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How to Get More Testosterone

Three Parts:Eating RightGetting PhysicalMaking Lifestyle Changes

Testosterone is a hormone that is produced in large amounts by males (and a little bit in females), in the testes and adrenal glands. High testosterone levels are associated with sexual performance, reproductive function, muscle mass, hair growth, aggressive, competitive behaviors, and other such manly things. Testosterone levels tend to peak at the age of 40, and slowly decline from there. Luckily, there are many things you can do to increase testosterone, so if you feel like your T levels could use a boost, you've come to the right place.

Part 1
Eating Right

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    Alter your eating habits. How much testosterone your body produces has a lot to do with diet, so it's important to become aware of exactly what you're eating. A good testosterone-friendly diet includes plenty of healthy fats, green leafy vegetables, protein and cholesterol (it's not all bad!). Low-fat diets should be avoided when trying to boost testosterone.
    • For example, minerals such as zinc and magnesium help to get testosterone production started, while a healthy level of cholesterol allows your Leydig cells to actually make testosterone.
    • In addition, veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage work to lower the levels of estrogen (a female hormone) in your body, thus boosting testosterone levels.[1]
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    Get some nuts. Incorporating a handful or two of walnuts or almonds into your daily diet is a great, easy way to increase testosterone levels.
    • Also try branching out to brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts and other nuts high in monounsaturated fats, as men who regularly consume these fats have higher testosterone levels than men who don't.[2]
    • Seeds, such as sunflower and sesame seeds, also provide high levels of monounsaturated fats, in addition to protein, vitamin E and zinc, all of which boost testosterone.
    • For the healthiest option, go for the unflavored, unsalted versions of nuts and seeds.
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    Eat oysters and other zinc-rich foods. Zinc is one of the most important minerals your body needs for the production of testosterone. In fact, increasing your zinc intake can significantly raise testosterone levels in as little as six weeks.[3]
    • If you're looking for a quick fix, six oysters is all the boost your body needs to produce more testosterone, as oysters contain loads of zinc.[4]
    • But if shellfish isn't your thing, you can also increase your zinc intake by eating protein-rich meats and fish, along with raw dairy products such as milk and cheese, all of which contain high levels of zinc.
    • If you're finding it difficult to increase your zinc intake through diet alone (especially as a vegan or vegetarian) you can help the process along by taking a zinc supplement. The recommended intake for adults is no more than 40 mg per day.
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    Start the day with oatmeal. The health benefits of oatmeal are well-known - it is high in fiber and low in fat - but now there is one more reason to start your day with a bowl of oats: a 2012 study has shown that oatmeal is linked with increased levels of testosterone.
    • The study found evidence that compounds in oats called avenacosides can limit the level of sex-hormone-binding globulins in the system, thus increasing testosterone levels.[5]
    • Oatmeal has also been shown to improve sexual performance. It loaded with L-arginine, an amino acid that reacts with nitric oxide to relax blood vessels. When those blood vessels expand, blood flow is increased mightily.
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    Gobble eggs. Eggs are basically a testosterone-producing superfood. Their yolks contain high levels of HDL (a.k.a. the "good" type of cholesterol) which forms the building blocks of testosterone production.
    • In addition, eggs are high in protein and loaded with zinc - two more testosterone producing essentials.
    • Don't worry about your arteries - eating "good" cholesterol will not raise your blood cholesterol levels (unlike "bad" cholesterol such as triglycerides) so you can eat up to three whole eggs a day without compromising your health.
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    Eat cabbage. Cabbage (along with other leafy green veg such as spinach and kale) can do wonders for your testosterone levels. It contains a phytochemical called indole-3-carbinol (IC3) which has the dual effect of increasing male hormones while decreasing female ones.
    • Specifically, a study conducted at Rockefeller University Hospital showed that estrogen levels were reduced by up to 50% in men who took 500 mg of IC3 a week, thus making existing testosterone levels much more effective.
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    • The most effective way to increase your IC3 levels at home is to eat plenty of cabbage, so try making cabbage soup, cabbage rolls, cabbage juice, or good old cabbage and potatoes.
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    Reduce your sugar intake. Scientists have found that obese men are 2.4 times more likely to have low testosterone than their counterparts, so it's important that you attempt to shed any extra pounds in order to increase testosterone.[6] The fastest way to do this is to cut as much processed sugar from your diet as possible.
    • If you are an avid soda drinker, that should be the first thing to go. Sodas are filled with processed sugars and empty calories, which lead to insulin resistance and weight gain. Just by cutting your daily can of soda from your diet, you could be eliminating a ton of calories.
    • Fructose is a type of sugar found in processed foods and fruit juices. It is believed to be one of the major factors behind modern-day obesity. To decrease your fructose intake, cut out processed food and drinks, along with refined carbohydrates found in breakfast cereals, bagels, pretzels, waffles etc. [3]
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    Take Vitamin D3. It's technically a hormone, but a really important one at that. Studies show that people who regularly take D3 supplements actually have higher testosterone levels.[7]
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    Stay away from supplements that aren't backed up by scientific evidence. While they may be in vogue, they certainly don't help your little helpers produce more T. These are the things you should stay away from:
    • Vitamin C. Unless you have diabetes, you won't benefit much from taking this supplement to boost your testosterone. While it may be beneficial in boosting T in diabetic rats, that's about the extent of the scientific evidence.[8] You're most likely getting enough vitamin C from your diet.
    • ZMA. ZMA is a supplement blend of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Recent studies have found that ZMA has absolutely no effect on the production of testosterone in men.[9] Unless you know you have deficiencies in any one of these categories, steer clear.
    • Do your research. Research supplements that claim to help raise testosterone levels. If you're unsure, be your own advocate and make an informed decision. Just because it's out there on the internet does not make it true.

