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7/23/2017 8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels

By Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN | May 20, 2016 | 561,195 views

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, but females also have
small amounts of it.
It is a steroid hormone, produced in mens testicles and womens
ovaries (1).
The adrenal glands also produce small amounts.
During puberty in boys, testosterone is one of the main drivers of
physical changes like increased muscle, deeper voice and hair
However, having optimal levels is also important throughout
adulthood and even during old age.
In adults, healthy levels are important for general health, disease
risk, body composition, sexual function and just about everything
else (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
Additionally, increasing your testosterone levels can cause rapid
gains in muscle mass and vitality in only a matter of weeks (8, 9,
Interestingly, it also plays an important role in female health and
sexual well-being (11, 12, 13).
The research is pretty conclusive: both genders should ensure they have healthy levels of testosterone,
especially as they age (13, 14).
Here are 8 evidence-based ways to increase testosterone levels naturally.

1. Exercise and Lift Weights

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent many lifestyle-related diseases. Interestingly, it can
also boost your testosterone.
A large review study found that people who exercised regularly had higher testosterone levels. In the
elderly, exercise increases testosterone levels, tness and reaction time (15, 16). 1/6
7/23/2017 8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

New research in obese men suggests that increased physical activity was even more benecial than a
weight loss diet for increasing testosterone levels (17).
Resistance training, such as weight lifting, is the best type of exercise to boost testosterone in both the
short- and long-term (18, 19).
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be very effective, although all types of exercise should
work to some extent (18, 19, 20, 21, 22).
Taking caffeine and creatine monohydrate as supplements may further boost your levels when combined
with a training program (23, 24).

Bottom Line: All forms of exercise may increase your testosterone levels. Weight lifting and
high-intensity interval training are the most effective. 2/6
7/23/2017 8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

2. Eat Protein, Fat and Carbs

What you eat has a major impact on testosterone as well as other
hormone levels (25).
Therefore, you must pay attention to your long-term calorie intake and
diet strategy.
Constant dieting or overeating may disrupt your testosterone levels (26,
27, 28, 29, 30).
Eating enough protein can help maintain healthy levels and aid in fat loss,
which is also associated with your testosterone (28, 31, 32).
Carb intake also plays a role, with research showing carbs can help
optimize testosterone levels during resistance training (22, 33).
However, research demonstrates that sufcient healthy fats are also benecial for testosterone and
health (25, 34, 35, 36, 37).
A diet based mainly on whole foods is best, with a healthy balance of fat, protein and carbs. This can
optimize both hormone levels and long-term health.
Bottom Line: Dont overeat and dont restrict calories too much for too long. Try to eat
balanced amounts of carbs, fat and protein.

3. Minimize Stress and Cortisol Levels

Research is always highlighting the dangers of long-term stress, which can elevate levels of the
hormone cortisol (38, 39, 40).
Unnatural elevations in cortisol can quickly reduce testosterone. These hormones work in a seesaw-like
manner: as one goes up, the other comes down (40, 41, 42).
Stress and high cortisol can also increase food intake, weight gain and the storage of harmful body fat
around your organs. In turn, these changes may negatively impact your testosterone levels (43, 44, 45).
For both optimal health and hormone levels, you should try to reduce repetitive stressful situations in
your life.
Focus on a diet based on whole foods, regular exercise, good sleep, laughter and a balanced lifestyle,
all of which can reduce stress and improve your health and testosterone levels (46, 47, 48, 49, 50).
Bottom Line: High levels of stress are bad for your long-term health and can reduce your
testosterone levels.

4. Get Some Sun or Take a Vitamin D Supplement

Vitamin D is quickly becoming one of the worlds most popular vitamins.
Research has shown that it has various health benets, and may also work as a natural testosterone
booster (51, 52, 53, 54, 55). 3/6
7/23/2017 8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

Despite its importance, nearly half of the US population is decient in

vitamin D, and an even higher percentage has sub-optimal levels (56,
A 12-month study found that supplementing with around 3,000 IU of
vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone levels by around 25% (54).
In the elderly, vitamin D and calcium also optimized testosterone levels,
which led to a reduced risk of falling (58).
To boost testosterone and reap the other benets of vitamin D, try to get
regular exposure to sunlight or take around 3,000 IU of a vitamin D3
supplement daily.
More information on vitamin D here: Vitamin D 101 A Detailed Beginners Guide.
Bottom Line: Vitamin D3 supplements may boost testosterone levels, especially in the
elderly and people who have low blood levels of vitamin D.

5. Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Although the benets of multivitamins are hotly debated, specic vitamins and minerals may be
benecial (59).
In one study, zinc and vitamin B supplements increased sperm quality by 74%. Zinc also boosts
testosterone in athletes and those who are decient in zinc (60, 61, 62).
Other studies also suggest vitamins A, C and E can play a role in your sex hormone and testosterone
levels, although more research is needed (25, 63, 64, 65). 4/6
7/23/2017 8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

Out of all the vitamins and minerals available, the research on testosterone shows vitamin D and zinc
supplements may be best (54, 66, 67).

Bottom Line: Vitamin D and zinc have the strongest evidence as testosterone boosters.
Other micronutrients may also have benets, but require further research.

6. Get Plenty of Restful, High-Quality Sleep

Getting good sleep is just as important for your health as diet and exercise (68,
69, 70, 71, 72, 73).
It may also have major effects on your testosterone levels.
The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but one study found
that sleeping only 5 hours per night was linked to a 15% reduction in
testosterone levels (73).
One long-term study observed that those who slept only four hours per night had
borderline decient levels (46).
Other long-term studies support this. One study calculated that for every
additional hour of sleep you get, testosterone levels rise 15% higher, on average
(74, 75).
Although some people seem to do ne with less sleep, research suggests around 710 hours of sleep
per night is best for long-term health and your testosterone.
Bottom Line: Make sure you get plenty of high-quality sleep to maintain healthy testosterone
levels and optimize your long-term health.

7. Take Some of These Natural Testosterone Boosters

Only a few natural testosterone boosters are supported by scientic
The herb with the most research behind it is called ashwagandha.
One study tested the effects of this herb on infertile men and found
a 17% increase in testosterone levels and a 167% increase in
sperm count (76).
In healthy men, ashwagandha increased levels by 15%. Another
study found it lowered cortisol by around 25%, which may also aid
testosterone (77, 78).
Ginger extract may also boost your levels. It is a delicious herb that also provides various other health
benets (79, 80, 81, 82, 83).
Most of the research on ginger has been done in animals. However, one study in infertile humans found
that ginger can boost testosterone levels by 17% and increase levels of other key sex hormones (80,
84). 5/6
7/23/2017 8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

Other popular herbs that are supported by some studies in both animals and humans include horny goat
weed, Mucuna pruriens, shilajit and tongkat ali.
Yet its important to note that most of the positive research has been conducted in mice or infertile
humans with low testosterone levels.
If you have healthy testosterone function and normal levels, it is unclear whether you will benet much
from these supplements.
Bottom Line: Several herbal supplements are a natural way to boost testosterone for those
with infertility or low levels.

8. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle and Avoid Estrogen-like

There are several other factors that may affect your hormone levels.
A healthy sex life plays an important role in regulating your sex hormone
and testosterone levels (85, 86).
High exposure to estrogen-like chemicals may also affect your levels, so try
to minimize daily exposure to BPA, parabens and other chemicals found in
some types of plastic (86, 87, 88, 89).
Its probably no surprise that excess alcohol or drug use, whether its
medical or recreational, can also decrease testosterone levels (90, 91, 92,
93, 94, 95).
In contrast, laughter, happiness and success may help boost your health and testosterone levels so
make sure theyre a part of your daily life (96, 97, 98, 99).
Bottom Line: Reducing exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, alcohol and drugs can
positively affect your testosterone levels and health.

Why Do Testosterone Levels Matter?

From the age of 2530, a mans testosterone levels naturally start to decline.
This is a problem because strong research shows a link between low testosterone and obesity,
increased disease risk and premature death.
Healthy testosterone levels are also important for women, along with other key hormones such as
estrogen and progesterone.
Therefore, everyone should take the necessary lifestyle steps to optimize testosterone levels. You will
improve your health and body at the same time.
More about testosterone and related topics:
The 8 Best Supplements to Boost Testosterone Levels
12 Proven Health Benets of Ashwagandha