5 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally

5 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally

Natural and lifestyle strategies to help elevate testosterone levels. By Dr Monica Lascar

Reading time: 4 minutes

Testosterone is part of the androgen group of hormones and is a chemical messenger that is mainly produced in the Leydig cells of the testes in men and ovaries in women, although small amounts are also produced by the adrenal glands.

Like all hormones, it works by binding to a specific receptor to create a specific effect. Aside from its role in development of the sexual organs and reproductive function, testosterone also helps build and maintain muscle mass and bone density, increases red blood cells (which carry oxygen to all the tissues) and contributes to a sense of wellbeing.

Through its interaction with the androgen receptor in the brain, testosterone can influence mood and behaviour too. It also works together with other hormones, such as the growth hormone and insulin growth factor-1 and, alongside them, it is one of the ‘anabolic giants’ that can help cellular growth and repair.

All in all, testosterone is more than just the hormone for libido and muscle mass optimisation, with many roles in wellbeing that are yet to be fully appreciated. Testosterone levels in men decrease by 1% per year; in women, testosterone levels can decrease sharply around menopause, when ovarian function ceases.

Moreover, testosterone levels have been overall lower in our generation than previous ones, with studies in the USA and Europe noting that recent years have seen a substantial, and as yet unrecognised, age-independent population-level decrease in testosterone levels.

So, what can one do to maintain this feel-good hormone in optimal ranges?

Exercise Regular

high-intensity exercise has been shown in multiple studies to contribute to keeping a man’s testosterone at optimal levels. Many studies examined how heavy resistance training in both young (23 to 35) and older (58 to 65) men improved their testosterone levels. At least 150 minutes a week of cardiovascular training also improves testosterone levels.

Vitamin D*

The male reproductive tract is a target tissue for vitamin D. In a study, 200 healthy, overweight, non-diabetic men undergoing a weight reduction programme received either 83 micrograms (3,332 IU) of vitamin D daily for one year or a placebo. Compared to baseline values, a significant increase in total testosterone, bioactive testosterone, and free testosterone levels were observed in the vitamin D supplemented group. By contrast, there was no significant change in any testosterone measure in the placebo group.

5 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally

Healthy weight

Much of the overall decrease of testosterone in our generation has been put down to increased obesity. This can raise the steroid[1]binding hormone globulin (SHBG) that carries testosterone around the body, which in turn will diminish the amount of free testosterone — the amount of hormone that is let free to do the jobs that it needs to do. But rather than focusing on weight alone, my opinion is that it can be more beneficial to focus on a nutrient[1]rich diet as we age, that minimises processed foods and has plenty of protein and healthy fats that provide the building blocks for hormone production.

Prioritise sleep

Even one night of sleep deprivation can drop testosterone levels by 10% and young men are not immune to the effects of sleep deprivation on their testosterone levels according to some research. Quality of sleep is important for maintaining brain health and supporting hormone harmony generally. Sleep apnoea is associated with low testosterone levels and specific treatment may be helpful.


The stress hormone competes with testosterone in many ways, by down-regulating the testosterone receptor and preventing it to bind effectively but also by having the opposite effect to testosterone on lowering libido and diminishing muscle mass. Meditation, yoga or just some deep breaths regularly can be powerful at resetting the nervous system and avoiding stress to build up.

What about other supplements?

Nutritional supplements are a large and unregulated market and although many are ‘food-grade supplements’ of rather poor quality, a specialist nutritionist may help you navigate this maze and recommend a nutraceutical grade supplement that has been tested for quality and purity.

Some studies have shown that quite a few nutrients, especially vitamin A, D3, E, zinc and selenium are favourably related to androgens and sperm production. There have been multiple studies on the effectiveness of zinc in supporting male fertility due to low testosterone levels. Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds) are some good vegetarian food sources of zinc. And don't forget your greens – they're the superfoods that keep your T-game smiling.

5 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally

Studies have shown that ashwagandha can also increase serum testosterone levels and significantly improve sperm quality. It's particularly known for its stress-reducing properties, which may indirectly aid in balancing male hormone levels. Ashwagandha's adaptogenic qualities are believed to help in managing stress and improving overall vitality, which in turn may contribute to its effects on testosterone. Other herbs like Tribulus terestri, although they may help libido, did not show any significant improvement in actual testosterone levels.

In conclusion, incorporating these natural strategies into your lifestyle can serve as a holistic approach to elevate your testosterone levels. By prioritising proper nutrition, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, stress management and essential vitamins and minerals, you not only optimise your hormonal balance but also cultivate an overall sense of wellbeing. Remember, small changes can yield significant results, and embracing these habits can pave the way for a healthier, more energised and testosterone-boosted you.

Dr Monica Lascar is a specialist in integrative women's health and bioidentical hormone balancing for the Marion Gluck Clinic (mariongluckclinic.com)

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