10 Awesome Ways You Can Increase Testosterone
Why do we want to maximize our testosterone?
Testosterone influences so many aspects of our lives that it’s directly correlated to the quality of life we have.
With low testosterone levels, many problems show up. I’ve dieted very hard once to get to single-digit body fat but took it too far.
This destroyed my testosterone.
The problems I encountered from having low testosterone were the following:
- Low sex drive
- Very low energy
- Strength disappeared fast
- I lost a ton of muscle
- I couldn’t stay awake at night
- Feelings of depression
- Always being irritable
In short, life is a lot better with healthy testosterone levels. You’ll experience the exact opposite of the things listed above.
Your ability to crush everything on your life’s path and testosterone levels are, at least from my experience, very much correlated.
Your testosterone range
Everybody has a range of testosterone levels that they can have at a certain point in life.
This is different for everybody. Let’s say that for a particular male this range is 250-700 ng/dl.
If he would mess up everything in terms of exercise, diet, sleep, abuse of alcohol, etc. he would fall to the bottom of his range.
In contrast, if he works out, has a good diet, sleeps well, etc. he would be at the upper limits of that range.
If you’re like me, then your goal should be to naturally boost your testosterone levels to the upper limit of your range. What that upper level is, is different for everybody.
Let’s explore how we can achieve this.
- Increase (Free) Testosterone
- More Strength/ Energy
- Better Body Composition
- Improve Sexual Health
The 10 awesome ways you can increase testosterone:
Resistance training can increase testosterone
People who exercise often are better prepared to deal with about every disease in existence.
Better yet, they have higher testosterone levels and better hormone levels in general.
Research has found that resistance training, such as lifting weights in the gym, has the most impact on raising testosterone levels in the short- and long term.
For an in-depth article on how to build your gym routine for any goal, you can find it here.
The effect is highest while performing compound exercises. These are the kind of exercises where your body uses a lot of muscles at once.
Some examples are squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, pull-ups, etc.
Note: if you’re going to the gym 3 hours a day / 7 days a week, consider resting more. If you constantly go too hard in the gym day in and day out, your testosterone levels may suffer. Your body will simply not be able to recover, and cortisol levels will rise too much.
Cardio exercises on their own might not be beneficial for raising testosterone. However, the result of doing these kinds of exercises do.
This brings us to the next point.
Build muscle and maintain a healthy body fat percentage
Resistance training is great because it will increase your muscle mass over time.
Studies have shown that people who carry more muscle, have higher testosterone levels in general.
Muscle mass alone is not all of the equation though.
It’s also important to watch your body fat percentage. Or otherwise put, the muscle-to-fat ratio of your body.
For example, a male will most likely have ideal testosterone levels, with a body fat percentage anywhere between 10-17%. And optimally between 12-15%.
If you’re currently very high or low in body fat and you want to optimize testosterone levels, then you might benefit from getting closer to the ideal range.
A balanced diet can increase testosterone
To know exactly the number of calories you need in a day, feel free to read this in-depth article.
If you want to learn how to count calories in just 5 easy steps with your phone (a few minutes a day max), you can click here.
For an overview of what foods to eat you can check out my best muscle-building foods article, and best food for weight loss article.
Proteins can increase testosterone
Ah yes, protein. Known across the world as the #1 necessity to build muscle. And it’s the truth.
Your testosterone production is greatly influenced by the amount of muscle mass you carry around. Building and maintaining muscle requires a sufficient total intake of protein.
If you don’t eat enough protein daily, your body’s ability to maintain and build muscle will suffer. In short, it will cause sub-optimal testosterone levels.
For maximum muscle growth, you should eat between 1.8-2.2 grams of protein per kg or around 0.8-1 gram per lb. of body weight.
Fats can increase testosterone
Diets low in fat are found to reduce your testosterone levels. I check my blood work regularly and during one weight loss phase, I dieted on about 30 grams of fat daily. My testosterone crashed insanely hard.
Healthy, monounsaturated fats, will be your best friend to boost testosterone levels.
Some examples are avocados, nuts, or healthy oils. I like eggs, peanut butter, and seeds as my primary fat sources.
Aim for a bare minimum of 1gram per kg or 0.4 grams per lb. of body weight.
Percentage-wise aim for at least 20-30% of calories to come from fats.
Carbohydrates can increase testosterone
Large amounts of cortisol are bad for your body. During a workout, your body releases cortisol, because you put your body under stress.
Eating healthy carbohydrates combats this cortisol reaction and puts your body back into a state where it can rest and repair itself.
Besides that, carbohydrates are our main energy source. It will make you perform better in daily life and the gym.
If your performance is better, you’ll build more muscle over time, which will increase testosterone production.
In short, eat healthy carbs such as whole grains, fruits, etc. It will benefit your testosterone levels greatly.
Quality sleep can increase testosterone
For men, the majority of testosterone is released while we’re asleep. Particularly during our deep sleep cycles.
Having a lot of bad nights of sleep can lower your testosterone, and simultaneously increase cortisol production.
We want to avoid this at any cost.
Get your sleep in, your testosterone levels will thank you.
Tongkat Ali can increase testosterone
Studies have shown that Tongkat Ali increases testosterone levels, especially free testosterone (most important).
