Beginning at age 25, DHEA, the precursor of testosterone, production begins to decline.
There’s lots of information out there about very singular approaches to raising testosterone levels. Eat this. Eat that. I’m going to combine all I’ve read and believe into a few more posts. This article focuses on general lifestyle things to do.
This method, being based in Peatarianism, will also attempt at improving overall health. Creating excess androgens can cause harm if the body is not healthy. This is why injecting exogenous testosterone can have significant negative side effects such as permanent hypogonadism and gynecomastia. In other words, shriveled up balls that no longer work or man boobs.
1) Raise your Basal Metabolic Rate.
Much easier said than done. It should be no surprise to men that if your body temperature is low, your balls are close to your body and therefore less active. By optimizing your metabolism and temperature, your sack will begin to hang lower, be much larger, and much more active.
Eat more sugar, protein and salt. Monitor your body temperature and pulse rate. Target values greater than 98.6 and a pulse between 70 and 80 – not during a state of stress or anxiety. This is a topic of another post, but if meals slow your pulse and lower your temperature then you’re running on stress hormones, not on thyroid driven cellular respiration.
Although there is a lot of information about a high fat diet being pro testosterone, it was not in my experience. Regardless of how picky you are, high fat diets almost always mean consuming a lot of arachidonic and linoleic acid. Both are inflammatory, anti-thyroid hormone, and therefore, anti-testosterone. Although I’m biased to being Peatarian, some people cannot handle eating ice cream, milk, coffee, sugar, orange juice and low fat seafood all the time, so the Ornish diet is worth considering as well. Even Ray Peat says it doesn’t matter what you eat as long as it supports your metabolic rate.
2) Go to bed.
No more being a night owl. Because we’ve only had refrigerators and lighting to make finding food easy at night recently, our bodies are still animalistic and start generating glucose at night from body fat or muscle by using the HPA stress axis to generate adrenaline and cortisol. That sounds great, but the downside is that high levels of these circulating hormones make us more prone to store body fat when we eat, and reduce production of thyroid hormone which is the precursor for all steroid hormones.
I typically am highly inquisitive with most people regarding their lifestyle choices, and almost everyone that has aged very well goes to bed early – prior to 10pm. This of course does not mean don’t have fun with your friends or be antisocial. Just try to avoid more than three nights in a row past midnight.
3) Eat sugar, get aroused.
Do NOT overeat though. I can’t remember where I read it, but it was recommended that plain sugar be consumed no more than a third cup a day. Depending on your metabolism (NADH to NAD+ ratio) and hormone levels, amounts less than this will not be converted to body fat. Body fat is negative for reasons I will lay out later. Sugar, preferably from fruit, suppresses stress hormones and provides energy for all basic bodily functions. Your NADH to NAD+ ratio can be increased with niacinamide and nicotine (nicotinic acid). Maybe there is a reason nicotine can be good for you.
4) Reduce alcohol consumption.
Alcohol provides clues to what the body really wants due to alcoholic beverages’ incredible ability to calm the central nervous system in the short term. Is it the alcohol or is it the sugar? The downside is that alcohol depletes zinc and increases aromatase activity in the body which converts testosterone to estrogen. Additionally, the Cytochrome P450 pathway is used to detoxify both alcohol and estrogen. The body detoxifies mostly while sleeping with adequate protein intake. Alcohol consumption is probably okay as long as it is less than 1-2 drinks daily.
Asparagus, milk, fructose, salt, and toast with honey all are decent hangover beaters.
5) More morning sex and less masturbation.
In some Chinese medicine literature, masturbating and ejaculating is called suicidal due to its massive drain on the body. Indeed, one load contains a lot of zinc and testosterone. So stop with the fapping and especially fapping with pornography.
For reasons outside the scope of this article, you should not watch porn because it screws with your expectations for women and therefore your ability to be aroused by them. I recommend you read Mark Manson’s article on the subject: Pornography Can Ruin Your Sex Life Dr. Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy, encourages masturbation as long as it is you pleasing yourself, not as a result of porn. Having more sex will increase your testosterone.
6) Minimize use of plastics.
Also reduce consumption of unfiltered water, steroided-up animals and pesticide-laden foods. All of these things contain xenoestrogens that cannot be detoxified by the body’s normal processes. These substances will wreak havoc on your endocrine system. There are certain things that supposedly help detoxify xenoestrogens such as glucoronic acid which is found in Kombucha.
Cooked cruciferous vegetables contain DIM which may help your body metabolize and remove estrogen from your body. The problem with higher levels of estrogen is that they feed on themselves – they cause increased fat storage which causes increased estrogen which causes more fat storage and so on. Sunscreen also contains xenoestrogens. Non-stick coatings can also have significant negative effects on your endocrine system.
7) Reduce Body Fat.
I know all too well this is difficult to do while optimizing the metabolic rate as I specify above because that requires eating. Typically eating a lot more than most people eat. It can be done by controlling what you eat, sleeping well and with exercise. I may not be the greatest example, but I do know people that eat to support their metabolism that have very low body fat percentages. Fat cells are not inert. They are little endocrine systems generating estrogen and cortisol. For this reason, once you have high body fat, it is very difficult to get rid of.
8) Minimize stress.
Reduce both forms of stress: physiological and psychological. Physiological being caused by low blood sugar. Psychological being caused by stressful events. Moderate enjoyable exercise and deep breathing can reduce cortisol which interrupts testosterone. Yoga. Fun biking. Walking. Weight lifting. Sprinting.
Prior to the age of SSRIs, there was a study done that when a group of people were confronted with something offensive, genuine laughter was a signal of creativity and mediated by dopamine, testosterone, and progesterone. Anger and aggression were mediated by estrogen and serotonin. Very contrary to the popular opinion that testosterone is the aggressive hormone. This also calls into question the ability of SSRIs (Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac) to treat depression as they are designed to increase circulating levels of serotonin. Many men also experience post-SSRI erectile dysfunction.
9) Get 1/2 hour of sunlight day.
Go out and do something. Anything. Go for a walk. Go sit in a park and read. Vitamin D is an estrogen antagonist and keeps people lean. Due to the intensity of light between 10 and 2, I recommend getting your light outside of these hours.
10) Keep your cell phone away from your balls.
This may be pseudoscience, but it doesn’t take much to put your phone in your back pocket, or to set it on tables when you sit down.
11) Don’t eat Soy in any form – Protein, Oil, Beans.
Soy contains phytoestrogens which mimic estrogen in the body. Same with Flax, Marijuana, Hops (BEER!), Soybean Oil, Mung Beans, Bean Sprouts, Sesame, Fennel, and so on. A more exhaustive list can be found easily on the internet. There are certain foods that may still be a net positive – such as cooked broccoli – despite having phytostrogens.
Slow down your life a little. Keep your HPA stress axis quiet. Focus on these big picture things. In my next post on this subject, I will get a little more into more specific hacks.
Featured Image is from the motion picture, The Fountain.