Part 2
Getting Physical

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    Develop an exercise plan and stick to it. If you're hoping to increase your testosterone levels, diet isn't the only thing to consider. Exercise is an equally important part of increasing testosterone levels, which is why you should come up with an effective, yet sustainable fitness plan designed to maximize testosterone production.
    • Specific types of exercise, such as weightlifting, actually cause the body to produce more testosterone.
    • Exercising decreases your chances of being overweight and, as discussed above, being overweight can negatively impact testosterone levels.[1]
    • If you're not sure where to begin, it may be a good idea to enlist the services of a personal trainer who can develop an exercise plan specifically tailored to your current fitness level, along with your desired outcome.
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    Start lifting weights. If you want to boost testosterone, you should begin to lift weights, as weight-lifting is the most effective form of exercise for increasing testosterone production. However, for best results, you will need to lift heavier weights with fewer repetitions, and it's probably best to avoid the weight machines altogether. Stick with free weights and follow the advice below:
    • Lift large muscle groups. Studies show that lifting larger muscle groups, which require complex, compound movements, is much more effective for producing testosterone than working just one or two smaller muscles.[10] For this reason, you should stick with weight exercises such as bench presses, squats, deadlifts, and shoulder presses.
    • Try to work out with high volume. The type of exercises you perform will mean nothing if you don't have enough volume. You should be doing at least 3 to 4 sets of each compound exercise, using a weight you can only lift 5 times per set. The volume of your workout is determined by this formula: reps x sets x weight = volume. However, when it comes down to a choice between more repetitions or more sets, you should choose more sets every time.
    • Focus on high intensity. Push yourself hard in the gym - only by pushing yourself to your physical limit will you maximize your testosterone production. Increase intensity by performing each exercise more slowly and by resting for no longer than two minutes between sets[11]
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    Try high intensity interval training. High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is another form of exercise which can actively increase testosterone levels, in addition to improving fitness and speeding up the metabolism.
    • HIIT involves performing an exercise in a short, intense burst then following it up with an easier, recovery exercise. This process is then repeated several times throughout the workout.[1]
    • This type of exercising can be adapted for most types of exercise - you can perform HIIT on the treadmill, the elliptical, in the swimming pool, etc. Just use the following formula: perform the high-intensity exercise for approximately 30 seconds, then follow it up with approximately 90 seconds of slower recovery exercise. Repeat this 7 more times for best results.[3]
    • Even 20 minutes of this type of exercise can reap huge rewards - so there's no excuse for not finding the time.
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    Do some cardio. While cardio exercise won't have a huge impact on testosterone production, it can still have a positive impact on overall testosterone levels. As a result, you should try to incorporate some running, swimming, spinning or other aerobic exercise into your fitness plan.
    • Cardio is one of the best ways to burn fat, so incorporating a little running or swimming into your weekly exercise plan will help you to shed any extra pounds. This is good news, as being overweight can negatively impact testosterone.
    • When you're stressed, your body releases a chemical called cortisol which, amongst other things, inhibits testosterone production. Cardio exercise is also a great form of stress-relief so it can reduce your body's cortisol production, thus increasing testosterone.
    • However, cardio should be practiced in moderation - there's no need to become a long-distance runner. In fact, a study conducted by the University of British Columbia found that male runners who ran more than 40 miles (64 km) per weeks had lower levels of testosterone than short-distance runners.[12]
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    Allow your body to recover between workouts. Despite the importance of exercise, it is imperative that you give your body the time it needs to recover between workouts. Otherwise, your exercise regime may be having a negative effect on your testosterone levels.
    • A study conducted by the University of North Carolina found that over-training can decrease men's testosterone levels by up to 40%. Therefore, it is very important that you take at least two days off from intense exercise per week, and that you avoid working the same muscle groups in two consecutive training sessions.[13]
    • On days when you're not exercising intensely, just try to be more more active than usual. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or bike to work, use a standing desk instead of sitting down all day. These small changes help to keep your body moving, which is good news for testosterone levels.

