Are you hitting the gym and sticking to your diet but struggling to put on or retain muscle mass?
How about losing fat? Does it seem no matter how many HIIT sessions you do, or how many miles you log on the treadmill … that stubborn belly fat is still there?
Does your sleep suck?
Are your energy levels all over the place?
Is your mood unstable?
Oh .. and how about your sex drive? Is it not what it used to be?
If you are experiencing any of this … You may be suffering from low testosterone.
It’s an important but often misunderstood hormone, especially when it comes to the many ways testosterone levels contribute to the body and WHY your levels could be low.
Vince put together a short video above that explains everything, but In today’s article, we are going to discuss a few testosterone myths, some reasons why your testosterone levels might be low (even in your 30’s) and some natural approaches that may help give your test a boost.
WHY TESTOSTERONE IS IMPORTANT
It really is crazy just how many things can happen if your test levels drop too low.
Since testosterone is a SEX hormone, it makes sense that being low on T could impact things like sex drive.
But low test can also contribute to things you may have never considered …
- Problems losing weight
- Muscle weakness
- Inability to gain muscle – or even muscle loss.
- Trouble sleeping
- Poor concentration
- Low endurance
- Mood shifts
- ++ more
Whether you are 25 years old or 70 years young — your body composition, energy, and self-confidence can all be negatively impacted if your testosterone levels aren’t optimal.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine if your test levels are low. Just because you aren’t experiencing ALL of the frustrations typically associated with low test doesn’t mean your test levels are in an ideal range.
This is because we all have a different baseline. On top of that, testosterone levels can fluctuate daily.
How much they rise and fall will be different for everyone, and the impact these drops have might differ from person to person.
For you, a fluctuation may result in frustrations like poor sleep or a set-back in your fitness goals. Someone else may only experience a low sex drive. For others, a drop can even be completely unnoticeable.
Clinicians say this can create a problem.
It means that people that are told their test is “normal” may still need a boost. On the flip side, people that are told their levels are too low may not feel bad .. but still need to focus on increasing their levels.
Hormones are complex.
Only YOU know if you are feeling off, so you must pay attention to your body.
- If you are always exhausted, and moody, or are young and in a healthy relationship and lost your desire to have sex, low testosterone could be a reason.
- If you are nailing your diet and killing it in the gym, but losing muscle or having a hard time putting it on .. it could be a sign something is off.
Thankfully, there are some easy and safe ways to go about giving your test a boost!!
First, let’s look at some of the things that could be causing low test to happen.
TESTOSTERONE AND AGING
Many of the advertisements you see that talk about low testosterone focus on middle-aged men.
This creates a huge misconception that low test can only happen as we age.
This could not be further from the truth.
Scientists have discovered that several factors can impact your testosterone levels … not just aging.
Researchers have discovered that over the past two decades, testosterone levels in American men of all ages, have rapidly declined.
Clinicians are seeing the same thing, with more and more people showing signs of low test in recent years.
There was a major study done a while back that followed over 15-hundred men for 17 years.
They wanted to evaluate changes in testosterone levels over a long period and examine what reasons could be causing a decrease.
Participants had testosterone serum levels tested at several points over the years, and each time they were asked about a variety of lifestyle factors. Things like demographic, general health, smoking and excess alcohol use, body mass index, body measurements, activity level, and more.
What they found was pretty remarkable.
They discovered a decline in testosterone happened in a wide range of ages. These testosterone dips were totally age-independent.
Now, we do need to point out that age does play some role in why you may need to look into boosting your testosterone.
Age is a factor when it comes to almost every hormone in your body.
With testosterone, it appears that levels typically decline by about 1 percent each year, starting as early as your 20’s in some men.
When these drops happen, it becomes tough for your body to function normally.
Test drops can also potentially lead to a significant impact on your overall well-being, including your ability to see results from all the dieting you are doing and the hard work you are putting in the gym.
But age doesn’t seem to be the primary reason people see drops in testosterone.
So, if age isn’t the leading cause for the decline .. what is?
Scientists believe that there are (at least) 3 non-age related reasons.
Many of these are pretty hard to avoid.
But don’t worry!! A little further down in this article, we are going to give you some resources that will guide you on how to give your test levels a natural boost.
REASONS YOUR TESTOSTERONE MAY BE LOW (AT ANY AGE)
1: Poor Lifestyle
The first reason is something that you DO have control over, and that is some of your lifestyle choices, especially ones that can contribute to weight gain.
We found dozens of studies that demonstrate that being overweight can have just as much of an impact on test levels as normal aging (if not more.)
One large study of over 650 men published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism wanted to see if issues with metabolism could be a cause of low testosterone.
Their research even included an 11 year follow up.
They found that men with un-addressed weight issues were 2.8 – 3.2 times more likely to develop testosterone deficiency in the future.
There are even studies that specifically look at testosterones impact on belly fat.
A group of researchers conducted a study using moderately overweight middle-aged men. After 6 weeks of a moderate dose of oral testosterone, the participants saw fat melt away…specifically in their stomachs!!
To further test the theory that being overweight contributes to low testosterone, many researchers have looked at what happens when people LOSE weight. They wanted to see if test levels improve once they get their weight down.