It does this by increasing the release of free testosterone in your body by splitting it from its binding hormone, the sex hormone-binding globulin.
I’ve put science to the test and experimented with Tongkat Ali for three months.
My total testosterone levels increased by over 20% and my free testosterone by over 30%.
Besides the boost in testosterone, I experienced multiple testosterone-related benefits.
- More energy
- Being able to deal with stress better
- More strength
- Better body composition
- Better sex life
- More drive for life
- Less hunger while losing weight
If you want to read the in-depth article on improvements in life quality I experienced from Tongkat Ali, you can read my review here. I also go into detail on why I decided to take Tongkat Ali, what it is, blood levels, and my thought process.
The brand I use and recommend is Nootropics Depot. I take the 100mg 10% eurycomanone and 200mg 2% eurycomanone pills.
I’ve been taking one of each in the morning right before breakfast.
For the first three weeks of my experiment, I took it daily. Since then, I’ve been cycling 5 days on (weekdays) and 2 days off (weekends).
Ashwagandha can increase testosterone
I’ve been taking ashwagandha for years and for good reasons.
Ashwagandha may increase testosterone levels directly and indirectly in the following ways.
It increases the production of the luteinizing hormone, which is made by the pituitary gland. It’s a hormone that supports our reproductive system. Luteinizing hormone, is what triggers testosterone production in men.
Besides directly impacting testosterone production, ashwagandha may also reduce cortisol levels. Having high cortisol levels (stress) negatively impacts testosterone levels in our bodies.
Ashwagandha can also help with getting better quality sleep at night, which further improves testosterone levels as we earlier discussed.
From my research KSM-66, ashwagandha extract pills are the best way to take this supplement. I take 2 pills of 300mg every night.
In my opinion, Nootropics Depot has a very good Ashwagandha product, which can also be combined with their Tongkat Ali. I recommend them because they're simply quality supplements that deliver on their promises. You can read my full review by clicking here.
Vitamin d can increase testosterone
Multiple studies over the years have shown that a deficiency in Vitamin D can negatively impact your body’s ability to make testosterone.
If you already have high levels of Vitamin D, then it’s not necessarily so that even more will further improve your testosterone production.
We get vitamin D from sunlight, food, and supplementation. I live in Belgium, where the sun refuses to shine for the better part of the year.
I take a vitamin D supplement daily year-round because having healthy vitamin D levels is beneficial for overall health as well.
I recommend getting it checked regularly and taking a supplement if needed, or just maintaining optimal levels always.
Zinc can increase testosterone
Similar to vitamin D, it has been found that having a zinc deficiency has a direct negative effect on testosterone production.
If you currently have zinc levels that are too low, then it can make a huge difference for your testosterone production to get back to healthy levels.
I recommend regularly having your blood checked, so you don’t have a deficiency without being aware of it.
I take a zinc supplement every morning, but that’s just my preference.
- Overall Rating
- Full Review of The Supplement
- Where to Shop
Lowering Stress/ cortisol levels can increase testosterone
You often hear that stress is bad and should be avoided at all costs. Well, the truth is stress is great! Sort of.
Your body needs short-term stress to grow, handle complex situations and be ready for everyday life.
When we go to the gym our bodies experience short-term stress. If we have an important meeting, our body releases stress to help us focus on the task at hand.
The problem is long-term stress, which can chronically raise our cortisol levels. Higher cortisol levels as we earlier discussed have a direct negative effect on our testosterone production.
If you currently deal with chronic stress, try to narrow down where it comes from. Then obliterate that problem with fire.
Avoid excessive alcohol/drugs usage
Excessive alcohol can negatively impact testosterone in multiple ways.
- It impairs testosterone production directly by decreasing the amount of NAD+, a coenzyme responsible for testosterone production.
- It promotes estrogen, the female sex hormone, which negatively affects testosterone.
- Your cortisol levels rise, as explained earlier this directly affects testosterone as well.
- In the short term your sleep gets disrupted.
Improving mental health can increase testosterone
This one is so important because our mental health plays a major role in how our body functions.
Many people all across the world feel depressed, and live stressful lives and this impacts our health in more ways than just testosterone production.
I’m not perfect in this aspect either, but if you’re like me, we should remember this one more often.
What can you do to improve your testosterone production?
- Laugh a lot
- Do what makes you truly happy
- Have great sex
- Crush your goals
Essentially, have fun in life.
Increasing your testosterone to your upper limit is in my opinion one of the best things you can do in life.
It will boost your energy, improve your sex life, give you more drive to achieve your goals, help you deal with stress, improve your strength and give you a better body composition.
I’ve been doing the fundamentals for years. I go to the gym, watch my diet, my sleep, etc.
The biggest difference for me recently was Tongkat Ali. Normally I’m very skeptical of supplements that boost testosterone, but the results of this one blew my mind.
If you would like to see how much it increased my testosterone in three months, you can read my review here.
If you would like to try it out for yourself, then you can find the supplements here.
What natural ways to boost testosterone do you already do?
- (Stim-Free) Pre-Workouts
- Creatine, Whey, etc.
- Testosterone, Sleep, etc.
- All Goals
- Enhanced Focus
- Improved Memory
- More Energy