Failure to heed the advice given may result in excess pectoral adiposity, regression to adolescent behavior and/or the inability to sustain a prominent erection.
English Translation: Follow the advice given to prevent man boobs, act like a man instead of a whiny little child and/or be a tiger in the bedroom.
When putting this blog post together, I gathered all of the notes I have written down and in random word documents on my computer and started reviewing them to include what I thought the most important info about increasing your testosterone was. And this is just a sample – there’s more to come…
After all was said and done, I’d reviewed 41 scientific studies, a bunch of websites and my human biochemistry textbook from university for good measure. Saying that testosterone is a deep topic is an understatement.
I felt like I was back in school cramming for an exam or scrambling to finish a final paper.
I’d planned on writing this post yesterday, but seeing as I had to attend to my bleeding eyes, I’d decided to put it off until today.
The bleeding has stopped, so here we are, ready to get into what’s been actually PROVEN to increase testosterone.
Just some good ol’ fashioned scientific research coming your way.
Can I kick it?
“Yes you can!”
How to Increase Testosterone through Exercise
After reviewing the science with respect to training effects on T, one thing is clear: training can cause ACUTE bumps in testosterone, but not chronic adaptations.
So you’ll get a boost after a training session, but over time, your workouts won’t have much of an impact on your testosterone levels over time.
To boost T after strength workouts, big muscle group exercises, particularly involving the lower body and a standard bodybuilding style protocol gives the best results.
With respect to conditioning, interval training, with a variety of work:rest ratios showed a bump in T.
Understanding that, we don’t have to get too crazy with our workouts if low T is an issue, however, we do have to consider the opposite – can training negatively impact testosterone levels?
Yes it can.
Any training session that results in a boost in cortisol will negatively effect T.
Think about it this way…
T is the main sex hormone in men. As such, its main function is to drive us to reproduce.
Cortisol is a stress hormone whose main function is to help us survive.
Now let me ask you a question – if you were in a bar fight or being chased by a masked man with a gun, do you think it would make sense for your body to have high levels of a hormone that makes you want to make a baby?
Of course you wouldn’t.
Survival is a higher priority than reproduction, therefore when cortisol is floating around your blood stream, it takes precedence over T, and since T feels unwanted, it simply goes into hiding until big-bad cortisol goes away.
This is an important concept to grasp, as you now understand that if stress, regardless of where it comes from, is not effectively managed and overruns your system, whatever you try to do about your low testosterone levels won’t help.
When cortisol is around, your body doesn’t care about your under-active libido or your ever-increasing need to wear a sports bra when you workout.
A lot to take in?
Just take a deep breath.
And get back into reproduction mode with me.
Well not with me, but, uhhhh, you know what I mean.
Basically, with respect to training, to avoid over-production of cortisol, keep your workouts under an hour with a focus on intensity vs. endurance.
One study I reviewed actually showed that baseline levels of T are depressed in endurance trained men vs. sedentary men.
So stick with the strength/power training if T is a main concern of yours.
Now, let’s move on to our next topic of the day…
How to Increase Testosterone through Nutrition
To increase testosterone with nutrition, the main key is to eat good, natural food minus the chemicals and pesticides that have penetrated our food supply.
Pesticides and a lot of chemical additives are something called xenoestrogens, which I talked about in Part 1 of this series, mimic the effects of the female sex hormone estrogen.
If you can, eat grass-fed, pasture raised, organic meat.
I buy an eighth of a cow and a few pounds of pork every few months from a local farm and I’ll never go back.
I’m still working on sourcing some good chicken and fish though.
If you don’t have access or the money for it, choose leaner cuts of conventional meat, as chemicals are stored in the fat of the animal.
Organic fruits and veggies are also lower in xenoestrogens compared to their conventional counterparts because they aren’t grown with pesticides.
If you can’t go 100% organic, use this list here and work your way down, choosing organic versions of fruits/veggies that you eat most often that are highest on the list. That’s where I started on my path to organics when money was tight.
And if you eat canned stuff, try and buy cans that don’t have BPA – canned foods from Eden Foods are 100% BPA-free (I love their beans).
One thing that’s key to keeping T levels high as well as hormones in general at healthy levels is eating cholesterol.
That’s right – eat cholesterol. Daily.
If you don’t, your body is forced to produce cholesterol, adding another physiological task it needs to perform.
The best source? Eggs.
I recommend eating 2 eggs per day, 5-6 days per week.
And for those of you who are worried about this because of all the fear-mongering that’s taken place on fat and cholesterol, let me quote some text directly from a 2011 study in the British Journal of Nutrition titled “Dietary cholesterol: from physiology to cardiovascular risk“:
The Framingham study (with fewer than 1000 subjects) concluded as to the absence of the relationship between egg consumption and the risk of CVD.
The Harvard study on a cohort of 38 000 men and 80 000 women has shown that eating up to one egg/d (or seven eggs/week) did not increase the risk of CVD.
Similarly, in the prospective cohort study of 21 327 men from the Physicians’ Health Study during an average follow-up of 20 years, egg consumption was not associated with incident myocardial infarction or stroke.
The only exception concerned diabetic women, with a slight increase in risk for those who ate more than one egg/d relative to those who ate less than one egg/week."
So eat your eggs, unless you’re a diabetic woman, then maybe take it easy.
Choose eggs raised by a local farm where you can see the hens running around. Most organic eggs and “free run” eggs in the supermarkets aren’t worth the extra price.
If you can’t find a local farm, just buy omega-3 eggs, as at least you know what you’re getting.
There are a few other nutritional tips and tweaks I’ve come across but these are the main points I wanted to share with you here.
How to Increase Testosterone – Going Deeper…
I can see that I’m well past my self-imposed 1,000 word limit and I haven’t even touched on the biggest area of my research on boosting T: supplements.
There are definitely some supplements to use, some to try and some to avoid completely.
I’m actually still in the process of reviewing everything and putting all of the things I’ve used and new things I’ve learned together in an easy-to-follow format.
Some of the research I uncovered will surprise you. It definitely surprised me.
The reason why I’m choosing to stop right now is that I’ve already given more info than most people will apply.
Information overload is a problem in today’s society and there’s also a lot more knowledge out there than application going on, so before going further, I want you to go through this post and pick 1 or 2 things to DO.
I’m not here just to entertain you or make you feel good; I’m here to help you change your life.
I’ve done my part, now it’s up to you to do yours.
It’s a team effort after all!