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How to Restore Testosterone Naturally & Improve Training Results
Have you ever had a client who was doing everything right - intense workouts, consistent training schedule, eating right, getting enough rest - but just don't get the muscle gains they expect?
Part of the problem may be hormonal: Low testosterone levels can significantly limit clients' muscle mass-building potential.
A steroid androgen hormone,
testosterone is most known for triggering development of masculine sexual
characteristics during puberty.
But testosterone benefits many
other aspects of overall health and performance, too - including one benefit in
particular that is prized by personal trainers, bodybuilders, competitive
athletes, and well-informed weekend warriors all over the world:
Testosterone Promotes Anabolic Muscle Growth
Testosterone is the primary
androgen (male sex hormone) found in
muscle tissue. Here, T's bioactivities help with anabolic muscle development in
many ways, as the androgen:
- Signals for the protein synthesis in muscle tissue that underlies all muscle growth
- Raises levels of growth factor that "fertilise" muscle tissue for healthy growth
- Optimises muscle repair, recovery, and regeneration after intense training
Testosterone production is most
robust from puberty through our 20s -- it is no coincidence that strength
training and athletic during these years bring massive anabolic results far more
as early as age 30, T-levels start to drop. One research study reported that this testosterone
decline occurs at "a more or less constant rate, with age, in men, with no
period of accelerated testosterone decline."
As T levels drop, muscle
concentrations of this anabolic androgen also decrease, making it much harder to
maintain mass -- let alone to pack on additional lean muscle tissue.
Natural test decline is out of
our control, but there are steps you can take to fight it. Lifestyle strategies
can help you to maintain or even increase testosterone levels - and in doing so,
create a peak-performing anabolic body state for enhancing strength and packing
on lean muscle mass.
Testosterone Lifestyle Tips
Get enough sunshine
If you lock yourself away in a
windowless gym and work out like an animal, you may not enjoy the same gains as
athletes who work out drenched in sunshine at the world-famous muscle Beach in
Venice, California. That's because working out in the sun - or getting any kind
of sun exposure, really - enables the body to synthesise vitamin D3.
Known as the sunshine vitamin,
D3 is widely known for supporting immune function and bone health. But it is
equally critical for the body's testosterone production. Vitamin D is highly
concentrated in the testes, where it has been suggested to counter some of the
feminine hormones that diminish testosterone activity.
Sunlight is free, but
supplements may help to -
one study found that individuals who
supplemented with vitamin D for a year appear to experience increases in free
testosterone, bioactive testosterone, and total testosterone levels.
Perform the right exercises
Good news for all personal trainers - exercise directly influence testosterone
levels. However, some research suggests that the type of exercise that is
performed matters when it comes to raising your testosterone.
Strength training is most commonly associated with testosterone health,
especially among bodybuilding communities. Researchers have suggested that
strength training stimulates the release of testosterone and growth hormone,
which would appear to benefit both workout performance and results.
One small study seems to bear this out,
reporting a significant increase in testosterone levels after strength training
activities. In this study, subjects who had performed benchpress lives showing a
7.4 increase in testosterone, while individuals performing jump squat exercise
showed a 15.1% increase in testosterone levels.
Cardiovascular exercise may not be nearly as effective for testosterone. Several
research studies have suggested that long-distance runners who consistently log
high-mileage run appear to have lower blood levels of testosterone. Of course,
this is no reason to skip out on cardio, but clients who are focused on
increasing their testosterone levels may wish to limit their mileage - some
researchers have suggested that the tipping
point appears to be 100 km per week, and men who go over this threshold may be
more likely to experience diminish testosterone levels.
Eat "testosterone foods"
Several basic vitamins and minerals play critical roles in testosterone
production, but it seems that far too many adults are not getting enough of
research based on The United States Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
(NHANES), which tracked the nutrient intake of over 16,000 people for three
years, 68% of Americans fail to get enough Vitamin D and 48% fall short on
Magnesium. The CDC has also
reported that global zinc deficiency ranges
from 17%-30%, and that up to 15% of Americans
fail to get enough B12. Other nutients of
concern may include vitamins B6 and K2.
These potential shortfalls are important because all of
these basic nutrients - Vitamins B6, B12, D, and K2, along with Magnesium and
Zinc - are necessary for healthy testosterone production. In the case of zinc,
low intake drives T so low that hypogonadism - a state of male breast
development and teste shrinkage - may occur.
