Does drinking coffee decrease testosterone levels?
Could low testosterone be causing your low moods and inability to put on muscle?
Could shopping around the outside aisles of the supermarket boost your testosterone levels?
Guys … if naked success is on your priority list – optimising your testosterone levels needs your full attention. Testosterone (T) is the quintessential male hormone and healthy levels are key to every aspect of what makes you a dude!
As you’ll discover below, if you’re not clued-up, your lifestyle and food choices could be wrecking your male hormonal health. Stress levels, sleep quality, activity levels and food choices all impact your testosterone levels.
But, rest assured, getting your T levels back on track isn’t so tough. With some smart T-boosting strategies, you can be enjoy optimal levels and feel like a man again in no time.
What You’re Gonna Learn
- Why testosterone matters for men’s health and naked success
- What are the telltale signs your testosterone is low
- How to get your testosterone levels checked and what your reading should be
- How to optimise your natural testosterone and smash life
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced by the testes and the adrenal glands, important for sexual and reproductive development.
It is the male steroid hormone and something you should be keeping on top off.
Why Is Testosterone Important For Men’s Health?
Hypogonadism or low testosterone levels in men has been correlated with many adverse health effects, including :
- Poor sperm count and erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Lack of drive and get up and go
- Characteristics of females such as enlarged breast aka moobs
- Brain fog and memory problems
- Increased refractory period (time it takes to have sex again)
- Muscle wasting
- Strength Loss
What about muscle gain and fat loss?
Oh yes, testosterone plays a massive role here too – higher levels:
• make it easier to burn body fat rather than muscle tissue. 
• directly inhibit the creation of some new fat cells. 
• equals increased metabolic rate and energy burn and thus more fat loss. 
In fact, as a general rule, once you get over 15% body fat, the higher your body fat the lower your testosterone.   This is why BodyPhi™ recommends guys get in the 8–15% body-fat range – you’ll look great naked and you’ll optimise your health perfectly too.
How Do I Check My T levels?
A simple blood test done by your doctor is all you need. Hypogonadism is indicated when serum testosterone levels are less than 300 ng/dl in combination with at least one clinical sign or symptom.
A normal range can be anywhere from 300 ng/dl all the way up to 1200 ng/dl depending on the person.
What causes low testosterone?
- Excessive physical activity. 
- Excessive calorie restriction. 
- Being significantly overweight. 
- Exposure to certain drugs. 
- Consistently sleeping less than 5 hours a night. 
- Excess alcohol consumption. 
- Elevated stress levels. 
Excessive physical activity. - Excessive calorie restriction. - Being significantly overweight. - Exposure to certain drugs. - Consistently sleeping less than 5 hours a night. - Excess alcohol consumption. - Elevated stress levels. 
The bad news?
Your levels of testosterone naturally decrease as part of the ageing process for the average man.  This happens generally after hitting 30 and is a sad fact of life for us all.
The good news?
You’re NOT the average man though, and whilst you can’t halt the ageing process and all that comes with it – there are things you can do to maximise your natural testosterone production.
Let me be clear here – the following advice will only help boost your natural T levels in the normal physiological range. It won’t, however, give you drug-like results to be expected from testosterone injections – that’s not what this article is about or promotes.
19 Science-based Ways To Boost Male Hormonal Health Naturally
One study found that men who slept four hours a night had an average of only 200–300 ng/dl serum testosterone levels, whereas the guys who got eight hours sleep had levels of 500–700 ng/dl.  That’s highly significant.
In fact, another study showed that for every extra hour of kip, you get a 15% rise in testosterone! 
Sleep is of utmost importance when it comes to testosterone, health and looking awesome naked. Click below for easy-to-implement tips to start optimising your sleep today.
Short-term cortisol increases are actually necessary for living and completely normal! You get into trouble when you have long-term stress. This is the type of stress that will mess with your testosterone levels.
Managing your stress is key to the BodyPhi™ lifestyle. Check out how to get stress under control and boost testosterone – link below.
#3 Get Active!
It’s currently very trendy in the fitness space to prescribe zero cardio – I find this highly contradictory and unnecessary.
Whilst, it has been well-documented that excessive cardio may be detrimental to testosterone levels as mentioned above. I recommend some light early-morning power walks.
If indoor-gym cardio is your thing – limit it to 30 minutes at a go and make sure you are still able to hold somewhat of a conversation if you had to.
Remember, non-exercise activity is the way to go – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to smash your activity levels. Check out my list of 101 ways to get started below.
#4 Shift Some Body Fat
Remember that nice range of 8–15% body fat I talked about? This is your sweet spot to optimise your own natural production of testosterone. If you are above this range, aim to drop down below 15% and then focus on maintaining your new weight whilst getting stronger.
Even when going through a focused fat-loss phase, I recomend periods of maintenance (Flow™), so that calories can be brought back up. The negative adaptations associated with long-term calorie restriction diminish and your weight can settle at a new lower setpoint. 
#5 Alcohol & Smoking
When it comes to boozing, the odd glass or moderate intakes have been shown to have no detriment to testosterone levels.
However, going out on mad benders multiple times a week, you are absolutely doing yourself a disservice when it comes to maximising your testosterone production.
In fact, chronic alcohol use increases the aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone to oestrogen (the female sex hormone), and is bad news for a masculine-looking physique! 
Oh and it’s 2016. Stop smoking.
#6 Get Freaky
Yep, sexual activity is actually associated with higher levels of testosterone in both men and women!  Do you need any other reason to get an early night tonight?
#7 Strut your stuff and be ALPHA
This one is absolutely fascinating! As a young boy, my mum was big on teaching me body language as she was a psychologist herself.
“Chest up, shoulders back, chin up and go get em” – that kind of thing! Well turns out she was on to something. A Harvard University study concluded that your body language and posture can almost immediately impact your stress and steroid hormones! 
In only two minutes, after a set of “high-power poses”, there was a 20% increase in salivary testosterone levels and a 25% decrease in the stress hormone, cortisol.Poor body language or “low-power posing”, on the other hand, led to a drop in testosterone with a rise in cortisol!
#8 Be A Winner
Do something that generates success. Winning and success through competition are correlated strongly with higher testosterone levels.  
Why not buddy up with a friend, especially if you lack motivation and have not yet learnt to put success on autopilot.
Set a weight-loss or strength goal and make a friendly competition out of it, maybe even with a monetary incentive. The result? A hotter bod, heavier wallet and an increase in testosterone! Win-win.
#9 Clever Carbs
It’s funny, when men first think about their testosterone levels, they immediately think about dietary fat playing the key role in boosting testosterone. And while it certainly does play a role, neglecting carbohydrates is not a smart move at all.
Low-carb diets consistently show lower free testosterone levels. What type of carbs do I recommend?   Generally fruits, veggies, root vegetables and wholegrain products if tolerated well.
Remember the 80–90% whole-food rule!
#10 Adequate Protein
The fitness industry is obsessed with protein. You see it in products all the time, to the point where it has become ridiculous.
Protein cookies, protein bread, protein sweets – completely unnecessary. It really shouldn't be that hard to get the protein you need via whole foods, with perhaps a supplementary shake or bar from time to time.
The issue here is not that overdoing protein will detrimentally affect testosterone in and of itself, but if you whack it up too high, then by implication your carb and dietary fat levels will take a hit.
These are both super-important for optimal testosterone levels so this isn't a wise move. Yes, you do need protein, but not as much as the bodybuilding magazines would have you believe.
Something to the tune of 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight will likely maximise the amount you need to build muscle tissue, and leave you enough room to optimise your carb and fat levels. 
#11 Fat Facts
Eat more fat, increase your testosterone – easy.   However, the type of fat you eat definitely matters here. Most of your focus wants to be on consuming monounsaturated fats, as they have been shown to be beneficial for health and also testosterone levels. 
You also want to be sure to be taking in some saturated fat from animal products as they correlate very positively with testosterone levels. 
Trans-fats have been shown to reduce testosterone levels and really want to be avoided at all costs. I recommend 25-40% of total calories coming from dietary fat. 
Below is a great list for T-boosting sources of carbs, fat and protein.
It appears that when you fast and then return to normal eating, your androgen receptors become even more sensitive to testosterone than following a more traditional eating pattern of eating every few hours. 
Eating after a fast seems to boost testosterone levels past what they previously were at baseline! 
#13 Gut Health
The topic of gut health is so new to the field, but there is exciting new research that good gut health may improve fat loss and have a positive impact on testosterone levels. 
Ways to improve your gut health are to eat mainly minimally-processed foods for the majority of the time. Ensure adequate fiber and add in probiotic foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi.
Oh, and of course manage your stress.
#14 Strength Training
You should be resistance training anyway in your quest for a hotter bod and better health.
