Testosterone is the primary male characteristic hormone. Most men, particularly young men wish to optimise production of this hormone in order to boost muscular gains and/or maintain muscle mass. Additionally, older men want to optimise testosterone levels so as to enhance libido and general sexual function.
Boosting testosterone naturally can be achieved through dietary and lifestyle changes, and further enhanced via the use of certain nutritional supplements. These are outlined in the following key testosterone enhancing tips:
1. Eat organic. Organic foods are less likely to contain hormone disruptors such as pesticides, herbicides, plastic compounds and fluoride. These chemicals may either mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen in the human body and/or directly interfere with healthy testicular function. Obviously this would tend to reduce testosterone levels or reduce its proper functioning in the body.
You are also best advised to drink fluoride free water. Gravity fed water filters with fluoride attachments can filter out the fluoride from water.
2. Eat the right carbohydrates. Consumption of poor quality carbohydrate foods (e.g. white wheat flour products: breads, cakes, biscuits, chocolates etc) and/or sugar (sodas are a major dietary source of sugar) negatively affects healthy blood sugar balance, potentially reducing proper sensitivity to the blood sugar control hormone insulin. Research on obese individuals with lowered insulin sensitivity indicates an association with lowered testosterone levels, which can be raised back to normal once insulin sensitivity is improved. This can be achieved by sticking to low GI slow releasing carbohydrate foods, good examples being sweet potatoes, basmati rice, whole grain wheat/rye breads (sour dough is best) and durum wheat pasta. You should also avoid or massively reduce sugar (a common equivalent to avoid is high fructose corn syrup).
3. Take a zinc supplement. Zinc is needed for proper testosterone production. It is also needed for testosterone’s conversion to other important forms of this hormone. A zinc deficiency actually reduces the number of testosterone receptors; meaning testosterone is less able to exert its effects. Zinc has been shown to boost lowered testosterone levels back to normal or optimal levels. A good multivitamin/mineral normally has a decent level of zinc and other important nutrients that help to optimise testosterone levels. Look for zinc in the form of an amino acid chelate, citrate or gluconate. Nuts and seeds are a good food source of zinc (pumpkin seeds are great).
4. Take a magnesium supplement. The often-deficient mineral magnesium has demonstrated the ability to boost levels of total testosterone and free testosterone. Free testosterone is the unbound active form of testosterone. Magnesium can be obtained from a good quality multivitamin/mineral. The other option is a ZMA supplement, which usually contains a good combination of zinc and magnesium, specifically formulated to optimise testosterone production. Again, nuts and seeds are a great source of magnesium and many other beneficial minerals.
5. Avoid BPA plastics. BPA stands for bisphenol A, a plastic compound that seems to mimic the female hormone estrogen. Estrogen has a feminising effect in men. BPA has been linked to a lowering of testosterone and a shrinking of the testicles in rat-based studies! As far as possible avoid food and drinks in plastic containers, avoid storing foods in plastic containers and don’t wrap foods in plastic. Also be aware that till receipts are often coated in BPA, many dental sealants contain BPA and tin or steel food/drink cans are often lined with a plastic BPA containing layer. Don’t heat food in plastic containers, for example in the microwave, this is potentially more likely to leach BPA into the food. Look for BPA free plastic containers and bottles. Some sports shakers actually state that they are BPA free for example.
These tips should help fulfil your desired goal of optimal testosterone levels and boost general well-being in the process.