You may have heard a middle-aged man say: “I don’t feel as fit as I did when I was 20”. What he means is that his testosterone levels are not as high as they were in his youth, and that’s no illusion. Here’s everything you need to know about this hormonal decline.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the main sex hormone in the male body. It is involved in a number of bodily processes, including the development of the penis and testicles during childhood, the development of facial and pubic hair, sexual appetite, sperm production, bone strength and muscle development. Testosterone is also present in women, where it plays a role in ovarian function and bone health.
In men, testosterone levels peak in their late teens and early twenties. After this peak, testosterone decreases by about 1-2% per year. By the age of 45, about a third of men have testosterone levels that are considered to be below normal, although what is considered ‘normal’ is a source of controversy in the scientific community.
How do you know if your Testosterone is low?
The only way to find out is to go to a doctor who will tell you, after a blood test, whether you have male hypogonadism. Symptoms of this condition include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, depression or other mood changes, fatigue, loss of muscle strength and loss of memory or concentration. Several blood tests may be required, as testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day. A normal level is between 300 and 1000 ng/dl, while the average is around 600.
If you and your doctor decide that treatment is necessary, there are several options, including testosterone supplementation in the form of an injection, cream or tablet.
Look at this list of possible symptoms and try to make your own diagnosis. If it’s not low testosterone, what could it be? It could be a poor diet or lack of exercise. It is also important to know that additional testosterone can be prescribed for a short period to bring a patient out of his lethargy. Once the patient is active and energetic again, the supplement should be discontinued.
Both of these situations lend themselves to an alternative to testosterone supplementation for some people: lifestyle changes. Indeed, there are many things that can be done on a daily basis to improve testosterone levels, and thus feel better.
What can you do to improve Testosterone levels?
Filling up on good fats
Several studies have shown a positive relationship between the consumption of good fats and testosterone production. For example, men who eat a low-fat diet have lower testosterone levels than men who eat a lot of fat. Specifically, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are good for testosterone levels, while trans fatty acids are bad for hormone levels. So make sure you include oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), seeds and nuts (walnuts, cashew nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds), olive oil and certain rich foods such as eggs and yoghurt, to name but a few. To avoid trans fats, limit your intake of fried or highly processed foods.
Improve your body composition
It seems that having more body fat can lower testosterone levels. Researchers found that body and visceral fat showed marginally significant negative correlations with serum total testosterone levels. This means that the presence of both types of fat is associated with lower testosterone levels. And since low testosterone levels are also linked to erectile dysfunction, it is possible that new exercise habits and a reduction in body fat can give men more energy. In this context, focus on cardio, which will promote cardiovascular fitness and reduce body fat. So start running, cycling or rowing. HIIT can also be a great way to boost testosterone levels. Better still: vary the pleasures! This will limit the risk of injury and prevent you from getting bored.
Of course, don’t forget about muscle building, which is also good for your health. Muscular people have a more efficient metabolism than other people, so strengthening your muscles should be an essential part of your testosterone programme.
Eat plenty of fresh produce
Increasing the consumption of green leafy vegetables, other vegetables and fruit, which are rich in antioxidants and fibre, is an effective way to improve body composition. Special mention should be made of onions (research suggests that onion benefits may also be positive for the hormonal profile) and garlic, which may help boost serum testosterone.
Get enough sleep and quality sleep
Sleep and testosterone levels are very closely linked. People with low testosterone levels may sleep for a long time, but it may not be quality sleep. People with low testosterone who weigh more may suffer from sleep disorders, such as sleep apnoea. So how do you sleep well with low testosterone or when you don’t feel well and it keeps you awake? Firstly, if you or your partner suspect that you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea, because you snore or stop breathing at night, consult a sleep specialist. Because if you don’t sleep well, every aspect of your life will be affected. If you feel tired during the day or need a caffeine shot to boost your energy, you should consider implementing new sleep habits. This might involve avoiding TV or screens just before bed, drinking coffee only in the morning, eating early in the evening, avoiding alcohol in the evening, setting your bedroom heating to around 16°C and taking a hot shower before getting into bed.
Avoiding over-the-counter or black market testosterone supplements
Only take testosterone supplements that are prescribed by a qualified and reliable doctor, usually a urologist. Testosterone supplementation requires strict monitoring, as too much testosterone for too long can have a harmful effect on health. TestoUltra had been studied and showed a perfect combination of nutrients to optimize testosterone level. You can find it here: TestoUltra.