Did you know that as early as age 30, testosterone levels begin to drop? Just as we enter our third decade, the body stops producing testosterone at the same rate as in our peak years, and drops roughly 1 – 2% per year after. Testosterone is a critical male sex hormone responsible for many important functions in the body, including body composition, sex drive, and fertility. While the loss of 1-2% of your testo production each year may not be enough to send you into crashing into the low range, it may be enough for you to start noticing some of the effects.
As we age, and as our testo drops, you may notice some small changes, like easier fat accumulation and more difficult muscle retention. It may seem like an inevitable fact of life, but there are vitamins, minerals, and herbs you can use to help keep your testosterone production performing at its natural best. Here are five ingredients you can use to help support your natural testosterone production.
Vitamin D is involved in many important functions throughout the body. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that we’re able to produce ourselves when our skin is exposed to sunlight. It is found in very few foods naturally, and because of its function in calcium absorption, many dairy products are fortified with vitamin D. As it is hard to come by in foods and due to a mostly indoor lifestyle, it’s easy to become deficient in this vitamin, and studies have shown that vitamin D deficiencies are closely correlated with low testosterone levels. However, these studies also show that when vitamin D levels are raised out of deficiency with supplementation, testosterone levels are also seen to increase. Adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet is an easy way to help keep your testo levels in check.
This mineral is found much more commonly in foods, and yet many Americans are deficient in zinc. Just like with vitamin D, studies have found low testosterone levels to be correlated with zinc deficiencies. Again, these low testo levels were raised when the subjects’ zinc levels were brought back up into the normal range. Both zinc and vitamin D are easy nutrients to find supplements for. To get the most out of your supplements, try looking for ones that use a combination of ingredients like Hexo Fire Labs Delta Prime, which combines vitamin D, zinc, and a variety of herbs targeted specifically at men’s health.
- D-Aspartic Acid
D-Aspartic Acid (D-AA) is a specific form of aspartate, an amino acid. D-AA helps to regulate and stimulate the release of specific hormones, including growth hormone, and luteinizing hormone. The release of the luteinizing hormone is important because it triggers the Leydig cells to start creating testosterone. Studies have shown that D-AA has an important function in fertility, with the motility and number of sperm increasing in test subjects with low fertility when supplemented. It’s effect on testosterone levels, however, is unclear. While some studies noted an increase in the testosterone levels of athletes after D-AA supplementation, other studies did not get the same results. It has been noted that D-AA may be more useful for men that have low testosterone or sexual dysfunction rather than healthy, young males.
Ashwanda is a versatile herb that makes up an integral part of Ayurveda. Native to the Middle East, Africa, and India, ashwagandhais considered to be an adaptogen, containing properties that help the body deal with stress. It’s these properties that make it a promising herb for raising testosterone. When the body is stressed (physically or mentally), it produces cortisol. When cortisol is high, testosterone levels tend to be low. One study gave men 5g of ashwagandha per day for three months. At the end of the test period, subjects’ stress levels had been significantly lowered, and antioxidant levels and sperm quality had also improved. Another study gave a 300mg dose of ashwagandha to young, healthy adult males twice daily for 8 weeks, in conjunction with a resistance training program. By the end of the test period, the test subjects had significantly more muscle strength and size, reduced muscle damage, and higher testosterone levels than the placebo group. Ashwagandha may be a very useful herb in helping to keep testosterone production functioning normally.
Fenugreek is another herb used in traditional medicinal systems, as well as a spice in cooking. Studies on Fenugreek have been successful in showing increases in free testosterone levels in young men, as well as self-reported increases in libido, energy and well-being. When paired with a resistance training program, test subjects also saw more strength increases and fat loss when compared with the placebo group. Researchers think fenugreek works by limiting the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the body, which is especially helpful in older men that carry more excess fat. Fenugreek is widely available in many testosterone boosting supplements, and may be helpful in keeping your testosterone production in top form.
It’s undeniable that as we age, our bodies begin to produce less testosterone. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to slow that decline as much as possible. By supplementing smartly and making a few lifestyle changes, you can take testosterone levels off the worry list.