We’ll cover four main components to building Men’s hormones naturally:
- Quality Sleep
- Healthy Fats
- Food and supplements to boost testosterone
- Specific exercise regimen
Sleep is one of the first things to go in our busy, fast-paced lives. Sleep is essential for rejuvenation, repair and optimal function. Adequate sleep affects our physical bodies, mental and emotional states and our ability to build hormones, muscle mass and manage weight.
Did you know that 85% of free testosterone is formed during REM sleep? Step 1 in hormone balancing is getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to support healthy adrenal function, hormone production, stress response and energy levels. Throughout the course of the night, each REM cycle gets longer than the last. The problem is when the sleep cycle gets broken in the middle of the night, the REM cycle starts back at square one. We want maximum REM sleep which equates to maximum testosterone production.
The time that you get sleep also matters. According to circadian rhythms and the rhythms of our body’s cortisol, we are designed to shutdown by 10:00 pm and rise with the sun at around 6:00 am. This is Mother Nature’s way of giving you 8 solid hours of sleep and 16 solid hours of productive activity. In the first 4 hours of sleep, you’re actually healing and restoring your physical body from the day prior. In the latter 4 hours, you’re healing your mind and balancing emotions.
When you’re under stress and not getting enough sleep, the glandular system that gets pulled upon is the adrenals. The adrenal system regulates all the stress hormones including cortisol, DHEA and free testosterone. If the adrenal system in overburdened, those adrenal hormones cannot convert over to make testosterone.
Men are notorious at taking better care of their cars than their bodies. I’m going to call it the Gladiator Syndrome. We feel like we’re impervious to physical plan or weakness and we don’t allow ourselves to show vulnerability. Instead, we just plow through the stress and eventually our bodies crash and burn. There is another way….
Here are a few personal recommendations to improve sleep quality and overall health. Decide on a schedule and try to get to sleep and wake around the same time every day so your body can get into it’s own rhythm. Make your bedroom a haven for SLEEP only. Do not do work or bills in bed, don’t eat in your bedroom, don’t do anything that will stimulate you mentally in bed, even reading. Create a calming space and a bedtime routine that helps you wind down. Maybe 10-15 minutes of meditation, affirmations or prayer. Get black out curtains and power down any electronics in your bedroom. If you don’t want to fully unplug, place black tape over the blue lights emitted from devices. Avoid looking at your cell phone leading up to bedtime as well as this is a major source of blue light which disrupts our melatonin production. As for aromatherapy, I’m the first one to support the use of essential oils like Lavender for calming and sleep. However, I’d only diffuse oils leading up to sleep. If you leave it running while you’re sleeping, it’s possible that the smell can activate the olfactory nerves and actually wake you up in the middle of the night. Allow sleep to be a period of true rest so your body and mind can heal overnight, giving you the energy to take on the following day at 100%.
Want an easy way to tell how healthy you are as a man? Morning wood (yes, I went there) either upon waking or at some point in the middle of the night. This is normal and how our bodies were intended to function. Morning wood is absolutely dependent on testosterone production and will return as the REM sleep cycle is normalized.
2) HEALTHY FATS Drive Testosterone
A key component to driving hormones naturally is to eat monounsaturated fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, nut butter, whole eggs, and wild-caught salmon which contain omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and serve a multitude of health benefits. It has been shown that men who regularly consume healthy fats will actually have 40% higher testosterone levels.
I recommend eating organic, cage-free and range-free eggs as a good source of cholesterol. Eat the whole egg (not just egg-whites) because the yolk is what actually contains cholesterol which is needed for healthy hormone levels and overall health. Another easy way to increase healthy fat consumption is to eat half an avocado with each meal.
It’s important to note that fats contain double the amount of calories than carbs and protein. 1 gram of fat is 9 calories while 1 gram of carb or protein is only 4 calories. The key is to limit or avoid simple carbs and simple refined sugars found in cookies, cakes, candy, bread, pasta and even alcohol as well as white starchy foods like white rice and white flour. On the other hand, complex carbs such as fruits, vegetables, sweet potato, oatmeal, brown rice and beans have a higher nutrient density and help with fat burning and building muscle while training.
Now, let’s talk cholesterol. The American belief that cholesterol creates heart disease has been perpetrated by the pharmaceutical industry to sell statin drugs. The statistics and studies on this are flawed and there are many, many other factors that contribute to heart health or disease. I actually like to see cholesterol in the neighborhood of about 250 because we need that cholesterol in order to make the precursors to our hormones, including testosterone. Cholesterol also makes up a large portion of our brains and is needed for optimal cognitive function and memory. It’s no coincidence that dementia is on the rise alongside the increased use of statin drugs. Take home message is: we need cholesterol. Of course, work with a medical professional to monitor your numbers and understand the difference between HDL and LDL. But the concept and generalization of cholesterol being bad for you is simply untrue. Cholesterol does not cause heart disease and arterial blockages. The enemies are fluoridated and chlorinated water, trans fatty acids, microwaved foods and cheap commercial salt.
