Table of Contents
- What is Testosterone?
- Why are Testosterone Levels Important?
- Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone
- When to See a Doctor
What is Testosterone?
You be curious about the hormones in the body, how they are produced, what they do, what is their importance, and so on.
This is true especially for testosterone. Why is that?
It is often mentioned in health topics, and fitness-related topics for physical appearance.
It is useful and even important to be more informed on this topic, regardless if you are a man or a woman.
The male sex hormone is called testosterone, but this hormone is not found in males only; females also have it, in much smaller amounts.
It is a steroid hormone, and the way it is produced is in the male testicles. For women, it is in their ovaries.
Our adrenal glands also make hormones, and testosterone too, in smaller amounts compared to the testicles and ovaries.
When boys go through puberty, their main catalyst for all physical transformations is testosterone.
Examples of such changes are larger muscles, more muscle mass, deepening of the voice, and more hair all over.
Puberty aside, for optimal health this hormone has to be at good levels all throughout life into old age.
To sum this up for now, both males and females must have optimal testosterone levels, and this is crucial as we age.
As I am a woman that is nearing her 40s, and has two kids and a husband, I am starting to notice the importance of this hormone.
When you witness how children grow and change, and the male partner ages, too, you will want to do some research.
There are several ways in which testosterone increases in healthy and natural ways, supported by legitimate evidence.
Why are Testosterone Levels Important?
Starting from the ages of 25 to 30, all men have a decrease in testosterone.
This is not good, since experts claim it might lead to hair loss, weight gain, and even diseases and early death.
Good testosterone levels are crucial for females too, along with progesterone and estrogen.
Thus, make all changes necessary, no matter what, to improve this hormonal balance.
Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone
Natural Testosterone Boosters
Scientific studies have given support to just a few natural boosters.
The best is the herb named ashwagandha.
A study tested all of its effects, and it was tested on men with infertility.
The result was a testosterone increase of 17%, and for sperm count it was a whole 167% (5).
For men with good health, this herb caused an increase of 15% in testosterone.
A study also claimed this herb lowered cortisol 25%, which affects testosterone too (6).
Extract of ginger also creates a boost, here.
Almost every ginger experiment was done on animals.
But a study had tested it on humans with infertility, too, and they found testosterone is boosted by 17%, among other sex hormones (10).
Plenty of other herbs are also healthy, and find scientific support; for example, the studies with humans and horny goat weed, or Mucuna pruriens, tongkat ali, and shilajit.
The best results were seen with mice studies and humans that had low testosterone and infertility.
If you are lucky to have good levels of testosterone, it is yet to be seen if you will find MORE benefits from such boosters.
We all neglect sleep and think we will make it up the next day; this happens often.
And, not surprisingly, sleep has an effect on testosterone.
Make sure you and your partner, as well as the children, get enough sleep every single night.
Ideally, every person has different sleep needs, but a study claimed that 5 hours of sleep will REDUCE testosterone by a whole 15%, so try to sleep 7 to 8 hours nightly (14).
Another longer study monitored people who sleep just 4 hours a night, more or less, and found that their levels of testosterone were gravely deficient.
This was backed up by another, different study.
The experts there concluded that for every additional hour of sleep, you increase testosterone by approximately 15% (15).
We all function well the whole day, even with no sleep at all, but it is A MUST to sleep 7 to 10 hours every night.
It might be challenging to do this when you have a family and a male partner, but do your best to make a habit out of this.
Lift Weights Often and Exercise
Workouts are the perfect way for you to protect yourself from disease and unhealthy habits; the more you move, the more testosterone you have.
A large-scale study claimed those who are active often have increased testosterone.
For those who are older, it is the same – more recreation increases this hormone (16).
A study for obese males claimed workouts are better compared to classic weight loss diets regarding hormonal levels’ increase.
The best workouts for testosterone are weight lifting and resistance training, in the long run (17).
Pair your workouts with caffeine and creatine monohydrate supplements for best results (20).
Reduce Stress Levels
More studies lately have accentuated the grave and long-lasting effects of stress – this elevates the cortisol, or stress, hormone (21).
Peculiar increases of cortisol REDUCE testosterone.
Both these hormones work as if essentially ‘fight each other’. If one rises, the other gets reduced (22).
You may have noticed, as I have noticed as a woman with family-busy life; more cortisol and stress leads to overeating, almost 100%.
In sum, do your best to reduce stress that, apart from leading to disease and weight gain, will be catastrophic for hormones in the long run.
This is especially beneficial for females, since females with families are prone to more stress and thus weight gain.
Take Vitamin D Supplements
Recently, vitamin D has become more popular worldwide.
It is a popular vitamin but strangely neglected; almost 50% of USA citizens lack it, to some degree.
Even more, a majority of people lack it completely.
A study lasting for a whole year claimed that 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day will boost testosterone a whole 25% (31).
For older people, calcium and vitamin D both will also boost this hormone – with more testosterone, the elderly will typically fall less and suffer less grave injuries (32).
To get more vitamin D, go out in the sun when you can, even for a little while, take out the kids for a walk, and get your recommended 3,000 IU of D3.
Minerals and Vitamins
It is still debatable if multivitamins are good; however, they are useful, at least for day-to-day health improvement.
Interestingly, your male partners will benefit from them even more, since their sperm quality will improve a whole 74%.
There are plenty of easily-accessible vitamins, but it has been proven that vitamin D affects testosterone the most, when taken with zinc (38).
Eat More Carbs, Fat, and Protein
The food we consume influences hormones, especially testosterone.
Thus, plan out healthy meals for long-term nutritional goals, plan out calorie intake, and make a healthy diet regime.
Consuming carbs is also important, even though some think they have a bad reputation.
They aid in optimizing testosterone when you need energy prior to exercise (42).
Make sure you consume both whole and cooked foods.
Live Healthier Life
When you are often exposed to chemicals and estrogen-like items, hormones suffer an imbalance, so reduce your exposure to BPA (Bisphenol A – industrial chemical in many plastics).
After reading this I slowly replaced all plastics in our home with glass items.
When to See a Doctor
There are certain signs that signal the need to see a doctor.
You will notice them, even though they can be mild.
Some of them include lowered libido or sex drive, infertility, fatigue that is chronic and lasts for a long time, and for males there is also the problem of erectile dysfunction that often happens.
For women, the signs are even more noticeable, such as dark facial hair above the mouth, and on the chin and sideburns; women might also notice acne on the face, and upper part of the body, as well.
It is crucial to see a doctor if such signs appear, since for men, this condition of low testosterone could lead to testicular cancer, and for women to ovarian cancer.
If children start having abnormal hormonal levels, it may be noticed immediately.
Girls will have a menstrual delay and boys will develop more slowly regarding muscle, hair, and a deepening of voice that will come much later than usual.
When you see a doctor for testosterone issues, a test will be performed with a simple blood draw.
Prior to the test, you will be advised to abstain from all medications that could affect the testosterone results, such as barbiturates, anticonvulsants, steroids, and androgen/estrogen medications.
As I am a woman in her late 30s with children, I monitor my body’s signs, as well as my children’s and partner’s, with great care, due to the seriousness of testosterone’s effects on health.
Overall, when abnormal signs are noticed, that signals some cause for concern, and thus it is advisable to set up a doctor’s appointment.