How To Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally
By Johnathan P Cumberwell
Why is testosterone important?
Testosterone is a hormone that your body needs in order to function properly, and in order for your body to carry out several of its tasks.
Having too little testosterone will cause several health problems.
Such as erectile dysfunction, infertility, fatigue and sleep problems. And many more.
And chances are – your testosterone levels are far from optimal. Particularly if you live a normal city-life.
You are not alone. It is estimated that as many as 800 million men worldwide (the number is probably even higher) suffer from testosterone deficiency.
However, there are several actions you can take to fix this.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to increase your testosterone levels naturally.
By ‘naturally’, I mean making healthy changes to your lifestyle and giving your body what it needs in order to function optimally.
No hormone injections, testosterone replacement, pharmaceutical drugs or medications.
And this guide will also tell you what happens to your body if you have inadequate testosterone levels.
If you follow the steps in this guide, you are likely to see a dramatic increase in your testosterone levels.
In this guide, we will examine 12 actions you can implement today to start improving your testosterone levels.
We will explore all of these actions in detail and I also will explain how each of them impact your testosterone levels.
There is no simple trick that will naturally increase your testosterone levels overnight.
If you want to have a sustainable higher testosterone level, this will entail long-term solutions. And you will need some patience.
These are the 12 actions you can take to increase you testosterone levels:
- Eat Smart – Give Your Body All The Nutrients It Needs
- Exercise Regularly And Be Active As Much As You Can
- Lose Excess Body Fat
- Sleep Well And Sleep Long
- Don’t Stress
- Get Adequate Sun Exposure
- Stop (Or Reduce) Alcohol Intake
- Avoid Pollution
- Use Non-Toxic Personal Care And Cleaning Products
- Avoid Certain Medications
- Have Frequent Sex (But Don’t Come Too Often)
- Take Testosterone Boosting Supplements
What Is Testosterone?
Androgen receptors are the ‘docking stations’ or ‘ports’ where testosterone connects and then instructs the body to carry out certain tasks. Such as to increase sperm production or to create more muscle tissue.
95% of your testosterone is produced in the testicles.
The remaining testosterone is produced in what is called the adrenal glands which sit on top of the kidneys.
But how exactly is testosterone made?
It all starts in your brain. As the first step, a hormone called gonadotropin releasing hormone, is produced in one part of the brain.
This gonadotropin releasing hormone causes another part of the brain to produce two more hormones, called luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone.
The luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone then travels down your spine to your testicles. In the testicles, they enter cells called the leydig cells.
Inside the leydig cells, these two hormones instruct the leydig cells to manufacture testosterone.
After the testosterone is produced, it is released into your blood stream.
Most of this testosterone will immediately bind to two proteins called sex hormone binding globulin and albumin. The reason testosterone binds to these proteins is: 1) to be stored for future use, and 2) to be transported somewhere else in the body.
Only 1-3% of the testosterone will be un-bound to these proteins, or free.
Only free testosterone can carry out the tasks of testosterone (binding to androgen receptors and send instructions).
When this free testosterone binds to an androgen receptor, it causes things to happen.
Depending on what has been instructed, this can cause your body to build more muscle, increase bone density, cause facial hair to grow, etc.
Let’s look at some of the common functions of testosterone in your body:
Testosterone is essential for the development of the male sex organs such as the penis, testicles and prostate.
In fact, before you were born, testosterone influenced whether you became a boy or a girl.
As male babies become boys and then grow to men, testosterone is responsible for the development of characteristics such as curiosity, high levels of activity and risk taking.
It is also behind growth of pubic hair, facial hair and chest hair, as well as acne formation, rapid growth of arms and legs, a deeper voice, increased muscle mass, broad shoulders, the Adam’s apple and increases in sex drive.
For male adults, testosterone regulates sperm production and growth hormones, and is also necessary for proteins to form in the body.
It also helps with oxygen uptake, controls blood sugar, maintains the immune system and is also critical for production of red blood cells.
Testosterone levels normally peak when a person is in the late teens, and then gradually decline over time.
Most men can expect total testosterone levels to decline by a little more than 1% per year after turning 30, and free testosterone to decline by a little more than 2%, also after the age of 30.
