Maintaining naturally high testosterone levels is essential for achieving your goals for gaining muscle mass, speeding recovery, and having lower levels of body fat. In addition, having higher levels of testosterone also helps you feel better, and get stronger from your weight-training workouts. While it’s great if you have high levels of endogenous (natural) testosterone, it’s also important that you make healthy lifestyle choices to support your levels of this male hormone.
Testosterone levels vary widely in adult males, though the normal amount ranges between 300 – 1000 ng/dl. Broadly speaking, males experience peak testosterone levels when they’re around 20 years old. Guys typically continue to enjoy high levels well into their 20s before experiencing a slow decline. Most men begin to experience a steady decline of 1-2% per year.
Factors that influence this pervasive decline in testosterone include genetics, body composition, cortisol secretion, sleep quality, diet, training frequency, and myriad lifestyle factors. In this article, I’m going to provide 9 effective ways to support your testosterone levels naturally.
1) Improve your quality of sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to kick start testosterone production. One study showed testosterone levels can plummet by up to 15% within a week if your sleep is limited to 5 hours/night. The best remedy is to sleep for a minimum of 6 hours per night, ideally 8. Focus on quality and avoid caffeine within 6 hours of bed and artificial blue light, which can impact your ability to reach the REM phase of sleep.
2) Combat cortisol by reducing stress
Cortisol is a stress hormone that can be problematic for testosterone health if it’s chronically high on a regular basis. Those who are constantly stressed will be susceptible to this. Cortisol feeds off the same type of cholesterol your body requires to produce testosterone. When this stress hormone is chronically elevated, your body becomes inefficient at maintaining ideal levels of testosterone. Managing stress can be achieved through many different ways, including by meditating in the morning, avoiding anything stressful before bed (stay off your cell phone and emails!), and identifying parts of your life that impose extreme stress on you. While intense exercise increases cortisol, it only does so in a short window, and a proper nutrition and supplement program can help you manage cortisol from these physical stressors.
3) Consume more quality dietary fats
Dietary cholesterol is an essential part of testosterone production — your Leydig cells (those that produce testosterone in your testicles) require dietary cholesterol from the foods you consume. Those who go on a fat-free diet can experience a sharp reduction in testosterone production. Eating a variety of healthy fats from sources including salmon, organic eggs, avocados, grass-fed steak, olive oil, MCTs, and nuts and seeds is a great way to ensure you're getting the raw materials you need to support testosterone. My preference is to have a bias towards Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown in pre-clinical research to upregulate testosterone. And Omega-3s are typically low in most American diets. Seek out the foods I mentioned, or consider supplementing Omega-3s to support testosterone production and health.
4) Avoid under eating
When you don’t consume enough calories, your androgenic hormone profile often suffers. The main reason this occurs is that you’re likely not consuming enough dietary fats to support hormone building. In addition, your body may also be shedding muscle mass, further undercutting your muscle-building goal. Every gram of dietary fat has 9 calories. Diets that promote long-term under eating will not allow enough room for sufficient fat intake. You also run the risk of shortchanging yourself with other micronutrients that are also essential for testosterone health.
5) Keep your body lean
Many men have high estrogen levels, and this can be attributed to having too much body fat. The aromatase enzyme triggers the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, and it is stored in fat cells. This explains why men who have higher body fat levels will naturally be prone to estrogenic side effects such as “moobs.” Ensuring your body fat remains between 10% and 15% as a male is an ideal place to be.
6) Build strength
When you go old school and crush some heavy sets and reps, you’ll boost testosterone. In fact, that’s one of the best ways to increase testosterone output. You’re literally demanding that your body produce more. Heavy resistance training creates useful trauma on the body that requires the recovery process to begin, and testosterone is needed for this. As a result, when you push your body to new limits it stimulates an anabolic response. Multi-joint compound lifts are the best choice for creating this reaction, especially when you're gradually getting stronger with perfect form. Among the best moves for this are squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
7) Get some sunshine
Vitamin D deficiency has been directly linked with impaired testosterone production. Some research has found that men who are deficient in vitamin D are more likely to suffer from low testosterone production. The simple solution is to get outside more and supplement vitamin D, especially the D3 tocopheryl form. Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine” vitamin because your body naturally creates it when you’re exposed to sunlight.
8) Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle, and another unwanted side effect of excessive drinking is a negative trend in testosterone output. Testosterone is synthesized by the adrenal cortex, and alcohol has a suppressive effect on this, impacting testosterone health over time. It is relative to consumption as well. If you’re a frequent or relatively heavy drinker, then you need to understand that you’re negatively impacting your testosterone levels. I recommend cutting back the frequency and amount of alcohol you consume both for health and to support your efforts in the gym.
9) Supplement FERODROX
One of the best ways to support your testosterone health is to supplement FERODROX. As you know, there are many testosterone boosters on the market, but unfortunately, many of them don’t have ingredients that have been shown to work. FERODROX has been designed to help maintain testosterone within a healthy range, sustain a healthy cortisol-to-testosterone ratio, and support gains in lean muscle mass as well as strength, all of which are critical for progression on your muscle-building program. FERODROX has been innovatively formulated to support normal, healthy testosterone health. You need to experience it to understand the benefits.
From personal experience, I won’t go a day without taking it when I’m on a cycle. I take it for 8 weeks before taking a week off, and then I repeat this protocol.
Using highly acclaimed ingredients such as LJ100® Tongkat Ali, KSM-66® Ashwagandha, PrimaVie® purified shilajit, patented L-Optizinc®, BioPerine® piperine and DIM, Kaged Muscle has formulated a truly remarkable testosterone booster. Here’s my quick take on six ingredients included in FERODROX:
Helps Promote an Anabolic Environment
* LJ100 Tongkat Ali
Maintaining your testosterone-to-cortisol ratio is imperative for an anabolic environment, which is why LJ100 Tongkat Ali is featured in FERODROX. Following a 4-week study published by the International Society of Sports Nutrition, subjects were given 200mg of LJ100 Tongkat Ali per day while using moderately intense exercise for the duration of the experiment. Testosterone levels increased while cortisol output decreased. The anabolic impact of this outcome is significant.
* KSM-66 Ashwagandha
To address cortisol levels even further, KSM-66 Ashwagandha is used in FERODROX. Following an 8-week study, subjects who had been given this ingredient showed a significant reduction in circulating cortisol. There is evidence to suggest KSM-66 Ashwagandha can also enhance strength, muscle mass, and total testosterone while reducing body fat.
* PrimaVie purified shilajit
PrimaVie is a scientifically studied form of shilajit, containing over 40 different minerals. Ferodrox contains 200mg of standardized shilajit to help support testosterone levels in the normal, healthy range.
* Patented L-Optizinc
Optimizing testosterone levels requires contributions from many micronutrients, and zinc is one of the most crucial. Males require about 15mg of zinc per day, and FERODROX provides a robust 30mg dosage. Unfortunately, the body can struggle to absorb some forms of zinc efficiently. That is why FERODROX uses patented L-Optizinc, which binds zinc and methionine together. The end result is a sustained increase in zinc blood-plasma levels.
Ensuring estrogen levels remain within a healthy range can also support testosterone balance. DIM is a natural phytochemical derived from vegetable extracts, and preliminary research has shown it can help maintain normal estrogen levels.
* BioPerine Piperine
Kaged Muscle’s testosterone booster contains 10 mg of Patented BioPerine per daily serving. We use BioPerine because it is the only product standardized to piperine to obtain patented status for its ability to increase the bioavailability of nutritional compounds. Secondly, BioPerine is the only piperine supplement to have undergone rigorous studies to substantiate its safety and efficacy for nutritional use.