been shown to decrease overall 24-hour testosterone levels in healthy young men by ~15%.
On a study by Penev et al. the men who slept for ~4 hours had an average of 200-300 ng/dL testosterone levels in serum, whereas the guys who slept for ~8 hours had levels closer to 500-700 ng/dL.
A study from Gov et al. showed similar results. On 531 Chinese men, increased sleep time was highly correlated with higher total and -free testosterone levels. The researchers also calculated that each extra hour of sleep led to about 15% more testosterone.
2. Be Lean and Have Some Muscle Mass
You definitely don’t have to be light to increase your testosterone levels naturally, but you should be LEAN.
More specifically, your body fat percentage should be relatively low (something between 8-14%), if your goal is to get more T oozing through your veins.
Generally speaking – though there are some rare exceptions – the higher the fat percentage, the lower the testosterone. So in retrospect, the leaner you are, the more likely you are to have more testosterone rushing in your bloodstream. Increased amount of muscle mass also positively correlates with serum testosterone levels, so if you burn the fat and build the muscle, you’ll not only look shredded, but you can improve your hormonal health too.
Why being fat often leads to low testosterone levels? The full answer is likely much more complex than this, but what we do know is that increased fat-mass leads to increased aromatase enzyme activity, which in turn leads to more testosterone being converted to estrogen. Also, increased oxidative stress, metabolic syndrome, and poor insulin-sensitivity are some other major-players in obesity related low-T.
Good news are that you can easily increase testosterone levels just by losing weight, in particular losing the fat-mass, not muscle. Though it’s worth mentioning that there is a limit to your leanness where it start to negatively impact testosterone production; going below ~8% body fat starts to decrease thyroid activity, and because of that you’ll eventually have to start cutting your caloric intake too much, and both of those things will start zapping the life out of your androgens.
3. Stress Less
More easily said than done huh? Well it doesn’t change the fact that stress more or less kills testosterone levels.
This happens because chronic stress results in chronically elevated cortisol levels – and cortisol being the body’s principal stress hormone – is a catabolic hormone that among many other things; suppresses testosterone levels.
No don’t get me wrong here, we all need some cortisol. It gets us up in the morning and allows us as a species to walk with 2 feet, and without cortisol any kind of minor trauma would instantly bring you into full shock and kill you…
…However, if you are under physical or physiological stress that constantly “haunts” you, it’s likely that your cortisol levels are constantly high thorough the day.
That’s not good, since cortisol not only breaks down your muscle mass and causes oxidative damage in the body, but it’s also made from the same “raw material” (pregnenolone) as testosterone is, and high levels of cortisol can literally destroy your free testosterone molecules locally inside testicles and in the bloodstream.
4. Lower your Endocrine Disruptor Exposure
The definition of endocrine disruptor is as follows; “Synthetic chemicals or natural substances that may alter the endocrine system (consisting of glands, hormones, and cellular receptors that control a body’s internal functions) and may cause developmental or reproductive disorders.”
Compounds that act as endocrine disruptors in the body are used generously in modern personal care items, plastics, preservatives, pesticides, and many many other appliances.
Out of the millions of chemicals used, most are relatively harmless. However there are some compounds that have been proven to disrupt hormone production and functions in the body.
- Bisphenol A (BPA) which is a monomer used heavily in plastics and epoxy resins. Since BPA has a ‘hardening’ effect on plastics, its used generously in many industries,making BPA one of the most produced chemicals in the world. It also has hormone-like properties in the body and has been linked multiple times to low-testosterone and erectile dysfunction.
- Parabens (methyl-, butyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, heptyl-, etc) which are preservatives used in nearly all kinds of cosmetics, such as; sun lotions, moisturizers, personal-lubricants, shampoos, shaving gels, toothpaste, and even as food additives. They’re classified as xenoestrogens, and can have a weak affinity to estrogen receptors in the body.
- Phthalates which are commonly used to make plastics more flexible, but they are also used as stabilizers and emulsifying agents in many personal care items. Increased urinary phthlate traces have been strongly correlated with decreased testosterone in men, women, and children.
- Benzophenones (BP-1, BP-2, BP-3…) which are permeability enhancing UV-stabilizers are used in a wide range of personal care items, but most commonly in sunscreens. Concerns have been raised of their effect in reducing the activity of enzymes needed in testosterone production. This has been studied for BP-1, BP-2, and BP-3.
- Triclosan and Triclocarban, both of which are antibacterial agents found in many antibacterial soaps, lotions, hand sanitizers, etc. Not only are they highly ineffective at reducing bacteria, they also have direct mechanism in lowering testicular testosterone production.
How to reduce the exposure then? Well, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid all exposure in the modern World, but you can slash your exposure significantly by using a tap water filter, drinking from steel or glass cups and bottles, using natural personal-care items, and eating less canned foods. Grocery store receipts are also coated with BPA, so better not fiddle around with them too much.
5. Spark Up Your Sex Life
Admittedly one of the most satisfying ways to increase testosterone levels naturally is; sexual activity.
It’s not fully understood why this happens, but many studies have theorized that its an interplay with dominance, feeling of power, feeling of success, pheromones, dopamine, and interpersonal touch. For this reason it’s also likely that sex with an actual human instead of the palm of ones hand,would be a much better way to boost T.
Is there any research on increased sexual activity and testosterone levels? You bet there is.
A study of 44 men visiting a sex club actually showed that the guys who went there only to watch other people have sex, had an average increase of 11% in their testosterone levels, whereas the guys who went and actually had sex there noted an average increase of 72%. It’s also seen in couples that on the nights that there is “sexual activity”, testosterone levels are significantly higher than on the nights that they don’t have sex. One of the many findings in the Baltimore Longitudal Study on Aging was that in men over 60-years of age, those with higher level of sexual activity had significantly greater serum testosterone levels.
Much has been theorized about ejaculations and testosterone, and there seems to be this common misbelief that busting a nut would “drain” the body from testosterone (which fortunately isn’t the case).