The term “Low T” – or low testosterone – is being heard more and more often. What is low testosterone? What does it mean for men who have it, and how can it be increased naturally?
What is Low T?
Testosterone is a hormone made in the testicles that stimulates the production of sperm, helps build muscle and bone mass, and drives a man’s sex drive. A normal testosterone range is between 300 and 1,000 ng/dl. As men age, testosterone levels decline. When testosterone drops below 300, it’s considered low.
What are the effects of low testosterone?
Reduced sex drive or a lack of libido
Low semen volume
Decrease in the volume of sperm during ejaculation
Fatigue and lack of energy
Loss of muscle mass and bone mass
Increase in body fat
What does low T have to do with ED?
Testosterone tells receptors in the brain to produce the molecule nitric oxide, which smoothens the penile muscle so an erection can occur. Low testosterone can result in low nitric oxide, which can result in erectile dysfunction.
How to increase low testosterone
While there are topical and oral treatments to increase testosterone levels, there are six things you can do right away, naturally.
1) Evaluate your medications. If you’re taking opioid narcotic pain medication or glucocorticoid drugs such as prednisone, talk to your doctor about their effects on testosterone levels and whether alternative treatments might be effective.
2) Get enough sleep. One study found that sleeping less than five hours a night for one week can cause a drop in testosterone. To increase your T levels, try to get seven to eight hours of consistent sleep every night.
3) Get to a healthy weight. There is a correlation between being overweight or obese and low T levels. Try to drop any extra pounds, and if you’re underweight, look into adding muscle and fat. A simple BMI calculator can help you determine your ideal weight.
4) Exercise in short bursts. Short intense exercise, as opposed to prolonged moderate exercise, has been shown to boost T levels. Try interval training, or short workouts that get your heart rate going for 10-to 20-minute sessions.
5) Rev up your Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to increase testosterone, and Vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. is at epidemic proportions. If you’re low in Vitamin D, increasing it to acceptable levels may be as easy as stepping out in the sun every day.
6) Manage stress. Stress produces the hormone cortisol, which impairs the ability to create testosterone. Make an effort to reduce stress by unwinding after work, pursuing a hobby, or limiting work hours. Keep in mind not to relax by having multiple drinks. Excessive alcohol lowers the amount of NAD+ inside the liver and testes – the body uses this coenzyme to produce testosterone.
Natural solutions can go far in increasing testosterone levels. They can also be effective in treating erectile dysfunction. Learn more in our free ebook on Natural Solutions to Treating ED.