To learn more about testosterone on Truelibido, please go here.
Now that we also know the basics of Testosterone, lets understand what your testosterone levels should be.
What Is A Normal Testosterone Level?
Because, as we already know, testosterone levels normally go down as you age, and therefore it is more appropriate to compare your current testosterone level with averages for your age.
The chart below shows average testosterone levels by age group from a research study done by A. Vermeulen.
As can be seen from the chart, total and free testosterone normally decreases as we age. You will also see that testosterone levels are above 500 ng/dl for most age groups.
If your testosterone are below these averages, it is in indication that your testosterone levels are low.
Further down in this guide, we will talk about the common consequences of having low testosterone.
Before we move on, I wanted to make one point:
Although research shows that testosterone normally declines with age, there are normally also many other factors that also tend to go hand in hand with age.
Many men exercise less when they get older, are overweight more frequently, often stress more, etc. Many of these other factors also have a negative impact on testosterone.
Therefore, what research also has shown, is that men that age can still maintain a high level of testosterone as long as they live a healthy life.
Now that we better understand what normal testosterone levels are, lets investigate how common it is to have low testosterone, and also how many people world-wide have inadequate amounts of testosterone.
How Common Is Low Testosterone?
The answer is: Very common.
Particularly if we were to compare testosterone levels today with levels 50 or 100 years ago.
We just sadly don’t have the data this far back.
But we do have data for the last 20-30 years, and the development for even this short time period is rather scary. More about this in a minute.
The medical industry defines testosterone deficiency (or hypergonadism) as testosterone levels below 300 ng/dl.
100 years ago, this lower limit would have probably been set significantly higher.
Btw, for most men, an optimal testosterone level is probably above 1,000 ng/dl. Which means that if you have testosterone at 300 ng/dl, you only have about a third of the optimal amount.
However, even though the lower level is as low as 300 ng/dl, several research studies have still reported that large numbers of men still experience hypergonadism (or very low testosterone levels).
Let’s look at some of these numbers:
- One study of 2,162 men reported that the rate of hypogonadism was 39%
- Another study of 890 men reported that the rate of hypogonadism was 19%
- A study on 2,719 men reported that the rate of hypogonadism was 19%
- Another study of 55 men reported that the rate of hypogonadism was 57%
- Another study of 734 men reported that the rate of hypogonadism was 24%
There are other studies as well showing similar results.
If we conservatively assume that the bottom range of these results, 20%, is approximately the right number for testosterone deficiency, we arrive at some interesting numbers.
Let’s also for the sake of simplicity apply this to all males and not exclude very young males who have not been part of these studies.
There are approximately 330 million people in the US. Applying the 20% estimate to the male population, means that approximately 33 million American men are testosterone deficient.
Of the 750 million people in Europe, approximately 75 million males are, based on this estimate, testosterone deficient.
Of the almost 8 billion people on planet earth, if this estimate is correct, approximately 800 million men are testosterone deficient.
Why Are Testosterone Levels Dropping World-Wide?
Let’s look at the facts:
The Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS), gathered data on 1,500 randomly selected men in the Boston area in three different time periods over 17 years (1987-89, 1995-97, and 2002-04).
The study measured both total testosterone and free testosterone levels. It found that total testosterone levels – for men at the same age – decreased by 1.2%, and free testosterone by 1.3%, every year.
That’s between 20.4% and 22.1% during the years of the study.
Meaning that an average 40-year old man had ~20% less testosterone in 2004, than an average 40-year old man in 1989.
Another study, known as The Finnish Study, analyzed data of more than 3,000 Finnish men over 30 years (1972, 1977 and 2002).
This study reported similar results:
An average man in 2002 (in Finland) had 20% less (or for certain age groups, even less than 20%) testosterone than their fathers.
Why is this happening? What is going on?
No-one has a precise answer.
There are lots of different theories. Some of them point to chemicals that interfere with our body’s hormonal systems, called endocrine disruptors.
A large number of chemicals have been introduced into our lives in recent times.
Chemicals are added to our food, water, used as pesticides and herbicides, used in toiletries and sanitation products, etc. Many of these chemicals contain endocrine disruptors.
