Testosterone is a hormone which is present in the human body. Males have high levels of testosterone and it is the main male sex hormone. This hormone is naturally produced in our body but its level tends to decline with age. Testosterone hormone is crucial for overall health and well-being. Low levels of testosterone hormone are associated with certain disorders like weight gain, muscle loss, erectile dysfunction, infertility, low energy levels, anxiety, depression and increased risk of cardiovascular disorders.
As we discussed that levels of testosterone hormone declines as the person grows, therefore people especially athletes and active people, tend to opt for anabolic steroids and artificial hormones to boost the hormonal levels. But one should never forget that even though they show efficacy for a short period of time, there is a dark side attached to these steroidal hormones as well. Prolonged use might harm our organs like liver, kidney, heart and can cause many undesirable changes the body.
The good news is that there are certain ways or foods to boost the testosterone levels naturally as well. Let’s understand that by making simple changes in the diet and lifestyle, one can prevent testosterone levels from declining.
Exercise and Weight Lifting - Having a regular exercise schedule not only keeps us active and prevents certain lifestyle-related disorders but also prevents testosterone levels from dipping. Several studies have been conducted to establish the co-relation and it has been observed that activities like weight-lifting, HIIT may prove effective along with proper nutrition. However, excess of same is not recommended.
Adequate Sleep - A proper good night sleep is important for overall health, muscle recovery and also for maintaining testosterone levels. A study was conducted to infer the relation between the two and it was observed that after a restricted sleep of 5 hours for only a week resulted in a dip in the testosterone levels by 15%. Therefore, aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per day.
Keep Stress at Bay - Stress has always been linked to many adverse effects in the body. One of its side effects is also on our endocrine system. Stress in our body results in elevated levels of cortisol hormone which results in a dip in testosterone levels. Additionally, it also affects our appetite hormones -leptin and ghrelin. Stress can increase the levels of hunger hormone - ghrelin, increases the cravings of foods rich in refined carbs and fats leading to weight gain. Simultaneously, it also reduces the levels of leptin hormone which accounts for providing satiety and fullness.
Consume a Well-Balanced Diet - Nutrition plays a significant role in keeping us healthy. A well-balanced diet with an adequate amount of macro and micro-nutrients is essential for all. Diet should be rich in proteins and contains foods like fatty fish, low-fat milk, eggs, beans, chicken and whole pulses. Similarly, carbohydrates should come from clean carbs like whole wheat, oatmeal, Dalia, sweet potatoes, amaranth, quinoa, fruits and vegetables. Refrain from consuming simple refined based carbs, sugar-laced foods and beverages.
Avoid or Limit Alcohol Consumption - Alcohol consumption is bad for health. Excess drinking has been linked to diseases like fatty liver, obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, liver cirrhosis. Alcohol, smoking and substance abuse can result in a reduction in testosterone levels in the body.
Vitamins and Minerals - Several studies have shown that nutrient deficiencies of zinc, vitamin B, E, C and D can cause a dip in testosterone levels in the body. Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent across the world. Therefore, one should ensure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables to have a micronutrients rich diet. Opting for a multivitamin supplement is also a great and convenient way to bridge the gap between dietary intake and daily needs.
Natural Herbs - To boost testosterone levels naturally, one can also try some natural herbs like ashwagandha, Tribulus, shilajit, etc. Though we have only a few studies backing the effectiveness of these herbs they are popular among people. In case of any medical condition, it is always better to consult a medical expert before choosing any supplement.
To conclude, testosterone hormone plays an important role in maintaining our health. It begins to decline after the age of 25-30 years. Therefore, it is better to adopt certain lifestyle practices and have a nutritious diet to maintain healthy levels naturally.