Keeping your testosterone levels in check
By Roy Kim, Jul 29 2014
Testosterone levels are something every adult male should be concerned with, and as we age, keeping it up is just going to get harder. There are a lot of products and supplements out there for low testosterone, but I think focusing on lifestyle changes should come first so lets get into some of them.
One of the biggest testosterone killers is body fat. To make matters even worse, it’s turning that testosterone into estrogen, the female sex hormone. The presence of estrogen will also slow down the production of testosterone and will lead you down a viscious cycle that could give you the nice pair of man “boobs”.
High Intensity Interval Training
Getting your cardio in is crucial to just about every fitness goal. Most people think this means hopping on the elliptical or treadmill for 45 minutes, however the alternative of high intensity interval training is superior in many ways especially if you are trying to increase testosterone. The conventional cardio involving low intensity for long periods of time has been found to deteriorate muscle, increase estrogen level and lower testosterone levels.
Of all the forms of working out you can do, strength training will increase your testosterone levels the most. Try increasing the load and decreasing reps and try to hit up as many muscles as you can. Squats and dead lifts are great choices to do this.
When you experience stress, you body releases cortisol. Cortisol and testosterone do not play well together. Our bodies can’t produce cortisol and testosterone at the same time. During times of stress, our bodies will see the need for cortisol being greater than its need for testosterone and act accordingly. In addition cortisol is also known to promote belly fat triggering the cycle mentioned earlier. Getting the proper amount of sleep is a big first step in the right direction in lowering stress and cortisol.
Our diets play a huge role in body fat and testosterone levels. There is a strong connection with high levels of insulin and low testosterone levels. Eating foods that spike insulin levels such as sugars and other simple carbohydrates will lower testosterone levels. Testosterone is a derivative of fat and cholesterol. Without enough fat in your diet, testosterone won’t just appear out of thin air. Exactly how much of your diet should consist of fat for optimal testosterone production is debatable, but the results range from 20% - 40%.