4 natural ways to increase testosterone

It is easy to get caught up in the hype for therapy to increase testosterone. Testosterone is a male hormone that helps support strength, stamina, mood energy and sexual health. So if you feel like these areas could use a boost, it seems harmless enough to find a “quick fix” by supplementing testosterone. What the media and drug companies that market these products don’t tell you is that there are dangers and permanent issues associated with this unnatural approach.

There are several reasons to be wary of testosterone therapy. It creates health concerns such as an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. And it is also addicting. Your body actually stops producing testosterone when you are getting it from other sources like patches, gels or pellets. That means you have to keep using testosterone products to have testosterone because you are not making it yourself.

Instead of turning to testosterone therapy to help boost your libido, energy and metabolism, a more natural approach is to find ways to support your body’s own production of testosterone. A more natural approach through lifestyle and diet is going to help you manage your hormones long-term. If you are looking to boost your own testosterone production back to natural and healthy levels, consider these five natural ways to increase testosterone.

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1. Diet

Certain foods naturally promote testosterone production or help increase your free testosterone. Beets and beet juice have been found to increase testosterone and help improve blood flow, which also helps to support erectile function and sexual health. Watermelon, oats, fish oil, bananas, pineapple and Brazil nuts all work in different ways to encourage testosterone production as well. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale can help regulate your hormones, helping to excrete estradiol (an estrogen hormone) while increasing testosterone.

2. Exercise

It is important to exercise every day to help keep your testosterone levels up and to help control your weight. Having excess body fat can cause your estrogen levels to climb and cause your testosterone level to decline. The most effective exercises for boosting free testosterone levels is lifting heavy weights with low repetitions and doing endurance exercises. Exercise also helps men to manage stress. Stress increases your cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, and that suppresses your body’s ability to make and use testosterone.

3. Limit alcohol intake

Despite what most college students would have you think, alcohol has a negative effect on your testosterone production and sexual performance. Alcohol lowers testosterone while increasing estrogen. Drinking can also lead to atrophy of testicles, low sperm count and erectile dysfunction. Limit your alcohol intake, especially if you are not getting the desired results from your workouts in the gym, as drinking alcohol can also lead to weight gain. Alcohol also negatively affects your sleep.

4. Sleep

Getting too little sleep is one of the main things that can decrease your testosterone. You should try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Getting less sleep than that can cause your testosterone to take a dip. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, look into some ways to help you sleep better at night. For example, follow a sleep schedule; lower your thermostat to 65 degrees Fahrenheit; and get your phone, device and television out of your bedroom. Also, as you age, your prostate health declines, which can have a negative effect on your sleep, waking you up constantly at night to go to the bathroom.

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Follow these four ways to increase your testosterone naturally and to help you bring your testosterone back to normal levels. There are many downsides to testosterone therapy such as hair loss, acne, sleep apnea, mood swings, breast enlargement and an increased risk of blood clots and prostate cancer. All these side effects, along with the increased risk for a heart attack and having to take testosterone therapy for the rest of your life, should be enough to motivate you to try these natural therapies rather than the drugs and medications. If you are concerned about your testosterone level, talk to your healthcare provider to get your testosterone level tested and talk to him or her about the symptoms you may be experiencing.

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Craig Cooper

By Craig Cooper

Craig Cooper is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, and TV host of CNBC's "Adventure Capitalists". He is an “Ambassador” for both the global men’s health foundation “Movember” and 2XU, the performance sportswear company. He is the author of the Harper Collins book “Your New Prime: 30 Days to Better Sex, Eternal Strength, and a Kick-Ass Life After 40“. Follow Craig on Instagram @craigcooperrrr and Facebook.