Testosterone. It’s part of what makes you who you are, and believe it or not, your life depends on it. Muscle mass, bone density, strength, libido, mood, and body fat can all be influenced by the powerful androgen hormone. It’s the kind of thing you’d rank high on your list of importance if your goal is to be as fit and healthy as your hard work deserves.
According to a recent study from 2017, normal levels for men between the ages of 19 to 39 years old can be anywhere between 264 to 916 ng/dL . Unless you’re going to get tested by a doctor you’ll probably never really know what yours actually are. But, what you can do is keep a close eye on how you stack up against the common symptoms of low testosterone.
Regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, healthy amounts of it can help you live your best life. But for men especially, optimizing your T shouldn’t be up for debate, it should be your number one priority!
So, keep reading to find out five hacks for boosting your testosterone naturally today.
Low testosterone – aka Hypogonadism
Before we get started we’ve got to run through the impact low testosterone can have on your life. We’re not talking about a little lack of aggression, or assertiveness in the office. We’re definitely not thinking about you letting that cheeky Sunday league style tackle go unnoticed at yesterday’s five-a-side.
Nope – something much worse than that.
Suffering from low testosterone sucks. What many men associate with just getting old is actually their androgens not firing on all cylinders. Symptoms of low testosterone can include; low sex drive, a hard time getting an erection, hair loss, low semen volume, fatigue, increased body fat, reduced muscle mass, mood swings etc. The list just goes on and on.
What’s a really hard pill to swallow is that natural testosterone production seems to drop once we hit the not-so-old age of 30. Yes, we don’t even have to become middle age to start having life quite literally kick us where it hurts.
But, let’s not dwell on the negatives, because we’re not about that mindset. All I’ll say is that if you recognize those tell-tale signs I just mentioned it’s time to tailor your lifestyle. If not, try these hacks anyway and see how far they take your testosterone toward peak performance.
First up, I’m going to tell you to get outside!
#1 – Get More Sun
One of the biggest challenges we face as modern men is getting outside. Well, we go outside, but do we really expose ourselves to healthy amounts of sunlight? Apparently, most of us don’t, which restricts our vitamin D intake and throws shade on our testosterone production.
Our habits of spending endless hours hunched in office cubicles followed by evening bouts inside the gym just don’t cut it. Even men who live in sunny countries and states are among the 1 billion people on earth deficient in vitamin D . Yes Mr. California, I’m talking to you.
So, how much is enough? Getting a good 15-minutes every day is recommended. Now that could be walking to the office in the morning or maybe taking an outdoor workout on your lunch break. Boom line – get more sun.
#2 – Lift heavy
Believe it or not, there’s more benefits to lifting heavy than empowerment and pure badassery. It turns out that the grip and rip life of weightlifting can help boost your (m)androgen hormones.
Science has shown acute increases in T as a response to resistance training . Well, so long as you’re bagging enough volume and metabolic demand that is. And there’s one way to get there – drag that heavy deadlift like your life depends on it.
Well, lift heavy however you prefer if bending barbells isn’t your bag. Because you don’t have to kill yourself through a German Volume Traing program to ramp up your androgens. In fact, by employing progressive overload by adding weight and training regularly you’ll go a long way in conjuring those acute testosterone responses.
Now, mustering this acute testosterone response should help you build muscle better. One of testosterone’s jobs is to stimulate protein synthesis (build muscle) and inhibit protein degradation (break down muscle), which work together to increase hypertrophy aka muscle size. So, in theory, the healthier your testosterone, the better you’ll be at building powerful lean muscle.
Then there’s the added benefit of heavy, compound lifts scorching through calories. This should help you in the fight against body fat and support testosterone production even further, as obesity has been shown to hold it back .
Bottom line – grip and rip to build muscle, burn fat, and increase your testosterone.
#3 – Sort out your sleep
Gotta embrace that grind mindset, right? Sleep is for the weak – hustle all day every day. All night too…
In a world where social media gurus and entrepreneurs are bragging about get three hours of shut eye each night, break the mould. Tuck yourself in and recover like an absolute beast. Why? Because the majority of your testosterone release happens when you’re asleep. That and your workouts undeniably suffer, therefore holding back your potential to smash those goals.
We couldn’t literally drop the mic (keyboard) right here on this one. But, nothing drives a point home like some statistics. According to one paper published in 2015, when fit and healthy young men got less than five hours sleep per night, their testosterone levels dropped by 10-15% after a week . Did we mention that poor sleep is common in men with low testosterone too ?
To optimize your Test try to bag seven to eight hours in the sack per night. A smart way to get to sleep faster and then sleep better is to turn off all screens, including your phone, one hour before bed.
