Testosterone is a hormone that can have an impact on athletic performance and recovery.
It’s produced mainly by males although women produce it in small amounts too.
While taking illegal testosterone supplements is clearly unethical, top athletes often use natural ways to increase levels of the hormone. Here are six ways to do it.
Take A Vitamin D Supplement
One of the many health benefits of vitamin D supplementation is an increase in testosterone levels. Research has shown that taking a vitamin D tablet over the course of around a year can result in a significant increase in levels of the hormone. It’s particularly important to ensure you get enough vitamin D through your diet in the winter months.
Getting a good duration and quality of sleep is linked with testosterone levels. One study found that men who slept 5 hours per night had 15 per cent less testosterone in comparison to those who sleep for over eight hours.
As the stress hormone cortisol rises, testosterone levels decrease. Elevated levels of cortisone are particularly associated with chronic stress syndrome which is caused by periods of prolonged stress on the body. Getting enough rest and relaxation is essential to maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
Eat Healthy Fats
A healthy balanced diet with enough carbs and protein from whole foods is key to good testosterone levels, particularly among athletes who regularly stress the body with exercise. But research suggests consuming healthy fats may be particularly efficient in maintaining testosterone. One 2013 study found that men who consumed either virgin argan oil or virgin olive oil had nearly a 20 per cent rise in testosterone after three weeks.
Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol decreases testosterone levels, particularly when drank excessively on a regular basis. One study also discovered a drop in testosterone levels 30 minutes after just one strong drink of whiskey and water, although levels did return to normal quickly afterwards.
One of the best ways to boost testosterone levels in men is to exercise, and resistance training is particularly effective. Thankfully this should come naturally to most athletes, but it may make weight training more appealing to endurance athletes who usually stay clear of the gym.