1. KICK THE SUGAR HABIT
If you want to normalize your hormone levels and naturally boost your testosterone, the first thing you need to do is quit sugar, and you need to quit now. It has been reported that the average American takes in 12 teaspoons of sugar a day (that’s about two tons of sugar in a lifetime), and sugar has been linked to depleting T-levels in several ways.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), for example, type II diabetics are twice as likely to develop low T-levels. Here’s how it works:
- A diet rich in processed grains and sugars chronically elevates your blood glucose levels.
- To help keep blood sugar levels from going haywire, your pancreas works overtime to produce insulin, which helps transport the sugar from the blood- stream into your cells to be metabolized for energy.
- Your cells are exposed to insulin for extended periods, causing you to develop insulin resistance which, in turn, causes type II diabetes.
2. GET QUALITY SLEEP
According to an article from Current Opinion of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, getting enough sleep and at the right times are two of the most effective natural ways to raise testosterone. Most people require around 7 hours of sleep every night, and it’s critical to take advantage of the 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. window. Before you start protesting the impossibility of getting this much sleep, consider its necessity. Your body’s circadian rhythm essentially resets itself every night and re- leases chemicals like cortisol, which contribute to the overall hormone balance that can prevent low T-levels. I have even heard one endocrinologist claim that 1 hour of sleep between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. has the same healing effects on your body as 2 hours of sleep before or after this timeslot.
So if you go to bed around 10pm and wake up around 6am, you’ll be getting optimal hormone balance.
3. LOWER BODY FAT %
In the words of Dr. Gary Wittert – Head of the School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide, Australia – weight loss has a predictable and linear relationship with increased testosterone. When you consider the effects that insulin resistance and poor sleeping habits have on testosterone, this makes sense—it’s all closely tied to obesity. At the core of this issue is cutting out processed sugars from your diet, which has been linked to insomnia, obesity, diabetes and countless hormone disorders.
4. STRESS REDUCTION TECHNIQUES
Mental and physical stress can be therapeutic. Actually, low levels of it are necessary for the body. The problem is, of course, most of us do not have low levels of it. When you are chronically stressed, your body gets stuck in the state where it’s pumping out cortisol (the “stress” hormone) non-stop.
A 2010 study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, first suggested this when they evaluated the “dual-hormone hypothesis” clinically. The study discovered that when cortisol is elevated, testosterone responds by elevating as well, but then will bottom out at a much lower level than their pre-cortisol levels.
To naturally reduce stress, make a list of all of the stressful things in your life and start implement a system of eliminating or, at least, better managing them. Then make a list of all the things you love to do and start scheduling those things in your life more.
5. HEAVY WEIGHT TRAINING + INTERVAL TRAINING
If you want to naturally boost testosterone and HGH, then combine weight training with HIIT (high intensity interval training). Lifting heavy weights 6-12 times with larger muscle groups like your quads, hamstrings, back, shoulders and chest will help your body pack on the maximum amount of muscle. There more muscle you have the more growth hormone your body will release.
And in addition to weight training, combining this with interval training like burst train- ing is the best overall combo to increase HGH. In fact, Burst Training has been proven to not only boost T-levels, it helps keeps your testosterone elevated and can even prevent its decline. Essentially, burst training involves exercising at 90%-100% of your maximum effort for a short interval in order to burn your body’s stored sugar (glyco- gen), followed by a period of low impact for recovery. This causes your body to burn fat for the next 36 hours to replace your body’s vital energy stores.
It’s hard to overstate the benefits to this type of exercise. In addition to increasing your T-levels, it can help burn between 3 – 9x’s more fat, lower your resting heart rate, lower blood pressure, keep your brain young by increasing circulation, and aids in detoxification by stimulating the lymphatic system.
6. INCREASE TESTOSTERONE DIET: PROTEIN & HEALTHY FATS
Researchers from the College of Charleston in South Carolina recently discovered that high branched chain amino acids (BCAA) “significantly” increase T-levels in men who were part of a resistance training program lasting 4 weeks. Interestingly, they also discovered that cortisol levels dropped and that the competitive performance among athletes skyrocketed.
BCAA powders are sold in the nutrition aisle of most major grocery stores, so it’s easy to incorporate into your diet. My favorite way to supplement BCAA is to drink a Superhuman Shake every morning with a quality protein powder. It’s delicious, it will support your metabolism and it will help suppress your appetite so that you don’t feel the urge to munch on sugary, T-level spiking snacks.
7. SUNBATHING AND VITAMIN D
In 2011, the results of a study published in Hormone and Metabolic Research jour-
nal were released, announcing to the world that vitamin D supplementation naturally boosts testosterone in overweight men by up to 30%. This is pretty exciting because research has shown that vitamin D3 is also linked to preventing and even curing cancer. The two best ways to optimize vitamin D levels to help boost your testosterone are:
- Get 20 minutes of sun exposure everyday.
- This is best done between 10 am and 2 pm with 40% of your entire body exposed to the sun.
- Take an oral supplement containing around 5,000 to 10,000 IU’s of D3 every day. Because they are fat-soluble, make sure that you take them with some healthy “fatty” foods containing coconut oil or some probiotic-rich drink like kefir.As men, it’s easy for us to sometimes ignore our lifestyle choices as we chase down our ideal career, work hard, and take care of our families. But if we are going to be serious about maintaining masculinity in today’s culture, a few basic lifestyle changes are necessary. It may be difficult at first, but with a little discipline, we can regain the confidence and strength we’re created to possess—and we can get started today.
-Dr. Josh Axe