What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is significant for sexual and reproductive health.
The National Institutes of Health sees testosterone as the primary male hormone. Womens also produce testosterone, however at lower levels than men.
Testosterone has a place with a class of male hormones called androgens, which are some of the time called steroids or anabolic steroids.
In men, testosterone is delivered primarily in the testicles, with a limited quantity made in the adrenal organs. The hypothalamus and pituitary organ control testosterone creation.
Testosterone levels decline with age, however for some men testosterone level drops far too early in life. As per FDA normal testosterone level is 280-1,100 ng/dl. Testosterone levels below this threshold qualify for a hypogonadism.
How it’s created?
The hypothalamus trains the pituitary organ on how much testosterone to deliver, and the pituitary organ gives the message to the testicles.
Testosterone is engaged with the advancement of male sex organs before birth, and the improvement of optional sex qualities at adolescence.
The hormone likewise assumes a part in sex drive, sperm creation, fat distribution, red cell creation, and upkeep of muscle strength and mass, as indicated by the Mayo Clinic.
Why is testosterone so important?
Sleep can assist with improving your testosterone levels.
Some of the most prominent advantages of a healthy testosterone levels include:
- Keeping healthy sex drive. This is the thing that the hormone is most commonly associated with, as lower levels of testosterone can decrease sex drive in people the same. A significant number of men suffering from erectile problems have low testosterone levels.
- Building muscle. The hormone plays a role in enhancing strength and building muscle..
- Burning fat. Higher testosterone levels have been associated with more muscle to fat ratio, which means a decent night’s rest is vital to effectively managing weight..
- Injury prevention. Players who experienced a drop in testosterone levels showed high injury incidence.
- Brain health. As well as benefiting your body, testosterone is also vital for brain health. A study found that increased testosterone levels had a positive effect on the brain’s ability to respond to external threats.
What occurs with lower testosterone levels
The National Institutes of Health includes the following as potential side effects of low testosterone:
- Decreased sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction or impotence
- Expanded breast size
- Low sperm count
- Hot flashes
- Shrunken testes
- Contracted and mollified testicles
- Loss of muscles mass
- Decrease bone density
- Poor concentration
- Low energy
What are the cause of testosterone deficiency?
Testosterone deficiency occurs when the body is unable to make enough testosterone. It is sometimes called hypogonadism. Testosterone deficiency can significantly affect a man’s health and quality of life.
Our lifestyle choices influence our testosterone levels. Healthy choices lead to healthy testosterone levels as we age. But unhealthy ones can be destructive and lead to serious testosterone-related issues later in life.
Old Age– Testosterone levels in men decrease by 1% to 2% every after they reach 30 years.
Eating junk foods – If you’re regularly eating junk food, your body is going to suffer badly and testosterone levels will decrease. Overeating or eating processed junk foods have unhealthy levels of calories and sodium, which can lower testosterone quickly.
Not Eating enough healthy fats – Low-fat diets could be one of the reasons behind your lower testosterone levels. Always include healthy fats an integral part of your diet like walnuts, avocados, and fish to boost testosterone.
Deficiency of Vitamin D – Vitamin D deficiency is a common health problem. If you don’t get sufficient sunlight, there is correlation between this deficiency and low testosterone. So boost your vitamin D by taking supplements of Vitamin D3 or exposure to sunlight.
Lack of physical activity and exercise – A lack of physical activity is one of the most common culprits of low testosterone. Regular exercise and physical activity is the best way to increase your testosterone levels quickly. When exercise regularly, increased testosterone production allows your muscle recover quickly and grow stronger.
Abuse of supplements – While supplements can raise your T-levels, but synthetic supplements lowers your natural testosterone production. So you need to be careful while using those drugs or supplements.
Chronic stress – Chronic stress produces a hormone known as cortisol, which lowers your testosterone levels. Make sure to get required rest by your body and mind. And try to balance your work and personal life to reduce stress and manage your testosterone levels healthy.
Obesity– Obesity is one of the cause of lower testosterone levels in men. A study found that a four-inch increase in waist size lowered testosterone levels by 75%. So reducing weight should be very important for managing your testosterone levels to normal.
How Sleep deprivation lowers testosterone?
Some people experience a paradoxical sleep deprivation which is characterised by little or no sleep over long periods of time without problems.
People often experience heightened awareness of their surroundings when they sleep.
The timing of sleep may be more important than sleep length itself in determining testosterone levels. Sleeping in the second half reduces testosterone more than the first half.
The first 3–4 h of sleep is critical to determine the increase in testosterone. A recent study has shown that restriction of sleep time to 4.5 h was associated with a lower morning testosterone level.
Restriction of sleep for eight nights to 5 h a night decreased testosterone levels by 10%–15%.
The most common form circadian rhythm disturbance occurs as a result of shift work.
Shift work has an adverse effect on testosterone levels since disturbed sleep leads to increased need for sleep and recovery, increased cortisol levels thus lowering testosterone levels.
Testosterone and sleep quality
The testosterone levels have been shown to affect sleep quality. In a study of men aged 65 years and over, those with lower testosterone levels had low sleep efficiency, increased night wakefulness.
Some Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep With Low Testosterone
To improve your sleep, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests that you:
- Get consistent sleep. One way to do this is to sleep and wake at the same time and every day.
- Avoid afternoon naps. This may interrupt your night-time sleep.
- Remove distractions. Get rid of the source of excess noise and light.
