As they get older, a lot of guys find themselves concerned about their testosterone levels. If you don’t know, testosterone is a hormone which regulates men’s sexual development. It’s also a crucial part of the muscle building process.
Today, our question is from Jordan Consolver, and he wants to know what my opinion is on testosterone boosters. I imagine a lot of guys out there are curious about them as well.
For starters, I bet Jordan is talking about supplements as opposed to food or exercise. In recent years, I’ve seen an increase in the number of products advertised on TV and in magazines which claim to boost your testosterone levels.
I must admit, I really don’t think they’re necessary because there are a number of ways to naturally boost your levels through food and exercise.
Natural Testosterone Boosters
1. High-Fat Foods
High-fat foods like avocado, nuts, butter and coconut oil all help your body produce more testosterone. That’s because fat is a building block for those hormones. As such, low-fat diets are an absolute nightmare for testosterone production.
2. Avoid Long Duration Cardio
The second way to naturally boost your testosterone levels is to avoid long bouts of cardio exercise.
That may sound counterintuitive, but the research is very clear on this. I remember taking a class called the Theory of Athletic Conditioning back when I was in school. It required us to look through piles and piles and studies, and I clearly remember looking at one which contained a graph depicting declining levels of testosterone.
I must admit, the thought of that scared me, so I pulled out that study and investigated it more thoroughly.
The study looked into running and what long-distance running does to testosterone. It essentially depletes it. Think about it: how many buff marathon runners have you ever seen? With diminished testosterone levels, they’re never able to develop significant muscle.
I don’t know about you, but when I leave the gym after a heavy lifting workout, I feel like the Incredible Hulk. There’s a surge of strength I carry with me, and I even feel slightly aggressive. It’s a reminder that I just issued myself a tiny testosterone boost — you only get that by lifting heavy weights.
I don’t feel the same thing after yoga.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love taking my yoga class, but when I’m driving home, I feel completely Zen. That’s a great feeling, and a much needed one in my busy life, but I also know I’m not stimulating the production of testosterone when I’m doing a downward-facing dog. That’s what my weight lifting sessions are for.
3. Relaxation Practice
Another note here on yoga or any other kind of relaxing practice: stress relief is a very important component to keeping your testosterone levels healthy because if you’re stressed out, you risk getting what’s called a pregnenolone steal in your adrenal area.
When you’re under heavy stress, the hormone-production pathway shifts away from sex hormones like testosterone to cortisol through an intermediary called pregnenolone.
Essentially, stress steals your body’s awareness from producing testosterone to producing cortisol. That’s a very bad thing, so you want to manage your stress. That’s why I love doing yoga.
Stay on top of those three things, and you’ll be doing more than enough to keep your testosterone pumping. To recap, it’s simply a matter of eating more healthy fats, lifting heavy weights, and managing your stress. That’s it.
Actually, there’s one more thing you can do: Have more sex!
Engaging in intercourse helps to stimulate more testosterone in your body. Of course, you want to make sure it’s protected, consented and consensual sex. It’s good for you!
I hope this is a big help to all the men out there with testosterone concerns. I’m not a big advocate of supplementation as a general principle, and it’s because we often don’t have to go that route. Simply give your body what it needs and it will take care of you.
Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.