Most people nowadays know that old age can cause your testosterone levels to go down. But what if you’re not even 30 yet and you’re already seeing signs of low testosterone? You may be wondering if your daily habits are causing your androgen levels to decline.
Just as there are many health conditions and genetic factors that can cause low testosterone levels, numerous lifestyle factors can also do the same. Find out which of your daily habits are making your testosterone levels decline.
If you’re not engaging in any type of exercise at all, not even walking, that could explain why your testosterone levels are low. Studies indicate that living a sedentary lifestyle significantly increases your risk of having low levels of testosterone.
On top of that, not exercising can also increase your risks of various health conditions such as diabetes and obesity, both of which are known risk factors of low testosterone. And to add to your worries, diabetes and obesity are also risk factors of erectile dysfunction, which can also happen if your testosterone levels are really low.
On the other hand, too much exercise is also bad for your testosterone levels. For one, it can cause stress on your body. And stress makes your cortisol levels shoot up. That’s worrisome if you’re already low on testosterone since cortisol makes your body stop producing male sex hormones.
This means that if you’re hitting the gym for several hours of intense exercise every day, you may not even see any improvements in your muscle growth and development. Too much exercise can lead to low testosterone, and your body does need testosterone for its muscle-building functions.
In short, if you want to make your testosterone levels go a little higher, you should engage in some form of physical activity. Cardio exercises would be great, plus they’re also beneficial for your erectile function. Resistance and high-intensity training are also fine for raising your testosterone levels. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.
When it comes to your diet, eating a lot of estrogen-rich foods can really make your testosterone levels drop. The same is true for phytoestrogen-rich foods like soy and soy products. Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like compounds, except that they come from plant-based foods.
This is why milk, especially cow’s milk and soy milk, isn’t usually recommended for men with low testosterone. Cow’s milk may contain high concentrations of estrogen and other synthetic hormones. These hormones could worsen your hormonal imbalance and cause your testosterone levels to further drop.
Processed foods, especially canned meat products and baked goods, may also be bad for your testosterone levels. You’ll usually find a high concentration of trans fats in baked goods, and trans fats are associated with low testosterone. Canned goods may also contain endocrine disrupting chemicals which can negatively impact your testosterone production.
So, if you like to start the day with pastries and soy milk in your coffee, you may not know it but this daily habit can be the reason why your testosterone levels are so low. The same is true if you’re always eating fast food and junk food.
You may also want to avoid flaxseed and licorice. These two are usually recommended for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that results in high androgen levels. Both flaxseed and licorice are known to help lower testosterone levels in women with PCOS.
Alcohol and Tobacco
If you’re a heavy drinker and you also smoke, you may want to really think about quitting. Both alcohol and tobacco are known to really make your testosterone levels go down. In addition, smoking and drinking alcohol can also have a lot of negative impact on both your sexual and reproductive health.
For one, tobacco and alcohol are associated with higher risks of erectile dysfunction. Plus, they can also impair your sperm production and negatively affect your fertility. In fact, research indicates that excessive alcohol consumption, especially when accompanied by tobacco use, can lead to testicular shrinkage and impaired testicular functions.
As you well know, most of your testosterone production happens inside the testicles. If anything goes wrong with your testicular cells, your testosterone levels will be affected. Your sperm production will also decline and so will the quality of your sperm. You actually need testosterone to produce quality sperm.
If you’re used to sleeping for only a few hours every day, then that could be the exact reason why you’re not producing enough testosterone. Your body’s production of the hormone actually peaks when you’re asleep, which is why testosterone levels are usually high in the mornings.
When you sleep for less than the ideal 8 hours, you’re not giving your body enough time to produce testosterone efficiently. In fact, one study showed that even healthy young men who sleep for only five hours or less every day experience a decline of more than 10% in their testosterone levels.
Lifestyle Modifications to Increase Your Testosterone Levels
You can’t always rely on testosterone replacement therapy to bring your testosterone levels back up. For one, doctors screen their patients to determine who’s qualified for testosterone replacement therapy. More importantly, the treatment may raise your total testosterone levels, but it can also cause your natural testosterone production to decline.
This means that the best way for you to increase your levels of testosterone is to change your lifestyle. For one, you should try getting more than just 5 hours of sleep every day. Engaging in regular physical activities is also a great way to improve your body’s natural testosterone production.
The right supplements, when combined with a healthy diet, can also help you effectively raise your testosterone levels. Vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc are some of the best supplements for improving your androgen levels.
You can also try herbal supplements such as fenugreek, Tongkat Ali, Ashwagandha, Tribulus Terrestris, and even Horny Goat Weed. What’s great about these herb-based testosterone boosters is that they don’t just improve your hormonal balance and raise your testosterone levels, but they’re also great for your sexual performance.