Other theories argue that it may have to do with our eating habits, eating more processed foods, foods containing ‘things’ our bodies are not supposed to have, increased obesity, etc.
Yet other theories point to wireless and mobile phone radiation, as well as generally more radiation in our homes, cars, cities, etc.
Other theories argue that lack of sleep, sedentary lifestyle, pollution, etc., are causing this drop in testosterone.
Although we don’t have a definitive and complete answer, the answer is probably a combination of many or all of the above.
In all likelihood, the answer is rooted in the dramatic changes in the lives of the modern human being over the last few decades.
Now that we also understand that testosterone levels are falling world-wide, lets have a look at what typically happens to you when your testosterone levels are low.
What Are The Consequences Of Low Testosterone?
If your testosterone levels are low, it normally means that your body is out of balance somehow. Something in your body is off.
If your body was perfectly healthy, it would have normally produced enough testosterone.
When your body has inadequate testosterone, several changes will normally happen to your body. You may experience all of these, or only some, depending on the severity of your testosterone deficiency.
Let’s explore each of these changes and also explain why they are likely to happen:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced libido
- Infertility and low levels of ejaculate
- Smaller penis and testicles
- Reduced muscle mass
- Increased body fat
- Enlarged breasts
- Sleep Problems
- Persistent fatigue and loss of energy
- Emotional and mood changes
- Loss of memory and mental functions
- Low red blood cell count
- Reduced bone density
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common results of having low testosterone.
The reason is that testosterone is the fuel that keeps your reproductive organ and functions going.
Without this fuel, or with too little of this fuel, these reproductive functions will simply not work properly.
Think of a car running on low fuel, or having run out of fuel. It sputters, or stops.
The process from start to finish of getting an erection is complex and depends on a series of events that all need to happen in succession. Testosterone facilitates and supports these events.
When there is not enough testosterone to facilitate and support these events, it will normally by significantly more difficult to get and maintain erections.
Therefore, with low testosterone, you may have a difficult time getting erections, or you may be able to get erections, but you may lose them quickly.
To learn more about erectile dysfunction on Truelibido, please go here.
Reduced Libido (or sex drive) is another very common consequence of low testosterone.
The reason is the same as the reason why many men struggle with erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone supports your reproductive system and your urge to have sex.
When you have inadequate testosterone levels, your your body simply doesn’t have the same (or any) desire to have sex (or to reproduce). As a result, you will normally feel your sex drive diminishing or vanishing.
This means you will normally be less interested in sex, you will rarely have random sexual thoughts, rarely spontaneous erections, and sex will sometimes simply be gone from your mind.
To learn more about libido on Truelibido, please go here.
Low levels of ejaculate and infertility are also connected to the reproductive system.
Therefore, these also depend on testosterone to function well.
In order for you to produce sperm, and to produce healthy sperm, you need a certain amount of testosterone.
If you have too little testosterone, the sperm will normally not swim well, or can otherwise be unhealthy. Also, the number of sperm you produce will normally be lower.
Therefore, low testosterone often means little sperm that are bad swimmers. This in turn will typically make it significantly more difficult for you to make a woman pregnant.
Smaller penis and testicles are also potential consequences of inadequate testosterone levels.
The penis and testicles are main parts of the reproductive system, and therefore their functions are supported by and dependent on testosterone.
If you don’t have enough testosterone, neither the penis nor the testicles receive enough of this fuel to perform their reproductive tasks properly.
As mentioned already, that means you will probably have fewer erections, your sperm production will probably slow down and your sperm are more likely to be bad swimmers.
Which again means that the use and maintenance of your penis and testicles will likely be very low.
When your penis and testicles are left idle for longer periods, they often experience decay (atrophy) and therefore often lose vitality and size.
Reduced muscle mass is also likely to occur if you have inadequate testosterone levels.
In order for your body to build muscle, it needs testosterone. Testosterone is needed in order to set in motion the building of and expansion of muscle fibers.
With little or no testosterone, it is very difficult for your body to build muscle.
But testosterone is also required simply to maintain muscle mass.
When there is not enough testosterone floating around in your body, muscles will not be maintained as they should, but will instead normally experience decline, or what is called atrophy.
