Perhaps the most surprising fact is that, despite having lower levels of the ‘male’ hormone, women are much more sensitive to the effects of testosterone.
High levels of testosterone are often associated with excessive levels of aggression, but low levels can also bring a much more complex and serious array of issues. These include:
• Reduced sex drive
• Bone and muscle loss
• Increase in body fat
• Higher levels of stress
Until recently it was believed that testosterone was a fundamental factor in the cause of prostate cancer. However, more recent research has reversed this view, a healthy level of testosterone is essential to ensure the proper function of your pancreas.
This makes the issue of declining testosterone levels even more relevant.
Research shows that the level of testosterone in your body will start to decline from as soon as you hit 30. This is directly linked to the reasons why doctors used to believe your peak physical health is in your 20s.
Fortunately, this is no longer the case, as fitness is no longer constrained by age; one look at any social media site will reassure you; men in their 30s, 40s and older are still in great shape.
What is true is that testosterone declines at a rate of approximately 1 per cent every year once you have reached the end of your 20s.
An enzyme, known as 5-alpha reductase is responsible for the natural decline of testosterone. It converts the male hormone into dihydrotestosterone; reducing the level in your body.
However, there is a more worrying influence; environmental toxins.
Humans are evolving rapidly and, in the process, pumping thousands of chemicals into the environment. The effects of many of these are not fully understood; but research is showing that they are affecting the ability of your testes to produce testosterone.
This is increasing the rate of decline and your potential for health issues.
Fortunately, you can counteract these effects by boosting your own levels of testosterone; to reduce or even eliminate these damaging issues caused by your body’s aging and environmental pollutants. There are several methods which you can employ to achieve this:
1) Avoiding gender-bending chemicals
Many of the products you use in everyday life include chemicals known as EDC’s. These Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals have been shown to have ‘gender-bending’ qualities.
In short, they will restrict and reduce your testosterone production, allowing your body to generate more of the feminine hormone estrogen.
This is not something that is restricted to adult men. Children of both sexes are being affected and this is creating a new generation of issues.
Gender-bending chemicals appear in many guises, they are used to create plastic bottles, the non-stick coating on saucepans and in many household cleaners; as well as body cleansing lotions.
Dr. Mercola is a renowned natural health expert and he explains more about the damaging effects these chemicals can have in his article “How to deal with Testosterone Decline“.
But, perhaps the most worrying place they appear is in synthetic hormones; such as steroids. While these may appear to be an easy way to boost testosterone and increase muscle development; there are too many health risks associated with them to ever make them a good choice.
This should also be applied to Testosterone Replacement Therapy; which may be recommended by your doctor. Unfortunately the risks associated with this type of treatment make it a much less desirable course of action than the following options.
Simply avoiding these chemicals will reduce your rate of decline and improve your testosterone levels.
2) Take nutrients to boost T levels
However, avoiding chemicals will not prevent the natural results of aging. To combat this safely you need to boost your testosterone levels.
Testosterone supplements, or T-Boosters come in a variety of forms but they all work in the same way. They do not add testosterone to your body directly like steroids.
However, they do encourage your body to produce more testosterone. This ensures that hormone production is natural and the risk of side effects is greatly reduced; particularly when compared to anabolic steroid use.
Some of the key clinically proven ingredients in an effective test booster are D-Aspartic acid, vitamin D3, zinc and ginseng.
These ingredients are all natural and have been shown in studies to improve the production of testosterone in men. They can even can even positively affect the development of sperm.
You can find more information on this subject at the fitness and bodybuilding lifestyle website ProgressiveMuscle.com.
Here they have put together an article on the “Best Testosterone Booster Supplements“, which analyses their effectiveness based on nutrient profiles and customer reviews.
It is worth noting that your levels of zinc can also be increased through the food you eat; oysters, dairy products and red meat are generally good sources of this mineral.
Vitamin D3 is mainly obtained from direct skin exposure to the sun, so it’s important to get outdoors in the daylight at least 20 minutes every day. Vitamin D is also particularly good for the production of high quality sperm.
