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How Can One Increase Their Testosterone Levels?

How Can One Increase Their Testosterone Levels?

How can one increase their testosterone levels? Learn about testosterone what symptoms you might experience with low testosterone, and what some tips on raising it to normal levels. Read on for more...
Q

How Can One Increase Their Testosterone Levels?

Low libido, depression and decrease in muscle size and strength are just a few of the symptoms of low testosterone. As bodybuilders, testosterone is one of our key hormones for packing on muscle and staying in shape.

How would you know if you had low testosterone levels? What are some of the signs?

How can one increase their testosterone levels? What are some natural ways to increase testosterone?

Have you or someone you know used supplements to increase testosterone? If so, how were the results?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners

  • 1st Place - BurningHeart
  • 2nd Place - Spaniard00
  • 1st Place BurningHeart

    Gary and John go into the gym once again and complete a workout. Gary has long noticed that John has been getting bigger and stronger at a very fast pace, while Gary's own gains have been a few pounds here and there. How could this be?

    John's diet is the same as Gary's, they are both the same age, and started out with the same build. It isn't overtraining, as they take plenty of rest and both are fully energized when hitting the gym.

    In this instance, the culprit lies with low testosterone. Now some people will instantly shrug off the prospect of their testosterone being low because it's often considered having "something wrong with you." That isn't always the case, low testosterone can be fixed easily just by changing their diet, lifestyle, and supplementation habits.

    Bodybuilders search for the best ways to gain muscle mass; from supplements, to new diets, fad workout programs, and even steroids.

    The one supplement that is overlooked is the body's own natural anabolic steroid known as testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for the secondary male sex characteristics of muscle mass, strength, bone density, fat distribution, hair patterns, voice deepening, fertility, libido, and mental, physical energy.

    Needless to say, testosterone plays a very important role in our muscle gains among other things. So how do you increase your testosterone? How do you know if your testosterone is lacking? In this article we'll discuss all of these topics. Is your testosterone lower than it should be, hindering your muscle gain?

    How Would You Know If You Had Low Testosterone Levels? What Are Some Of The Signs?

    There are three types of testosterone deficiency that varies depending on the male's age. The two that apply to our purposes are deficiency in puberty and deficiency in adulthood.

    Deficiency In Puberty

    Deficiency in puberty could result in:

    • Enlargement of breast tissue
    • Sparse or absent pubic and body hair
    • Underdeveloped genitals
    • Underdeveloped muscle

    Deficiency In Adulthood

    Deficiency in adulthood could result in:

    • Diminished libido (sex drive)
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Muscle weakness
    • Loss of body hair
    • Depression
    • Other mood disorders

    Disorders In All Ages

    Disorders that can affect all ages of men are:

    • Loss of bone
    • Increased fracture risk
    • Loss of skeletal muscle and strength
    • Increased fat mass
    • Reduced libido
    • Reduced erectile function
    • Infertility
    • Increased insulin resistance and risk of diabetes
    • Reduced sense of well-being
    • Fatigue
    • Reduced stamina
    • Depression
    • Reduced cognition

    Effects of long lasting testosterone deficiency include osteoporosis and Anorchia (vanishing testes syndrome).

    We are the last ones to admit that we have something wrong with ourselves, some questions you may ask yourself are:

    • Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
    • Do you have a lack of energy?
    • Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?
    • Have you lost height?
    • Have you noticed a decreased "enjoyment of life?"
    • Are you sad and/or grumpy?
    • Are your erections less strong?
    • Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
    • Are you falling asleep after dinner?
    • Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?

    If any of these questions are answered with a "yes", then you may have a testosterone deficiency. Don't panic though, it is usually easy to fix as we will now discuss.

    How Can One Increase Their Testosterone Levels? What Are Some Natural Ways To Increase Testosterone?

    There are three main types of ways that one can increase their testosterone levels naturally:

    1. Change in lifestyle
    2. Change in diet
    3. Change in supplementation

    1
    Change In Lifestyle

    Testosterone can be affected by some basic lifestyle decisions made. The main change one can make is improving sleep quality.

