Let’s talk about SEX!!
Now that I have your attention, in this post we’ll look at some issues surrounding Men’s health and hormonal imbalance that can lead to lowered testosterone, lowered libido, lowered sperm count and even erectile dysfunction.
This post probably needs a ‘companion post’ all about libido in women . . . but that’s a little more complicated (pun intended). While testosterone is not the whole story, it does play a leading role in lowered sex drive in men, however for women – desire stems from a much more complicated set of hormonal and emotional interactions.
So Men . . . do you find yourself too busy, too tired, or too distracted for sex? Or does your drive just not seem to be there like it used to be?
Unfortunately, modern life isn’t friendly to a man’s libido.
Challenges to a healthy sex drive are many: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal exhaustion, poor nutrition, prescription medications, too much stress, and too little sleep and even ‘technology’. Yes, too many blokes ‘zap their crown jewels’ with mobile phones and laptops, by not understanding the effects of electromagnetic fields on the body.
11 Ways To Boost Testosterone & Sex Drive Naturally . . .
1. ‘Kick the Chemicals’
Here it is straight guys – many toxins will harm your testicles!
Phthalates and parabens in personal care products like lotions and shaving creams, and BPA in plastic bottles for example – are ‘anti-androgens’. This means they disrupt the production and function of multiple hormones including testosterone. (study)
The sad news is that many men think that this issue of ‘personal care chemicals’ is only related to women. In fact men . . . this is even more important for you, as these chemicals (often in normal store-bought personal care products) are actually ‘feminising’ you – reducing testosterone and increasing oestrogen.
Do I have your attention yet?
The escalating amount of chemicals being released into the environment can no longer be ignored, as these toxins are disrupting animal and human endocrine systems.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) are everywhere. They lurk inside your house, leaching from products such as personal hygiene products, chemical cleansers, or contraceptive drugs. They also end up in your food and drinking water, causing you to unknowingly ingest them.
EDCs pose a threat to men’s health as they interfere with testosterone production, causing men to take on more feminine characteristics.
This topic was even highlighted back in 2008, when SBS did a documentary titled “Men in Danger”. (Here’s a helpful summary)
So, clean-up and green-up your bathroom cabinet and what you use in the home. Your Savvy Team contact can help in this area.
2. Stop Zapping Your ‘Crown Jewels’
The effect of mobile phone radiation on male fertility is the subject of recent interest and investigations. While the research is focused on sperm quality and motility . . . and not on the health of the testicles and that of testosterone levels – there’s certainly enough evidence to support the idea of keeping your phone out of your pocket – is better for the health of your testicles and hormones.
“There are simple precautions you can take to protect yourself from cell phones,” explains Devra Lee Davis, Ph.D., MPH, author of ‘Disconnect’ and founding director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology at the U.S. National Academy of Science.
Dr Davis believes mobile phones pose serious health risks. She points to numerous studies that have linked mobile phone use and specifically the microwave radiation that they emit – to brain cancer, tumors and sperm damage.
Dr Davis states that ‘Distance Is Your Friend’, so use a wired hands-free device whenever you talk on your phone. Or use your phones speakerphone function – anything to keep the phone away from your body.
“For every millimeter you put between yourself and your phone, you reduce your body’s absorption of microwave radiation by 15 percent,” Davis explains. That rule is doubly important in rural areas, where your phone pumps out more microwaves in an attempt to locate a signal, Davis says.
Out of Pocket
The worst place to keep your phone is in your pants or shirt front pocket.
Even when you’re not on a call, your phone is still transmitting microwaves, Davis explains. Unlike your head, where a thick skull offers your brains a protective barrier, your gonads are basically defenseless.
In the Savvy Team, we have access to mobile phone guard technology that can protect from from exposure while using your phone – or if you need to place your phone in your pocket for a period of time. We also have recommendations for safer headsets. So reach out to us.
End of the ‘Laptop’ Computer
From now on, it’s a ‘portable computer’, a ‘notebook computer’ or whatever! But NOT a laptop! That’s unless you like the sound of ‘scrotal hyperthermia‘ and subsequent affect on sperm quality and testicular health.