A simple, tasty and healthy replacement to toxic table salt is Pink Himalayan Salt which comes from a cave. I used to be a fan of Sea Salt but after all the radiation from Fukushima, our oceans have become polluted and toxic as well and I just don’t trust it anymore. The best part is Pink Himalayan salt contains more minerals keeping electrolytes balanced and it actually lowers blood pressure! Unfortunately, we have limited control of what is used during food preparation at restaurants, but we can make healthier choices when we’re cooking at home.
Something else to be aware of when working to boost and maintain testosterone levels is avoiding xeno-estrogens such as Bisphenol-A (BPA) from plastic. This confuses receptor sites by mimicking estrogen and driving female hormones in males leading to man boobs and feminizing characteristics. Avoid using saran-wrap or plastic storage containers – especially if you are microwaving your food in these items. Tiny plastic particles literally leach into your food and since plastic has a similar chemical structure to estrogen, it totally disrupts male hormone balance. These hormone derivatives are known to be cancer causing and aren’t good for men or women. Xeno-estrogens are also hiding in food products like margarine. Margarine is made up of trans fat which is lower in calories but has a chemical makeup similar to plastic – causing an array of dysfunction throughout the body and can even lead to cancer. It’s just not natural. Our bodies have an innate intelligence to recognize synthetic products as foreign and can become overburdened from continuous toxic exposure.
3) TESTOSTERONE Boosting Foods & Supplements
The number one food you can eat to drive your hormones is organic, wild-caught salmon. Be sure not to buy farm-raised salmon which contains unwanted toxins and chemicals. I recommend 3 servings per week as about 4-6 oz per serving to help produce testosterone naturally.
Next, get ample amounts of vitamin D, preferably in the form of sunshine for 30 minutes per day. If this isn’t possible, I suggest taking a quality, organic vitamin D supplement.
Here are some other foods that are easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Avocados are loaded with mono-unsaturated fats that give us the building blocks for great hormones. Brazil nuts are great because they actually have receptor sites that hold onto zinc and keep zinc in the body longer. Zinc is an essential cofactor in the process of producing hormones. Egg yolks are loaded with good healthy cholesterol which is the precursor hormone to testosterone. I recommend spending the extra money on organic, cage-free, free-range eggs as they have much higher nutrient value. Alkalizing green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and romaine contain magnesium which also drives hormones. Another great source of magnesium is dark chocolate in the form of real cacao. Anything over 70% cacao has a positive effect; the higher the percentage the better (and more bitter).
Specific nutrients and recommended daily dosage:
- DHA oil – 1000 milligrams per day
- Zinc – 50 milligrams per day
- Magnesium – 200 milligrams per day
- Selenium – 200 micrograms per day
Androgenic Herbs that are fantastic for driving testosterone, libido and improving sexual function:
- Pine Pollen – hormone stimulator
- Thor’s Hammer – herbal blend, helps restore morning wood
4) EXERCISE: Power Building Regimen to Boost Hormones
Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) begin to drop off naturally at age 35 unless the diet and lifestyle is structured to drive hormone production.
Here is a very specific training regimen that will drive testosterone and human growth hormone naturally as well as increase power, muscle growth and reduce fat. This is the only workout I know of that will reduce fat while building muscle at same time. Studies show that on average, men lost about 6 lbs fat while gaining 2 lbs muscle mass in 6 weeks. This workout is for men of all ages. It consists of weight training + cardio. It only takes about 20-30 minutes total but fair warning, it’s intense!
3 times per week, ideally with one day of rest in between:
- 4 sets of the following exercises, 6 reps in each set: squats, deadlifts, then bench press. The key is the energy you put behind the workout. You want bursts of power. Go to war with the weights! Push against the weight with resistance. Hit these exercises with focus and intention to rip into the workout as through your life depended on it.
Then, with little time to recoup, go right into High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):
- 8 sets of: 30 sec walk, 30 sec full out run.
- 2 min: walk to cool down.
You’re going to sweat… a lot. This is a good thing! Remember, ease your way into this recommended routine; ramp yourself up and don’t overdo it.
Final piece of advice & word of caution:
Please note that testosterone injection therapy, such as steroids, is very dangerous to men as it causes the receptors to be saturated and actually decreases your own testosterone production. Once the synthetic testosterone is discontinued, the body crashes causing loss of hormonal levels and low testosterone levels.
I hope you found this information valuable. For more information, click below to check out my 4-part video series on YouTube. Of course, comment or contact me with any questions or feedback. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpDRtpo_NnKLKkG8VjI4zI_9luZEum6DA