    Sleep has a tremendous impact on testosterone levels. Your test levels can plummet 40% down by having poor sleep quality. To improve your sleep try such tips as:

    • Keeping the bedroom cooler.
    • Avoid drinking liquids 2-3 hours before bed.
    • Use the bathroom right before going to bed.
    • Release any pressure on your bladder before sleep (tight pants, sleeping on stomach).
    • Take supplements that aid in sleep such as melatonin and ZMA (more on ZMA later).

    Sex also has an impact on testosterone levels. It is ideal to have sex at least once a week to maintain high testosterone levels. It is known that your testosterone levels rapidly drop if you haven't "released" in over a week.

    2
    Change In Diet

    Diet also has a great impact on testosterone levels. First off a healthy, balanced diet is required to maximize test levels.

    Zinc

    In addition to a healthy diet, zinc is shown to increase testosterone levels, especially in males that are deficient in the mineral. Vitamin B6 and magnesium also to aid in zinc absorption and the converting of free cholesterol to testosterone, which will be mentioned later with the supplement ZMA.

    Alcohol Reduction

    Alcohol should be avoided when trying to increase testosterone levels. Healthy normal men, consuming reasonable amounts of alcoholic drink, experience a 20% drop in their serum levels of testosterone. In chronic alcoholics with extensive liver damage those levels can be reduced by as much as 50% and they can become feminized (loose facial and pubic hair, become impotent, and fat deposits behind the nipples that give the appearance of breasts).

    3
    Change In Supplementations

    Obviously a balanced diet and proper sleep should come first before taking supplements to increase testosterone; however one can further increase their testosterone by taking various supplements.

    ZMA

    Possibly the most well-known testosterone booster, ZMA combines three natural vitamins and minerals into one capsule. These are:

    1. Zinc
    2. Magnesium aspartate
    3. Vitamins B6

    ZMA is a great, inexpensive supplement that every bodybuilder should take. In addition to a testosterone booster, the magnesium in ZMA helps one fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. As you can see, ZMA is a must have.

    Have You Or Someone You Know Used Supplements To Increase Testosterone? If So, How Were The Results?

    I have a short story to tell that reinforces the use of a supplement to increase testosterone. That supplement was ZMA.

    About a year ago I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I'd toss in bed for close to an hour before I'd fall asleep and wake up only a few hours later to go to the bathroom. So I then started looking for a supplement to help me sleep. I didn't want to take any type of chemical based supplement; I wanted something natural that wouldn't have any side effects.

    It is then I came upon ZMA. On the articles about ZMA, I also noticed that it naturally boosted testosterone. That was not a concern for me though, as I figured there was no way my testosterone could be boosted any higher because of my age and the fact I already took a multivitamin.

    So I bought ZMA and started taking two capsules before bed. My sleep did improve, and at first I had forgotten about the testosterone booster. It wasn't until I had gone through a bottle of it that I noticed I was feeling better throughout the day.

    I didn't feel bad before, even when I wouldn't have a good night's rest. I just felt stronger and more willing to workout. I didn't realize what was going on until one day before bed; as usual I was taking my ZMA. I thought back on how the research said ZMA was a testosterone booster, and then it hit me. This stuff is what was helping me out in terms of increased male hormone drive.

    The great thing about it was that ZMA is all natural. There are no chemical compounds that produce side effects or that the body builds a tolerance to. I couldn't believe that I went so long without knowing about ZMA, and now it's a staple in my supplement routine. ZMA has helped me on the level that creatine has. I am highly recommending it.

    Conclusion

    Testosterone is what drives us to aggression and the will to compete. It also is what aids in the accomplishment of these goals, by increasing muscle mass. Testosterone should not be overlooked when weightlifting, as our gains will greatly improve just by increasing our testosterone level.

    So don't let your progress be hindered. Evaluate your testosterone and take steps to correct it if need be. You want the most "bang for your buck," and high testosterone is the best way to get results from your training.

    2nd Place Spaniard00

    Raising Testosterone!

