Fuelling energy, drive and sexual stamina, testosterone plays a pivotal role in making you the man you are. It may come with a bit of a stigma, but in truth, testosterone is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. In fact, research suggests that as well as supporting muscle mass, bone density and sex drive, testosterone can also help to keep prostate cancer and heart disease at bay.
But as the body hits around 30, testosterone levels begin to decline. And it only gets worse with age, with one in four gents aged 30 or over experiencing a low testosterone count. The good news is that with a few diet and lifestyle tweaks, you can boost your T levels and work your way towards a happier, healthier, and maybe even sexier life.
Hit the gym
According to the latest research from Finland, gents that lift weights enjoy a 49% boost in their testosterone levels. As you strengthen your muscles, your body increases its testosterone production by default. Even light lifting can make a difference, so hit the gym and build up those muscles.
Lose the spare tyre
Other findings reveal that as your weight goes up, your T levels go down. In fact, a 4-point increase in your body mass index (which equates to a 5’10” man putting on around 13.5 kilos) can accelerate age-related testosterone decline by up to 10 years. Yep, if you’re overweight you could be experiencing the T levels of someone a decade older than you! So keep tabs on your waistline, and don’t let it slip out of control.
Don’t veto fat
Trimming fat from your diet can help you stay lean, but eliminating it altogether can cause your T levels to drop. Instead, protect your heart, your waistline and your testosterone levels by filling up on foods that are high in monounsaturated fats, like fish and nuts.
Go teetotal (or at least cut down)
You may love a good happy hour, but apparently, alcohol can be a serious buzzkill on your male hormones. If you want to avoid losing out on testosterone, limit yourself to just one beer or wine a night. Or, go teetotal and see if your T levels spike.
One of the fastest ways to depress your testosterone levels is to put mental and emotional stress on your body. Stress causes cortisol production to spike, which hinders the body’s ability to create testosterone. If you’re stuck for inspiration why not try joining a yoga studio, or experimenting with meditation? You’d be amazed at how gent friendly some studios are!
Stock up on zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral when it comes to testosterone production. Even supplementing your diet for as
little as six weeks is proven to have significant benefits. Food is the best way to stock up on zinc, which is found in protein-rich foods like meats, fish, raw milk, beans, yogurt and kefir. Or, head to the chemist and pick up some zinc supplements.
A daily dose of sunshine
Beyond giving you a healthy glow, sunshine drenches your body in Vitamin D. It plays an important role in developing the nuclei of sperm cells, and increasing testosterone levels. So whatever the weather, make an effort to get outside on a daily basis and enjoy a slice of sunshine. Take a daily stroll around the neighbourhood, get into gardening or checkout Meetup for local groups and activities. From backcountry hikes to city bike rides, you’re bound to find something that’ll inspire you to get outside, soak up the sunshine and boost your T levels.