What Are the Best Natural Testosterone Boosters For Men?

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Nutrition, Training

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 10.50.23 AM

Question: Are there any natural testosterone boosters that could raise my levels without having to resort to drugs?

What about lifestyle choices?

Answer: Low testosterone is no fun. It leads to less muscle, more body-fat, depression and, of course, the inability to get it up.

This is a recipe for a disastrous, unhealthy, lonely life.

The problem, though, is what happens when you look for ways to boost testosterone. You get bombarded with supplement scams that claim 697% increases in testosterone.

If only that were true.

Any “supplement” that makes a significant difference is either illegal or requires a prescription.

Which is okay. The vast majority of you don’t need anything like that to boost your testosterone levels. Those just put a band-aid over the problem.

Instead of taking a supplement, you have to attack the root cause of low testosterone levels.

Address the lifestyle factors that tanked your testosterone in the first place. Think of it this way.  If you had toilet that punched you in the nuts every time you sat down to lay a log, what would you do? Wear a cup to the bathroom every day? Or get a new toilet?

You’d get a new toilet.

A Brief Primer on Testosterone Production

Your balls make testosterone from cholesterol as the starting product. The cholesterol can go to a variety of hormones, too. It can make cortisol, estrogen, DHEA, etc..

A variety of factors dictate which hormone the cholesterol becomes.  So the question is, “How do I send as much as possible to testosterone?”

The 3 Goals of Maximizing Testosterone Levels

  1. Ensure you have enough of the building blocks for testosterone production (ie. cholesterol)
  2. Ensure you shuttle as much of that cholesterol towards testosterone production as possible.
  3. Ensure that, once your balls make the testosterone, it doesn’t get converted to estrogen, or another hormone that doesn’t help you build muscle and get jacked. 

That’s it. That’s all you have to do.

Looking at it that way, you can create a list of lifestyle habits that will optimize each one of those goals.

  1. High Priority Tips
    These are the ones you have to develop first. They will give you the most bang for your buck in boosting testosterone levels.
  2. Medium Priority Tips
    Once you have Tier 1 covered, you can start to work on these.
  3. Low priority Tips
    These are the tip of the iceberg. The stuff you can worry about once  you have mastered the two foundational levels.

High Priority Testosterone Boosting Tips

These are the 5 most important methods for boosting testosterone levels. Don’t worry about anything else until you have these in order.

1. Sleep. A lot.

Nothing will help boost your testosterone levels more than consistent, deep, high quality sleep.

Everything good happens when you sleep.

You burn fat and have an easier time staying lean

    • This is critical. Body fat produces aromatase, the enzyme that turns testosterone into estrogen.
    • Staying lean will help prevent testosterone from getting turned into estrogen, which will help keep your total testosterone levels higher.
  • You reduce inflammation and your body produces less cortisol.
    • This is especially important. Both inflammation and high cortisol prevent cholesterol from going down the testosterone pathway (one of our main goals in boosting testosterone levels.)
  • You decrease the amount of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin.
    • Remember from above. Sex Hormone Binding Globulin binds up testosterone in your blood and keeps it from doing it’s thing.

Here’s How  To Improve Your Sleep

  • Get outside for a 30 min. walk first thing in the AM. This helps maintain your circadian rhythm and will make you tired later in the day. Trust me.
  • Get black out curtains and turn your room into a cave
  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
  • That means going to bed and waking up at around the same time 7 days per week.  It’s a pain in the ass, I know, but its worth it. At the very least, try to get up around the same time every day.
  • Dim the lights in your home once the sun goes down. This helps melatonin production and will make it easier for you to fall asleep.
  • Incorporate relaxing activities into your evening.  Things like watching a funny TV show, having sex, relaxing with a loved one, or listening to mellow music.

2. Manage Stress.

You live in a stressful world. 

Unless you make a conscious effort to manage it, it’ll get the best of you. And when it does, your hormonal system responds by making of cortisol, instead of testosterone.

This makes sense when you think about it.

Your body responds to the cues from your external environment, and stimulates the production of whatever it needs.  If you’re stressed, you make the hormones that help you handle stress. Like cortisol. Unfortunately, increasing cortisol production inhibits testosterone production.

So, high cortisol means low testosterone levels. Remember that.

On the flip side, reducing cortisol levels will give your testosterone levels a huge boost. Remember that, too.

Here are some of the best ways to manage stress:

  • Meditation
  • Petting a dog
  • Naps
  • Deep Breathing techniques
  • Sitting outside for 30 minutes and just chilling
  • Listening to mellow music or playing it.
  • Having sex
  • Getting outside for a long walk first thing in the morning
  • Laughing
  • Sleeping in a pitch black room for 8+ hours per night
  • Having a routine that lets you wind down at night
  • Turning off the news
  • Not comparing yourself to other people on social media
  • Painting, pottery, or any other type of art
  • Staring at the ocean or stars
  • Lying in the grass for 15 minutes
  • Making time to laugh every single day

If you can do at least some of these on a daily basis, you will feel a dramatic difference.