    Testosterone is the hormone that propels all bodybuilders towards greatness. It is the key hormone that separates men from woman (woman make testosterone at 1/10 the amount). Testosterone gives us male characteristics such as confidence, aggressiveness, sex drive, increased muscle mass, facial hair, and a deep voice.

    High levels of testosterone is what makes men gain muscle and lose fat much easier than woman. Testosterone is arguably the most important hormone in the body for anyone trying to gain muscle and lose fat.

    How Would You Know If You Had Low Testosterone Levels? What Are Some Of The Signs?

    If you experience any or all these side effects it is very possible that you are suffering from low levels of testosterone.

    • Loss of Libido
    • Depression
    • Lack of Confidence
    • Loss of Muscle Mass
    • Irritability
    • Loss of Strength
    • Increased Breast size
    • Reduction in size of testicles
    • Hot flashes
    • Gaining Adipose tissue
    • Feeling of Insecurity
    • Decreased rate of Facial hair growth
    • Lack of concentration
    • Impaired memory
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Increased Insulin Resistance
    • Decrease in RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate)
    • Decrease in blood volume
    • Low sperm count
    • Reduced Protein synthesis
    • Decreased amounts of calcium in bones
    • Decreased activity of sweat glands
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Decrease in Bone Mass
    • Decrease of sexual thoughts
    • Increase in bad Cholesterol

    How Can One Increase Their Testosterone Levels? What Are Some Natural Ways To Increase Testosterone?

    There are so many ways to raise your testosterone levels it is truly amazing. The most dramatic shifts in levels of testosterone can be seen through physical activity, Nutrition, Rest, and Supplementation.

    Physical Activity

    There are many ways to increase ones testosterone level. I will describe how to do it through training first. But, before we get into building muscle and hitting the weights you need to lose your gut first. Most people even in the bodybuilding community don't understand that the more fat you have the more influence estrogen has on your body (Detrimental to Testosterone). However, on the other hand the more muscle you have the more testosterone you will also have.

    Now, When I go to the gym I am all business. I blare my music and lift the weights. You can't spend time gawking at the females or talking to your friends. You must train hard and for a very short period of time.

    If you workout too long not only will you be overtraining, but cortisol and other anti catabolic hormones will gain influence. Many argue when cortisol begins to gain influence but it is widely believed that after one hour your testosterone levels plummet and it takes roughly 5 days to get them back.

    Keep it short and your workout will stimulate testosterone from the pituitary glands and stop the breakdown of testosterone from cortisol.

    While the short duration of working out is crucial to testosterone so is the intensity. Lifting weights with low repetitions (around 6) to failure will also increase testosterone dramatically. Working out to failure will tax your body and the more you stress your body the more testosterone will be released.

    The best way to tax your body is by concentrating on compound movements. The Deadlift, Bench press, Clean and Press and especially the Squat must be a staple in your routine if you want high levels of testosterone.

    These compound movements hit more than one muscle and the more fibers you stress during an exercise the more testosterone will be released into the bloodstream. The squat is the king for a reason. The legs are the biggest muscles in your body and doing squats raises your testosterone levels drastically.

    Interestingly enough it is better to do 3 working sets per exercise instead of 2 or 1. Not only will this prevent overtraining but, it is believed by scientists that 3 sets is the perfect number for raising testosterone levels.

    Remember not all physical exertion goes on at the gym. Sexual activity is not only psychologically satisfying it is very good for your physically. Sexual activity raises your level of endorphins in the body, which in turn stimulates testosterone production.

    Nutrition

    Nutrition is and always will be the most important factor in anything related to bodybuilding. When it comes to raising your levels of testosterone it is no different. First off you must consume a steady flow of calories through the day to keep your testosterone levels elevated.

    This means eat roughly 6 smaller meals every 2-3 hours instead of eating 3 massive ones. Not only will this give you favorable nutrient partitioning it will regulate your hormonal processes and keep them from fluctuating or decreasing.

    Fats: The most important Macronutrient to consume in order to raise your levels of testosterone is fat. Fat is the undisputed king in hormonal regulation, distribution and creation. It has influence on every hormonal process in the entire body.

