Strength, sex drive, and muscle mass; ask pretty much anyone what they associate with testosterone and chances are they will mention one of the aforementioned. And of course, these associations are pretty accurate - as the primary male hormone, testosterone plays a crucial role in muscle mass and libido. However, it’s also important for bone mass, the production of red blood cells, and fat distribution which is why when levels decline, it can cause a range of symptoms in men.

While in most men, testosterone levels remain at a healthy level throughout their lives, according to Harvard Health, in most men, they begin to decline by just over 1% from the age of 40. And although it’s not close to the decline women experience during menopause, it can still be the source of a number of side effects which is why the internet is brimming with answers to the age-old question: can you boost testosterone?

First things first, it’s important to know that there’s little you can do to boost testosterone naturally, though there are ways to maintain healthy testosterone levels - one of the most important being following a healthy lifestyle.

Related article: Low Libido in Men: What’s Affecting Your Sex Drive?


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Can I increase my testosterone levels?


According to research from the International Journal of Clinical Practice, up to 40% of men aged 45 or older experience low testosterone levels. And while this decline is completely natural with age, men can also experience low testosterone for a number of different reasons such as certain medications, excess alcohol intake, kidney failure, and injury or infection to the testes.

Despite popular belief, there is little that can be done to boost testosterone levels that have fallen as a result of something as natural as age. Although testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is sometimes an option for a number of men, Mayo Clinic notes that there are a number of risks associated with TRT for normal aging such as the increased risk of blood clots and sleep disorders.

So while there is no one tried and tested way to boost testosterone naturally, it is believed that your general health and lifestyle choices can have an effect on your testosterone levels [1], which is why it’s recommended to consider some of the following factors that may be affecting your testosterone levels:

  • Poor diet
  • Stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Family medical history
  • Health conditions

Related article: What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?


How can I maintain healthy testosterone levels?


As mentioned above, there really is no surefire way to boost your testosterone levels naturally. Still, your general health and wellbeing can have an impact on your testosterone levels which is why making a few healthy lifestyle changes can help you maintain healthy testosterone levels.

Related article: Male Hypogonadism: Signs, Symptoms, and Causes


Keep a healthy weight and diet


It’s important to keep a healthy diet - for both your testosterone levels and overall wellbeing.

Research shows that the width of your waist is a stronger predictor of low testosterone levels than BMI [2]. That being said, if you’re wary of your testosterone levels - start incorporating healthy foods into your daily diet!


Eliminate stress as much as possible


Cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands, blocks the effects of testosterone which suppresses libido, healthy competitive drive, and aggression [3].

The best advice? Identify what’s causing stress in your life and try to manage it - meditate, practice yoga, laugh, and hang out with those who make you happy.


Start exercising


Exercising isn’t just good for the body and mind, it’s good for your testosterone levels as it increases muscle mass and helps you maintain a healthy weight [4].

Try out a new workout class or take your dog on a long walk - no matter which way you prefer to exercise, getting some regular movement in will benefit you in more ways than one!


Get a good nights sleep


Sleep deprivation can lead to a form of stress that reduces testosterone levels by raising cortisol levels [5]. Try to get between seven or eight hours of good quality sleep per night to set yourself up for the day ahead! [6]


Do testosterone boosters really work?


Testosterone boosters are supplements that are believed to help increase testosterone levels and in turn, improve the signs and symptoms that come along with low testosterone such as reduced sex drive, loss of muscle mass, and fatigue.

And while these boosters can be purchased in your local drug store, it’s strongly recommended to speak with your healthcare provider before trying them with studies suggesting that they can pose health risks such as hair loss, acne, and loss of libido.

Related article: Is Testosterone a Steroid?


Can I test my testosterone levels?


The most reliable way to know more about your levels of testosterone is through a test. This can be done with your local doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s range of male at-home hormone tests can give you an overview of your hormonal health to identify potential imbalances and help improve performance. Our dedicated clinical team will be available every step of the way and your online results will be available within 2-5 days.

You should take a test if:

  • You are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • You suffer from Klinefelter syndrome
  • You suffer from type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • You suffer from hemochromatosis
  • You have a pituitary gland disorder
  • You are obese
  • You suffer from chronic stress
  • You take anabolic steroids
  • You have a family history of low testosterone
  • You suffer from thyroid issues
  • You have kidney or liver disease
  • You have anorexia nervosa

Related Article: How do You Check Testosterone Levels From Home?


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Buy an At-Home Male Hormone Test

Get a broad overview of your hormonal health from home with our range of male hormone tests.


References

  1. Harvard Health Publishing. Treating low testosterone levels. Online: Health.harvard.edu, 2016
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. Obesity: Unhealthy and unmanly. Online: Health.harvard.edu, 2011
  3. Mayo Clinic Staff. Chronic stress puts your health at risk. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2019
  4. Mayo Clinic Staff. Testosterone therapy: Potential benefits and risks as you age. Online:Mayoclinic.org, 2017
  5. S. M. Peterson. What are your sleep busters?. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2016
  6. S. M. Peterson. What are your sleep busters?. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2016