The Poet’s Eye
The Poet’s Eye
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5 Tips on Boosting Your Testosterone
Testosterone, a hormone produced primarily by the testicles, is often associated with the epitome of ?manhood? (although women have testosterone, too).
Indeed, it does play a large role in male sexuality and reproduction, impacting such factors as sexual and reproductive function, muscle mass, and hair growth, but also has some less ?flashy,? albeit equally important, roles like maintaining bone density, levels of red blood cells and a sense of well-being.
Beginning around age 30, a man?s testosterone levels begin to decline, and continue to do so as he ages.
A wide range of chemical exposures included prescribed drugs like statins, adversely impact testosterone production in men. At the same time, estrogen levels typically increase due to widespread exposures to estrogen-mimicking compounds in food, water and environmental pollutants.
So guys, we face an uphill challenge to keep and boost our body?s testosterone.
Here are some tips on increasing your testosterone levels:
If you?re overweight, shedding the excess pounds may increase your testosterone levels, according to research presented at the Endocrine Society?s 2012 meeting. Overweight men are more likely to have low testosterone levels to begin with, so this is an important trick to increase your body?s testosterone production when you need it most.
Both intermittent fasting and short intense exercise have been shown to boost testosterone. Check out these findings on this testosterone-increasing technique:
In non-obese men, an intermittent fasting testosterone study showed that fasting increased LH (luteinizing hormone ? a testosterone precursor hormone) up to 67% and overall testosterone 180%.This is with just a single short term fast. The ability to regularly control your LH and T levels with daily fasts can be a powerful tool in your T-boosting toolbox.2.) Testosterone is positively correlated with insulin sensitivity.Because of this, it is smart to skip breakfast ? here?s why? the body?s circadian cycle has a natural cortisol spike shortly after waking, and this happens to be the time when most individuals eat breakfast.With fit, or somewhat fit, individuals, the insulin spike with the food intake, along with an already-high insulin sensitivity, and the high levels of circulating cortisol at this time of day, leads to a rapid drop in blood glucose. This triggers what is known as ?false hunger,? usually causing an individual to subsequently consume more calories than necessary.By skipping breakfast, you are regulating your blood glucose levels, insulin, and cortisol during the period of the day in which they are most sensitive.3.) Intermittent fasting allows your body a daily opportunity to burn excess body fat.
Your body utilizes this excess body fat for fuel and to rid itself of minor toxins before it needs to allocate energy to focus on things like digestion and glycogen synthesis. The quickest way to increase your T is to lose excess body fat. Fasting and testosterone elevation go hand in hand!
To put it simply, testosterone (both free T and SHBG-bound) levels correlate inversely with common measures of insulin resistance (such as insulin, C-peptide, and HOMA-IR) and body fat levels. The inverse association between testosterone and insulin resistance is mediated by adipose tissue, and independent of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin).
In simple terms: the more body fat you have, the less testosterone you will naturally be able to produce.
4.) Intermittent fasting increases levels of a hormone called adiponectin. .
This increase in adiponectin during the fast helps improve insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin is so powerful, in fact, that it?s been shown to reverse insulin resistance in mice.
5.) With just a 24 hour fast, you can elevate your growth hormone levels by up to 2000%.
GH and T levels correlate with one another, both acting anabolically (improving glycogen uptake into the muscles, protein synthesis, and increasing training capacity and tolerance).
These are just 5 intermittent fasting testosterone benefits. You don?t need to be super strict about counting the hours of your fast either; you can experience these benefits by doing something as simple as skipping breakfast and consuming your first meal at lunch time, which also helps with psychological and lifestyle flexibility.
Strength training is also known to boost testosterone levels, provided you are doing so intensely enough. When strength training to boost testosterone, you?ll want to increase the weight and lower your number of reps, and then focus on exercises that work a large number of muscles, such as dead lifts or squats.
When you?re under a lot of stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone actually blocks the effects of testosterone presumably because, from a biological standpoint, testosterone-associated behaviors (mating, competing, aggression) may have lowered your chances of survival in an emergency (hence, the ?fight or flight? response is dominant, courtesy of cortisol).