Also, if you know you’ve got important tasks to do, take a mind dump. Bullet point what you need to do tomorrow on a piece of paper and leave it in another room. Then, pick out a non-page turner to unwind the mind until your eyelids feel heavier than Eddie Hall’s world record deadlift.
#4 – Eat more healthy fats
It’s okay, now we’re in 2019 we don’t have to be scared of fats any more. That 80s propaganda machine ran out of steam a long time ago. Yet, there’s probably a lot of men with restricted testosterone walking around with lower testosterone because of it.
Bottom line – healthy fats are essential for testosterone production. This is because that powerful anabolic hormone surging under your skin can only be synthesized from cholesterol, just one of the things your daytime TV doctor is warning you about.
I’ll cover this in more detail in a later article. But for now, all you need to know if that eating healthy fats is a quick hack for higher testosterone . Yes, you can make it in your liver if you’re not eating enough cholesterol. But come on, is that really the answer? Not if you want to run on a full tank of test.
So, throw out your Shreddies for scrambled eggs. Ditch your dinnertime pizza for a size of organ meat. And say goodbye to that Snickers bar for a handful of real, Omega-3 rich Walnuts. You don’t have to go to town and fill your face either, just include smart portions into your day to help balance out those macros.
#5 – Sex – and lots of it
There’s an ancient myth that sex before a battle reduces a warriors virility. As the legend goes, if a man sleeps with a woman before the heat of combat, he’ll suffer reduced levels of strength, aggression, and sharpness. What they were basically trying to say is he’d lose a lot of the traits typically related to high-testosterone (disclaimer – I’m not saying aggression is a marker).
But as it turns out, a little bit of a tumble in the sack might be the pre-match ritual your testes need.
First things first, it’s relaxing, which should help to reduce and counteract cortisol, the stress hormone. Testosterone and cortisol are bitter enemies, so anything that helps you chill out and get rid of that pre-competition angst is a good thing. Plus, you’re more likely to fall sound asleep after, which as we know works wonders for getting those test pipes pumping. Apparently, for every additional hour of sleep you get you may see an average 15% increase in test the next day  .
In a more direct way though, both estrogen and testosterone get a bit of a boost during and after sex. Therefore, if you clock in more time in between the sheets, you’ll experience more of these small micro-spikes. I’m not going to make any puns because this is probably awkward enough.
Bottom line – healthy sex life = healthier testosterone.
Last word on the 5 hacks for higher testosterone
Testosterone is a funny old thing that whether we like it or not helps define who we are. It gives us our vigour, assertiveness, physique, and can even impact how we feel. We don’t need testosterone to become hyper-masculine, but we do need it to be healthy.
Neglecting your (m)androgen hormone is a bad idea. You become weaker, tired, stressed out, and your sex and social life will suffer. Yes, irritable man syndrome caused by low testosterone is a real thing. So, why wait around until you see the warning signs to do something about it? The time to take action for your test is now.
Use these five, simple health hacks in your day-to-day life. You probably know a few more I’ve not included in this list, which is cool and doesn’t mean they’re not as credible. I’ll eventually write a tome to testosterone where I try to include as many as I can. But for now, try to implement these five.
 Travison, T. G., Vesper, H. W., Orwoll, E., Wu, F., Kaufman, J. M., Wang, Y., . . . Bhasin, S. (2017). Harmonized Reference Ranges for Circulating Testosterone Levels in Men of Four Cohort Studies in the United States and Europe. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,102(4), 1161-1173. doi:10.1210/jc.2016-2935
 Vingren, J., Kraemer, W., Ratamess, N., Anderson, J., Volek, J., & Maresh, C. (2010). Testosterone Physiology in Resistance Exercise and Training. Sports Medicine, 40(12), 1037-1053. doi: 10.2165/11536910-000000000-00000
 Fui, M. N., Dupuis, P., & Grossmann, M. (2014). Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management. Asian journal of andrology, 16(2), 223–231. doi:10.4103/1008-682X.122365
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 MInguez-Alarcón, L., Chavarro, J. E., Mendiola, J., Roca, M., Tanrikut, C., Vioque, J., … Torres-Cantero, A. M. (2017). Fatty acid intake in relation to reproductive hormones and testicular volume among young healthy men. Asian journal of andrology, 19(2), 184–190. doi:10.4103/1008-682X.190323
 Goh, V., & Tong, T. (2009). Sleep, Sex Steroid Hormones, Sexual Activities, and Aging in Asian Men. Journal Of Andrology, 31(2), 131-137. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.109.007856
 Granata, A., Rochira, V., Lerchl, A., Marrama, P., & Carani, C. (1997). Relationship between sleep-related erections and testosterone levels in men. Journal Of Andrology, 18(5), 522-7. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9349750
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