But yes, the stereotype is true that lifting weights can increase your testosterone levels, especially in that medium-rep range, which should be the foundation of your plan, if looking better is the goal.  
Hormonal balance is key to all aspects of male health. Chemicals coming from over-the-counter medications, plastics, skincare products and pesticides in food can through the balance out of whack.
As with most things in life, it’s not the occasional occurrence that impacts your life – consistency is the key to both success and failure.
If you’re the guy who’s regularly popping pills for colds and flu or you’re microwaving food in plastic containers – you may want to rethink those choices?
Sort out your immune system by adopting a real food meal plan, getting 7–9 hours kip a night and managing your stress levels.
Likewise, limit your exposure to unhealthy plastics – heat food on the stove or use glass or ceramic in the microwave and ditch plastic bottles in favour of glass for drinking water.
Supplementation should be the icing on your well-balanced, predominantly whole food cake! However, magnesium has been shown to improve sleep quality, which directly affects testosterone levels as discussed above.
Zinc too, if you’re deficient, can play a role in optimising your testosterone levels.  One of the easiest ways of correcting a testosterone deficiency, is making sure all your micro- and phyto-nutrients needs are being met through your food plan.
A quality multivitamin can act as a safety net to ensure adequate levels are being met.
Believe it or not – despite the abundance of foods we have access to in today’s society, even large populations of first-world countries are deficient in key micronutrients. 
To illustrate the importance of this, vitamin-D deficiency is extremely common, however, dosing up with 3500 IUs for an entire year can lead to a 25% increase in testosterone in healthy male adults. 
#17 Drink Up
Another super-easy way to make sure you are optimising your testosterone levels? Make sure you are fully hydrated always.
“You’ve lost the plot Sharif, how on earth can drinking water help my testosterone levels?!”
Even mild dehydration (1–2% of body mass) before and during exercise, has been shown to significantly increase the stress hormone, cortisol.  And as covered above, stress tends to reduce testosterone levels.
Can you believe how happy I was when I found out that my morning Flat White was actually helping me raise my natural testosterone by 12%? 
Now, too much caffeine can raise cortisol, which is detrimental for testosterone, but every now and then, especially before a workout it could definitely be handy.
#19 Cold Therapy
This one will certainly put some hair on your back. Old-school Russian powerlifters used to have freezing-cold showers before their meets. They believed it could help strength and power output by increasing testosterone.
They might have been right – let’s talk anatomy real quick. Mens balls hang in a pouch right? They hang lower when it’s hot and high when it’s cold. When it’s hot, the body lowers itself down so that they are escaping some excess heat from the body.
Likewise when it’s too cold, they will rise to gain some heat. Human testis work best at 31–36 °C, any hotter and sperm quality is decreased.In fact, this study found sperm quality, volume and motility was significantly higher in the colder months of the year. 
SMALL-WIN HIGH-T STRATEGIES
Small wins are the keystone to success in all aspects of your life. Tiny habits that are so simple to execute you can’t fail – day-to-day you won’t notice any effect, but long-term they’re massive!
Here are a few to get you started. Read all about how to design more of your own here.
Sleep: Fall asleep easier by switching off all tech 15 minutes before bed – TVs, laptops, mobiles, tablets, PCs.
De-stress: Use your 15-minute non-tech time before bed to just sit quietly with your eyes closed and monitor your breathing.
Activity: Set a phone alarm to alert you every 20 minutes to get up and move around.
Water: Drink a glass of water with every meal and snack.
Real Food: Aim to eat a piece of fruit with every meal – apples are a great source of fibre and have been shown to reduce overeating if eaten before a meal.
Get Strong: As soon as you get up – drop down and knock out 10 push-ups to maintain strength and testosterone levels.
Multivitamin: Take a quality multivitamin daily as insurance against vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Cool Off: Switch up your shower routine by adding cold therapy into the mix. Alternate between hot and icy-cold in 20–30 second bursts. Double whammy – mental toughness and testosterone benefits!
IN A NUTSHELL
• Testosterone is THE male steroid hormone that gives men all their male characteristics.
• Low-T symptoms include:
• Characteristics of females such as enlarged breast aka moobs
• Low sex-drive
• Muscle wasting
• Strength Loss
• Low sperm count and erectile dysfunction
• Lack of “get up and go”
• Brain fog and memory problems
• Check your levels with a simple blood test done by your doctor.
• You can easily optimise your testosterone levels by implementing some simple lifestyle and nutrition strategies.
 Anabolic Men