3.Eat enough Fat and Cholesterol

As we discussed above, cholesterol is the starting point for testosterone production. And getting an adequate amount of fat is another critical component for maintaining hormone levels.  

And, contrary to common medical advice, eating cholesterol does not increase your risk of heart disease.How do you get enough cholesterol?

While your body has ways to make it on its own, you can help out your hormones by eating it on a regular basis.

Shoot for 1-2 servings of fat in each of the 3-4 meals you eat per day.

By doing this, you will get your cholesterol from the fatty foods you eat. Things like eggs and grass fed beef. Also, be sure to get a variety of other healthy fats from wild caught salmon, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and butter.

4. Eat enough food

Your body only produces high testosterone levels during times of abundance.

This is because high testosterone is not a mandatory part of life. You don’t need high test to survive. Just look around the grocery store tomorrow.

In fact, maintaining high testosterone is an expensive process. When your body has to choose between surviving, and reproducing, it picks survival. Always.

So, when you’re under any sort of stress, testosterone levels will drop. And calorie restriction is one of the most potent forms of stress.

If you want to optimize your testosterone levels, make sure you consume enough calories.

Here’s How Much You Should Eat:

While I am not a huge fan of counting calories, just take a few days to track what you eat. Make sure its around 14 calories/lb BW.

Now, I know some of you out there are trying to lose fat and have to consume less than that. That’s fine. You have to look at the big picture.

While you won’t boost your testosterone levels during a fat loss phase, getting lean will help you in the long run. 

Once you finish your diet and bring your calories back up, your testosterone will increase.

 5. Avoid processed food.

Garbage in means garbage out. If you fuel your body with low quality, processed garbage, you will never optimize your testosterone levels.

The low quality food will lead to inflammation and make it harder to stay lean. And both of these issues have a negative effect on your testosterone levels.

Always opt for the highest quality food you can afford.

Buy the items we include on the Renegade Shopping List

Healthy Meat  Sources:

  • Pastured eggs
  • Wild caught seafood
  • Wild game meat
  • Grass fed beef and bison
  • Pastured poultry
  • Pastured pork (limited amounts)
  • Organic, grass fed dairy products (preferably from goats and sheeps, in limited amounts)

Healthy Carb Sources

  • Yams
  • White potatoes
  • Red potatoes
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Gluten free oats
  • Sprouted Ezekiel bread
  • Fermented sourdough bread
  • All fruits
  • All vegetables

Healthy Fat

  • Coconut oil, milk, butter
  • Ghee
  • Butter from grass fed cows.
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Fish oil
  • Red Palm Oil
  • Organic nuts (in limited amounts- i.e.. a serving here and there).
  • Fat that comes with the high quality meat  you consume. This is where the majority of your fat intake should come from. Use the added fats above in small amounts.

Medium Priority Testosterone Boosting Tips:

Once you have the high priority ones covered, tackle these.

1. Train Smart

When you go to the gym, think about training with perfect form on every set.

That means using weights you can dominate, not ones that leave you with shitty form and slow reps.

When you compromise your form,  you not only risk injury, but you also end up putting too much stress on your system. Your body responds with sky high cortisol levels.

And as we’ve discussed already, high cortisol = low testosterone.

Focus on stopping sets 1-2 reps before your form starts to break down.

Another great way to limit the amount of stress on your system is to keep your workout short and sweet. For example, all of my workouts last 30-45 min.

As long as you bring intensity and focus to your session, you’ll pack a sick workout into that time window.

2. Limit Cardio

While Crossfit has done amazing things for fitness, it has also given people the idea that they need to do high intensity conditioning 15 times per week.

That’s too stressful for your system. It will break you down and keep you from making progress.

 Here’s how much cardio you need to do:

To stay lean, lose fat, and stay fit, you just need to hit 2 HIIT sessions per week that last 10-15 minutes.

These short and sweet conditioning workouts will be plenty effective as long as your diet is in check.

You can either do them as a finisher after your strength workouts, as a Saturday workout, or just run some hill sprints.

Beyond that, you’ll be better off incorporating lots of easy activity into your daily routine.

  • Go for long walks and hikes.
  • Go for an easy swim at the pool or a mellow bike ride.

These kinds of low level activities are restorative. Plus, they will make you feel WAY better than hammering back conditioning work every day.

Low Priority Testosterone Boosting Tips:

Once you have those two levels covered, you can start to worry about some of these smaller tips.

1. Testosterone Boosters

While 99% of them are bogus, the one that I have seen guys get a consistent benefit from is T+ from Onnit.

While it won’t do much if you don’t have the other two layers of habits dialed in, it can give that last 1%-2% you need to really dial things in.

2. Avoid Plastics

The debate is still out on how much of a role synthetic materials play in effecting testosterone levels. But, if you want to be extra safe, get all of that shit out of your house.

  • Instead of tupperware, use these.
  • Opt for cast iron or stainless steel cookware
  • Use all natural soaps, detergents, and deodarants.

That wraps it up. Now you know all about the best natural testosterone boosters.

And if you found this article helpful, it’d be awesome if you shared it with someone you think needs to read it.

I appreciate you.