Part 3
Making Lifestyle Changes

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    Get enough sleep. Sleep is a very important factor when it comes to testosterone levels. This is because your body uses the time you're asleep to produce more testosterone. Therefore, you should do your very best to get at least 7 to 8 hours sleep a night.
    • A study conducted at the University of Chicago found that men who spent less than 5 hours sleeping for 7 consecutive nights produced 10% to 15% less testosterone compared to when they were fully rested.[1]
    • In addition to decreased testosterone production, being sleep deprived also increases the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your system, and high levels of cortisol negatively impact testosterone levels.
    • Not getting enough sleep also interferes with your growth hormones, which can prevent you from building muscle when you work out.[14]
    • You should also try to improve the quality of your sleep by turning off all computers and electronics an hour before bed, avoiding caffeinated drinks late in the evening, and having a hot shower before bed.
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    Avoid stress. Many experts believe that stress is one of the major contributing factors in the widespread fall in testosterone levels in modern day men. This is because the hormone which causes stress - cortisol - has been found to have an inverse relationship with testosterone.
    • In other words, when cortisol levels are high, testosterone levels are low, and vice versa. It is believed that cortisol, which puts your body in "fight or flight" survival mode, conflicts with testosterone-related behaviors such as aggression, competition and mating. This is why the two cannot co-exist harmoniously.[3]
    • In order to maximize testosterone levels, it is important to minimize stress in any way you can. Consider trying deep breathing techniques, meditation, yoga or visualization.
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    Cut back on the booze. Alcohol can have a negative impact on your testosterone production. Binge drinking can negatively affect the endocrine system, which, in turn, prevents the testes from producing testosterone.
    • In addition, alcohol raises cortisol levels and inhibits growth hormones - bad news for testosterone.
    • Unfortunately, beer is the worst type of alcohol when it comes to healthy testosterone. This is because the hops used to make beer are full of estrogen (the female hormone). So you might switch to drinking liquor instead, or nothing at all.[15]
    • When drinking, it's best to cut yourself off after two/three drinks, as this will limit the damage to your testosterone levels.
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    Reduce your caffeine intake. Caffeine needs to be taken in moderation, otherwise it can produce cortisol, which negatively impacts testosterone levels.[16]
    • In addition, consuming too much caffeine late in the day can disrupt sleeping patterns - and less sleep means less testosterone.
    • However, recent studies have shown that consuming caffeine before a workout can actually boost your performance - so if you're really craving a cup of coffee, have one before you pump iron. [17]
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    Indulge in things you enjoy. Luckily, increasing your testosterone levels doesn't have to be all work and no play. There are several enjoyable things you can do to boost your T.
    • Watch more sports. Researchers at the University of Utah have found that the testosterone levels of sports fans are linked with their favorite team's performance. The testosterone levels of the research subjects increased by up to 20% when their team won, but decreased by the same percentage when their team lost. Therefore you should feel completely justified in watching more sports - as long as you're sure your team will win![14]
    • Have more sex. You probably know that testosterone is what fuels men's sex drive, but did you know that it also works the other way around? That's right; having sex can actually increase your testosterone levels. And not only that - just the fact of having an erection, or getting turned on by an attractive woman is enough to boost testosterone.[15]
    • Enjoy the great outdoors. Getting outside and enjoying the sunshine can be hugely beneficial to testosterone. In fact, exposing yourself to those vitamin D filled rays for just 15 to 20 minutes a day can increase T levels by a whopping 120%. If you can sunbathe naked, the results are even higher. Just don't get caught.[14]
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    Address high blood pressure levels. Studies have found that men with high blood pressure are 1.8 times likelier to have low testosterone than their counterparts.[6]
    • There are specific diets than you can start on — such as the DASH diet — in order to decrease your high blood pressure and improve your testosterone levels.
    • Other factors such as reducing stress, cutting out booze and alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight can all help to reduce blood pressure.
    • And if all else fails, blood pressure medication can help to keep your hypertension under control. See your doctor to figure out the best course of action for you.
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    Avoid xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, which is bad news for your testosterone levels. Unfortunately xenoestrogens (like other endocrine disruptors) have infiltrated almost every part of daily lives and are impossible to avoid completely. Here are some ways you can limit your exposure:
    • Avoid heating food in plastic containers. If you're heating up leftovers, make sure to transfer your food to a plate before popping in the microwave. Most plastic containers contain phthalates (a type of xenoestrogen) which can be transferred to your food when the plastic is heated. If possible, store your food in glass containers instead.
    • Limit exposure to pesticides and gasoline. Both of these contain xenoestrogens, so try to limit your exposure as much as possible. If you come in contact with either, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
    • Eat organic produce. Non-organic foods are often sprayed with pesticides and pumped with hormones which mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Choose organic product when possible, or at least wash fruit and veg thoroughly before eating and avoid meat and dairy products which come from cows that have been treated with hormones.
    • Use natural grooming products. Items such as shampoos, soaps, toothpastes and deodorants can introduce xenoestrogens to the body, so consider making the switch to more natural versions of these products.[1]
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    See your doctor. If you believe you may be suffering from a condition called low-T, consult with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to prescribe medicine that will help your body produce more of its super-hormone.


  • Before puberty, testosterone levels are very low. The level of testosterone continues to rise during adulthood until it peaks around age 40, then gradually decreases.
  • Be humble. Try to avoid acting like you know what you're talking about when you really don't, especially on topics you are unfamiliar with. Your testosterone levels can be lowered by being wrong and knowing it. If you're discussing something you're not familiar with, it's better to just listen and learn.


  • If you plan on taking supplements, make sure you do some research and consult your doctor first.

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