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Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, and it is vital for just about every aspect of male health. It plays a key role in muscle growth and maintenance, sexual function, overall energy, and much more. Unfortunately, many men experience a decline in their testosterone levels as they get older, leading to a variety of negative side effects.
What Are Normal Testosterone Levels In Men?
In order to decipher if you have a testosterone imbalance you have to know what “normal” levels are. Most scientific literature states that the average adult male produces approximately 5 to 7 milligrams of testosterone per day, which equates to around 500 to 700 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) of blood.
That said, there is a huge “but”. The thing is, testosterone levels can vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as age, weight, and overall health. So therefore, normal testosterone levels in adult men can range from about 300 ng/dL to 1,000 ng/dL. That’s a fairly large discrepancy.
Because life is oftentimes unfair, you should note that testosterone levels tend to decline with age. For example, the average 60-year-old man will have testosterone levels that are about 25% lower than the average 20-year-old man. This decline in testosterone levels is known as Andropause or “male menopause.”
Low Testosterone Contributing Factors
In addition to age, there are other factors that can influence Low-T. For example, chronic stress, frequently not getting enough sleep, and certain medical conditions like obesity and diabetes can reduce testosterone levels. The good news is, regular exercise and a healthy diet can counteract those dips.
For an accurate self-assessment, it is important to regularly monitor testosterone levels to ensure that they remain within a normal range. If testosterone levels are found to be low, a doctor should first recommend some dietary changes.
If that has no positive impact, they may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy. This therapy can help to restore testosterone levels to normal, which can improve overall health and well-being.
Signs of Low Testosterone
Researching the tell-tale signs of lower testosterone on Dr. Google will likely lead you down many wrong roads. However, here are the most common signs your testosterone levels have jumped off a cliff:
- Low Sex Drive: Low testosterone can lead to a decreased interest in sex or difficulty getting and maintaining an erection.
- Fatigue: Always feel like you’re dragging? Low testosterone can cause fatigue, even when one reports plenty of sleep.
- Weight Gain: If you have noticed your weight slowly creeping upwards on the scale, low testosterone can be the cause.
- Hair Loss: Testosterone is a primary male hormone and having low levels of it can lead to hair loss on your scalp and other parts of your body.
- Mood Swings: Low testosterone can cause mood swings, including depression and irritability.
- Muscle Loss: Testosterone helps to maintain muscle mass and low levels of it can lead to a decrease in muscle mass.
- Low Sperm Count: Low testosterone can lead to a decreased sperm count, which can make it difficult to have children.
What Is The Best Way To Determine If Your Testosterone Levels Are Low?
The best way to regularly monitor testosterone levels is through a simple blood test, a serum testosterone test. This test measures the amount of testosterone in the blood and provides a snapshot of a person’s testosterone levels at a given point in time.
As part of a healthy wellness routine, men should get their testosterone levels tested at least once every two years. If a prior history exists, more frequently if they are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, such as decreased libido, fatigue, and erectile dysfunction.
To get the most accurate reading, testosterone tests should be done in the morning, as testosterone levels tend to be highest at this time of day. The test should also be done before you start any testosterone therapy, so that your doctor can get an accurate baseline reading of your testosterone levels.
In addition to a serum testosterone test, there are other tests that can be performed to evaluate a man’s overall hormonal health, such as a comprehensive hormonal panel or a luteinizing hormone (LH) test. These tests can help to determine if there are any underlying issues affecting testosterone levels, such as pituitary gland problems or primary testicular failure.
Foods To Help Boost Testosterone Naturally
Fortunately, there are certain foods and dietary habits that can help to boost testosterone levels in men. Let’s take a look at five of the best testosterone-boosting foods for men and explain why they are so beneficial for male health.
Love ’em or hate ’em, oysters are one of the best foods for boosting testosterone levels. Not only do they contain significant amounts of zinc, which is essential for testosterone production, but they also have a number of other nutrients that are beneficial for male health. Oysters are a great source of protein, healthy fats, B-vitamins, and minerals like magnesium and iron.
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It wasn’t very long ago that eggs were considered unhealthy and contributed to high cholesterol levels. Well, like most things, the science has evolved and now eggs are the poster child of healthy eating.
A 2018 study published in the journal Heart, which included approximately half a million adults in China, found that those who ate eggs daily (about one egg per day) had a substantially lower risk of heart disease and stroke than those who ate eggs less frequently.Science Daily
Science is ever changing, but one things we know for sure is that eggs contain an abundance of nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, B-vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. What’s more, eggs are also a great source of cholesterol, which is important for testosterone production.
Spinach is another food that is excellent for boosting testosterone levels. Unlike its leafy cousin, Kale, spinach is much more palatable and just as nutrient dense. Spinach is a great source of magnesium, zinc and iron which are essential for testosterone production. Spinach is also rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients that can reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative damage.
Pro Tip: Adding spinach to a morning smoothie is a super fast and simple way to get more spinach into your diet.
Avocados, otherwise known as the staple of any good Taco Tuesday, are one of the best sources of healthy fats. Fats of course help regulate the hormones responsible for testosterone production. They are also a great source of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E, which are all important for male health.
5. Grass-Fed Beef
It’s unfortunate nowadays that we have to label what the cows are actually grazing on, but here we are. Grass-fed beef is another great food for boosting testosterone levels. Grass-fed meat has a superior nutrient profile to its counterpart, the grain-fed variety.
It is an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. What’s more, grass-fed beef is also a great source of creatine, which can help to increase testosterone levels.
To wrap things up, there exist a number of nourishing foods that can boost testosterone production naturally in males.
Consuming a diet that incorporates these testosterone-boosting foods can help support one’s healthy levels. Sustaining a state of optimal testosterone balance will foster a host of benefits such as more muscle mass, better sexual function, and elevated energy levels.
Although testosterone elevating medications and supplements are available, maintaining your levels through diet cannot be overstated. If at all possible, it should be an integral part of every man’s pursuit of optimal health and vitality.