It’s an undeniable fact that as we age, our testosterone levels begin to decrease – and the decline starts sooner than you think. As early as age 30 men can start to see their testosterone production decrease by about 1 – 2% per year, and it only gets worse from there. As part of the natural process of aging, you may feel helpless to stop it – but did you know some of your own habits could be making it worse? Here, we discuss three factors that can have an effect on your overall testosterone production, and what you can do to take change them.
It probably comes as no surprise that stress is on this list. When we are stressed, our brains trigger the release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which proceed to tell the body to kick it into high gear. This is fine when we need to act quickly and respond to emergency situations, but as a daily, chronic occurrence, it becomes well…stressful. Chronic stress leads to a myriad of problems, including muscle tension, anxiety, insomnia, and can affect our hormone production. Cortisol is the primary enemy of testosterone here, and generally, when cortisol levels are up, testosterone levels are down.
The simplest solution to this issue is to reduce your daily stress. Try to identify issues or situations that cause you constant anxiety, and deal with or remove yourself from them. One herb that is spiking in popularity in the supplement world is Ashwagandha, which works as an adaptogen and stress reliever. Preliminary studies reported that a 5g dose every day for 3 months decreased subjects’ stress levels and improved fertility as a result, making it a promising adversary in today’s stressed filled world.
Psychological stress is not the only trigger for cortisol. Cortisol is also produced during exercise, when the muscles are under physical stress, and especially when endurance training. Short bouts of stress, like in high intensity interval training (HIIT) or weight lifting, is integral to muscle building, but constant, long endurance sessions like for marathon training is when this becomes an issue. The easiest way to avoid adding unnecessary stress to your body while exercising is to allow your body to rest and recover. When you train properly, you can even get a temporary boost in testosterone when your workout is done.
Carrying a little extra weight, especially as we get older, is normal. However, studies show that obese men also tend to have low testosterone. As testosterone levels start to naturally decline, it becomes easier to gain fat. Adipose tissue (fat) is linked to an increase in the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estradiol, which is a type of estrogen. This conversion contributes more to the declining levels of testosterone, and accumulation of fat tissue. The more fat mass that is gained, the more testosterone levels go down.
Studies have also shown that as fat mass is reduced, testosterone levels begin to climb again. One of the easiest ways to help maintain healthy testosterone levels is to shed the extra fat with a regular diet and workout routine. Be careful not to go too far the other way though, as extreme dieting and prolonged calorie deficits can also cause the body to stop producing testosterone.
Not getting enough of the right nutrients is another reason why your testosterone levels may not be as high as they could be. Even if you’re a health-minded eater, it’s hard to get everything we need from our diet alone. At the top of this list regarding testosterone levels is Vitamin D. Vitamin D is found in few foods naturally, but it is essential for many functions within the body, and has been linked to proper testosterone function. Studies have found a strong correlation between Vitamin D deficiencies and low testosterone levels. When Vitamin D levels were raised, testosterone levels also rose. We’re also able to produce our own Vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun. However, due to the modern indoor lifestyle, many of us don’t see the sun as much as we’d like.
Another nutritional deficiency linked to low testosterone levels is zinc. Just as with Vitamin D, zinc deficiencies were found to strongly correlate with low testosterone levels, and as zinc levels were brought back up into the normal range, so was testosterone. While found in more foods than Vitamin D, Americans are still found to be deficient in this important mineral. To help maintain your zinc levels, consider taking testo boosting supplements like HexoFire Labs testo support, which include both zinc and Vitamin D.
Aging is a natural part of life and with it, declining levels of testosterone. However, by maintaining your stress levels, following healthy eating and dieting habits, and supplementing smartly, you can help your body maintain its natural testosterone production rather than make it worse.
Also read our article about best HGH & testosterone boosters >>