However, in the modern, fast paced world it can be difficult to eat a healthy balanced diet, never mind planning all your meals effectively to include the key testosterone boosting ingredients.
A T-Booster will keep your hormones at optimal levels providing your body with the most effective nutrients in an easy to swallow pill. Of course this does not eliminate the need to eat healthily.
3) Lose weight
Weight gain often seems to be an inevitable part of aging. The increase in responsibilities and commitments often leaves no time to prepare and eat the right foods. Long hours at the office make the convenience of fast food extremely appealing.
Unfortunately, weight gain triggers a cycle which reduces testosterone in your body. Fat cells will produce an enzyme, known as aromatase. This will turn the testosterone in your body into estrogen.
Estrogen encourages the creation of fat cells which increases the body’s ability to convert testosterone into the female hormone; it is a vicious cycle.
The result is a decrease in testosterone and an increase in fat cells.
Top Fact: Estrogen is the hormone responsible for fat collecting on your belly first
Losing weight will reduce the levels of estrogen in your body and its desire to convert testosterone; effectively rebalancing your hormone levels.
To lose weight you should start by adjusting your diet:
• Reduce sugar; particularly avoid products with added sugar in them.
• Refined carbohydrates will encourage insulin resistance. Stick to natural, fiber packed carbohydrates
• Fat is essential to the body but you must eat foods with healthy fats in them. Examples of these include olives, nuts and organic meat.
• Unsweetened dairy products are beneficial. Combining this with strength training will help to build muscle, burn fat and increase testosterone!
To ensure you are eating healthier you should avoid processed foods and eat slowly; this will help to ensure you do not overeat.
The power of exercise should never be overlooked. It will boost your metabolism, burn fat and calories; it will even increase your testosterone levels.
The most benefit has been shown to be gained when you undertake HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Bursts of energy followed by short rest periods make your body work harder than long stretches of exercise.
In addition you should include strength training in your workout. This involves keeping the number of reps you do low while lifting as much as you possibly can.
The best exercises are compound exercises, these work several groups of muscles at the same time; this will ensure you maximize your results in the minimal amount of time.
The most obvious benefit of exercise is to help burn fat, lowering your body’s ability to convert testosterone into estrogen.
However, high intensity exercise has been shown to boost your natural production of testosterone. In fact, your levels of testosterone will remain elevated for up to an hour after you have completed your exercise.
The real secret to using exercise to reduce weight and boost testosterone levels is to make it a habit and change your routine regularly. Habit is good to ensure you exercise but your body will get too used to the same workout, change your routine regularly.
Although you can commit to doing this at any time of the day; current research suggests that workouts in the evening will provide the greatest boost in your testosterone levels.
5) Reduce stress levels
Finally, it is important to understand the effect of stress on your testosterone levels.
Every time you are stressed your body will release the hormone cortisol; this prepares your body allowing you to choose between fight and flight. Your body will focus on the threat in hand; even if that is simply a particularly stressful meeting with your boss.
The consequence of this is the reduction of even cessation of other hormone productions; until your cortisol levels return to normal.
As testosterone is a hormone and is not relevant to a fight or flight situation, its production is stopped; reducing the amount in your body.
While isolated incidents of stress will not make a significant difference to your testosterone levels, continual or regular stress will.
This point is well illustrated in the recent article posted at bodybuilding.com entitled “The Implications Of Cortisol Release!” it explains just how any negative issues can be generated by excess cortisol in your body.
It is, therefore, essential that you control your stress levels as much as possible:
• Avoid unnecessary stressful situations
• Use Yoga or meditation to relax and unwind
• Think of something funny, laughter instantly relieves stress
• Adopt a positive attitude; no matter what the situation
• Eat healthily and exercise
Testosterone decline may be something that happens as you age; but this does not mean you need to simply accept it. There are natural methods which can be easily included into your current lifestyle which will be effective at increasing the levels of testosterone in your body.
A benefit of the natural approach is that you will lose weight and feel fitter in the process. There is no reason why you cannot undertake all these methods at the same time; the difference will be noticeable!
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BIOGRAPHY: Ethan Hazard
BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge