Stop right there, ladies. This article is for you too! Testosterone plays a role in women’s health as well.
Testosterone is one of the key hormones in your body for improving your muscle mass, energy, sex drive, mood and to some extent focus.
However, due to the various stresses of life, not enough time to effectively exercise, or keep a close eye on your diet – it may be difficult to keep them elevated.
In this article, we look closely at the more unusual ways to boost testosterone, and how you can use them to amplify your T and increase your chances of a better hormonal balance.
Here are our Top 5 Recommendations:
1. Improve Your Posture
Believe it or not, testosterone isn’t just genetic, exercise or diet – it’s also posture. How you stand and hold yourself can impact both your levels of stress and overall hormonal levels. If you’ve ever heard of ‘power stances’ or ‘power poses’ you’ll know what we’re talking about.
In a study conducted by Cuddy et al. from Havard University – they looked into how simply standing or sitting in certain ways can influence your hormones and mindset.
When subjects where put in dominant – or ‘alpha’ poses they not only felt less stress, they also experienced an almost immediate peak in testosterone.
We’re not making this up. Apparently 2 minutes of power-posing led to: ‘a 20% increase in salivary testosterone levels and a – 25% decrease in the stress hormone; cortisol.’
So what is a power pose? They’re essentially positions where you take up more space and appear more open. From standing with your shoulders back, to putting your hands on your hips, to taking up as much space as possible while sitting down (looking at you ‘manspreaders’!).
The fact that it reduces stress is interesting too – and that can help with testosterone too.
Stress diminishes testosterone, specifically the stress hormone cortisol.
This is all down to a process known as homeostasis, a hormonal balancing act in your system. The more cortisol you have, the less T you’ll be able to maintain.
The less cortisol, the more support you’ll have to give your hormones the support they need.
You can learn more about Cuddy’s findings over on her TedTalk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.
2. Don’t Eat So Much Protein – Milk Especially!
This is another problem that is often overlooked when it comes to boosting testosterone – a high protein diet. Although the media tells us it is the building block of all muscle mass – too much protein can actually negatively affect your hormonal levels.
This is because protein is a lot of work for your body to process. The more of it you have in your system, the more breakdowns your body has to perform. In doing so, you stress your body – which releases the stress hormone, cortisol.
As we’ve already covered, the more cortisol you have, the more problems you’re likely to experience when it comes to raising your testosterone.
You’re even more likely to have a problem if your diet has a high dairy content. Maruyama K et al, with their study ‘Exposure to exogenous estrogen through intake of commercial milk produced from pregnant cows’, drinking cow milk was seen to increase serum estrogen levels and progesterone which can lower testosterone secretion in men.
3. Get More Zinc in Your Diet
One of the better things you can do to improve the support to your testosterone levels is to eat more foods that are high in Zinc. Spinach, Pumpkin Seeds, Oysters, even Red Meat – if it has zinc, you’ll definitely want in.
So why is Zinc so important?
Once absorbed by your body, Zinc is used for numerous functions in your brain which helps to increase your levels of LH – which is the Luteinizing Hormone. This is your body’s precursor to both growth hormone and testosterone.
The more of it you have in your system, the more of an effect your testosterone.
Muxcle has written a guide on Zinc and testosterone over here.
4. Spend More Time in the Sunshine
Being in the sun is not only great for your health – but it’s also fantastic for testosterone levels. The ultra violet rays from the sun is great for producing high levels of Vitamin D3 – which is essential for overall health.
It works by your skin synthesizing the sun’s rays into Vitamin D3 in your system. The more sun you get, the more D3 you have.
We’ve already talked in detail before about how being outside is better for your kids, but he’s how it can help you.
One of the main reasons it is so effective for testosterone is because of how little Vitamin D3 we get throughout the day. Researchers believe a whopping 1 billion people are deficient in the vitamin.
Why? Because we don’t spend enough time outside.
This is because due to work, and modern living in general, we spend most of our time indoors.
In doing so, we’re more sheltered from nature, but more deficient in the vitamin.
Supplementing Vitamin D3 on a long-term basis has been seen in numerous studies to help improve testosterone levels and even promote joint health – it’s a great addition to any supplement stack or diet.
5. Increase Your Testosterone With Yoga
Another great, but mostly unknown way you can help to improve your testosterone levels is by practising yoga.
Yoga may not be the most ‘manly’ form of exercise you can think of – but it has been seen to help significantly reduce stress. (You can find more about that on our article about Yoga here).
But as we’ve already said, this is a great addition to workout regimen.
It’s great for lowering your overall levels of cortisol, which can give your testosterone more of the support you need.
Maintain sex drive: After menopause, women might experience a dip in their sex drive. This low sex drive could be the result of lowering testosterone levels. In some women, testosterone patches have been found to revive sex drive. Treating reduced libido requires more than just testosterone. Therapy and creativity could also help improve your sex life.
Keep bones healthy: The correct balance of testosterone furthers and supports the growth and strength of healthy bones, while too much or too little can harm bones. Testosterone replacement after menopause could help some women maintain healthy bones.
Manage pain levels: According to research in the journal Pain, women who take birth control pills and have levels of testosterone that are out of balance with levels of estrogen might have less ability to manage their pain response.
Preserve cognitive health: Changes in cognition and cognitive fatigue may be related to changing hormone levels. Correcting testosterone levels might help prevent cognitive fatigue, according to research in Gynecological Endocrinology.
As you can see, there are numerous things you can do to raise your testosterone that you may not have thought of.
Yoga, is one of the more interesting, and taking in too much protein is something that we’re all guilty of from time to time. Improving your posture and researching power poses is a good idea too, and having more amounts of zinc in your diet.
The end result will help you work towards higher testosterone, more muscle growth and a better sex drive.