How to maintain your testosterone level

Testosterone levels dropping is a process that happens. Here’s some essential DO’s and DON’Ts for better health and so that your testosterone doesn’t plummet.

When we think testosterone we think muscle-clad hairy men that resemble the ‘Marlboro Man’ type. 💪 But, we all have testosterone–both men and women! 💁 Testosterone is a hormone produced by the human body. Considering your testosterone level is essential to your health and fitness.

What is testosterone

Testosterone is the male sex hormone. But lets get a bit technical for a moment and go deep into what testosterone really is. “Androgens are a group of steroids that have anabolic (aka growth) and/or masculinising effects in both males and females.” The most important androgen in humans is testosterone! Why? Because its responsible for regulating libido, immune function, energy, bone health and muscle development.

Why do we need testosterone

Testosterone is present in males to make sperm for reproduction. In females, testosterone contributes to a woman's sex drive and helps to secrete hormones important in a her menstrual cycle. Testosterone can also affect a man's fat distribution, bone density, and muscle strength. 

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Symptoms of low testosterone

If the body produces lower levels of testosterone than it needs, the consequences are intense. Producing low levels of testosterone could cause:

  • low energy, fatigue, and lethargy — loss of “mojo” 
  • decreased ability to recover appropriately from exercise  
  • increase your susceptibility to injury
  • loss of lean body mass, including muscle and bone density 

It can be a bit overwhelming when you see this list of how your health can be compromised from low levels of testosterone. So maintaining testosterone levels with the right lifestyle, nutrition and fitness habits is key to helping your health. 🏃🍏

Your specific lifestyle choices can actively decrease your testosterone levels. Let’s get into the things that can decrease testosterone as well as the preventative measures you can take to make sure your testosterone levels are maintained for all round wellness.

These are your DO’s and DON’Ts for maintaining testosterone levels:

DON’T eat high saturated fat and sugary meals 

If testosterone maintenance is your main objective, stay away from the saturated fat and sugary meals. Apart from the bad consequences of increasing your bad cholesterol, these foods result in weight gain and can cause your testosterone to plummet. 

This includes take-out food! Take out food contains more saturated fat than your average home cooked meal. A study found that... “frequent consumers of restaurant meals have higher intakes of energy, saturated fat, and sodium, but lower intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fiber, and several micronutrients.”

DO eat healthy

The foods you consume have a major effect on your holistic health including: your hormonal levels. Maintain a good eating plan to optimize testosterone levels

Here are a few tips on how to eat healthy to maintain testosterone levels: 🍎

  • Focus on good protein intake: this helps with testosterone maintenance. 
  • Include healthy fats (unsaturated fats): this helps with testosterone maintenance. 
  • Eat your dark green veggies:Poor dark green veg intake has been shown to lower testosterone levels. Dark green veg is on the ‘must eat’ list for optimum testosterone.

Keep your diet as balanced as possible to keep your testosterone levels maintained!

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DON’T drink too much alcohol  

Excessive alcohol consumption and chronic alcohol abuse are associated with decreased testosterone levels. Okay, so if you enjoy indulging now and again, it’s okay. But remember to reduce your alcohol intake for the bigger picture: limited alcohol helps maintain your testosterone. Alcohol can increase cortisol levels, which is your stress hormone, which is known to decrease testosterone synthesis.

DO start saying: no to alcohol! 

Even better that limiting alcohol: try to just say no! Or rather say no, more often than yes. You see, large, continuous consumption of alcohol can hinder muscle gains, and it can also throw out the balance of your hormone ratios and can have a knock on effect on your sleeping patterns, too.

giphy (2)

Think of it like the domino effect, one thing not moderated, knocks down another important sequence of events that knocks down yet another sequence of events that leads to increased levels of low testosterone.

Keep your testosterone levels safe by maintaining proper sleep and hormone ratios, so don’t over do it with the alcohol. 🍸

DON’T sleep too little 

Do you party often? Your ability to stay awake throughout most of the night, especially if it happens often, is a direct route to increased cortisol, and this increase has been linked to decreased testosterone levels. So in a nutshell: too little sleep is bad for maintaining your testosterone level.

It’s not only the nights you can’t sleep cos you’re worrying about something important, we’re also talking about those late nights out, dancing or catching up with friends. And even though you feel good (partying or chatting up a storm), always remember: lack of sleep, no matter what the reason, increases cortisol levels, which in turn decreases testosterone! 💤

DO maintain a balanced amount of sleep regularly  

So if you’re aiming for optimal levels of testosterone, you can still go out, but get back home and rest up so your body can balance out it’s cortisol-testosterone ratio, and make sure you aren’t losing sleep on the regular. And also watch out for sleeping too much: long sleep can also coincide with health issues and other treatable factors.

Normal healthy amount of sleep for most adults (between the ages 18 and 64) ranges between seven to nine hours. On a basic level: Over sleeping is bad and sleep deprivation is stressful on the body. Try and get enough rest every day through the form of sleep to keep your testosterone levels balanced.

DON’T stop exercising

What happens when you stop working out? You put on weight, your sleeping and eating routine can be significantly altered causing negative results holistically. We already know that bad sleep and unhealthy eating significantly drop testosterone levels, and now you can add ‘no exercise’ to that list.  

DO keep exercising

According to Richard Jadick, D.O., a Piedmont urologist, Exercise will boost testosterone, though certain types of exercise increase testosterone more than others.” 

For eg. Weightlifting and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has proven more effective than others. Essentially: exercise can raise testosterone because it promotes: Muscle building. 

So if you’re only doing long steady-state cardio session, this is for you! Include resistance training in your schedule at least 2-3 times a week. Not only will this decrease your risk factor for injuries but it will help maintain your levels of testosterone production. 💪

Balance is key when it comes to most things, and this includes when it comes to maintaining your healthy testosterone level. If you’re starting out and need more insights on finding the balance in fitness, download our free guide, Fitness Hacks for Beginners.

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DON’T stress

One study found that stressful events contributed to erratic changes in testosterone levels in males. Cortisol acts a stress hormone and as cortisol rises, testosterone decreases.

We are lucky enough to live in a time where we can get a test done to see how genetically predisposed we are at handling stress. This can provide a simple, personalised and easy to follow plan for those trying to improve their fitness and nutrition.

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DO manage your stress

Using various stress management techniques can be one way of increasing testosterone.  Practicing mindfulness strategies even forms of meditation help holistically. 💭

So stress less, and then test your testosterone! 

Meditation can also be linked to resistance training, as it’s common for some individuals to use their resistance training session as a form of meditation. 

The inclusion of yoga can be a great method for you to combine meditation and active movement into one session if you’d like.Try to reduce continuous and repetitive stressful situations that occur in your life. 

It’s all about mind over matter! 

Learn healthy stress management techniques with our Guide to Stress, Mindfulness & Meditation

A simple, personalised and easy to follow plan for those trying to improve their fitness and nutrition can be found in taking a DNA test which investigates your personal predispositions for certain food and workouts.

Get Health Fit, our most comprehensive, personalised wellness plan to help you improve your overall health with insights into your stress tolerance and sleep quality. 

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