Tips to Boost Testosterone Naturally
Just as women go through hormone shifts as they get older that ultimately lead to menopause, men too experience decreases in testosterone production. This hormonal shift is called andropause, and it can cause physical and emotional symptoms including:
- Mood swings
- Loss of strength/muscle mass
- Weight gain
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lower sex drive
In cases where testosterone has fallen to extremely low levels, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be an option. It does come with some risks, but it is helpful in restoring vitality in men with severe andropause symptoms.
For milder cases, though, there are several lifestyle habits and supplements that can naturally boost testosterone. It’s worth giving these ideas a try, as they’re not only cost effective but also very safe.
Lifestyle Habits that Boost Testosterone
A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in balancing hormones. Here are some recommendations:
- Exercise. Excess weight and body fat contributes to low testosterone. While all exercise is beneficial, testosterone rises most after heavy strength training. The boost may last up to an hour! Some research shows that exercising at night may lead to an even bigger and longer rise in levels.
- Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep and/or poor-quality sleep are increasingly being recognized as endocrine disruptors. And it’s not just problematic for older men, but men of all ages. One study of 10 healthy young men (average age 24) found that after only one week of sleep restriction (five hours per night), their testosterone levels dropped by 10-15%. With these declines in testosterone, they also reported negative changes in mood and overall well-being.1
- Avoid phytoestrogens. Estrogen-like compounds are everywhere, and they can really affect normal hormone function in both men and women. It’s hard to fully avoid all of these chemicals, but do your best. Some of the top offenders are BPA (found mainly in plastics), parabens (found in many personal care products), flame retardants, and phthalates.
The following supplements help to not only increase testosterone production safely and naturally, but also alleviate symptoms associated with andropause like erection problems, low libido, and more.
L-citrulline is an amino acid that converts to another amino acid, L-arginine. L-arginine improves blood flow by creating nitric oxide, a gas that dilates blood vessels. This is important for those who have heart issues, but it’s equally important for men who want stronger erections.
In a study of 24 middle-aged men, 12 experienced improvement in erections when taking L-citrulline and reported being very satisfied with this result.2
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb, which means it helps your body adapt to physical, emotional, and mental stressors so that you’re better able to deal with them. It helps to enhance energy, boost mental capacity, and counter some of the negative effects of low testosterone. Rhodiola stimulates an enzyme called lipase, which burns fat. This is important as testosterone levels are greatly impacted by excess fat.
Ashwagandha is another adatogenic herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.
An 8-week study divided 57 men (ages 18-51) into a treatment group (300 mg ashwagandha) or placebo. Both groups underwent resistance training for the 8 weeks, with the primary measure of efficacy being strength, and secondary measures being muscle size, body composition, muscle recovery, and testosterone levels.
Compared to placebos, the ashwagandha group experienced greater increases in strength, bigger muscle development in the arms and chest, and better exercise recovery. Those taking ashwagandha also had bigger boosts testosterone levels and lost more body fat.3
A separate study followed overweight men (ages 40-70) who were given either placebo or ashwagandha for 16 weeks. The researchers found that ashwagandha intake “was associated with an 18% greater increase in DHEA-S [a precursor to testosterone] and 14.7% greater increase in testosterone compared to the placebo.”4
Calcium fructoborate is an organic boron compound containing boron, calcium, and fructose that’s naturally found in fruits and vegetables. It has been shown to boost testosterone by lowering levels of SHBG—a compound that binds to sex hormones. With less SHBG, the body has more free testosterone in the bloodstream.
You can find these nutrients online and in most vitamin retailers, but Newport Natural Health’s Enhanced Male makes it easy by combining these and other ingredients known to support natural testosterone production.
If you’re dealing with low testosterone or symptoms associated with andropause, give these supplements and lifestyle tips a try. Be patient, as it can take a couple months before you start seeing changes. If possible, get your testosterone levels checked before you start, and again a few months later.
University of Chicago Medicine. Sleep loss lowers testosterone in healthy young men. May 13, 2011.
Cormio L. et al. Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction. Urology. 2011 Jan;77(1):119-22.
Wankhede S, et al. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Nov 25;12:43.
Lopresti A, et al. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males. Am J Mens Health. Mar-Apr 2019;13(2):1557988319835985.