One group of researchers found that during a 9-week weight-loss program, participants saw an almost 12-percent mean increase in testosterone while they were dieting.
They also did a follow up one year later and found those that maintained a healthy weight continued to see higher levels of testosterone.
There is no doubt, a connection that excess fat cells seem to destroy testosterone production.
Being overweight can send your test levels plummeting to the point that it could impact things like your fitness goals and sex-life.
So, if you want to keep your testosterone from dropping, you should no doubt make weight-management a priority.
But you also don’t want to go to the opposite extreme.
There is research that points out that excessive exercise and strict long-term diets (especially those that are low-fat) can also cause testosterone to drop.
Much of this has to do with the stress that these extremes can place on the body.
Overdoing it does a number on your stress hormones.
We are going to touch on this a little more here in a second because there is a fascinating connection between being able to naturally produce testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol.
When it comes to dieting and exercise, make sure you are eating enough healthy fats and find a healthy balance between enough .. and too much!
2: Environmental Factors
Many researchers argue that an unhealthy lifestyle does not FULLY explain the continued trend of these declining test levels that clinicians are seeing across generations.
They believe there is more.
There are lots of things in the environment that could potentially disrupt your endocrine system, which is all the glands that produce and secrete your body’s hormones.
Some of the food we eat, bottles we drink out of, laundry detergent, cosmetics, pesticides, and more .. can all contain chemicals that disrupt hormones.
We are exposed to these potential endocrine disruptors all the time. They are pretty hard to completely avoid.
Parabens are one of the big endocrine disruptors some scientists say we should be aware of.
These are chemicals that are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic products to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. They can also be found in many foods and drugs.
Parabens typically have long names — such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or ethylparaben.
Scientists with The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say they continually review published studies on the safety of parabens. At this time, they say that they have not been informed that parabens found in cosmetics have an effect on human health.
However, it is important to note that the FDA doesn’t have special rules when it comes to preservatives in cosmetics. Companies are only required to list all ingredients by their common or usual name.
We found several studies that believe there are potential concerns when it comes to excess exposure to parabens, citing they have the potential to interfere with hormones, like testosterone.
If you are concerned, one thing you can do to lower your exposure to parabens is to look at labels of your body washes, shampoos, and skincare products. Look for any of those long names we mentioned above, or make sure the label clearly states they are “paraben-free.”
Another couple of environmental factors to watch out for are herbicides and pesticides.
These are the chemicals that are often used to kill fungus, bacteria, insects, plant diseases, and weeds.
Whether or not they are safe or harmful .. is a hotly debated subject.
A growing number of studies have linked pesticides to various human health effects, hormones in particular.
Recent data by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found residues are in up to 70-percent of produce sold in the US. But the FDA, which monitors these chemicals in food, claims the samples they tested very rarely exceeded limits that would be harmful to your health.
You don’t want to stop eating produce, so your best bet is to make sure and soak and wash everything you buy (even organic) – before you eat it.
There are lots of produce washes you can purchase, or you can make your own using a homemade solution of vinegar and water or baking soda and water.
Even washing in water is better than nothing.
In a study conducted by Scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, they found that water did a good job of removing 9 of the 12 pesticides they tested.
3: Stress Levels
The last reason your test levels could be low is being OVERLY stressed. Too much stress has a really interesting connection to testosterone production.
We wish stress was something that we could have more control over, but let’s face it, stressors are ALL around us.
We live in a crazy world that leaves us all on edge at times.
We are always on the go and trying to juggle 10 different things at one time.
Life is unpredictable and full of hurdles.
Unfortunately, studies are showing that being stressed out all the time takes a toll on testosterone levels.
One key discovery researchers found when studying stress and its impact on testosterone production is something called .. The Testosterone Suppression Response.
This centers around another hormone we all have and do not want to be too high .. and that is the stress hormone cortisol.
Essentially, science shows us that if your cortisol is too high, it can disrupt your body’s ability to even make testosterone, to begin with.
So you have to do everything you can to keep your stress levels managed!
Focus on workout recovery, getting enough sleep, practice meditation/prayer, take up yoga.
You may also want to look into supplementing with specific adaptogens.
We are about to give you some resources that will provide you with some science-backed herbs that could help with this… so keep reading!
HOW TO NATURALLY GIVE YOUR TEST A BOOST
We know hormones can be confusing. We hope this article cleared things up a little bit.
The thing you need to remember is that age doesn’t always dictate how healthy your hormones are, especially your testosterone. So if you are experiencing any of the issues we talked about .. giving your test a natural boost is worth looking into!
Now that you have a better understanding of just how important testosterone is and the MANY ways yours could be low .. you are probably wondering what you can do to fix it without seeking what are most likely unnecessary creams and injections.
We created a supplement called TESTBOOST MAX that is packed with 8 natural herbs that scientists believe can help your body naturally enhance its own production of testosterone. To find out more about TEST BOOST MAX click here.
https://portal.ct.gov/CAES/Fact-Sheets/Analytical-Chemistry/Removal-of-Trace-Pesticide-Residues-from-Produce (washing produce)