Testosterone plays a huge role in your sexual stamina, energy, and drive. Low levels, however, can cause you to lose muscle mass, bone density, and your sex drive, and to make matters worse, Men’s Health reports new research shows a decline in testosterone levels can also increase your risk of prostate cancer, heart disease, and even death. It’s important that you begin to look at your daily habits, which is where you can start to see patterns and figure out ways to help fix your male hormone shortage. “I never prescribe testosterone alone without talking to men about their lifestyle,” Martin Miner, M.D., told WebMD.
Here are seven ways to help boost your testosterone now.
Lack of sleep can affect a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body, which in turn can have a horrible effect on your testosterone. A study shows there is a direct correlation in sleeping habits and testosterone levels in which the increase of your T levels occurs while you sleep. Aim to make sleep a priority by aiming for seven to eight hours a night, even if it means rearranging your schedule and dropping your late-night TV habit (sorry Stephen Colbert lovers, you’re just going to have to record it). Treat your sleep as one of your top priorities if you want to boost your T levels.
As your waist size goes up, your T levels go down. Men’s Health says that merely a four-point increase in your body mass index, which is roughly 30 pounds on a guy who is 5 feet, 10 inches, can accelerate your age-related T decline by 10 years. The best way to bring your testosterone levels back up? Shed the extra weight.
No, this is not counterproductive to your weight-loss goals. Although trimming the fatty foods from your diet can help you stay lean, eliminating all fat can cause your T levels to nose-dive. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine reveals men who consumed the most fat also had the highest T levels. It’s worth noting this is a very small sampling, but there are some other samples with similar findings. To protect both your heart and, potentially, your T levels, eat foods high in monounsaturated fats, like fish and nuts.