Testosterone is often discussed when it comes to male health, as it is the primary male sex hormone. It is also found in females in small doses and is a steroid hormone which is found in reproductive organs. While testosterone is the main driver of physical changes in boys during puberty, it is also vital to maintain testosterone levels throughout adulthood.
Testosterone plays some surprising roles within the body, and a lack of testosterone levels can have some adverse side effects no matter your age.
We’re sharing everything you need to know about maintaining testosterone levels and why it is important.
What Happens If You Don’t Have Enough Testosterone?
A testosterone deficiency can have many surprising effects on the body in both men and women. As men get older, the testosterone levels begin to gradually drop by about 1% to 2% every year. This means that over time less testosterone is produced, and you could begin to show the signs of a deficiency. The main symptoms of a testosterone deficiency in men include;
- Hair loss including a loss of facial hair
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increased body fat and sometimes increased fat around the breasts
- Fatigue and low energy levels
- Mood changes including poor concentration, irritability and depression
- Hot flashes
- Affected memory
- Brittle bones leading to an increased risk of fracture or injury.
In many adult males, any deficiency symptoms or conditions that are related to low testosterone can often be improved when normal levels are maintained. Certain foods, vitamins and lifestyle changes can promote healthy testosterone levels.
How To Maintain Healthy Testosterone Levels?
There are some simple lifestyle changes and habits you can adopt to help promote testosterone production in the body. While there are plenty of products and supplements designed to boost testosterone among men, there are also many easy ways to increase production naturally. Some of the top ways to maintain healthy levels of testosterone are;
- Sleep: A lack of sleep can have a negative effect on the level of hormones and chemicals in the body; this includes testosterone levels. Adult men who do not get enough hours of kip a night can often see a drop in their testosterone levels. A study from the University of Chicago revealed that the level of testosterone in the body could drop by up to 15% after just one week of a lack of sleep. When you make your sleep a priority and aim for between 7 to 8 hours a night, you can help to maintain your testosterone levels.
- A Healthy Diet: Keeping a healthy diet has an abundance of benefits to your overall wellbeing and maintaining testosterone levels is one of them. Overeating or yo-yo dieting can disrupt hormone levels and have a negative impact on testosterone in the body. The best diet for maintaining testosterone levels is one including many whole foods and a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. When you choose a nutritious and healthy diet, you can help your body to keep hormone levels balanced and promote long term health.
- Exercise: Staying active and keeping up a good level of exercise can help boost testosterone production in the body. Not only will exercise promote healthy testosterone levels, but it can help with weight loss which is another way of keeping hormones balanced. Men with more weight on their body often have lower levels of testosterone compared to those who are not overweight.
- Vitamins: There are many vitamins and minerals that are proven to boost testosterone levels an encourage production in the body. Vitamin D is great for increased testosterone, as is magnesium. One Nutrition Vitamin D3 is an easy and efficient way of ensuring your body is getting the right amount of vitamins needed for testosterone production. It tops up Vitamin D3 levels and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream so that is can get straight to work.
- Zinc: Males with a deficiency in Zinc levels often find themselves with lower testosterone. Zinc is vital for reproductive health and helps maintain testosterone production. Ensuring you have good levels of zinc in your diet can help you to produce the right levels of hormones. Zinc is commonly found in shellfish, red meat, poultry, beans and nuts. Be careful with supplements as zinc and copper both compete for absorption in the body, and for healthy testosterone levels you need to prioritise zinc.