When you?re stressed, the last thing you probably feel like doing is getting out and exercising. But physical activity is a huge stress reliever?and you don?t have to be an athlete or spend hours in a gym to experience the benefits. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, and it can also serve as a valuable distraction from your daily worries.While you?ll get the most benefit from regularly exercising for 30 minutes or more, it?s okay to build up your fitness level gradually. Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day. The first step is to get yourself up and moving. Here are some easy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule:
Put on some music and dance around
Take your dog for a walk
Walk or cycle to the grocery store
Use the stairs at home or work rather than an elevator
Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot and walk the rest of the way
Pair up with an exercise partner and encourage each other as you work out
Play ping-pong or an activity-based video game with your kids
Do some push-ups or sit-ups during commercials.
Testosterone levels decrease after you eat sugar, which is likely because the sugar leads to a high insulin level, another factor leading to low testosterone.
How to Turbo-Charge Your Testosterone Levels Naturally.
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I am the man that I am thanks to the forge known as seventh grade in my hometown of Humboldt. We all know that the plunge into adolescence is chaotic at best for most of our breed but after sharing tales with other small-town expatriates, I now look back in wonderment at that tempestuous year.
Humboldt is an industrial town at its core with a large cement plant dominating the hamlet from the south and now to the east as it gobbles up land for its ever-expanding quarry. A couple of smaller manufacturers are also located in the town pushing the farm economy to the side. Which gave us a more itinerant flavor in our school as desperate families moved here for whatever jobs could be had and moved out again if the economy sagged or they suddenly vanished due to their old man showing up for work drunk one time too many.
Starting in kindergarten, I was exposed to their progeny and because of their numbers they had an influence on quite a few of the locals as well-giving our elementary school a never-ending supply of goons. Fortune would smile on us mild-mannered (and often smaller) boys as many of these gentleman would not pass the academic rigor of second or third grade and be held back and we would be mostly free of them. However, the downside was in late August we would go to our assigned seats in a newly painted and decorated classroom and spot a looming troglodyte or two from the grade ahead of us apparently needing an extra year of seasoning with regards to long division or knowing the capital of Idaho, giving us a jaundiced stare, as a cat would to a mouse.
While this training was top-notch in persuading one to peer into the bathroom before entering, desisting the riding of a bike to school (flat tires), and not drawing praise from the teacher thus putting you in the recess bullseye, it was not enough preparation for the move over to the high school where grades seven through twelve attempted to co-habit for seven hours each day. It was like making it through Cub Scouts and going directly into training for the 82nd Airborne.
First, we did not have a teacher that watched over us all day and could ameliorate much of the huns’ mischief. We were compelled to rush to a different class each hour and another harried instructor-with no hall monitors thrown in as a bonus. It was as if the thugs had died and gone to Valhalla. Quickly books were being slapped out of sweaty hands, the gum shakedown increased exponentially, and underwear defied gravity as it rose up the backside towards the hairline of boys without a benefactor. And I didn’t have one. No older brothers or even a sister who dated a lineman. It was evident to me that John Donne had not attended Humboldt High.
The horror intensified as we were initiated into seventh grade boys physical education class. Our teacher was an ex-NFL lineman and WW II vet who was from New Jersey. How he got out here to southeast Kansas was a mystery to me and his Italian/Jersey philosophy of life and linguistic patterns were as foreign to me as linguini. He was also the varsity football coach and believed in making twelve year-olds into men (and future cannon fodder for the first string) and that tough love was the way to go-only leave out the love part. Additionally, we were burdened with 3 stalwart fellows (two later convicted of armed robbery) who had flunked p.e. from the year before. My mind reeled with the riddle wrapped in an enigma of failing what was essentially recess. Putting this trio in with some of the brain surgeons we already had been gifted with quickly bore bitter fruit.
Each day we would go through the normal harassment in hallways and toilets but the special hades was the boys locker room where we would have to undress and put on the p.e. uniform before heading up to the gym for grueling calisthenics and whatever game we would be assigned to that day. The coach preferred games of contact to make “men” out of us and the guys that had flunked a grade or two were quite enthusiastic in applying the laws of physics to hasten the rest of us becoming mini-Clint Eastwoods. The losing team each day would then have to line up single file in front of the winning team which was lined up mirroring them. The vanquished would have to crawl across the hard gym floor through the legs of all of the winners as they got their butts slapped by the conquerors. This was called the “Tunnel of Love”. If your buddy was crawling through you might give him a light tap-others you would hit harder and vice-versa. Most of us were resigned to getting the cat o’ nine tails if we were doing the crawling but it was a suicidal tendency at best to really smack one of the behemoths who daily made our lives sheer hell if the tables were turned. Because after the Tunnel was done the coach would take off for the coach’s room to smoke and leave us to shower and change for the next class quite unattended-a recipe for disaster for some poor schmuck who got on the bad boys bad side.
Every day before lunch we would endure this 3rd ring of damnation and then have an hour to recuperate. I would race home to a hot meal from my mom and my dad would come home from the plant joining us as well. After lunch he would take me back to school and that’s when we would see Ernie trudging that direction as well. Ernie was one of the guys that had to repeat the p.e. class and to be honest, he had to repeat some other classes in the past as well-making him 14 years of age. He had a moustache already, for chrissakes. I knew him a little bit because he lived over by my grandparents and he was actually a decent guy who didn’t say much but I kept my distance because he was usually in a cluster with the freaks that I did not want to go anywhere near. I don’t remember if it was Dad or me who suggested we give Ernie a ride but it became a habit and every day we would cut 6 blocks off of his walk to school and then we would go our separate ways.
As winter rolled through I dreaded each day of school wondering what possible torment awaited me or fearing I would draw the ire of some guy 15 or 20 pounds larger than myself. The tension would build as the day went on and I feared p.e. for the potential pitfalls and punishment it served up fresh every time. One day was particularly bad as a game of rugby-basketball (don’t ask) was particularly brutal. One of my more neolithic classmates Rick, and his little henchman Eddie singled me out that day for some extra vitriol and I was bruised and battered by the time the match was over. I was also on the winning side. The losers lined up for their perfunctory swats in the Tunnel and as Rick crawled through my legs I snapped, and with less forethought than Napoleon’s gambit to Moscow, came down with all my might and tattooed his ass. He let out a yelp but had to keep going due to the coach’s watchful eyes. Eddie had seen what happened and hesitated but ducked through my legs as well. “In for a penny, in for a pound” I thought as the gym rang out with my exertion. A sense of exultation and freedom coursed through my veins that did not want to dissipate. Then, the coach dismissed us and faded into the distance.
I assessed my situation and with easy clarity the best strategy was to rush to the locker room and get lost in the melee of 30 boys showering and changing clothes. This was not going to be a Head and Shoulders day to be sure. Sprinting down the stairs three at a time I ripped my t-shirt off and snatched my clothes before ducking into a small side room where I normally didn’t change. I had jumped into my jeans when I heard Rick yell, “Where’s Griffith?”. Shoes slipped on as I ducked low to the ground and then my adrenal system kicked in as I heard some snitch stated helpfully, “He’s in there.” I looked up and there were Rick and his remora glaring at me. I remember being lifted up and placed against the wall when somewhere deep in my cortex with no forethought a signal flew to my larynx and I yelled, “Ernie!”
Rick’s mistake (one of many strewn across his life) was to shove me against the wall one more time as a warm-up before settling down to business. All at once his eyes widened in puzzlement as he levitated through the air landing against the other wall. Eddie flew with even a greater ease and had, I must say, a less graceful landing than his cohort. Their confusion cleared up as Ernie loomed over them and he apparently wasn’t done as he lifted Rick up like a rag-doll and slammed him up against the wall till a hat trick was completed. “Leave him alone!” Ernie shouted in Rick’s face before he turned his attention to Eddie who was attempting to crawl out of the room while squealing a mea culpa. Ernie’s foot slammed into Eddie’s already tenderized posterior sending him scooting across the wet locker room floor. Without another word the avenging angel returned to his locker and continued dressing like nothing had happened. I on the other hand was encountering a transcendental moment. I realized for the rest of the year I was bulletproof. This revelation revealed its full splendor immediately but the realization hadn’t hit the huns as of yet that if they lost a game in gym class, and I was on the other side, that the Tunnel was their French Revolution and I was Robespierre. Conversely, if I was consigned to the losing side, I was to be handled like One of the Anointed and only lightly blessed. I only had to make sure of only one thing:
“Hey, Dad, there’s Ernie, slow down.”