Simply correcting diet to include more of these nutrients is an easy low-hanging
fruit that can help to restore testosterone levels. Testosterone foods to
- Oysters - Rich source of zinc, magnesium, B12 and B6
- Beef - Supplies Vitamin D, zinc, B6, B12 and cholesterol
that is converted to T
- Dairy - Milk, cheese, eggs and yogurt supply B12,
vitamin D & cholesterol
- Almonds - Healthy, convenient, and loaded with
T-boosting magnesium and zinc
- Tuna - An excellent source of Vitamin D and healthful
Omega-3 fatty acids
- Leafy Greens - One of the best dietary sources of
Vitamin K for testosterone
Consider Testosterone Supplements
Dietary changes can help to bring basic testosterone-supporting nutrients back
up to par. But what if you want more? That's where testosterone supplements come
Testosterone supplements often supply basic vitamins and minerals for T, but may
do so in stronger dosages and advanced forms are easier for the body to absorb
Testosterone supplements also bring more diverse testosterone support to the
table - offering exotic herbs and testosterone-promoting compounds that are
rarely present in a standard American diet.
The full scope of testosterone-supportive nutrients - numbering in the dozens -
may help raise testosterone in a variety of different ways, including by
Construction materials. The body
produces about 6 mg of testosterone per day. In order to do this, it requires
the nutritional building blocks for testosterone synthesis. Zinc is probably the
most important nutrient in this category, and has been found to improve both
athletic performance and testosterone status.
Endocrine system regulators. A
nutrient called D-Aspartic-Acid (DAA)
may be most effective; it stimulates the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and
testes to release growth hormone and testosterone.
One study found DAA increased test levels by
42% in 12 days; the D-AA-CC form may be even more powerful.
Aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase
converts testosterone into estrogen, which is bad for anabolic growth and manly
wellness. Blocking aromatase helps to protect and sustain circulating
testosterone. An antioxidant found in green vegetables called
lutein is emerging as an effective
natural aromatase inhibitor that helps to maintain testosterone:
SHGB Neutralisers: Sex
hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a type of protein that clings to free
testosterone and renders it bound - essentially making it inert and ineffective.
The mineral boron and herb
stinging nettle are both suggested to
naturally neutralise SHGB, thereby
freeing up more active testosterone.
Cortisol fighters. Intense training
generates stress, which floods the endocrine system with a stress hormone called
cortisol. The problem is, high cortisol levels have a
significant negative effect on testosterone.
Supplemental herbs Rhodiola rosea and
Ginseng both strengthen the body's
resistance to stress, limit cortisol release, and appear to help raise T.
Testosterone supplements may also be customised with other types of nutrition
that complement testosterone, especially for athletes - these may include
natural herbs for peak physical performance, muscle protection, rest and
recovery. The website
Testosterone Boosters Review offers insight
into which supplements work and which don't.
Avoid Anti-Testosterone Factors
As part of an overall testosterone-supportive lifestyle, you want to avoid
certain factors that may diminish testosterone or otherwise present risk to
overall health. Two really maxed out your testosterone, try to avoid:
- obesity has a strong inverse association with testosterone levels. This T
appears to get worse when obesity is paired
with Type 2 Diabetes.
Soy products - the jury is out on this one, but some
early research suggests that tofu-heavy
diets may raise estrogen and diminish activity of androgens, including
Phthalates - these synthetic compounds that are found in plastics, including water bottles,
associated with significantly decreased
testosterone levels in adult men between the ages of 40 and 60.
Unhealthy sleep patterns - sleep is not only the magical time of muscle repair, recovery,
and regeneration - it is also the time when the body synthesises testosterone.
Researchers have suggested that unhealthy
sleep cycles appears to impair the production and release of testosterone.
Steroids - Effective for testosterone, but never a good idea. Steroids work by directly
introducing synthetic analogues of testosterone to the bloodstream. This
unnatural act has predictably Dyer risks and side effects, including
cardiovascular problems, liver issues, droid rage, acne, and testicular
Low testosterone may be part of the reason why some personal training clients
may struggle with adding muscle or hit a plateau in their development.
While there is no magic bullet to the low testosterone problem, the lifestyle
steps that we have discussed in this article can be helpful in getting
testosterone - and its anabolic muscle & athletic performance benefits - back on
Increased testosterone levels have also been associated with other more elusive benefits,
including greater focus, easier weight loss, and enhanced physical performance -
all of which might bring even greater support for bodybuilders, competitive
athletes, casual gym goers, or anyone who is simply trying to get in better