You know that testosterone plays a crucial role in muscle growth. But it is also important for overall good health and vitality. Increasing your testosterone levels naturally is a kind of holy grail for many gym visitors. But in fact, raising your testosterone level isn’t all that mysterious at all. In fact, you can easily increase (or double) your testosterone level by making some changes in your lifestyle.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a steroid hormone, a steroid that acts like a hormone. By ‘steroid’ is generally meant fat-like substances in our body that sometimes fulfill important hormonal functions. Testosterone belongs to androgens, a collective name for all hormones that are responsible for typical male properties such as aggression, muscle mass, body hair.
Role of testosterone in muscle building
As you (probably) know, your muscles consist of proteins. Androgens in general and testosterone in particular play an important role in building muscle mass, namely by stimulating protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the production of proteins in the body from amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Those amino acids come from the proteins in your diet. Protein synthesis is, in simple terms, the formation of proteins in your body from the proteins in your diet. Testosterone stimulates protein synthesis by binding to the receptors on the surface of the muscle cell and enhancing the biochemical signals that drive protein synthesis.
Role of testosterone in general health
Testosterone plays a role in general health in addition to muscle building. Abnormally low testosterone levels negatively affect body composition (muscle / fat mass ratio), bone density, red blood cell production, memory and cognitive processes, mood, libido and sexual performance.
“Normal” testosterone level
Normal testosterone levels in men range from 300 to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter. You see: a huge range, because the values refer to men of all ages and testosterone production decreases as you get older, from the age of thirty with an average of 1-2% per year. Both a testosterone level of 300 and a testosterone level of 1,100 are considered ‘normal’, regardless of your age.
Increase testosterone level
A high testosterone level has many advantages, which may be clear in the meantime. And not only with regard to muscle building. There are several ways to boost that level without resorting to anabolic steroids. We have listed the ten natural testosterone boosters for you. This list is not a ranking.
Reduce your stress
In stressful situations, the body produces large amounts of cortisol, also known as the ‘stress hormone’. Cortisol lowers the production of testosterone by suppressing the production of the anti-stress hormone DHEA. DHEA, like testosterone, is itself a steroid hormone and precursor, or testosterone precursor.
Do strength training.
Strength training stimulates testosterone production. And we mainly mean pure strength training, so heavy weights and relatively low numbers of repetitions. So train like a powerlifter and do compound exercises that involve many muscle groups, such as squats and deadlifts. Exercises like these give an extra boost to your testosterone production and can rightly call themselves ‘male exercises’.
Step up your cardio
Intensive cardio training has a positive effect on your testosterone level, while extensive cardio, or pure endurance training, has a negative effect. Perhaps the best form of cardio is High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. HIIT consists of a series of short, maximum efforts that are interrupted by short breaks, the intervals.
Take a zinc supplement
The mineral zinc plays an important role not only in the production of testosterone but also in the production of insulin and growth hormone. About a fifth to a quarter of the population is deficient in zinc. Half of all athletes suffer from a zinc deficiency. Taking 30 mg of zinc (200% Recommended Daily Intake) daily as a supplement to your diet can significantly increase your testosterone levels.
Lower your fat percentage
Too high a fat percentage has a negative effect on your testosterone level, even if it involves a lot of muscle mass. Maybe just time to stop bulking and start cutting? In any case, ban the refined sugars from your diet. These lower your testosterone level even further.
Get enough sleep
When you sleep, your testosterone production is higher than when you are awake. Testosterone levels in men who get enough sleep are therefore up to two times higher than men who don’t get enough sleep to get. Conversely, insufficient sleep can almost halve your testosterone level! So get enough sleep, that is at least six, but preferably seven to eight hours a day. In addition to quantity, the quality of your sleep counts; the longer and better you sleep, the more testosterone is produced.
Take your vitamins
Your (grand) mother was right: you have to get your vitamins. The different vitamins all play a role in your testosterone production in one way or another. The most obvious connection is between vitamin D and your testosterone production. Research shows that men with higher vitamin D levels in their blood also have higher testosterone levels. It is widely believed that this relationship is causal.