Man up: Boost T naturallyMen's Health
Photo credit: U.S. Navy, Flickr, Creative Commons
By Franz Gliederer, MD, MPH and pH health care professionals
Many middle-aged men consider taking testosterone – or simply T – when they want to turn back their biological clocks to recapture the feeling of youthfulness that comes with increased muscle strength, libido, exercise tolerance, and stamina.
Testosterone has become increasingly popular in the last decade. Doctors wrote more than 5.3 million prescriptions for testosterone therapy in 2011 alone – that’s five times as many as in 2000, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Unfortunately, one common misconception many men have is that “doing more is better.” Too much testosterone can actually pose a risk not only to your health but also by altering your behavior, including taking more risks that can lead to injuries.
Men with low T may be considering taking testosterone supplements, but they should be cautious and discuss treatment options with a qualified health care professional before taking this step. Some men have brought lawsuits against certain testosterone products, saying the companies were not forthcoming about the dangers of their products, which may include heart attacks and blood clots that can lead to strokes.
But the good news is that if your testosterone levels are low, you can increase them naturally by changing certain habits.
You can encourage healthy testosterone levels in your body by doing the following:
- Loose extra fat. In particular, drop the extra fat around the abdomen. Excess fat can result in less bioavailable testosterone – the testosterone that is accessible for your body to utilize. Having too much fat can also increase your risk for heart problems. Heart problems diminish blood flow to the testicles and interfere with sexual function, causing erectile dysfunction.
- Exercise regularly. Make a goal of at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Generally, exercise should include cardio and strength training. Interval training is beneficial. Exercise levels can vary depending on age bracket, individual preferences and existing injuries or limitations.
- Eat healthy foods.Balance your diet with lots of leafy green vegetables and make sure you’re getting enough protein (CDC recommends about 56 grams per day for men). Eat healthy fats. Limit the amount of sugar in your diet.
- Identify deficits. Whenever you are missing certain minerals, vitamins, amino acids, or have an unbalanced blood pH, your body cannot perform at its optimal level.
- Reduce exposure to environmental toxins and minimize stress. Men had higher testosterone levels two decades ago than they do now, some research shows. An increase in toxins may play a role. A University of Michigan study found that certain chemicals, “phthalates,” found in many plastic and personal care products are associated with lower testosterone levels. Other reasons for testosterone decline may include increased use of pesticides or widespread use of illegal steroid supplements.
- Balance your life. There are a variety of factors that may contribute to low T, including your lifestyle. Make sure you are getting your eight hours of sleep each night, and make an effort to reduce the amount of stress in your day-to-day life.
- Enjoy a healthy sex life.Sex can energize your body and mind, and raise your testosterone levels as well.
- If you’re not sure whether your testosterone levels are optimal, schedule a visit with one of our doctors at Proactive Health Labs.
Enjoy Your Healthy Life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.