Q: Can I Boost My Testosterone Naturally?
I’m a married guy in my 40s, and I’ve been feeling ‘off’ lately. I’m not as excited about work or the things I love to do (hiking, biking, anything outdoors). My sex drive has slowed down too, and I feel like I’m too young for that. I recently found out that my testosterone levels are low, and that this is all related. Can I raise my levels naturally?
A: Yes, Starting With Lifestyle…
You’re right that these symptoms are often associated with low testosterone. It’s essential to optimize testosterone because it’s considered your “will to live” hormone, especially for men. When levels are low, you’ll lack motivation, feel physically and mentally depleted, and have a low libido.* When you get your levels up, all that bounces back.
Lifeforce offers pharmaceutical solutions like a testosterone injectable and cream. You can also make lifestyle shifts to help lift your levels.
1. Focus on resistance training.
Increasing your lower body strength, particularly working large muscle groups like the glutes and quads, will increase both testosterone and DHEA, the precursor to testosterone. Try these five lower body exercises to promote healthy hormone balance.
2. Change up your diet to decrease belly fat.
Aromatase is an enzyme stored in abdominal fat that converts testosterone to estradiol. Increased estradiol in men can cause irritability and male breast tenderness and development. One effective way to reduce belly fat is to cut down on processed sugars and grains. Focus on maintaining a healthy weight with a balanced diet rich in lean protein and veggies.
3. Sleep more, stress less.
High stress and poor sleep can increase production of cortisol. This causes the “cortisol steal,” which stifles your body’s ability to make other hormones like testosterone in order to create more cortisol. Some ways to reduce cortisol:
Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Sleep apnea can also cause low testosterone. If you have a BMI over 40, check with your doctor about a sleep study.
Practice mindfulness techniques like meditation.
Be gentle with yourself. Overworking and self judgment are driving forces behind stress.
Love yourself and have fun with this experience we call life!
— Lifeforce Physician Leah Johansen, MD, ABFM
*Although hormonal deficiencies like low testosterone may contribute to these symptoms, always discuss any changes in mood, energy levels, or sex drive with your primary care doctor to rule out other causes.
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This article was medically reviewed by:
Leah Johansen, MD, Board Certified Family Practice Doctor, Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner
Vinita Tandon, MD, ABIM Board Certified in Endocrinology and Metabolism