    The best fat to consume is Monosaturated fats which will not only create a increase in your testosterone levels but it has a wide array of nutritional benefits. Healthy monosaturated fats are the key to everyone's hormonal health.

    Vegetables: Few are aware of the importance of vegetables in raising testosterone levels. Vegetables and especially vegetarian bodybuilders will never get the respect they deserve in the bodybuilding community. Vegetables have been repeatedly demonstrated to raise testosterone and decrease estrogen.

    The best vegetables to eat for raising testosterone are Broccoli and cabbage. These two vegetables have a phytochemical known as In dole Carbinol, which is getting attention from bodybuilders for its ability to decrease estrogen and raise testosterone.

    Carbs & Proteins: Carbohydrates and Protein are both obviously needed for optimal testosterone growth. However, consuming simple carbohydrates such as starches and simple sugars disturb your hormonal harmony. This will unfortunately create a decrease in free testosterone levels.

    Garlic: Another underestimated food is Garlic. Garlic has been proven to elevate testosterone levels. It has something known as Allicin, which is the active ingredient in Garlic. Scientific studies have proven its ability to simultaneously decrease cortisol while raising testosterone.

    Rest

    It goes without saying that sleep is important for raising ones testosterone levels. During sleep our body heals and repairs itself from the micro trauma we have inflicted upon it. During sleep our testosterone levels are increased along with our Growth Hormones.

    It is crucial to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep. It is best to have non interrupted sleep where you get a lot of REM. The more REM cycles you successfully complete the more testosterone you will have the next day. Make sure to eliminate anything that can disturb your sleep. It is important not to drink water 3 hours before you sleep.

    However, sleep is not the only time that is important when it comes to hormone production. When we are awake our mind is in a constant battle for relaxation. It is of paramount importance that you reduce your daily stress immediately. For some this will take a lot of work, but you must learn to relax.

    Some good techniques is to practice slow breathing or do something which you enjoy. You must remove as many things that stress you as possible. The more mentally stressed you are the more cortisol your body will release and the more testosterone your body will destroy. My advice for becoming relaxed would be meditation or yoga. This is a great way to burn calories, stretch and feel a sense of inner peace.

    Supplementation

    Tribulus Terrestris: Tribulus Terrestris is among the best supplements on the market for raising testosterone levels. However, it does so indirectly. Terestris technically elevates the Leutenizing Hormone (LH), which stimulates testosterone production in the testes.

    ZMA: ZMA is another good Testosterone raising supplement in the industry today. The Zinc and Magnesium collaboration has been scientifically proven to increase the deepness of our REM cycles, which in turn raise our Testosterone levels.

    Multivitamin: A multivitamin however is mandatory for maximal levels of testosterone. Without vitamins and minerals there would be no hormones in the first place. A multi vitamin is crucial for anyone who wishes to elevate their levels of testosterone to its full potential. Make sure the multivitamin has Vitamin E, A, C, B, Boron, Zinc, and Selenium.

    Essential Fatty Acids: It would also be very wise to buy some Essential Fatty Acids. Fats are so important to raising testosterone levels that you should consume pills to make sure it makes up 20 percent of your macronutrient intake.

    Have You Or Someone You Know Used Supplements To Increase Testosterone? If So, How Were The Results?

    My best friend and workout partner is called Jake R. who is a Natural Bodybuilder in Ohio. He used a supplement to increase his levels of testosterone and now weighs roughly 210 pounds with roughly 8 percent body fat.

    I will never forget when we went to the locker room and showed me his poses for his upcoming contest. His lats were wider, his chest was thicker, his thighs had deeper cuts, and he had amazing striation in all three heads of his delts. He told me that he gained 12 pounds of pure muscle and lost 1 pound of body fat according to his doctor at the Cleveland clinic. I have never seen such drastic change in anyone in such a short time without steroids or prohormones.

    References
    1. en.wikipedia.org
    2. www.menshealth.about.com
    3. www.anabolicminds.com
    4. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hugo44.htm
    5. www.postgradmed.com
    6. www.urologychannel.com/

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