Dawn came in the beautiful village of Anilao and ‘Mama’ cooked for me the food I bought that morning at the market. Like every evening, she sat down to stare at me munching a whole kilogram of tuna, three whole eggs from the yard and a huge pile of green leafs and Filipino sweet potato. It was only dinner, and earlier that noon a whole headless chicken was eaten aside a variety of tropical fruits, another kilogram of cooked peanuts with a few spicy pork sticks. And I didn’t even mention breakfast.
It was a typical day in a month that was actually a self-experiment I started after reading about the relation between cholesterol and testosterone. I was a vegan for about a year and a half – eating mainly whole grains, fruits, veggies and nuts. In that period, I lost a lot of the muscle mass I built, the energetic mood I was known for, and even the sexual drive I used to brag about before.
I owe this experiment to Sophie, a sex-crazed Belgian nympho I shared a room with in Manila while the city was under a heavy typhoon, leaving us both stuck there for two days with no electricity and dozens of small candles. Frustrated, Sophie told me she never met a twenty-something man with such a low sex drive (‘It’s like you’re 60 years old!’ she said), and caused me to rethink the efficiency of the vegan lifestyle I used to praise almost dogmatically.
Fast forward back to Anilao.
It was almost impossible for me to accept what happened within 3 days since the beginning of that experiment. All the infected wounds I brought back from Burma were completely healed, wounds that for weeks I tried to heal with a cruel pre-sleep ritual of 100% alcohol rubbing. Excruciatingly painful, dangerous and ineffective.
The overall feeling was beyond-amazing and I felt like the green Hulk can only be jealous of my old-new virility and sexual power, having my Jewish shlomo ‘signaling’ 24/7 and intoxicating on pheromones every female on a radius of 10 meters. Welcome to Wonderland.
So let’s get to the point. How to increase testosterone naturally and reap the same great feeling?
Disclaimer: I came to the Philippines from Burma, where my vegan diet wasn’t nearly as clean as before. That being said, half a year earlier I called my good friend Ore and told him how weak I feel and how low my sperm-count seems to be. Also, in Anilao I used to swim and dive in the salty ocean almost daily and worked out very heavily once or twice a week, what might have contributed to the unbelieveable wound-recovery rate and the skyrocketing libido.
Testosterone is the main anabolic hormone in the human body. Hypertrophy (muscle cells growth), hair growth, libido levels, bone density, aggression, dominance, physical strength – all those are directly affected by testosterone as you probably know. It’s responsible for all traits characterized as ‘manly’.
Men produce approximately ten times more testosterone than women, which is the reason why females can never gain manly amounts of muscle mass naturally. But don’t be fooled and think that testosterone is not important for women too – it is, very. Both sexes need it for a proper sexual and physical function. We men produce it mainly in our testicles while women in their ovaries.
If a healthy, strong, ripped and sexual life are something you’d like to be proud of – you might wanna take a look at testosterone. It plays a crucial role in the synthesis of protein and helps rebuild muscle tissue from amino acids. It’s also crucial for maintaining that tissue.
How to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally
You’d be surprised to discover how many cultures around the world feast on testicles. In Spain, you’ll find the testicles of fighting-bulls served in top local restaurants. In United States, you’ll find bull-testicles often by the name of ‘Rocky Mountain oysters’, served with a cocktail sauce dip. Heck, there’s a restaurant 10 minutes away from me right now that serves turkey’s testicles in a wrap, Israeli-style.
Regardless of the geographical location, anywhere testicles are sold you’ll hear local tales over how they can fix impotence, increase your strength and boost your virility and vigor. Without knowing what testosterone is, traditional cultures have always known there’s something in those testicles.
Luckily for you though, you don’t have to feast on those intimate sex organs. Testosterone is only produced in the testicles, not stored in it. We’ll go for the much-more delicious much-more effective alternatives. Beautifully, all it takes are little tweaks in lifestyle.
1. LIFT HEAVY
This is exactly why i’ve been preaching multi-joint heavy compound exercises over isolated ones. Heavy-lifting stimulates testosterone production for obvious reasons. So ditch those bicep-curls and ab-crunches and master the hardcore techniques of the squats, deadlifts, bench-press and the like.
