So you’re 40 years old and you’re in the gym hitting the weights hard and eating right. A few months goes by and you’re not seeing results. You feel tired, weak, you have no energy and the last time you saw your “soldier solute” was when you had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I think you get the “point”. You may be suffering from “Low T”.
This subject is nothing new and is the latest topic for guys trying to put more lead in their pencil. Sorry I just can’t resist all the adjectives.
At any rate, it’s probably a good idea to have your “T” levels checked by your doctor, which is done through a simple blood test. You may find that one simple pellet or cream is all it takes to get your MoJo back. At any rate, it’s time to see what it is in your life that may be effecting the your “lead levels”…..so to speak.
I put together a list of what I found are the biggest culprits to lowering testosterone. Ladies don’t be fooled. You need testosterone as well, but the only difference is you require much lower levels than men but it is still an important part of your well being.
Remember to always check with your doctor and don’t just take my word for it. Low T might be related to an underlying medical condition such as a tumor or disease. You can also research much of this information as well. Keep in mind not just people over 40 suffer from low T. Your lifestyle and stress levels or disease can determine it as well.
I recommend that one stay away from high-protein, low-fat diets, especially if you’re doing a lot of endurance related activities like running. Not enough carbs can create a condition called ketosis which is good for VERY short term weight loss, however, over longer periods of time it is extremely bad for testosterone levels as well as your overall health. The kidneys reabsorb some testosterone from the blood but in the presence of ketones they lose out and it’s excreted.
Eat a diet rich in monounsaturated fats. This has been known to help the body make hormones like testosterone. Foods high in Mono unsats are walnuts, avocados and almonds as well as flax seeds and fish oils.
Incidently “T” is made up of cholesterol. So, the rumors about eating a whole egg once in a while are true, only IF you do not suffer from elevated cholesterol levels.
Again ask your Doc.
Starvation is a testosterone killer! To stay lean, while still maintaining optimal testosterone levels, I recommend eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. In order to create testosterone, your body needs an adequate supply of calories. (about 11 per pound of body weight) This is why so many good meal plans only implement 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week. When calories are too low (or if you starve yourself) the metabolism slows down. This, in turn, slows down testosterone production, to conserve energy. Before you know it, your hard earned muscle is wasted and used as energy to supply amino acids and glycogen.
It is important to be sure that you are getting enough sleep. This is imperative for testosterone production. The body’s circadian rhythms are extremely important and they have a direct effect on your testosterone levels. Most males are very familiar with certain effects of those elevated testosterone levels that usually occur in the morning, which is when “T” levels are highest. I won’t go there I promise.
Try having sex more often (once a day is good). Many of our lifestyles effect us especially with work, kids, and stress. This makes having sex fall low on the priority list. Having frequent erections will increase the amount of testosterone in your bloodstream naturally. Sexual arousal sends messages to the brain and the pituitary gland in turn releases a chemical called LH- this stimulates “Big Jim and the twins” to make testosterone. (Need I say more?)
Alcohol is bad because it upsets the balance of the liver. The liver has to work extra hard to produce enzymes to breakdown the alcohol. The same enzymes that help breakdown alcohol are also required for testosterone production. In the presence of alcohol, these enzymes, (located in the testes for testosterone production) are diverted from the testes to help break down alcohol. Makes it easier to pass on that whiskey and coke.
Over training is a sure fire way to lower your testosterone levels. When the body is under stress, it secretes cortisol, which competes with testosterone. This process occurs when we over train. Signs of over training are: sore joints, sleep problems, loss of appetite and an overall feeling of being tired and run down. The catch 22 is: What is better? Under training? No, because you get zero progress. Over training? Now you get negative progress. So what is a guy to do? Call a good personal trainer like me ☺
Lift weights! It is crucial to choose exercises that use more than one joint at a time. For example, the best three moves you can do are squats, bench presses and dead lifts. The reason for this is, these movements require large amounts of energy, which in turn create large levels of blood lactate in a short period of time. These high lactate levels (that are not constant but sporadic) stimulate testosterone production! However, it is important to keep in mind that lifting too hard and too long can shift the body into cortisol production—- and we already know that is something we want to avoid.
So what I recommend is: lifting weights for no more than 1 hour a day. Perform at least three sets of 6-15 repetitions on each exercise and 10-15 total sets of heavy or moderate weights every day and train one body part per week per day. Ladies, the heavy weights are especially important for you, to prevent bone loss as you age and to keep the loss of female hormones to a minimum. We cannot beat natural decline, but we can stave it off.
As far as natural supplements, I don’t believe in any of the millions of gimmicks out there that claim to increase testosterone and give you a sex drive as well as a manhood rivaling a porn star. However, if you’re a gambling man, there is one that many people claim to feel works for them. It’s called Tribulus Terrestris. Another highly recommended supplement is Zinc. A natural food source is Oysters. They are loaded with Zinc, which helps with natural testosterone production. So how does one determine if they are zinc deficient? Try this test:
Testosterone Testing is another important step in the process. Be sure you are not only tested for your total free testosterone but also your bound testosterone. There is a substance called Sex hormone binding globulin that takes a “free ride” on your precious boner builder and renders it inactive. So even if you have high levels of testosterone, you may be “all bound up.” Check out this web site for more info on testosterone:
Good luck and play hard! Whoops… I did it again