If you strength train regularly, you know how important testosterone is to your overall muscle growth. It’s the primary male sex hormone, and plays a huge role in muscle and bone growth.
This crucial hormone also has been shown to prevent osteoporosis. When the body doesn’t produce enough, one can expect decreased muscle mass, brittle bones as well as decreased overall strength and athletic performance.
There are a number of ways you can increase testosterone naturally. By eating certain foods and getting enough rest, you can ensure that your body naturally produces enough testosterone to maintain its existing levels of muscle mass. However, for those who exercise more frequently, more testosterone may be needed to aid in recovery as well as faster muscle regeneration. Some may turn to anabolic steroids for an added boost, but the health risks associated with taking synthetic hormones usually doesn’t outweigh the benefits.
Steroids can raise blood pressure, increase cholesterol and sometimes even result in blood clots or strokes. A better alternative is supplementation as a means of increasing the body’s free-flowing testosterone. Luckily, there are a number of highly effective, natural supplements that have been proven to safely and effectively raise testosterone. Best of all, they’re legal and won’t put your health at risk.
6 Supplements to Increase Testosterone Naturally
Supplementing with zinc can drastically help increase testosterone levels. While zinc is found in foods like meat, nuts and oysters, many people are still deficient in it. Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in protein synthesis and helps regulate cell production in the immune system. It’s found in the larger muscles of the body like the legs, and it is known to have a variety of properties that improve overall health. In men, zinc is essential for the repair and function of DNA, and it also affects certain cells in the testes that produce testosterone.
It may not be as commonly known as zinc, but fenugreek can drastically improve testosterone levels. This herb has been reported in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise to have lowered body fat and improved testosterone levels. Fenugreek will also help improve your libido if you feel that this has dropped as well. In a study conducted on 60 healthy males between ages 25 and 52, each subject was given 600mg of the herb, and in 6 weeks they all reported larger muscle mass and an improved sex drive.
Another powerful supplement for boosting testosterone is ginger. You may not realize it, but ginger is incredibly useful for hormone regulation. According to a 2012 study in the Tikrit Medical Journal, it can drastically improve testosterone and sperm production in men who are infertile. Another study conducted by the Islamic Azad University in Iran shows that after 20 days, rats showed increased serum testosterone levels after being given varied levels of ginger. You can take the spice in capsule form, or you can just use some in your cooking for a quick boost to your testosterone.
4. Tribulus Terrestris
A more commonly known supplement for boosting testosterone is tribulus terrestris. Tribulus is a traditional Chinese herb that has been shown to enhance sexual function in men, increase muscle mass and boost sperm motility. According to a double-blind study done by L. Setiawan Airlangga University, tribulus actually improved conditions of men with low fertility. 30 men took part in the study, and at the end of it, nearly all of them showed increases in reproductive health and free testosterone in the body. Last but not least, tribulus also helps create a positive nitrogen balance in the muscles. This aids in protein synthesis, resulting in greater strength gains and lower body fat. Typically tribulus comes in capsules and can be purchased at most health food stores.
5. Fish Oil
Fish oil is an essential supplement for just about anyone, but is especially important for those looking to increase their testosterone levels. A decrease in healthy fats in the body can have a very negative effect on a number of different hormone levels in the body. The essential fats found in fish oils are not always available in food sources which may require you to supplement. By getting adequate levels of omega-3, you make it easier for the body to produce testosterone by eliminating other problems that might have slowed down your testosterone production. For example, there is a compound in the body called SHBG that prevents other nutrients from being converted to testosterone. The Omega-3s found in fish oil decrease the total amount of SBHG, thus yielding higher levels of testosterone.
Last but not least, magnesium can make it easy for your body to use its own existing testosterone for things like reproductive health and muscle growth. As previously mentioned, testosterone can be bound to SBHG or albumin, making it unusable to the body. However, magnesium has been shown to separate testosterone from these compounds, making it more bioavailable. Magnesium also helps with sleep quality, which in turn helps raise testosterone levels over time.
Other Ways To Raise Testosterone Naturally
While supplementation is important, you can also reach optimal testosterone levels by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A good diet, adequate sleep, and regular strength training sessions will help increase testosterone in the body.
Sleep is one of the most important ways to keep testosterone levels high, as it is the time during which the body produces and regulates most of its important hormones. Zinc combined with magnesium will help with sleep, but ultimately you should shoot to get between 7 and 9 hours per night, regardless of your supplement regimen.
If you’re wondering why your progress has stalled in the gym, it may be a result of low testosterone. While you may be tempted to use synthetic hormones like steroids, you can boost your muscle-building hormones without them. By using the right supplements, keeping stress levels low and eating properly, you’ll notice drastic improvements in your libido, overall strength and energy.