As age creeps up to the 40 mark, our bodies change, including our levels of hormones like testosterone. In fact, the average male over age 40 has a 1-2% decrease in testosterone levels. That’s life. What isn’t life, is thinking that there’s nothing you can do about it. Testosterone is a hormone, and a pretty important one, as are all hormones. When testosterone levels are low, men can experience decreased sex drive, decreased bone density, muscle loss, increased body fat, hair loss, fatigue, and depression.
A low level of testosterone is considered anything below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), as the normal range is 300–1000 ng/dL.
What we do and how we treat our bodies, whether over 40 or not, can increase or decrease testosterone levels. Men make less testosterone as they age usually because of their health declines. A lot of over 40’s have high blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, expanding waistlines, and have a poor overall quality of health. All these factors jack hormone levels, including lowering testosterone levels.
If you are over 40 and you think your testosterone levels are plummeting, there are a few, seven, in fact, simple things you can do to boost testosterone levels.
The Super Seven “S’s” to Boost T-Levels:
If there is only one thing you take away from this article to do to boost testosterone levels, increasing sleep is it! Why? Because increasing sleep benefits our health in so many ways, from weight loss, to decreased depression and anxiety, to normalizing hormone levels. Just improving overall health, through adequate restful sleep, will boost testosterone levels. However, it goes beyond that.
The body makes the majority of testosterone at night. So logically you could infer that more sleep equals more testosterone, but even beyond just reasoning that out, the studies conducted say the same thing. In fact, in a study of healthy men ages 64-74, adequate sleep (7.5+ hours/night) more than doubled testosterone levels (up to 700ng/dl) in comparison to those men receiving <5 hours, which only had measured testosterone levels of 200-300ng/dl.
Another thing to consider is that sleeps helps us with other hormones, not just testosterone. One of those hormones is cortisol. If we don’t get enough sleep then we often have raised cortisol levels which can be detrimental to our health. Too much cortisol can create insulin resistance, increased body fat, and muscle wasting, which can lower testosterone level. So while adequate levels of testosterone combats those health problems, too much cortisol exacerbates them. I guess you could say in some cases, cortisol is the Joker to testosterone’s Batman.
So, however, you want to look at it….Sleep is vital, so don’t skimp on the Z’s!
Just 1 hour of sunshine can boost a man’s testosterone by 69%. The reason for this is that we get another vital hormone made in our bodies with the sun’s help. That hormone is a little something we like to call Vitamin D. The sun provides us with UVB rays which allow our bodies, through the skin and with some help from the liver and kidneys, to make the useful and hormonally active form of Vitamin D known as the hormone 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)2D.
You can also supplement with Vitamin D to boost testosterone, but be sure you purchase vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol), not D-2 (ergocalciferol) or actual 25(OH)2D. Buy a quality brand and take adequate amounts to make sure your body is getting enough and actually absorbing it. Due to the fact that D is a fat soluble vitamin, you will need to take it with a source of fat, such as fish oil supplements or simply the healthy fats you should already be including in your diet.
For a real boost in vitamin D, I recommend Vitamin D-3 from Carlson Labs at a dose of 10,000IU/day. Just know this dose for Vitamin D is pretty darn high. When dosing for D (or any supplement named in this article or anywhere for that matter) make your own decisions using your own judgment. You know your body better than anyone, so listen to it!
Bonus on the sun exposure: it also helps our circadian rhythm which helps us sleep! Refer back to the first of our 7….
Avoid it. The end. [Drop microphone and walk away.]
Yes, it’s that simple. Why? Because sugar is killing you slowly. It ages you, can lead to all kinds of health problems, and seriously mess with your hormone levels (ever hear of insulin?). In fact, 75g of pure glucose were found in one study to have dropped testosterone levels up to 25%.
In full disclosure though, I have read arguments for both sides of this coin. Some say that testosterone levels are horribly affected by sugar and others say there’s no affect. So here are my own thoughts on the subject of sugar.
Even if you could 100% prove testosterone levels weren’t directly affected by sugar, trust me, just the number it does on insulin is enough for me to see that it’s going to impact other hormones like testosterone. Plus sugar consumption can lead to increased weight gain, fatigue, depression and anxiety, and eventually diabetes. All these affect your level of testosterone. So one way or another, sugar is going to get you, if you let it.
Yes, having sex increases testosterone levels. Hell, even the anticipation of sex can lead to a boost in levels. Does this really need any further explanation? Ok, for those that gotta know, this works much like sleep, meaning simply having sex has a world of benefits that make you healthier and being healthier raises those T-levels. Beyond that though, it actually increases your levels when you engage in regular sexual activity. And in case you are wondering, doing it yourself doesn’t have quite the same effect, sorry guys.
There is something to be said for strength equaling manliness. And no, I don’t believe (even a tiny little bit) that strength, lifting, or being an overall badass is something reserved just for men. I have known plenty of females that take strength and badassery to a whole new level. However, we are talking about boosting men’s testosterone levels, so I will stick with the subject at hand.
Lifting heavy objects and sprinting increase your strength and are amazing testosterone boosters, cortisol droppers, and a kickass way to get in shape. Plus like sleep and sex, if you increase your strength you increase your overall health, which as you know by now increases testosterone levels.
While acute stress makes us react and get stuff done or keeps us alive, chronic stress really takes a toll on us. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on testosterone levels because it degrades our health, mutes testosterone production, and pumps out a whole lot of cortisol…which I believed we covered earlier. So whether the stress is from lack of sleep, hectic lifestyle, or even overdoing the cardio, it’s going to lower levels of testosterone. So make changes in your life that make stress something you can manage, not something that runs your life.
