TEST Time!💪

March 31, 2023 3 min read

So, just as a quick refresher, testosterone is the primary male sex hormone responsible that plays a crucial role in male development, sexual function and reproduction, and overall health.

For various reasons, most notably aging, men’s levels steadily decline over the years. While it is a natural occurrence with age, we are seeing this decline amongst younger and younger men which could be of some concern and can negatively impact quality of life, at any age!

Some of the most common symptoms of LOW testosterone are:

  • reduced libido
  • erectile dysfunction 
  • fatigue and low energy 
  • decreased muscle mass
  • increased fat mass
  • moodiness
  • gynecomastia (development of breast tissue in men)
  • sleep problems

Oftentimes these symptoms can be a combination of many or all rather than just one issue…

And that can be DEVASTATING to any man!!

So what are some things that we can do to stave off this decline and either raise existing low levels or maintain our normal healthy levels?

I’ve compiled a list here of several evidence-based methods that may help do just that!

  • Exercise:  regular exercise, especially high intensity exercise like resistance training, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), and intense aerobic exercise helps to increase testosterone levels acutely and in the long term with consistency 

  • SLEEP:  sleep is imperative to hormone production and is when our anabolic hormones like testosterone are at their peak. 7-9 hours per night should be the goal. Create a sleep schedule, a sleep conducive environment, limit screen time, avoid alcohol and sugar close to bed, and use natural sleep aids like Sleep Remedy(link) if needed.

  • Proper Nutrition:  aim for a well balanced diet and avoid unhealthy and inflammatory foods. Healthy fats like almonds and avocado, protein from lean meat sources, zinc rich foods, and vitamin D containing foods are crucial for testosterone development. When unable to get zinc and Vitamin D from foods (or sunlight for Vitamin D), you may want to supplement if you find you are deficient, but consult with your physician prior to any supplement use.

  • Reduce Stress:  chronically elevated stress has been shown to reduce testosterone levels through the elevation of the stress hormone cortisol. Take walks, meditate, read etc. Engage in healthy activities that make you feel calm and enjoyment when stress is elevated to unhealthy levels.

  • Stay at a healthy weight:  this ties back to exercise and healthy eating. Obesity or high levels of body fat can cause a decrease in testosterone and increase in estrogen. Keep the excess weight off to properly balance these hormones.

  • Avoid excess alcohol and drug use:  indulging in excess alcohol or drug use has been shown consistently to lower testosterone production and reduced fertility in men. Stay away from the bad stuff as much as possible. 

These are the most common natural ways to help improve and maintain testosterone levels. There are other ways through supplementation like DHEA, pregnenolone, and D-aspartic acid, however before starting any of these or any forms of hormone replacement therapy, have a thorough consultation with your physician to see what’s the right approach for you and your situation.

I hope this helps and gives some direction on natural and effective ways to increase testosterone production to normal and healthy levels!

I know we all want to feel, look, and perform our best and proper hormone production/balance plays a HUGE role in achieving that!

Have a great weekend,

Kirk Parsley, M.D.