A Quick Guide to Increasing Testosterone With Vitamins and Exercise
Boosting Testosterone has been a hot topic for years, for both athletes and non-athletes. Increasing Testosterone is important for most guys, especially with younger and younger men showing low levels. Environmental factors such as plastics and soy additives in food cause men’s Testosterone to drop, and it may be the reason why male infertility is on the rise. Unfortunately, most of the testosterone boosters you hear about are either dangerous and illegal, or simply do not work. The reality is that you can do a lot more for your Testosterone by addressing basic nutritional deficiencies and lifestyle choices than be taking some generic Test booster you saw on an infomercial.
The first key is to address basic nutrients.
Magnesium: Most people are deficient in this essential nutrient, and many think the government recommended daily values are too low. Magnesium is involved with 300 enzymatic processes in the body, and may be arguably the most important mineral for our bodies. Low magnesium has negative effects on many bodily processes and systems, but especially on our hormone balance and production. Low magnesium can lead to higher cortisol production, which in turn leads to lower testosterone. It is suggested you do a magnesium RBC blood test before supplementing, but magnesium is one of the safest supplements on the market. You can begin supplementing with an absorbable form of magnesium like magnesium citrate or magnesium malate. I recommend taking magnesium supplements in general, but just to clarify, magnesium supplements only help boost testosterone if you already have a magnesium deficiency. Most people are deficient, but you may want to find out for sure with that Magnesium RBC blood test before supplementing.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D is actually a hormone itself, and it works with magnesium, vitamin k2, and calcium to strengthen our bones, build other hormones, and keep us healthy. The best way to supplement Vitamin D is to get your bum in the sun. 3 sessions a week of 20 minutes of total body sun exposure can raise Vitamin D as much as 10 ng/ml over the course of a month. If you can’t get sun exposure or you feel you may need extra supplementation, work with a doctor to get a Vitamin D blood test. Whatever supplementation plan you agree on, make sure to take Vitamin D with Magnesium and K2 to avoid over-calcification. Then re-test in 3 to 4 weeks to see how your Vitamin D levels have adjusted.
Zinc. Zinc is often marketed as a testosterone boosting supplement, and many of us are deficient in this mineral. However, like magnesium, zinc supplementation will only help you with your testosterone if you already have a zinc deficiency, and taking large doses of zinc over long periods of time can cause gastrointestinal problems. It’s best to take this mineral for short periods of time or after blood work so you don’t take it without true need.
DHEA. DHEA is a hormone your body can call upon to make other hormones. It is shown to be very effective at combating age-related decline in testosterone. Simply supplement once a day with meat. However, if you compete in any sanctioned sports, DHEA is likely on their banned substances list so make sure to educate yourself before risking disqualification. DHEA is safe, just to reiterate. There are many safe and healthy substances that are banned in most sports.
Creatine. I think everyone should take creatine. Creatine is one of the most well-studied and safest substances one can supplement. It is actually more like a 4th food group (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and creatine) than a supplement. For those worried about dehydration, just know that dehydration problems with creatine occured in athletes who were taking way too much. It would be similar to consuming excessive amounts of protein. To benefit from creatine, work up to 5g a day, that is all you need. Some people will cycle off of creatine after a month of use, but it is not necessary. Keeping your creatine stores topped up has benefits for your whole body, from muscle contraction speed, to, you guessed it, testosterone benefits.
At the same time as making these nutritional changes, some simple changes to your gym routine can greatly boost testosterone levels.
Sprint, Lift Heavy Stuff, and Use Your Legs. Studies have found that when you workout your legs, the hormonal benefits greatly outweigh use of other body parts. This may be due to our heavy reliance on our legs in nature. Next, high intensity interval training, such as sprint work, shows strong benefits for the cardiovascular system, and your hormones. The last but not least effective method, is lifting heavy. Deadlifting, squatting, or even just doing heavy strong man exercises has positive effects on our hormones. The point is to lift things that ask for your whole body to struggle. You only need to lift like this occasionally to see benefits.
There you are. These are some foundational techniques you can use to start raising your testosterone. If you believe you may be the victim of abnormally low testosterone levels, especially if you are getting older, you may want to consider getting your hormone levels checked and doing a bio-identical hormone replacement program. I do not recommend this for young men, but when you are old and your testosterone is declining, hormone replacement therapy can be a great benefit to your life. Be sure to do your due diligence in finding a practitioner and educating yourself on the subject.
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