Not only will testosterone levels go higher by lifting heavier loads – but also insulin and growth-hormone, both anabolic (tissue-building) hormones. Provided enough food, all this vigorous hormonal juice will result in a massive muscle mass and strength growth. If you’re not a gym-rat, try lifting heavy things casually.
2. EAT CHOLESTEROL & SATURATED FAT
Did you know that testosterone, like all other sex hormones, is made out of cholesterol? Even though the body does produce cholesterol naturally, you could boost your testosterone levels by consuming more of it. Stay away from low-fat diets, they will almost always lead to a dramatic decrease of testosterone levels – as probably happened to me in my vegan days.
My favorite high-cholesterol foods to increase testosterone are egg yolks, seafood and organic grass-fed internal organs like liver and brain. You wanna make sure your body regularly gets cholesterol and saturated fat. (and don’t neglect monounsaturated fats and omega-3′s too)
3. AVOID PROCESSED, TOXIC AND ESTROGENIC FOODS
There’s a reason most processed foods are nicknamed ‘empty calories’. They usually have a very thin nutritional profile and lost most of their vitamins, minerals and other nutrients during the processing. And we need those nutrients for a healthy hormonal function. My advice: avoid anything that comes in a box and shop in a local market.
And what’s with the estrogen? I’ll tell you. Estrogen competes with testosterone and dramatically weakens its effect in the cells, so we’ll try to avoid any foods that might increase estrogen – like soy products or other processed foods that ‘may contain soy’.
Also, try to avoid consuming animals that were raised in questionable conditions. They usually contain large amounts of dioxin, a toxic substance that’s used in many industries and might damage your reproductive system and testosterone production. Dioxin is accumulated in fat, so put a special attention to avoid consuming fatty meats, dairy and eggs of chemically-enhanced animals.
Grass-fed organic animals that were raised ‘freely’ without any chemical, antibiotical or hormonal intervention is optimal, and the higher price tag is definitely worth the extra health and ethical aspects. Prevention is best medicine, and medicine is expensive. This is why I loved Anilao so much, the fish there are wild-caught and the animals are raised in conditions the west had long forgotten.
Also avoid grains (pasta/bread/etc), sugars and other foods that spikes the glucose levels in your blood. Researchers in Washington found that testosterone levels dropped by approximately 25% in people with or without diabetes after consuming a drink of 70g glucose – and that lasted about two hours after the glucose absorbed.
4. SLEEP WELL AND MINIMIZE STRESS
How exactly is sleep related? Bad sleep elevates cortisol and blunts testosterone production. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone (breaking down tissues) that your brain pumps when you’re in stress. While it may save your life when a car is heading towards you – its long-term consequences are disastrous when its the result of a lifestyle constantly drizzled with tight deadlines, traffic jams and a lack of sleep. Cortisol levels go up, testosterone levels go down. Relax.
Overtraining and excessive aerobic activity might also become counterproductive and hurt testosterone levels and the reproductive systems. So always make sure you’re fully recovered, there’s plenty of information on the site to help you with that.
5. GET ENOUGH NUTRIENTS AND SUNLIGHT
There’s been some hype recently after a few studies associated vitamin D intake with increased testosterone production, even with artificial supplementation. Vitamin D is produced upon exposure to the sun, so dont be afraid to expose yourself. And leave sunscreen at home, it blocks those good rays. As long as you don’t burn yourself, you’re good.
I’m usually either in Israel or traveling tropical countries so sun and vitamin D are never a problem for me – but if you live in canada, Scandinavia or another cold climate – a vitamin D supplement can be a good idea in case you can’t get enough sun.
And when it comes to other nutrients, retinol (animal vitamin A) stimulates testosterone production, though you shouldn’t worry about it if you eat lots of animals (Get that? you get cholesterol, saturated fat and retinol in one pack! maaagic).
Speaking of vitamins, all vitamins and minerals in their elegant synergy contribute to a healthy level of testosterone levels. Always prefer whole foods over supplements, unless you need them specifically or just want some extra just in case. Your nutritional basis should always be fresh whole foods.
That’s it fellas, those are the main ways to increase testosterone levels naturally Keep those levels optimal and you shall enjoy a happy, satisfying and productive (heh) life, or as the biblical proverb says:
“…thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore..”