Scrotal hyperthermia is simply the technical term for the contents of your scrotum getting too hot. That brings us to a bit of biology . . . your testicals are located ‘outside’ of your body to keep them cooler, as they function better and it’s optimal for sperm production.
Are you getting the picture?
3. Re-Mineralise Your Body
Trace minerals are essential for the proper function of the entire endocrine system. The truth is that many men experience hormonal dysfunction simply due a deficiency of minerals in their diet. Due to modern farming techniques and deficiencies in soil – daily mineral supplementation is essential to maintain vibrant health and normal balance.
Zinc & Selenium are important minerals when it comes to men’s libido and testosterone levels. Oysters get such a ‘good wrap’ for libido due to their zinc levels. However, easy does it guys – too much zinc then can decrease minerals like coper and manganese and overly inhibit an enzyme involved in testosterone conversion and utilisation. A high intake of minerals is only beneficial when in a proper natural balance.
That’s why we use and suggest a plant-based mineral drink, to supply the body with a wide array of naturally occurring trace minerals. The Neydharting Moor biomass is a brilliant source we use and recommend.
4. Take Your Vitamins Seriously.
Vitamins A, E & D (along with minerals such zinc and selenium already mentioned) are like fertilizer for androgen production and testicular function. Supplements are a targeted way to get more of these nutrients.
Of course eating more shellfish and oysters for zinc, a few of brazil nuts per day for selenium, carrots and kale for vitamin A, and almonds and sunflower seeds for vitamin E, will help too.
B Vitamins are also helpful for managing stress . . . and when stress levels go up, testosterone can come down. So a good multivitamin daily is such a simple fix to get all these vitamins.
5. Get More Fat in Your Diet
Cholesterol is the building block of all of your steroid hormones: cholesterol becomes DHEA, which in turn becomes testosterone.
There are a couple of factors to look for when focusing on dietary fat intake to optimise testosterone. The actual amount of dietary fat you eat is important and should be pretty high and the ratio between different types of fatty acids plays a role as well. Not all of them are equally as effective . . . the polyunsaturated fats tend to decrease testosterone and the saturated fats increase it!
In this study, the researchers tested several nutritional factors to see how they correlate with pre-exercise testosterone levels in healthy men. What they saw was that the diets high in saturated fat and the diets high in monounsaturated fat, significantly increased testosterone levels. Whereas the diets high in polyunsaturated fats, reduced testosterone levels. The researchers also saw that the higher the dietary fat intake, the higher the testosterone in a diet containing mixed fats.
In addition, high inflammation in the body subsequently leads to lowered testosterone levels. Since essential fatty acids from ‘oily fish’ and healthy oil supplements such as Krill Oil, lower inflammation in the body – it’s wise to include these sorts of oils in your diet. Essential fatty acid supplementation also supports the production of healthy cholesterol, the ultimate building block for testosterone.
6. Lose the ‘Gut’
Belly fat and obesity are testosterone killers. One study showed that obese teen boys have up to 50% less testosterone than their non-obese peers. One reason for this may be that fat cells contain more aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to oestrogen. Unfortunately, obesity and low testosterone reinforce each other, leading to a spiral of weight gain and hormone imbalance in men.
In the Savvy Team, we offer three weight-management regimes depending on your needs – so reach out to us for assistance, if you require support or more information in this area. If you’d like to get a ‘head start’ on shedding excess fat – people routinely lose 10kg quite quickly when they start ‘Eating Savvy‘!
7. Get Some Sleep & Learn to Relax
One study showed that after only one week of just five hours of sleep nightly, testosterone levels dropped 10-15%. While surviving on only a few hours may sound macho to some, it’s actually eroding your most important male hormone.
Stress is also major driver of low testosterone. Ultimately your adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones and sex hormones are all interconnected in a complicated interplay.
Simply put – when stress goes up, so does your cortisol levels and down comes your testosterone. High cortisol levels – lead to lower testosterone levels and a lower libido.
If you relax and breathe, meditate, do yoga etc even for just 10 minutes a day, you give your hormone system a chance to rebalance, lowering cortisol and increasing testosterone.
8. Create a ‘Sunny’ Disposition
The ‘Sunshine Vitamin’, vitamin D has been linked to better moods, better immune function and better bones.
