Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, responsible for male secondary sex characteristics like pubic hair, lowered voice, and facial hair, and for increasing libido and producing sperm.
Although testosterone is considered the male sex hormone, both biological sexes produce testosterone. However, biological males have significantly higher testosterone levels than biological females as long as there are no hormonal issues.
In addition to boosting libido and improving sexual performance, testosterone has long been shown to increase muscle mass and muscle strength and reduce body fat, among other benefits.
For this reason, many people seek tips on how to boost testosterone levels.
In this guide, we will look at how to raise testosterone naturally and different strategies for how to increase testosterone levels quickly.
We will look at:
- How To Raise Testosterone Levels Naturally: 10 Helpful Tips
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How To Raise Testosterone Levels Naturally: 10 Helpful Tips
Here are some evidence-based strategies for how to naturally increase testosterone levels:
One of the best strategies for how to naturally increase testosterone levels is through exercise.
Not only will consistent physical activity help manage your body weight and reduce your risk of any of the diseases that, in turn, can impair testosterone levels, but exercising in and of itself can boost testosterone production.
For example, one study involving men with obesity found that increasing exercise was more effective than dieting or restricting calories for raising testosterone levels.Although most types of exercise can be beneficial for boosting testosterone levels naturally, certain types of exercise have been shown to be more effective at elevating testosterone than others.
Testosterone production seems to acutely increase in response to resistance training.
These benefits seem to extend to chronic strength training as well.
Furthermore, testosterone seems to increase most significantly when rest periods after sets are short, as long as the work sets are high-intensity.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has also been found to cause a spike in testosterone production.
#2: Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Your diet can affect various levels of several hormones in your body, including testosterone.
Interestingly, low testosterone levels have actually been shown to increase the risk of disordered eating.
Additionally, studies have found that habitual or prolonged dieting (caloric restriction) or overeating and binging can decrease testosterone levels and disrupt normal testosterone production.
Following a balanced diet may be the best way to increase testosterone levels and support healthy testosterone production. Protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates have all been shown to help promote healthy testosterone levels.
Studies have found that low-fat diets may decrease testosterone levels. Fats provide building blocks for steroid hormones, including testosterone; thus, it’s important to get enough healthy fat in your diet.
Focus on increasing your intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olives and olive oil, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, avocados, flaxseeds, nuts, and nut butters.
Adequate protein is also helpful for increasing testosterone.
Moreover, high-protein diets may aid weight loss, and because obesity and excessive body fat are associated with decreased testosterone levels, boosting your dietary protein intake may work double-duty in terms of boosting testosterone.
Of course, although research has demonstrated that protein can increase satiety and control appetite, you’ll only reap the testosterone-boosting benefits of losing weight from a high-protein diet if you control your overall caloric intake.
#3: Get Enough Sleep, But Not Too Much
If you are looking for how to raise testosterone levels quickly, one of the first things to examine is the amount of sleep you are getting per night on a consistent basis.
Getting enough sleep every night is important for maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
Both too little sleep and too much sleep have been linked with lower levels of testosterone.
In general, the recommendations are that adults should get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Researchers hypothesize that sleeping too little or too much disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms, which in turn, alters hormone production and can decrease testosterone levels.
#4: Increase Your Vitamin D Intake
There is some evidence to suggest that low levels of vitamin D are associated with lower testosterone levels.
Vitamin D can be synthesized in the body when the skin is exposed to sunshine, or it can be found in certain foods like organ meats and fatty fish. Alternatively, many people take vitamin D supplements, particularly if they live in a northern latitude where there are many months of limited direct sunlight.
Some studies have found that vitamin D supplementation can be an effective way to increase testosterone levels and improve erectile dysfunction in men.
#5: Get Enough Zinc
In addition to vitamin D, other supplements may help support healthy testosterone levels. Zinc, in particular, may help increase testosterone levels in those with a testosterone deficiency.
For example, one study found that zinc supplements elevated testosterone levels and sexual function in men who had low testosterone and/or infertility.
Another study found that post-menopausal women who took zinc experienced an increase in testosterone levels and sexual function. It should be noted that these women had a zinc deficiency.
#6: Ask Your Doctor About Trying Tongkat Ali Supplements
One herbal supplement that may naturally boost testosterone levels is Tongkat Ali, which is also called longjack or “Malaysian Ginseng.”
Tongkat Ali has been used in traditional medicinal remedies to treat fevers, malaria, bacterial infections, stress, male infertility, and erectile dysfunction, among other ailments.
A review of studies investigating the benefits of Tongkat Ali found that supplementation may improve male sexual performance and function in numerous ways, including increasing testosterone production as well as semen volumes, sperm count, sperm viability, and sperm motility.
For example, one study with 76 older men with low testosterone levels found that taking 200 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for one month caused a significant increase in testosterone levels.
In fact, by the end of the one-month course of Tongkat Ali supplementation, 90.8% of the participants had normal testosterone values.
#7: Consider Other Herbal Supplements
#8: Decrease Stress Levels
There’s an abundance of research that has demonstrated that acute and chronic stress can elevate levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
High cortisol levels can negatively impact testosterone levels, both directly and potentially indirectly. In terms of the direct relationship, elevations in cortisol can quickly reduce testosterone levels.
Cortisol and testosterone work in opposition: when cortisol levels increase, testosterone decreases. When testosterone increases, cortisol tends to decrease. Indirectly, high cortisol can also potentially decrease testosterone levels by impacting body weight and body fat.
Higher belly fat and weight gain can impair testosterone production.
Therefore, one of the best strategies for increasing testosterone levels is to manage your stress.
Any type of activity, such as exercise, mindfulness meditation, breath work, singing, yoga, art, etc. that can reduce your stress should be part of your everyday life.
Also, try to do your best to manage stress from a lifestyle perspective, aiming to keep a good balance between work and home life.
#9: Decrease Your Alcohol Consumption
Another strategy for how to boost testosterone levels is to cut back on your alcohol consumption.
Although a moderate amount of alcohol may not have a significant impact on testosterone levels, evidence suggests that consuming a lot of alcoholic drinks can decrease testosterone.
In fact, circulating testosterone levels may drop as quickly as 30 minutes after drinking alcohol.
Other studies have found that chronic heavy alcohol use can impair testicular function and cause testicular atrophy.
If you are going to enjoy alcohol, have one or two drinks maximum and try not to drink every day of the week.
#10: Eliminate Endocrine Disruptors
There are certain harmful chemicals that are often thought of as endocrine disruptors because they can alter the production and function of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.
Taking on some of these strategies for how to raise testosterone levels quickly may help you get a bit of a natural boost in testosterone levels.
If you would like more information on our tip #6, taking Tongkat Ali supplements, check out our article: