Testosterone…. The driving force behind high energy, sex drive, mood, and an overall sense of “manhood.” Testosterone is said to be the real life equivalent of the “compound of youth,” making even the oldest of men feel young again. Testosterone not only has a rep for better mood, drive, and energy, but it also carries a century old reputation for having incredible muscle building and fat loss properties.
Unfortunately, because of this reputation, testosterone is also one of the most commonly abused substances in the health and fitness industry, with rampant use among professional athletes and bodybuilders. The sad thing is, many average gym goers and fitness enthusiasts are also starting to turn to these things because they think it will help them reach their goals faster. Even worse, testosterone and steroid use is also becoming more and more prevalent in teenagers.
We have some news for you… You do NOT need to use steroids to optimize your natural testosterone levels. This blog post will aim at educating our readers on ways they can keep their natural test levels at a high state without the use of steroids.
- Getting a good night’s sleep
One of the fastest and easiest ways to optimize your testosterone levels is to simply get a little bit more sleep. In fact, this study from Gov et al. shows that men who slept for 8 hours had 60% more testosterone in their serum compared to men who slept for only 4 hours.
This can be seen on the chart below:
It is recommended that most adults get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If you struggle to get enough sleep at night, we recommend not having caffeine past 3PM, getting in at least 45 minutes of exercise after work, and avoiding any cell phones, laptops, TV’s, or anything else with a screen at least 1 hour before going to bed. You’ll notice a significantly higher quality of sleep if you ditch the cell phone or TV for a good book instead at the end of the night because of the “blue light” that screens emit which can mess with your melatonin levels, making it harder to fall asleep.
- Fat is your friend
Now I know what you’re thinking…. “Did I just read that right?” Yes you did.
Now to clarify – we’re talking about dietary fat here. One of the absolute biggest misconceptions about dieting is that fats are bad for you and should be excluded from your diet. When it comes to optimal hormone production and regulation, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact – low fat diets can actually be detrimental to your testosterone production.
In a study conducted by Hamalainen et al. in Finland, researchers examined the effects of dietary fat and testosterone levels on their subjects, and the results were quite astonishing. The study reported that when researches had their subjects reduce their dietary fat from 40% of total daily calories to 20%, they saw an almost 40% drop in testosterone levels.
With this said, the benefits seem to decrease after around 30-35% of daily caloric intake coming from fat, so we suggest sticking with this range for most people.
It is extremely important to note here that these fats must come from healthy fats, so if you thought this meant you can optimize your testosterone levels by eating pizza and potato chips, we unfortunately have bad news for you.
A lot of people struggle to get healthy fats in, so it’s extremely common for people to purchase a CLA supplement to get in their healthy fats and omegas.
One of our favorites is the CLA 1250 by GAT, which you can check out by clicking here
- Supplements can help
If your diet and your sleep schedule are in check – but you’re still looking to try and get just that last bit of help, this is where we recommend testosterone support supplements.
No (legal) supplement, can give you steroid like results, and any testosterone support supplements claiming to do that should immediately raise a red flag for you. Consumers often times have a lot of difficulty with purchasing testosterone supplements because they aren’t sure which ones to go with.
We asked our staff what testosterone support supplements they prefer, and top two choices were Armigen by APS Nutrition and TestoShred by EPG. Both will help users get a boost, but it’s just a matter of preference on what they’re looking for.
Arimigen has more of a focus on regulating hormones, while TestoShred has more of a focus on increasing testosterone. If you feel like your levels may be a little off, then we’d recommend Arimigen. If you’re doing just fine, but looking for that extra little boost, than TestoShred may be right for you.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog! As always, feel free to leave a comment below if you’d like to see us cover a certain topic.