6 Simple Ways to Boost Testosterone
6 Tips for a Better Sex Life
There's no way to sugarcoat this one...
Today's man is a far cry from the physical prowess and overall manliness of his ancestors.
No longer are physicality and strength cherished as a manly attributes that any man can — and should — achieve...
Instead we sit on our couches with a bag of chips in our hands as we watch ESPN, in awe of the athletes on display, wishing our bodies were able to perform like theirs so we could live in our own physical glory instead of theirs alone.
We watch our waistlines expand, see our sex lives go kaput, and reminisce about the days when we could bench-press 200 pounds like it was nothing.
If you're tired of watching your body becoming a burden on your happiness — or simply want to become a whole man again — I have some news for you...
It's not your fault.
It's a well-documented medical fact that today's male has experienced a significant reduction in both testosterone levels and sperm count.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that on average hormone levels are dropping by 1% per year, a much steeper drop than is explainable by just aging.
While theories abound at to what could cause such a shift in the most important male hormone, most scientists agree on one point: Most causes are environmental.
If you're looking to avoid your exposure to testosterone-draining chemicals and maximize a testosterone-boosting lifestyle, you'll want to follow the 6 tips I provide below...
Don't do this: Use a plastics containing BPA (look for the number 3 or 7 as the resin identification code on the bottom of most containers).
Bisphenol A is a hard plastic that, until recently, was a standard component of food storage containers. But a 2009 study found that heavy exposure to this chemical is linked to erectile dysfunction and reduced sexual desire. This shouldn't be a surprise, as the chemical structure of BPA is very similar to the primary female hormone, estrogen.
The good news is food manufacturers are continuing to decrease use of BPA in their products.
The bad news is there are still a number of places where your body can pick up BPA: the internal coatings of soda cans and canned foods, and thermal receipt paper (from grocery stores and plane and movie tickets) are some of the biggest culprits of BPA contamination.
Do THIS instead: Avoid canned foods, go fresh or frozen instead, and avoid cheap restaurants where most foods probably came from a can. Avoid handling receipts and tickets for long periods of time, and immediately wash your hands afterwards.
On a similar note, if you're reheating foods, avoid plastics altogether.
Heat can make the plastics leach into your food, and while it may not kill you, it's probably not the best thing to be putting into your body. Use glassware in the microwave if you can help it.
Don't do this: Keep your phone turned on in your front trouser pocket — or anywhere near your crotch, for that matter. Same goes for laptops and tablets.
Italian researchers found the radiation coming off these devices is enough to just about obliterate your sperm count.
Radiation can also cause sperm to stick together, which severely decreases chances of fertility.
Researchers aren't sure if the radiation is coming from the power source or the wireless connection, but one thing is certain: That radiation is powerful enough to penetrate your testicles.
Do THIS instead: Obviously, you'll want to keep your wireless electronics as far away as possible from your boys.
If you must keep your cell phone on you, put it in a shirt or jacket pocket. If it has to go into your pants, your back pocket is the best option.
You'll also want to keep the backside of the cellphone facing away from your body, as this is where most of the radiation tends to emanate from.
As far as laptops and tablets go, try to keep them on tables and counter tops when working on them — and off your lap.
Food & Drink
Before I get to the do's and don't's for this one, I want to clear up a couple myths:
1. You need cholesterol to produce testosterone.
Cholesterol is an essential building block of the hormone, despite the bad rap it gets from the mainstream media.
Many fears about cholesterol are overstated, and bad cholesterol can be lowered with a healthier diet that doesn't eliminate the consumption of good cholesterol (such as the Paleo diet, for instance). In fact, good cholesterol helps clean bad cholesterol from your arteries!
2. Moderate to low soy consumption won't lower testosterone levels.
While I personally don't consume soy for other health reasons, you don't have to worry about growing breasts if you enjoy a glass of soy milk every once in a while.
Don't do this: Consume alcohol in excess.
In some demographics of the Unite States, binge drinking is as common as apple pie.
While chronic overconsumption can lead to liver cirrhosis, heart disease, stroke, inflammation, cancer, and a host of other illnesses, it also can drastically inhibit testosterone secretion into the blood steam.
That's not to mention calories from alcohol add up fast. It's easy to consume too many while drinking, and most alcoholic beverages are nutritionally deficient to boot (unless you count boatloads of sugar).
Nothing will deflate a woman's sex drive quicker than a beer belly.
Do THIS instead: There are many well-documented studies about the health benefits of alcoholic drinks — especially red wine and especially for older men...
1-2 glasses of wine for 3-7 days of the week is linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and dementia. Researchers think the link to better heart health is alcohol's potential ability to increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
Spanish red wine in particular contains the antioxidant Resveratrol, which is linked to longer life spans, cancer prevention, and blood sugar maintenance.
Don't do this: Let your anger issues go unresolved. Bring your work home with you. Avoid that much-needed vacation to Aruba.
It's no fun being chronically stressed out. It puts a strain on relationships, your immune system, and your heart.
And you may not realize that cortisol, the hormone that responds to stress, can also do a damaging number on your testosterone levels...
Cortisol is necessary to regulate our body during short-term stressful situations. It helped our ancestors stare down lions and safely escape from falling boulders.
But overexposure to cortisol can be also detrimental to your sexual health.
Researchers at the University of Texas found “according to research, chronically elevated cortisol levels can produce impotence and loss of libido by inhibiting testosterone production in men.”
Do THIS instead: Relax!
Americans take some of the fewest vacation days in the world. And it's taking it's obvious tolls on our health.
Vacation is just as necessary to productivity as work itself. Unregulated stress levels could cost you thousands in health care costs, not to mention the toll it might be taking in the bedroom...
If you need a way to produce year-round stress maintenance, take a yoga class or learn how to meditate. Far from being "hippie exercises," both of these activities are scientifically proven to reduce chronic stress and anxiety.
If you feel a bout of anger or stress about to appear, take 10 deep breathes, counting each time as you inhale and exhale.
(I've tried this last trick on my daily commute into the city (Baltimore's drivers are some of the worst I've ever encountered!), and it works wonders for my anger levels.)
Don't do this: Neglect sleep for work, TV, drinking, socializing, and so on.
Sleep is another thing Americans struggle with on a regular basis. We shun a good night's sleep in a comfy bed for a late night at the office or another round of Angry Birds on our iPads.
Lack of sleep is another one of those things with multiple health issues tied to it: mental disorders, diabetes, weight gain, healing, etc.
The big one for you?
Testosterone production occurs primarily in your sleep.
Sleep — in particular, REM dreaming — increases nocturnal testosterone levels.
The “morning erection” is a sign of significant overnight testosterone production.
Do THIS instead: Do whatever it takes to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep.
The amount of sleep will vary from person to person, but the biggest test of a good night's sleep is waking up feeling refreshed and alert just after waking. If you're still feeling groggy after you've been awake for an hour, that's a sign you're not getting enough quality sleep.
Healthy sleep tips is a topic in and of itself, but here are a couple you can try tonight:
Avoid the use of all electronics (including television) two hours before bed; try reading a book instead.
Don't drink any liquids three hours before bed if you find yourself going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Avoid caffeine after noon. Even moderate caffeine consumption from sodas and teas can interfere with normal sleep patterns.
Last but Not Least...
There is one process that lowers testosterone that a lifestyle change won't help... and that's aging.
As men get older, their bodies naturally produce less testosterone. And until very recently, there was very little you could do about it.
But now, if your testosterone production is interfering with your life, you can also try testosterone supplementation.
Remember, the important thing to remember is that while low testosterone is not your fault, you have it in your power to do something about it.
Yours in health,