The male reproductive system is also a target for vitamin D, and vitamin D supplementation has been shown to increase total testosterone, bioavailable testosterone and free testosterone.
Be sure to get your 15 minutes of direct sunshine a day and perhaps consider supplementation, especially during Winter if you are in a colder area.
9. Get Some ‘Herbal Help’
There’s a number of herbs purported to raise testosterone levels. The challenge is that many are not the type of thing you’d take as a daily supplement!
Here I’d ike to mention a couple that are designed for regular use – and their benefits.
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is a herbal supplement widely used in Ayurvedic Medicine as an adaptogen. An ‘adaptogen’, is a term used to describe a herb that helps the body regain hormonal and psychological balance (homeostasis) in times of stress.
Some studies say it increases testosterone, while others postulate that it’s the herb’s ability to modulate stress, that allows for a natural increase in testosterone due to the control of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’.
Either way – it’s helping the body in a natural way.
Grape Seed Extract can be used to boost testosterone levels because 2 molecules hidden in the seeds – proanthocyanidin and procyanidin – can both effectively block the conversion from testosterone to estrogen via inhibiting the aromatase enzyme and also enhance circulation and nitric oxide production in the body. So Grape Seed Extracts should have an impact in lowering your estrogen levels, increasing testosterone levels, and improving your blood flow.
10. Lift – Don’t Jog
Marathon running and long-distance cycling have both become popular . . . and reached almost ‘fad-like’ status.
The problem is that long-distance endurance training or what many exercise physiologists have called ‘chronic cardio’, produces heaps of cortisol in the body, which makes us prone to fat storage and muscle loss. One of the reasons it burns up muscle is because cortisol competes with testosterone – when one is secreted, the other is inhibited as previously mentioned. Simply put – Cortisol is catabolic (muscle death), and testosterone is anabolic (muscle growth). Whereas with a shorter and more intense workout, the higher the testosterone and lower the cortisol.
A solid cardio program can help you stay fit and even increase testosterone levels to a point, but once you start getting into long-distance running – like marathon training, you may actually be decreasing your testosterone with your workouts. A study by the University of British Columbia found that male runners who pounded over 40 miles of pavement per week had distinctly lower testosterone levels than their short-distance running counterparts.
On the ‘flip-side’ – resistance exercise (weight lifting) can lower the stress hormone cortisol and boost testosterone levels. A 2006 study looked at 20 male volunteers (average age 22) with no prior experience with strength training. All of the subjects were tested and medically examined. After a month on a resistance training program, there was a statistically significant 40% increase in resting testosterone, and a -24% decrease in resting cortisol.
So stop ‘pounding the pavement’ and lift something heavy!
11. Experiment with Intermittent Fasting
It’s pretty self-explanatory by name . . . intermittent fasting simply involves taking short periods of time and not eating or drinking any calories. You essentially practise it every night when you sleep . . . and the easiest way to start is by skipping breakfast to extend the overnight fast or skipping lunch.
If you gasp at that due to your ‘blood-sugar issues’ . . . it’s time for you to ‘Eat Savvy‘ – as you have most likely become inefficient at burning fat for fuel and have become addicted to carbohydrates.
Short fasts can have amazing effects on your health. During the fasts, you may consume non-caloric beverages – this doesn’t break the fast. Drinks such as water and coffee are fine while you’re in a fasting period.
In the scope of testosterone, fasting carries with it the benefits of increasing testosterone naturally, while also shedding body fat. Intermittent fasting makes body recomposition easier too as it has a positive influence on the whole ‘hormonal interplay’, such as reducing insulin levels and boosting testosterone.
Longer fasting is NOT better though. Studies show that during fasts of 24-48 hours, testosterone levels drop while cortisol levels rise – hence the suggestion of short fasts under 24 hours (because there are actual hormonal and physical benefits and your body will likely avoid the acute stress response of longer fasts)
If you or your significant other has an ongoing, unexplained decline in sex drive . . . it’s time to do somewhat of an ’emotional and physical inventory’ . . .
And I hope you’ll find these 11 Tips will help to get things ‘pointed in the right direction’ 🙂
Thoughts & Comments? Share below!