T Nation

Naturally Increase Testosterone

“Testosterone is the primary muscle building hormone – higher levels
of testosterone in the blood stream lead to bigger muscles / lower
body fat levels.”

  • Francesco A. Castano

Besides supplements and drugs, anybody know any tricks to naturally increase testosterone? any specific foods, eating habits, sleeping habits, training habits, sex, whatever?

What factors are the most important? Is sleep really that important in T levels? Does simply going to the gym raise T levels?

Thanks for your opinions!

For example, I have been told that Peanut Butter is a great food to boost Testosterone.

I too am curious

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
For example, I have been told that Peanut Butter is a great food to boost Testosterone.[/quote]

Uh…haven’t heard that one.

The same things you’d do to decrease cortisol and stress are basically the same things that will increase testosterone.

Get as much sleep as possible per night, preferablly going to bed before midnight.

Make sure you’re eating enough, and eating enough fats (including saturated fats).

Make sure your training sessions are as brief and intense as they need to be and try to keep them under an hour.

Try to keep an optimistic outlook on life and avoid getting stressed and feeling doomed.

These things are all pretty basic, I’d say.

-Matt

Below text taken from this website:
http://www.ivannikolov.com/newsletter/archive/test002.htm

Don’t know if I agree 100% with all the statements…but it’s an interesting read


  1. If you are even slightly overweight consider staring immediately a diet and training routine, tailored toward fat loss and lean muscle retention. Fat tissue causes testosterone levels to plunge.

  2. If you want your efforts in keeping test levels high to give results, consider also dropping the alcohol intake to absolute minimum. Alcohol decreases the rate your body removes estrogen from the system. That causes decline in testosterone levels as well.

  3. Begin mastering some types of self-control or even meditation. These will take care of the excess stress levels. Stress promotes cortisol release, which, guess what, lowers test levels.

  4. Take medications only if they are absolutely essential for your health and are prescribed by your doctor. Some medications act on the central nervous system and cause drop in the lutenizing hormone, the one, responsible for the steroid hormone production.

Talk to your personal physician to find out if there are any natural remedies to replace your current medications and if he recommends such approach for your health issue.

  1. Keep your blood pressure and the serum cholesterol in check. These cause hardening of the arteries and that in turn prevents enough blood from reaching the hormone producing organs - causes lower testosterone.

  2. Eat enough good fats in your diet. Good means monounsaturated and omega-3 and 6 polyunsaturated fats. Studies have shown that good fats stimulate testosterone hikes.

  3. Don?t ever overtrain. Overtraining increases stress hormone release. You know what happens next?Sleep enough to promote good recovery. Signs of overtraining are loss of appetite, tiredness and irritability, lack of motivation, impaired mental focus, prolonged recovery periods.

  4. Start relying more heavily on basic exercise movements. Train in the low rep range most of the time. 5 ? 8 reps will ensure that you?re using weights that will eventually stimulate elevated testosterone levels.

  5. It will only do you good if you decide to try some or all of these natural supplements: chrysin - piperine blend, nettle root extract, pygeum, avena sativa extract, and tribulus terestris. Some of them bind to SHBG, thus freeing up testosterone; others lower the testosterone conversion to estrogen.
    Try to find them in your local health store. Follow the directions on the label for best results.

  6. And you shouldn?t even consider training without supplementing your diet with enough vitamin C (at least 1g a day) and zinc (15mg min.).

Take vitamin C with your multivitamin formula after breakfast, and post-workout with your protein shake. Vitamin C suppresses the release of stress hormones, which? elevates testosterone in the system.

Zinc should be present in your multivitamin blend but this is not enough. It prevents the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Take zinc with magnesium in the form of ZMA right before you go to bed on an empty stomach.

Thanks for the responses. Great link!

Anyways I think I will try to relax more at the gym, I typically get stressed sometimes before heavy lifts… cant be good for T levels.

I will try ZMA when i start to cut for this summer.

I will look into supplementing with Vitamin C also, had no idea it elevates T!

I have read in Mens Health that following a study, they discovered that too much Vitamin C (over 500mg) can slow down muscle recovery. Just something to think about. I still think I will start supplementing with Vitamin C, I have heard good things about it before.

Great link TPA.

The killer is testosterone being converted into estrogen. I know that the initiator of this thread was asking for ways other than supplements or drugs, however might I suggest D.I.M. If you dont want to use D.I.M, then try eating more brocolli, cauliflower and cabbage, since these are what D.I.M are derived from. I dont know how much you would need to eat to equal taking a D.I.M. supplement.

The other food (or supplement) to eat is maca, which is used as a food in Peru. Dont even bother getting the stuff in capsules (too little to do you any good and expensive). Get a bag of the stuff and eat several spoonfulls per day.

[quote]Matt McGorry wrote:
Get as much sleep as possible per night, preferablly going to bed before midnight.

Try to keep an optimistic outlook on life and avoid getting stressed and feeling doomed.
-Matt[/quote]

yep…

[quote]entheogens wrote:
Great link TPA.

The killer is testosterone being converted into estrogen. I know that the initiator of this thread was asking for ways other than supplements or drugs, however might I suggest D.I.M. If you dont want to use D.I.M, then try eating more brocolli, cauliflower and cabbage, since these are what D.I.M are derived from. I dont know how much you would need to eat to equal taking a D.I.M. supplement.

The other food (or supplement) to eat is maca, which is used as a food in Peru. Dont even bother getting the stuff in capsules (too little to do you any good and expensive). Get a bag of the stuff and eat several spoonfulls per day.[/quote]

Yep i heard before about test. being converted to estrogen, didnt know those veggies helped.