- See a doctor about sleep problems. Sleep apena is among the treatable conditions that could be interrupting your sleep.
- Lose weight. Losing weight is good for sleep.
- Be active. If you do aerobics and exercise you get sound sleep.
If you’re unable to get relief from chronic insomnia using natural methods medication may be useful. Over-the-counter sleep aids contain antihistamines and can be effective for an occasional sleepless night. Benadryl and Unisom are among antihistamine with side effects include hangover, drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision and constipation
Melatonin. The hormone melatonin is responsible for natural sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin supplements are is useful for short term insomnia and sleep problems, side effects can include headaches and daytime sleepiness.
Treatment for Low testosterone level
If you’re experiencing low testosterone, treatment options are available to increase testosterone or reduce its effects. Doctors recommend treating men for hypogonadism if they have symptoms of low testosterone and their testosterone falls below 300 nanograms for every deciliter.
Testosterone therapy can be conducted in several ways like injecting into the muscle, gels applied to the skin, patch inside the mouth.
- Injections. Testosterone injections can be given every 14 days. Testosterone levels can shoot up for few days after the injection and then slowly reduces, which can have adverse effect on mood and energy levels.
- Skin patch. A patch is applied everyday in evening which releases small quantity of the testosterone hormone into the skin.
- Gels. Topical gels is applied in the skin like arms, shoulders, or thighs. It is necessary to wash your hands and cover the area to prevent exposing testosterone hormone to others.
- Oral therapy. Capsules are swallowed or tablets are attached to inner cheek and testosterone is then absorbed in the body.
- Pellets. Pellet can be inserted under the hips or buttocks to slowly release testosterone. Pellets are changed under six months.
Testosterone therapy is not recommended for those at high risk of prostate cancer.
Losing weight and being physically active
Exercising and lowering body weight is an excellent way to slow the decrease of testosterone your body is experiencing.
As per study, if you are obese then you may have 30% less testosterone levels than other me with healthy BMI. More than 70% of morbidly obese men have hypogonadism, a condition characterised by abnormally low levels of this hormone. You can reverse hypogonadism may if you reduce weight loss. Abdominal fat is responsible for converting testosterone into Estrogen.
As mentioned earlier, not all exercises affect T levels in the same way. Here are some of the best exercises that can help increase testosterone.
Resistance exercises is a proven way to increase short- and long-term testosterone levels.
Weightlifting regularly can boost testosterone in both the short and long term. Those who lift weight have higher testosterone levels.
A study found that men who did regular weight lifting 3 days a week , 3 sets of 8 to 10 weightlifting reps had higher levels of testosterone levels after a workout and over long time.
Best Foods that Boost Testosterone
1. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are needed to boost testosterone levels. Several studies found that when men increased their healthy fat intake, testosterone and free testosterone also increased. This shows you you need to add healthy fats which includes Avocado, Flaxseeds, nuts, walnuts, butter and fish.
To boost testosterone levels, it’s important to consume the required amount of protein sources. Eating good-quality protein sources also helps you prevent overeating. Healthy proteins include: chicken breast, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, whey protein.
3. Complex Carbohydrates
You need to eat complex carbohydrates for boosting testosterone levels and maintaining energy. This is important for athletes or men who are into sports and weight training. Complex carbohydrates include oats, brown rice, beans, and sweet potatoes.
Ginger boosts testosterone production, especially among males with oxidative stress. Study found that ginger improves testosterone levels by increasing luteinizing hormone production and reducing oxidative stress.
Ashwagandha is an herb that helps enhance the body’s ability to deal with stress and lowers cortisol. Research also found that it also increases muscle mass ,endurance, and increases testosterone levels. Ashwagandha is available as tea capsules and powders.
6. Zinc & Magnesium
Zinc is an important nutrient for hormonal health, and it plays an important role in hormone production by increasing testosterone naturally.
Magnesium helps in vitamin D metabolism and improves sleep quality that further helps testosterone production. The top magnesium and Zinc rich foods that boost testosterone include: Legumes, Grains, and Yogurt Soybeans
Food bad for testosterone
While you want to eat more foods that boost testosterone, the following foods you want to avoid in order to support your T levels.
Sugar is the primary reason men suffer from hypogonadism, sugar has been linked to depleting testosterone levels in several ways. As per the CDC, type II diabetics are twice as likely to develop low testosterone levels.
2. Refined Grains
Refined grains are like sugar, they spike blood sugar levels and lead to insulin resistance. Since diabetes lowers testosterone levels so avoid refined grains like white bread, white pasta and rice
Studies have found that heavy alcohol consumption reduces testosterone levels.
Testosterone deficiency & impotence
Impotence is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. Chronic physical problems like diabetes or heart conditions and mental health problem like stress or anxiety can also be the reason for impotence since it reduces testosterone as well.
This can cause several complications unsatisfactory sex life, low self-esteem and relationship problems.
If your most concerning symptom from lower testosterone is erectile dysfunction, so medications may help these symptoms.
Viagra and Cialis enhances the effects of nitric oxide, a natural chemical your body needs to relaxes muscles giving firm penis.
Testosterone affects a men’s sexual development and sex drive. It helps in building muscle and bone strength. So this hormone is vital for men’s healthy life. Healthy habits like eating balanced diet and exercise is the primary way to improve this testosterone. Stress and lack of sleep also reduces testosterone. Person with chronic health condition like diabetes, heart condition and obesity should seek treatment to enable them reach healthy testosterone levels to enjoy good sex life.