How to Create Natural Hormone Optimization Plan: 8 Key Factors
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Tue 25 September 2018
Medical Review by Dr. Stefano Pizzo, MD
With over 300 articles about ways to boost testosterone in this blog, 262-pages of T-optimization in TestShock, and 52 evidence-based ways to increase testosterone just solely in this one article, I get a lot of questions about where exactly should a “natural T-boosting journey” be started.
The good news is that in order to significantly speed up your natural testosterone production, you don’t have to focus on hundreds of specific little things. In fact just focusing on 8 “big variables” is enough to make a MASSIVE difference in your endocrine health.
This post will be very short, as I’m just going to list the ten most important ways to optimize T-levels, with some additional links to further – more detailed – reading;
- Get to (and stay at) 8-14% body fat
- Prioritize this level of lean as your first and foremost goal (here’s how to get there).
- Fat men have significantly lower testosterone levels than lean men and vice-versa.
- Don’t get too lean though, getting to ‘extremely low’ body fat percentage starts slowing down all reproductive functions.
- Having high amounts of fat, especially in the mid-section increases the aromatization from testosterone to estrogen.
- Fix your underlying micronutrient deficiencies
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are incredibly prevalent all-around the globe, even in developed countries.
- Nearly all of the essential micronutrients are responsible for some bodily mechanism necessary for testosterone synthesis.
- Normalizing levels of certain micronutrients like zinc and vitamin D can rapidly raise and restore low testosterone levels.
- Start resistance training
- Lifting heavy objects is a really good way to stimulate testosterone production
- Neuromuscular movement patterns and doing explosive reps can furthermore stimulate testosterone production.
- Having high amounts of muscle mass is correlated with high testosterone levels.
- 3-4 workouts per week is plenty enough, and yes, overtraining does lower testosterone levels so don’t do that.
- Consume enough calories
- Dieting with crazy calorie deficits and long-term calorie restriction will suppress testosterone production.
- Short-bouts of overfeeding are associated with higher testosterone levels, though only studied in women so far
- Losing weight with a calorie deficit of ~15% doesn’t lower T-levels. Even though its slower than crash dieting, this is ideal.
- If you don’t need to lose weight, eating maintenance calories or a slight surplus (if you’re looking to build muscle) is the way to go.
- Get your macronutrients on track
- First realize that you DON’T want to omit from any macronutrient, be it protein, carbs, or fats. They’re all necessary for T.
- Consume roughly 30% of your daily calories from dietary fat, with most of them coming from SFAs and MUFAs.
- Roughly 20% of daily energy should come from protein. Animal sources are hormonally superior to plant-based proteins.
- The remaining 50% should be from carbohydrates. Potatoes, white rice, and simple sugars (fruit, honey, fruit juices)
- Start sleeping more
- Partial sleep restriction in young university students leads to ~15% reduction in testosterone.
- Men sleeping about 4 hours have roughly half of the testosterone of the guys who sleep for ~8 hours.
- According to Japanese researchers, each extra hour of sleep should lead to ~15% higher testosterone levels thorough the day.
- Kill stress
- Chronic stress leads to chronically elevated cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
- Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle mass, increases visceral fat accumulation, and suppresses testosterone.
- There are ways to reduce stress and cortisol levels, such as; eating enough carbs, relaxation exercises, and some supplements.
- Limit endocrine disruptor exposure
- Multiple modern pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are antiandrogens.
- Man made chemicals such as phthlates, parabens, and Bisphenol A are potent at reducing testosterone levels.
- Tap-water contains a wide spectrum of potential endocrine disruptors. [easyazon_link identifier=”B00I0ZGOZM” locale=”US” tag=”anabmen-20"]Easy fix is a simple water filter[/[/easyazon_link]/em>
Bottom line: The 8 things above are the “big-hitters”, which when done right will without a shade of doubt significantly increase your testosterone production. Of course there are hundreds of more things that help here in AM blog and in the TestShock course, but before focusing on any minutia, consider getting the “core” stuff right first!