If you want to reach your highest potential as a man, optimal testosterone levels have to be optimized and maintained.
Testosterone not only affects your ability to build physical strength but also your mental and emotional strength.
I don’t think I have come across a more succinct and drop the mic sentiment on the importance of physical strength than is shared by Brett on his site Art of Manliness:
When we train to be physically strong, we show reverence and honor for the men who came before us that had to be physically strong so that we might exist and enjoy the comforts we have today. Performing a deadlift is like lighting a votive candle for our manly ancestors.
...They understood that without a strong body, a man will never be able to develop his other virtues to their highest potential.
However, it can be frustrating to perform those deadlifts in the gym when you aren’t seeing results or maybe don’t even have the energy to get to the gym.
Here are 5 ways you can optimize your testosterone levels to help you reach your highest potential.
Optimize Testosterone through Consistent Sleep.
Sleep deprivation can lower daytime testosterone levels within a few weeks by 10-15%. Not only is the duration of sleep valuable but the quality is also paramount.1
Make sure you are NOT mouth breathing while sleeping. If there is any chance that you are mouth breathing, then get that mouth tape on your lips and train your brain to breath through your nose.
Optimize Testosterone through Clean Eating.
Eat like you care about your vitality. Men who eat diets high in processed grains, pastries and added sugar have low testosterone.
This kind of eating also decreases protein synthesis stimulation and increases fat mass gain, especially abdominal fat which breaks down testosterone signaling.
On the other hand, loading up on grass-fed meat and fish with high anti-inflammatory long chain fatty acids and dark green vegetables promotes optimal testosterone production and utilization.
I would also note that trans fatty acids and vegetable oils (soybean, corn, canola) hinder testicular function and have even been shown to reduce testicular size.
On the flip side, Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to promote increased testicular size and function.
Optimize Testosterone by Avoiding Xenobiotics.
Avoid xenobiotics whenever possible. Xenobiotics are chemicals found in the environment that can mimic our own hormones. Xenobiotics are the leading candidates for why testosterone levels have dropped off appreciably over the last 60 years.
One of the most common hormone mimics is Bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in all manner of plastic containers and food liners. If fat or heating are involved it is vital that plastics are not also involved.
Make a point to NOT heat food in plastic containers, even in those labeled BPA free, as they still leach xenobiotics into your food and wreak havoc on your hormones.
BPA tends to get all of the exposure, but phthalates found in shampoo, aftershave and colognes or perfumes, have the same damaging effects on hormones both in men and women.
Another reason to local, organic food whenever possible is to minimize exposure to organophosphates, which are mainly found in pesticides and herbicides.
Use natural fertilizers and weed killers or go old school and pull your own weeds.
It is worth it to maintain hormone sanity.
Optimize Testosterone through Spartacus.
Sparactus is a supplement that combines the synergistic power of East Indian Globe Thistle and Mangifera Indica to increase testosterone activity.
This causes activation of mTOR (the key regulator of muscle mass), increased protein synthesis, decreased muscle breakdown and enhanced muscle growth.
Within just 60 days clinical trial participants saw these changes with notably better improvements and outcomes than the placebo group who had exercised twice has much.
Optimize Testosterone by Decreasing Stress.
We cannot overlook the impact of chronic stress on testosterone and cortisol activity.
Stress when not properly metabolized decreases testosterone activity and cellular sensitivity to testosterone, while ramping up cortisol and increasing insulin resistance. Together this accelerates aging and dysfunction.
This process also upregulates the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. As the stress continues, cortisol levels continue to climb and estrogen conversion continues to increase, testosterone activity plummets.
You don’t have to live in a chronic state of being stressed out.
With proper scheduling, time spent thinking, using gratitude journals, nasal breathing, exercise and finding what is truly essential in your life, you can live full days and be ultra productive without trashing your hormones.
Testing Testosterone Levels
Get your testosterone levels checked in the morning while in a fasted state.
Be sure both free and total testosterone are checked.
Implement strategies as listed above to optimize production and enjoy the vitality and vigor that optimal testosterone activity offers.
Find out more about testing protocols in my post, 5 Reasons Free Testosterone Needs Your Attention.
1 Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy MenFREE (nih.gov)