Testosterone boosters are generally interventions that boost testosterone production and levels in the body. They can include changing your diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.
Although it is known as a "male hormone", testosterone is produced in both men and women. This hormone is associated with libido, fertility, and secondary male features, such as hair growth and increased muscle mass. Treatment to increase testosterone levels, such as testosterone injections or adhesives, should only be used under medical supervision of an endocrinologist.
If you notice you have symptoms of low testosterone, like weight gain, depression, low libido and erectile dysfunction, you should speak with your family doctor or an endocrinologist for further assessment. These symptoms may arise with many different health conditions, which is why an assessment is recommend.
How to increase testosterone
Some ways you can boost your testosterone levels include:
1. Follow a diet rich in zinc and vitamins
Dieting is a great way to increase testosterone levels. To do so, it is recommended that you:
- Eat more foods rich in zinc, such as oysters, liver, beans, chestnuts or sunflower seeds;
- Eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, sardines or eggs. You should also increase your daily sun exposure, preferably before 11 am and after 4 pm, for at least 30 minutes;
- Eat foods rich in vitamin A, such as mango, spinach, tomato or fish oil.
In addition, it is recommended that you also decrease your intake of foods rich in sugar and soy, as they can lead to a reduction in testosterone levels.
It is also recommended for you to visit a registered dietitian who will be able to guide you on the best foods to eat and create a food plan according to your own nutritional needs.
2. Regular weight lifting
Weight lifting is one of the best ways to stimulate testosterone production. It is recommended you resistance train regularly, at least 3 to 5 days a week, for a minimum of 30 minutes.
3. Get a good night's sleep
A good night's sleep, of at least 8 hours, increases testosterone production and reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol causes weight gain when it is produced in excess, and it can also interfere negatively in the production of testosterone.
In addition, you should also spend some time each day relaxing and doing leisure activities such as reading, watching TV and going for a walk.
4. Keep your weight under control
To avoid low testosterone levels, you should maintain a healthy weight, according to your age and height. This is because excess weight or obesity can also reduce testosterone levels.
Calculate your BMI to determine your ideal weight:
5. Reduce stress
T.o increase your testosterone levels, it is important to manage your stress adequately. Stress can increase the production and release of cortisol, which is a hormone that affects testosterone levels in the body.
Some ways to reduce stress include participating in pleasurable activities that boost mood, like reading, practicing yoga, dancing, going out with friends or attending psychotherapy.
6. Using supplements
Hormone replacement therapy may be prescribed by a doctor when levels are severely low and causing symptoms, like erectile dysfunction, low libido, depression and weight gain. These are usually prescribed when levels are confirmed to be low following a blood test.
Low testosterone symptoms
Low levels of testosterone can produce symptoms such as:
- Decreased libido;
- Constant forgetfulness;
- Excess fatigue;
- Mood changes or depression symptoms;
- Difficulty gaining muscle;
- Easy fat accumulation;
- Hair loss on the face, chest and/or genital area;
- Insomnia and restless sleep;
- Fragile bones.
Generally, it is necessary to have more than one associated symptom to suspect of low testosterone levels. In these cases, the doctor may prescribe a blood test to confirm it.