TIME magazine reports that the testosterone (a.k.a. “T”) industry has grown tenfold in the past decade and reached $2 billion in revenue. Twenty-first century men are refusing to go gentle -- or cheap -- into that good night.
Symptoms of low T include weight gain, lethargy, loss of muscle mass, and a deflated libido, which presents a real chicken-or-the-egg problem: does low T cause pudgy waistlines and low sex drive? Or do aging men’s lifestyle choices lead to muscle loss, weight gain, sedentariness, and a subsequent downturn in their natural sex hormone production?
The answer is not clear, but according to TIME, a recent, double-blind study showed that T injections were no more effective than placebo at helping men put back the pep in their step.
Here are my top 4 tips for men, young and old alike, who want to keep the T pumping:
Muscle mass keeps you athletic, injury-resilient, and looking good. But strength training also triggers upticks in testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH) production.
A few sets of bicep curls won’t cut it. You need to load the skeleton through total-body lifts like squats, deadlifts, and/or loaded carries (like farmer carries and sled pushes). Don’t worry about slogging away at the gym for hours. Short, frequent, intense bouts of training are sufficient -- superior, even.
Learn the lifts with strict form, and don’t be afraid to start light and work your way up to big weights. Regular training will create positive momentum: strong workouts lead to fat loss and more T production, which help you build muscle and burn fat, which make your workouts even better, which leads to more fat loss and T production.
2) Eat like a man
What do I mean by that? I mean stop eating like a child. Don’t eat food with a mascot, how’s that for a litmus test? No cartoon tigers or elves in a treehouse.
In all seriousness, make unprocessed meat, vegetables, eggs, grass-fed dairy, fruit and berries, nuts and seeds, and unprocessed starch (potatoes, rice, etc.) the basis of your diet.
Here’s one of my all-time favorite recipes that hits it on the head: cinnamon-infused short ribs with butternut squash. This dish will make you good friends with anyone within smelling distance of your crock pot. It’s important to eat this way because protein supports your muscle-building efforts, and testosterone and other important hormones are actually synthesized from fat. You must give your body the raw materials it needs to amp up testosterone production. Beef, dark meat poultry, fatty fish, and grass-fed dairy are your allies.
3) Sleep like a boy
Turn off the TV and get some shuteye. Seven hours a night would be great, and eight would be even better. Weight training provides the stimulus for T production, good-quality fat and protein in diet provide the raw materials, and sleep provides the opportunity. Hormones are mostly synthesized during sleep, so don’t shortchange yourself.
Get blackout curtains or an eyeshade to sleep in total darkness. If you've never tried this before, you will be shocked what a difference it makes.
With your partner, with yourself -- take a cue from Nike and Just Do It. Frequent orgasms keep T production in full swing. And if you take my advice from #1 and #2 seriously, your partner won’t be able to resist you anyway.