1. Lose Body Fat

Decreasing your body fat is the most important thing you can do to increase your testosterone levels. Studies have shown that body fat can decrease testosterone and low testosterone leads to increased body fat [5]. Talk about a vicious cycle! In a 2006 study on more than 2,100 men 45 and older, obese men were 2.4 times more likely to have low testosterone [6]. Studies also show that as Body Mass Index (BMI) increases, there is proportionate reduction in testosterone levels [7,8,9].

Back in 2003 researchers put a group of middle-aged overweight men on a 16 week diet. The weight-loss group lost an average of 45 pounds and had significant increases in testosterone levels [10]. The solution is simple – start losing weight. Losing weight has so many more health benefits than just increasing testosterone levels.

2. Get a Good Nights Rest

Less sleep means less testosterone. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, in great shape or overweight. If you don’t get enough sleep your testosterone levels will go down. In a study from the University of Chicago they deprived a young group of males of sleep. They slept 10 hours for the first 3 nights, then 5 hours the next 8 nights. Blood work was taken and closely monitored. The results of the study showed that testosterone levels were 10 to 15 percent lower when men slept five-hours compared with when then slept 10. The men also reported a decline in their mood, energy, and sense of well being during the five-hour phase [11].

Make sure you invest in an awesome mattress. And why shouldn’t you?? A good mattress is one of the best health investments you can make. Focus on getting 8-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal rest and recuperation.

3. Stress Less

Do you thrive in stressful situations? I sure as hell don’t. I avoid stress like the plague, as should you if you want to keep your testosterone levels up. Research has found that if your cortisol is high it will shut down testosterone production. When you are stressed out, your body produces more cortisol. If you are stressed out, the quickest way to increase your testosterone is to lower your stress.

Matthew Hardy, an endocrinologist at the Population Council, and his teams found out that stress lowers your testosterone through an enzyme called 11ßHSD-1. When you are stressed out your body produces too much coristol versus 11ßHSD-1 and this leads to a decrease in your testosterone production. [1]

4. Do Some Resistance Training

You can get your body to increase testosterone production by including some old-school compound exercises into your training routine. Exercises like squats, bench press, dead lifts, pull ups, and dips are some of the most popular compound exercises. No sissy weights though. The weight should be heavy enough for you to squeeze out 3 to 5 reps per set for at least 5 sets.

A Swedish study found that a workload using weight that is 85% of your one rep max produces the greatest boosts in testosterone levels in men. So, walk away from those 5 pound dumbbells, it’s time to lift like a man.

5. Keep Your Testicles Nice and Cool

The optimal temperature for your fruit basket or your man pouch should be 94 to 96 degrees (about 2 degrees cooler than your body temp). Now, I’m not saying that you should constantly be pulling out your junk and taking your temp. That could get you into a bit of trouble, especially if you are out in public or at a Chuck E Cheese’s. Just make sure your boys can breathe and have some air flow.

Some things to avoid are tight pants, tight underwear, hot baths, too much time in the spa. They will all inhibit your testosterone production and decrease your testosterone levels.

6. Fill Up On Fat

No, no, no! I’m not saying go out and eat a pizza with extra cheese and chase it with a Big Mac. You’ve gotta eat GOOD fats. That’s right, some fats are good. Research has shown that monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fats play an important role in testosterone levels and bioavailability. Foods high in monounsaturated fats, like avocados, nuts and seeds. Go make yourself a bowl of guacamole and increase your testosterone.

Low-fat diets can actually lead to lowered testosterone levels because your body needs these healthy fats to produce testosterone. Again, don’t go and start a high fat diet. A good rule of thumb is that 20% to 30% of your total daily calories should come from healthy fats.

7. Avoid Happy Hour

Alcohol consumption has an impact on testosterone. When you consume alcohol a substance is produced in the liver that is detrimental to the release of testosterone. This substance decreases testosterone in the body which results in decreased sex drive, decreased muscle gains and a decrease in muscular definition.

In a study published in the Journal Alcohol called “Sex hormones and adrenocortical steroids in men acutely intoxicated with ethanol”, healthy adult males were given a dose of alcohol and observed for 48 hours. Researchers found that the maximum decrease in testosterone was observed at 12 hours after consuming alcohol. Testosterone levels remained dipped for a period of 24 hours there after. At the same time, the levels of the hormone cortisol increased and stayed elevated for as long as testosterone levels were suppressed [4].

8. More Sex

You can increase your testosterone by having sex. That’s right – sex increases testosterone production. There was a study done back in 1992 where four couples were examined on days that they did and didn’t have sex. They found that testosterone levels increased on nights after sexual activity and did not on nights where there was no intercourse [2]. It’s like the old saying, ‘What came first, the chicken or the egg?’. So testosterone helps with sex which produces more testosterone.

This was verified in a separate study of senior men that found that more sex led to higher testosterone [3].


[1] – J Androl, 1997, 18:475-4791997, 18:475-479

[2] – Physiology & Behavior, Jul 1992, 52(1):195-197, “Male and female salivary testosterone concentrations before and after sexual activity”

[3] – Journal of Gerontology, 1982, 37(3):2880-293, “Relationship of Serum Testosterone to Sexual Activity in Healthy Elderly Men”

[4] – Alcohol. 1984 Jan-Feb;1(1):89-93. Sex hormones and adrenocortical steroids in men acutely intoxicated with ethanol. Välimäki MJ, Härkönen M, Eriksson CJ, Ylikahri RH.

[5] – Metabolism, Sep 1995, 44(Supplement 3):Pages 21-23 “Endocrine abnormalities of obesity”

[6] – Mulligan T, Frick MF, Zuraw QC, Stemhagen A, McWhirter C. Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM study. Int J Clin Pract. 2006 Jul;60(7):762-9.

[7] -Kaplan SA, Meehan AG, Shah A. The age related decrease in testosterone is significantly exacerbated in obese men with the metabolic syndrome. What are the implications for the relatively high incidence of erectile dysfunction observed in these men? J Urol. 2006 Oct;176(4 pt 1):1524-7.

[8] – Osuna JA, Gomez-Perez R, Arata-Bellabarba G, Villaroel V. Relationships between BMI, total testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, leptin, insulin and insulin resistance in obese men. Arch Androl. 2006 Sep-Oct;52(5):355-61.

[9] – MacDonald AA, Herbison GP, Showell M, Farquhar CM. The impact of body mass index on semen parameters and reproductive hormones in human males: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Hum Reprod Update. 2010 May-Jun;16(3):293-311.

[10] – Kaukua J, Pekkarinen T, Sane T, Mustajoki P. Sex hormone and sexual function in obese men losing weight. Obes Res. 2003 Jun;11(6):689-94.

[11] – http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1029127 “Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men”; Rachel Leproult, PhD; Eve Van Cauter, PhD

About The Author

Brian E. is from southern California and has worked for names like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe as a supplement expert and consultant. He currently lives in Utah and is studying marketing.

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