As men age, they think more and more about testosterone, and why not? Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, but as men get older, their body produces less and less of it. It's no wonder men come to be preoccupied with the subject, as testosterone is a key to athleti8c performance – even if it's just lifting light weights in the gym – as well as sexual performance in the bedroom.
The Importance of TestosteroneHealthy levels of testosterone are important for all adults – women have some testosterone, too, produced in their ovaries. The availability of testosterone is important because our bodies need proper levels of it in order to maintain good health, to include protection against disease, makeup of the body itself, and, of course, sexual function, as well as just about any other bodily function known to man.
Testosterone-Boosting DrugsA number of drug companies produce and promote products aimed at bolstering testosterone levels, but their effectiveness has shown mixed results. Per medicalnewstoday.com, while such medications have shown an ability to help some people, there might also be a trade-off involved as the use of such drugs can decrease the body's capacity to produce testosterone on its own. There's also the matter of the unknowns. A 2016 study cited at medicalnewstoday.com found that the benefits and safety of long-term use of testosterone replacement products are not known, not to mention that these products might carry other risks that need further discovery in study and testing. One alternative to consider are over-the-counter supplements that have shown an ability to boost testosterone levels. If you are looking for the best way to boost your testosterone level – to include being tested for such levels – it is always best to consult with your physician before trying out a new regimen or product.
Natural Ways to Boost TestosteroneFinding the right product or products to help compensate for any testosterone you might have lost is one path to follow; another is to try natural means that have shown effectiveness in boosting your T level. Following are some natural testosterone enhancers worth discussing when you have that talk with your physician:
- Get sufficient sleep. The general rule of thumb is seven or eight hours a night for most adults. Lack of sleep can negatively influence the levels of hormones and chemicals – and that includes testosterone – needed by your body for optimal functionality, per medicalanewstoday.com.
- Herbal supplements. Some of the natural herbs that have been linked to increasing testosterone levels include ashwagandha, ginger extract, horny goat weed (surprised?), shilajit, and tongkat ali, per healthline.com. One study of infertile humans showed that the use of ginger was able to boost testosterone levels by 17 percent, while also raising levels of other key sex hormones.
- Stay active. In order to boost your testosterone, one thing you can do is to induce your brain to signal the rest of your body that it needs more testosterone. And it can do this simply by getting and staying physically active. The idea is to exercise consistently, such as going on brisk walks and/or working out with weights or elastic bands throughout the week, per webmd.com. If being a sofa spud is your idea of staying active, however, you are telling your brain you don't need that extra boost to feed your muscles and bones.
- Manage your stress. If you are at or get to a point where chronic stress has pretty much commandeered your life, you are probably pumping out a steady stream of the stress hormone cortisol, per webmd.com. Not good. That crimps your body's ability to manufacture testosterone. Obviously, though, not all is lost – finding ways to manage/control your stress needs to be high on your list of priorities, and that chat with your doctor can help you learn how to chill.
- Vitamin D. We recently discussed Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, in another blog, showing how it plays a key role in so many of your body's functions. Well, that includes acting as a natural testosterone booster, per healthline.com. A year-long study indicated that supplementing with about 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day enhanced the levels of testosterone by about 25 percent.
- Avoid estrogen-like compounds. There are estrogen-like chemicals that can act as toxins, affecting your testosterone levels for the worse. Per healthline.com, these can include BPA (bisphenol A, an industrial chemical), parabens (compounds used as preservatives), saw palmetto, and an assortment of chemicals found in certain kinds of plastic.