We have all heard talk about testosterone and how it helps you build muscle mass and strength. But what is testosterone? Let’s look into this first, ok so Testosterone is a male hormone which is produced in the testicles for men and the ovaries and glands for women. What is a hormone many of you may ask?, hormones are chemical substances in the body that act like messengers controlling and coordinating activities throughout the body. Hormones are secreted in the body by several glands that are essential for growth, reproduction, and development.
Testosterone is essential for the development of male sex organs such as increased penis and testes size. Also, the development of male characteristics in puberty such as a deep voice and growth of armpit, chest and pubic hair.
Testosterone is important in maintaining sex drive, sperm production, muscle strength and bone mass it is also important for women as it contributes to muscle mass and bone strength. Women produce ten times less than men.
Testosterone is very important if you want to increase your muscle mass. Low levels of testosterone is responsible for increased fat mass, reduced levels of muscle size and strength, low energy levels and less desire for sex. It is a hormone that gives us the competitive edge and the alpha status. It is in our best interest to increase our levels naturally from foods and lifestyle choices, keeping away from drugs and steroids. OK so now I will go on to give you my natural testosterone boosters that will help take your health and well-being to a new level. Also, aid in the development of muscle mass and strength.
Lift weights and exercise
People who lifts weights and exercise regularly tend to have higher testosterone levels than those who do not. Exercise promotes testosterone because:
- It builds muscle – The more muscle you have the higher your testosterone levels
- Weight maintenance – The more unhealthy body fat levels you have the lower your testosterone levels
As your muscle mass increases the body is triggered to produce more testosterone. Those compound lifts I spoke about in my previous article (10 exercises to build muscle mass) target large muscle groups like quadriceps, hamstrings, back, and chest so will do wonders for your testosterone as they allow you to lift heavier loads and also challenge smaller muscles. This results in increased muscle mass and in turn more testosterone.
Sleep well to grow
We have already talked about sleep and the importance it plays in recovery and release of growth hormone. It is also essential to sleep in order to optimize testosterone levels. Not getting enough sleep drastically reduces a mans testosterone levels. It can reduce your testosterone levels by the same amount as aging 10 to 15 years. You will notice that when you are sleep deprived your mood and vigor is greatly affected, this is due to low testosterone. As mentioned before try to sleep for about 7 hours a day if possible.
Everyone goes through stress in the modern world as we are faced with many challenges and do not have a way of releasing all the tension. At this point in time due to COVID 19 stress is very high as people are faced with the uncertainty of losing their jobs, being unable to find means of earning a living, or suffering from a loss of a loved one due to the virus.
There is good stress such as rising to a challenge, taking risks, and feeling rewarded by positive outcome. There are also what is known as “tolerable stress” where bad things happen but you are able to cope due to the support network you have such as family, friends, and colleagues.
The bad stress is what I like to call “toxic stress” the type you are unable to cope with and have no support system. This toxic stress can easily turn into chronic and long term stress, which can lead to damage to your mental health not just your muscles.
Too much stress releases cortisol this is the stress hormone, it is useful is small amounts as it is responsible for the fight or flight mechanism, in the early days it would come into effect when being chased by a predator but not so useful in the modern world. Our bodies think we are in survival mode all the time. This can make it difficult to build muscle mass as it is not required. The body wants to survive and is not interested in extra muscle!
The stress hormone cortisol and the sex hormone testosterone work against each other. Stress leads to infertility and a loss of libido in men by inhibiting testosterone. So try to relax if possible, do things to recharge your mind and body, take a warm bubble bath, go out for a countryside walk, get a massage, go out with your friends and family, listen to music or perhaps look into meditation.
Ginger is a great household spice that has many health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and cholesterol in the body. It also helps to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness from a challenging workout. Perhaps I could have mentioned this spice in my earlier article ” top 5 exercise recovery methods”.
According to a study in 2012 taking ginger daily for 3 months increased testosterone levels by 17.7 percent in a group of 75 adult male participants with fertility issues.
I usually take a small piece of fresh peeled ginger put it in a blender with a glass of lemon water to make a smoothie. The lemon reduces the spicy taste of the ginger and is great for helping to stimulate healthy digestion. This smoothie is great on those cold winter days and also good for the immune system. I recommend you experiment with ginger smoothies, it will do your testosterone a world of good. Maybe you can leave your ginger smoothie recipes in the comments below.
This is part 1 of 2 on natural testosterone boosters, I have covered the importance of the hormone for muscle growth and health and also, ways in which everyone can increase their levels naturally without the use of unnatural means. There is still a lot more to follow but I have decided to publish my articles in more bite size chunks to make it easier to publish articles more frequently. Look at it like waiting for the next episode of your favorite TV show.