I will look for Maca, dont know anything about it.

Hey gentlemen; just got through the chapter on hormonal interaction in ESSENTIALS OF STRENGTH TRAINING AND CONDITIONING. Some thoughts on Testosterone elevation:

large-muscle, multijoint moves: squats, deadlifts, power cleans, and the like.

rest periods between sets fairly short, 30-60 seconds.

heavy weights: 85-95% of 1RM.

Moderate to high training volume.

2 or more years of resistance training experience.

Though it’s traditionally seen as a catabolic hormone, an acute rise in cortisol isn’t necessarily a bad thing-in fact, it’s an expected result of a tough anaerobic workout. So don’t worry about stressing out over heavy lifting or trying to stay relaxed and chilled out while you exercise: that’s a good kind of stress!

If you’ve got chronically elevated cortisol, then that’s a problem, as it inhibits protein synthesis (muscle building) and converts amino acid to carbohydrate (muscle breakdown). Chronically elevated cortisol comes from too much stress, lack of sleep, overtraining, inability to relax.

Keep your protein intake up and try to stay relaxed outside the gym and you’ll be fine!

Good luck
DF

[quote]Matt McGorry wrote:
hit the gym wrote:
For example, I have been told that Peanut Butter is a great food to boost Testosterone.

Uh…haven’t heard that one.

The same things you’d do to decrease cortisol and stress are basically the same things that will increase testosterone.

Get as much sleep as possible per night, preferablly going to bed before midnight.

Make sure you’re eating enough, and eating enough fats (including saturated fats).

Make sure your training sessions are as brief and intense as they need to be and try to keep them under an hour.

Try to keep an optimistic outlook on life and avoid getting stressed and feeling doomed.

These things are all pretty basic, I’d say.

-Matt[/quote]

pretty sure matt that he is saying that b/c of the fats in pb. fats up test

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Thanks for the responses. Great link!

Anyways I think I will try to relax more at the gym, I typically get stressed sometimes before heavy lifts… cant be good for T levels.

I will try ZMA when i start to cut for this summer.
[/quote]

Try to remove the stress from everyday life, not from lifting. You want to push yourself in the gym. Training the compound movements with heavy weights/lower reps will help boost T-levels and growth hormone levels. Relaxing while lifting is pretty counterproductive in my opinion.

Don’t wait till the summer for ZMA. If you are training hard, you’ll probably benefit from it, and it’s a cheap supplement. You can get it here for $9 for a one month supply, tough to beat that price.

[quote]Modi wrote:

Try to remove the stress from everyday life, not from lifting. You want to push yourself in the gym. Training the compound movements with heavy weights/lower reps will help boost T-levels and growth hormone levels. Relaxing while lifting is pretty counterproductive in my opinion.

[/quote]

I definitely agree that you want to push yourself in the gym, but acquiring the ability to stay focused but not psyched up between sets, and to psych up only when necessary, is very useful. This seems to me to be especially true when you’re lifting with low repetitions. I make no claim to be a great lifter, but I’ve found that developing this ability has been crucial to making what gains I’ve made (oly lifting).

You can observe this ability in a lot of the Ironmind training tapes–many of the lifters there will psych up for their competition attempts, but you seldom if ever see them psych up dramatically for training weights, even training weights near their maximum, and they’re always calm or even sometimes relaxed between sets.

Again, JMHO and whatnot.

[quote]Ross Hunt wrote:

I definitely agree that you want to push yourself in the gym, but acquiring the ability to stay focused but not psyched up between sets, and to psych up only when necessary, is very useful. This seems to me to be especially true when you’re lifting with low repetitions. I make no claim to be a great lifter, but I’ve found that developing this ability has been crucial to making what gains I’ve made (oly lifting).

You can observe this ability in a lot of the Ironmind training tapes–many of the lifters there will psych up for their competition attempts, but you seldom if ever see them psych up dramatically for training weights, even training weights near their maximum, and they’re always calm or even sometimes relaxed between sets.

Again, JMHO and whatnot.[/quote]

I respect that opinion, and I’m not advocating getting psyched up for every set, but my point is that too many people walk through the motions at the gym.

I’m not implying that the OP does this, but I think there is a great value to pushing it hard in the gym.

This doesn’t mean whipping out the ammonia caps and beating your chest like an gorilla, but grinding out the extra rep is important if you are looking to bump T-levels.

All to often I see people who look like they’ve spent their entire workout warming up, and I’m still waiting for the actual work out to begin.

Also, I’m not sure if the OP is a power lifter. I know, at least part of the mentality of not getting psyched during training, is to get the extra boost during a competition lift. If he is not a PLer or OLer, then maybe the occasional psyche on a max attempt would be beneficial.

Just my .02 worth.

[quote]Modi wrote:

[Sensible stuff]

[/quote]

Right, I think we’re on the same page. I agree that not psyching up in training is more important for strength athletes, especially because the loads lifted regularly are heavier… psyching through several high-rep sets can be less demanding on the CNS than doing it through multiple heavy singles, even if it hurts a lot more.

[quote]Ross Hunt wrote:
Modi wrote:

[Sensible stuff]

Right, I think we’re on the same page. I agree that not psyching up in training is more important for strength athletes, especially because the loads lifted regularly are heavier… psyching through several high-rep sets can be less demanding on the CNS than doing it through multiple heavy singles, even if it hurts a lot more.[/quote]

Agreed.