One quick search of testosterone and you’re looking at how to build muscle and how to increase levels, testosterone is one of the most well-known hormones produced in the human body (and is produced in women too). It not only helps with maintaining the size and strength of muscle, but it also plays an important role in strong bones, energy, improving your mood, heart health and stronger erections and libido functions.
But what happens when your testosterone levels are lower than normal and what does it have to do with erections?
Why testosterone is important?
When your testosterone levels are lower than normal, several changes can happen including increased body fat, decreased strength of muscles, fragile bones and reduction of sperm count. It can also lead to a reduced sex drive which can sometimes cause erectile dysfunction (ED).
According to the Food and Drug Administration, a normal range is typically 300 to 1,000 ng/dL. However, it is difficult to define normal levels, as these vary throughout the day and are affected by body mass index (BMI), nutrition, alcohol consumption, certain medications and illness.
Other signs of low testosterone include:
- Hair loss
- Loss of muscle mass
- Mood changes
- Smaller testicle size
Why testosterone levels decrease and what causes it?
As men age, their testosterone levels naturally decrease by about 1% per year, however, many other factors could contribute to low testosterone.
Other potential causes include; injury (interrupted blood supply or infection to the testes), chemotherapy for cancer, dysfunction or tumours of the pituitary gland and high levels of iron (known as hemochromatosis).
Here are 4 ways to naturally increase testosterone levels.
How to boost testosterone levels
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to not only prevent many lifestyle-related diseases but can also help boost your testosterone. Resistance training, such as weight training, is said to be the best type of exercise to help boost levels in both the short-term and long-term.
- Minimise stress
This one goes without saying, but minimising stress and cortisol levels can help with your overall health as well as your testosterone levels. Regular exercise, sleep, a balanced diet and laughter can all help reduce stress.
- Take vitamin & mineral supplements
Zinc and vitamin B supplements are known to help increase sperm quality and boost testosterone levels while vitamins A, C & E can play a role in your sex hormones.
- Consider natural testosterone boosters
There are a few herbal ingredients supported by scientific studies.
- Ashwagandha. Helps boost brain function, reduce blood sugar levels, reduce cortisol levels, may help reduce stress and anxiety and can boost testosterone and increase fertility in men.
- Ginger. Can help relieve nausea, may help with weight loss, lower blood sugars, lower cholesterol levels and boost testosterone levels.