Supplements are another way to increase testosterone levels. To be clear, when I talk about supplementation I am referring to herbs, vitamins, and minerals…not anabolic steroids. Even Vitamin D could be listed here, but it was listed previously and already had its moment in the sun (yes, pun intended).
For sake of time I am going to simply list the supplement, give a couple highlights, dosing recommendations, and call it good. If you are considering taking any of these, be diligent and do your research. Not all supplements are for everybody. Some companies to look at for quality products would be Bulk Supplements, Jarrow Formulas, Life Extension, NOW, Pure Encapsulation, and Thorne Research.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Also considered a nootropic, this herb is used in Ayurveda medicine. It can reduce stress and its effects, reduce cortisol levels, and help alleviate insomnia. Which if you remember from above, all have effects on testosterone levels. Plus Ashwagandha can boost testosterone levels up to 40% due to its ability to neutralize free radicals.
A good place to start in dosing for this is 400mg/day at a 15:1 extract ratio.
D-aspartic acid: This amino acid is a regulator of testosterone production and may act on stimulatory receptors. However, supplementing with D-aspartic acid only temporarily increases testosterone levels, which limits its use.
The standard dose for D-aspartic acid is between 2,000 – 3,000mg. Only use 6-12 weeks max and then cycle off.
Note: Do NOT use the L-aspartate form of this amino acid.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum): Is an herb from Arabic regions and India. It can be taken to enhance libido, normalize glucose metabolism, and reduce inflammation, all which can boost testosterone levels. Be warned though, it may cause body secretions to smell like maple syrup. Maybe that’s a good thing if you are trying to boost T-levels and attract a woman that likes pancakes and lumberjacks. Just sayin…
A good dose to try is 500-600mg of a standardized fenugreek formulation.
Mucuna Pruriens: These seeds are rich source of L-DOPA (direct precursor to dopamine that can cross the blood-brain barrier) and its metabolites, which include epinephrine and norepinephrine. By taking Mucuna Pruriens you experience an increase in dopamine levels that can increase sexual behavior, plus it also increases plasma testosterone level.
5mg of the extract is a suggested dose.
Pine Pollen: Is just what it sounds like. It’s pollen from pine trees, with the Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) being the one used to boost testosterone levels because it actually contains testosterone. It’s debatable if the levels are high enough to boost levels in humans when taken orally. It has been recommended to use tinctures, let your tongue soak them up, and allow them to enter the bloodstream and not be destroyed by stomach acid, etc.
The suggested dose is 1.2mL/day, with most suggesting to take it before bed.
Note: some folks have had allergic reactions to Pine Pollen, so use with caution.
Shilajit: The main bioactive ingredient in this mix of minerals is Fulvic Acid. Some studies have shown a 20% increase in testosterone in infertile men.
The dose used for this increase was 200mg, taken for 3 months.
Note: some brands of this have been found to contain heavy metals, so be cautious.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica): Usually taken in leaf form, this herb is known for its ability to bind with sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG’s job is to help regulate hormone levels, including testosterone. When the body makes too much testosterone, SHBG will bind with it to reduce levels. This isn’t very helpful if you are trying to increase your T-levels. Therefore, by using Stinging Nettle and having it bind with SHBG, it promotes the circulation of free testosterone in the body. So Stinging Nettle doesn’t directly boost testosterone levels, but it’s something to take with whatever testosterone booster you’re taking to help improve its efficacy.
Suggested dosing is between 300-360mg taken in 2-3 doses throughout the day.
Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia Jack): Has evidence supporting it that it’s a viable pro-fertility and pro-erectile agent, as well as an aphrodisiac. Some evidence suggests it also boosts testosterone.
The recommended dosing is 200-300mg of a 100:1 extract (the concentration is based on the eurycomanone content) taken in 1-2 doses throughout the day.
Zinc: Oysters may really be an aphrodisiac. No, not because you look super sexy sucking down raw seafood off the half shell, but because they contain zinc. This magnificent mineral pretty much has its little fingers (all the biochemists got that joke) in every aspect of your body’s processes, including hormone production. Although, over supplementing doesn’t do anything to create super high T-levels, and can in fact, especially without adequate copper, do more harm than good. So try to include zinc in your diet and supplement wisely if needed.
A good place to start is 10mg of Zinc taken with 1 mg of copper. The 10:1 ratio is important for optimal health, although a 15:1 is doable. Just make sure the zinc is in the form of acetate, citrate, gluconate, methionine, or sulfate. Do not go for zinc picolinate and zinc oxide, as they are not as bioavailable.
Alright, there you go. Some really great places to start and paths to meander down to boost testosterone levels as you hit your 40’s.
The main takeaways here are:
- Testosterone levels drop by 1-2% after you reach 40
- Low testosterone levels are NOT something you have to live with
- Improving your overall health will naturally boost testosterone levels
- Implement the Super 7 S’s to boost testosterone levels:
- Always remember to talk with your healthcare professional and rule out any serious health conditions and diseases that may be affecting your testosterone levels.
It’s a crazy world out there, take care of yourself!
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Munsey, R. February 16, 2017. How NLP, Hypnosis, and Subliminal Messaging Increase (Tony Wrighton). Successhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJlNDsn1AUA&feature=youtu.be&a
Shukla, A., et al. March, 201. Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men. V:7(1). Pages: 137–144. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2816389/
Sisson, M. June 22, 2010. Mark’s Daily Apple. A Primal Primer: Testosterone. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-increase-testosterone-naturally/