Therefore, if your testosterone levels are low, you are likely to lose muscle mass.
To learn more about my experience with exercise on Truelibido, please go here.
Increased body fat is closely linked to the point above about reduction in muscle mass.
Testosterone plays a vital role in how our bodies metabolizes (or uses) glucose, fat and proteins. Testosterone also plays a vital role in how effective insulin is at enabling your cells to use glucose.
When your body doesn’t have enough testosterone, it is not able to metabolize energy efficiently. As a result, your body will often store a lot of this energy as fat. This makes you gain weight.
Also, when you first get overweight, further fat build-up will normally come even faster.
That is because fat tissue contain an enzyme called aromatase. Amomatose converts testosterone to estrogen.
So when there is more fat, there is more aromatase, which means less testosterone.
This can easily cause you to enter a vicious cycle:
Because of more aromatose, you have less testosterone than before. This again causes increases in fat deposits. Which means more aromatose. Which means less testosterone, etc.
Enlarged breasts (gynecomastia) is also a common result of having too little testosterone, and it is connected to the point above about increased body fat.
This condition occurs when there is more estrogen relative to testosterone in your body.
When you have too little testosterone, you often either have the same amount, or more, of estrogen. This means that the testosterone / estrogen balance is tipped towards estrogen.
Estrogen is the hormone responsible for development of female body characteristics.
When you have too much of this hormone relative to testosterone, you will normally start to lose the expression of some of your male traits, and increase the expression of your female traits.
And one of the first signs of too much estrogen relative to testosterone is increased breasts in men.
Sleep problems are more likely to occur in men with low testosterone.
Meaning, if your testosterone levels are low, you normally experience more periods awake after sleep onset and also have more sleep interruptions, than you would if you had normal amounts of testosterone.
Although the scientific community is not entirely sure why this is the case, research has indicated that testosterone is necessary for a person to smoothly go from one sleep cycle to the next, and to efficiently enter deep sleep, or what is called REM sleep.
So when your body has inadequate levels of testosterone, it is believed your sleep is interrupted when you go from one cycle to the next, and that you may not spend enough time in the deep sleep state.
To learn more about my experience with sleep on Truelibido, please go here.
Persistent fatigue (and lack of energy) is also common in men with low testosterone.
This is because testosterone plays a vital role in how our bodies metabolize energy such as glucose, proteins and fat.
Most of our energy comes from carbohydrates, protein and fat, and when the absorption and distribution of these energy sources is not working well, your body will often not have the energy it needs.
As a result, you will often feel low on energy and fatigued.
In addition, testosterone affects red blood cell production. If your testosterone levels are low, your red blood cell production normally falls as well.
This condition is called anaemia. When there are fewer than normal red blood cells in your blood, your blood is not able to transport enough oxygen around your body. As a result, fatigue and lack of energy often set in.
Depression is commonly seen in men with low testosterone.
Why does this happen?
First off, it’s linked to the point above about fatigue. When you experience persistent fatigue or lack of energy over time, you may simply get depressed.
Or put differently: If you over a long periods of time simply feel down, this can easily lead to depression.
12 Actions To Boost Testosterone Naturally Today
Eat Smart – Give Your Body All The Nutrients It Needs
Exercise Regularly And Be Active Every Day
Lose Excess Body Fat
Get Enough Sleep
Get Adequate Sun Exposure
Stop (Or Reduce) Alcohol Intake
Use Non-Toxic Personal Care And Cleaning Products
These are often used to preserve and stabillize your personal care products, as well aid coloring or fragrance of your products.
Studies have detected phthalates in more than half of personal care products tested.
Not only can these phalates cause declines in testosterone, but they can also cause testicular cancer, genital deformations, low sperm counts, and infertility.
Another endocrine disruptor often found in personal care products are parabens. Parabens are very commonly used as preservatives in many kinds of cosmetics, such as sun lotions, moisturisers, personal-lubricants, shampoos, shaving gels, toothpaste, etc. You may even find them as food additives.
Two other endocrine disruptors often found in personal care products are called triclosan and triclocarban. Their purpose is to kill germs, and you find them in many antibacterial soaps, lotions, hand sanitizers, etc.