Stimulating your testosterone levels is nowadays often associated with relying just on the latest advance in supplementation, if you go by much of the advertising that is out there. What this often ignores is the much simpler availability of whole foods and dietary regimens that include natural ingredients to achieve much of the same goal: elevating or maintaining the body’s testosterone at its optimum level .
How the Bodybuilding Lifestyle Can Deplete Testosterone
For the dedicated weight-training athlete, heavy duty exercise and intense pre-contest regimens all put an enormous demand not only on the body’s muscle capability but also on the key ingredient that drives their muscular growth – testosterone. This means that nowadays the bodybuilding athlete needs to ensure that his testosterone remains at optimum level.
Who needs to be concerned about their testosterone levels, and why? One major category might be the younger male athlete who can unintentionally lower his natural testosterone level by overtraining, not getting enough sleep, and eating fatty foods that can negatively affect testosterone levels. The other major category is the strength-training athlete who has started to reach his middle age, and typically begins to lose about one percent of his normal testosterone levels with each passing year.
Nutrition Sources – From Whole Foods to Supplementation
Consume the Right Protein
Proteins such as egg and whey help improve testosterone levels, as well as repair and build muscle mass when you are training with weights. One of the reasons for this is that they are high in depeptides and tripeptides (two or three amino acids bound together), which have the unique capacity to pass into your system much more easily than single amino acids or more complex protein structure. These peptides are channeled to the liver, where they increase production of the body’s natural anabolic hormones.
Also, it is productive to include lean forms of whole-food, such as eggs, chicken and turkey breast. For anyone intensely engaged and consistently involved in weight training, these foods build muscle tissue and help to elevate the metabolic rate and testosterone levels. For optimum results, include such lean whole foods at several meals each day; the reliable formula to work with might be as many as six intakes or more. Finally, the athlete should try to measure a total of one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day – an active, training 180-pound male should try to consume 180 grams of protein a day. Also, seek out protein powders with hydrolysates, which will enhance the absorption of dipeptides and tripeptides – resulting in more muscle growth.
Another useful protein source for boosting testosterone is to be found in almond butter, which also contributes to muscle while helping to burn fat. Along with the protein, almond butter provides monounsaturated fat, vitamn E, niacin, magnesium. Avoid useless substitutes being sold for the genuine almond butter such as mass produced trans-fatty peanut butters.
Eat the Right Vegetables
Not only is the consumption of vegetables a healthful dietary factor, it’s also true that many vegetables – especially cruciferous ones belonging to the mustard family such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower – may help elevate testosterone levels. This may be due to the phytonutrients that cruciferous vegetables contain, although this hasn’t been scientifically substantiated yet. What is presently known for a fact, however, is that phytonutrients play a powerful function in optimizing other health concerns, such as contributing to vision. So a meal plan that features several servings of vegetables a day – and include the cruciferous ones to boost testosterone levels – is important.
In the U.S. and Europe, athletes can find a wide array of supplementation that can effectively support testosterone levels. Thermolife, Gaspari Nutrition, Muscle Meds, MHP, Get Diesel, Legal Sciences are all leading brand names in the U.S. for products that are engineered to enhance and stimulate testosterone production.
Consider using EFA Fatty acids (marine lipids and flaxseed) and vitamin E (400 IU).
Awareness of All Factors Impacting Testosterone Levels
Of course, there is more than one area of lifestyle that the strength-training athlete needs to be aware of in any comprehensive effort to maintain or elevate his testosterone levels. These include:
- Exercise: Even exercise itself has a critical role in affecting testosterone levels. You can use it to contribute to your testosterone stimulation, or you can go exceed a certain level and instead and have the opposite effect of decreasing or depressing natural testosterone levels.
Lifestyle Habits: Get an extra hour of sleep each day, and fit in a power nap when you are tired. Avoid using melatonin. Also avoid beers and hard liquors, although a glass of wine may be all right.