Depending on who you are, you may hate testosterone or love it. But no matter your thoughts, men need it.
It’s arguable if the hormone causes some men to act a certain way or if it’s used as an excuse for behavior, but it’s a fact that it plays a role in energy levels, strength, vitality, and overall health.
It’s also not exclusive to men. Women also need testosterone, they just generally possess it in much smaller amounts. That’s why it’s typically referred to as the “male sex hormone.”
What does it do? All kinds of things. Testosterone plays a role in:
- Bone mass
- Fat distribution
- Muscle mass
- Red blood cell production
When it starts to drop, the effects can be noticeable. It could lead to less energy, lower sex drive, weakness, and even impact mood.
Testosterone will naturally decline with age, and some people may notice more effects from losing less than others. It’s an individualized experience.
But the decline can be more graceful if you do things that help optimize testosterone. Certain behaviors can influence testosterone, potentially preventing it from getting too low and even helping boost levels.
Here are some of the things you can do to give yourself the best chance at slowing the loss of, or even increase, testosterone.
- Make exercise part of your daily routine. Resistance training, in particular, may increase testosterone. Aim to weight train at least three times per week for at least 30 minutes. Get some form of aerobic exercise – like walking – on off-days.
- Avoid processed foods. Foods like bread, cake, baked goods, processed meats, candy, and certain man-made fats (trans-fats) can knock down testosterone.
- Focus on eating a balanced diet of fresh fruit and colorful vegetables. Fresh meat can also contribute to testosterone.
- Avoid overeating. Slow down when you eat, taking time to fully smell, chew, swallow, and wait between bites. Don’t overfill your plate, and shoot for about 20 minutes to finish a meal. If you still feel a little hungry, wait another 10 minutes before having more.
- Reach a healthy weight. Fat cells can reduce testosterone, and obesity is closely associated with low testosterone. Lose fat and testosterone should increase.
- Get good sleep. Sleep and testosterone are closely associated, so do your best to get good quality rest every night.