Increasing Testosterone: TOP 5 Science Backed Methods To Increase Testosterone Naturally

June 20, 2023 - Shelly Jones

Updated Version - July 28, 2023

Testosterone is a critical hormone responsible for numerous functions in the body, predominantly in men. It influences bone density, fat distribution, muscle strength, red blood cell production, and sex drive. As age progresses, testosterone levels naturally decline, leading many individuals to explore ways to boost testosterone naturally. In this article we will guide you through various science-backed methods.


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Top 5 Ways to Boost Testosterone Naturally

  • 1. Exercise and Lift Weights

    Regular physical activity, especially high-intensity interval training, helps stimulate testosterone production.

    • Response to Physical Stress

      When you exercise, especially when you do resistance training or high-intensity exercise, your body experiences physical stress. As part of this stress response, the body increases production of various hormones, including testosterone.

    • Increased Muscle Mass

      Resistance training, such as weight lifting, helps increase muscle mass. Since testosterone is important for muscle development, the body increases testosterone production to support muscle growth and repair.

    • Boosts Other Hormones

      Exercise also increases hormones like growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which have a relationship with testosterone. These hormones support anabolic processes in the body which are also controlled by testosterone.

    Testosterone levels increase to a certain extent with a higher amount of exercise. Overtraining can actually lower testosterone levels. It's important to strike the right balance and avoid over-exercising which can lead to burnout or injury.

  • 2. Get Quality Sleep and Reduce Stress

    Adequate sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, and it plays an important role in testosterone hormone production.

    • Hormone Production Connection With Quality Sleep

      The body produces testosterone during sleep, and especially during part of the deepest stage of sleep. In this phase, the body's regenerative processes are most active, including hormone production. Therefore, getting enough quality sleep ensures that the body has enough time to produce testosterone.

      Studies have shown that men who slept less than five hours a night for a week saw a 15 percent decrease in daytime testosterone levels. Therefore, it is important to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night to support optimal testosterone levels.

    • Reduction in Stress

      Under stress, the body increases production of the hormone cortisol to help manage the body's response. Cortisol and testosterone production have an inverse relationship. When cortisol levels increase, testosterone production decreases. By reducing stress, you reduce cortisol production, which can increase testosterone levels.

      Reducing stress often involves lifestyle changes such as regular physical activity, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, mindfulness practices, and possible professional help in the form of therapy or counseling.

  • 3. Vitamin D

    • Vitamin D as a Steroid Hormone

      Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, but it also acts as a steroid hormone in the body. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is present in many tissues, including the male reproductive tract. The conversion of vitamin D to its active form occurs in the kidney and then circulates in the blood to perform various functions, one of them being the regulation of testosterone levels.

    • Vitamin D and Testosterone

      Studies have shown that men with adequate vitamin D levels had significantly higher testosterone levels and lower sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) than men with insufficient levels of vitamin D. Sex hormone-binding globulin binds to testosterone and prevents it from being used in the body.

      Vitamin D supplements can be taken to potentially increase testosterone levels. One 12-month study found that supplementing with approximately 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone levels by approximately 25%.

      Remember, too much of any good thing can be harmful, and it is important to balance taking a vitamin D supplement, or else negative health effects such as vitamin D toxicity can occur.

  • 4. Avoid Estrogen-like Compounds

    Estrogen-like compounds are present in plastics, personal care products, and some manufactured foods. These can affect the hormone balance of the body. Minimizing exposure to these compounds may increase testosterone.

  • 5. Balanced Diet

    A balanced diet plays a vital role in maintaining healthy testosterone levels. Some foods that can increase testosterone naturally include:

    • Oysters

      Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food. Zinc is important for sperm health and reproductive function. Males with severe zinc deficiency may develop hypogonadism, in which the body does not produce enough testosterone. They may also experience impotence or delayed sexual maturation.

    • Leafy Green Vegetables

      Dark, leafy greens are an excellent source of micronutrients, including magnesium, a mineral that's critical for maintaining optimal testosterone levels, especially in older men.

      It's thought that magnesium increases testosterone bioactivity in the body because magnesium reduces oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between antioxidant defenses and free radicals in the body. Oxidative stress and inflammation can reduce testosterone, so consuming nutrients that combat oxidative stress can help maintain healthy testosterone levels.

    • Eggs

      Egg yolks are rich in healthy fat, protein, and selenium, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant in the body. Eggs are a fantastic source of protein, cholesterol, vitamin D, and omega-3s, all of which aid in the production of testosterone. Eggs are very versatile ingredients and not only do they help increase testosterone levels, but the proteins in them also help build muscle.

    • Fatty Fish and Fish Oil

      Fatty fish is very beneficial because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You can also boost your omega-3 fatty acid levels by taking fish oil or omega-3 supplements. Examples of fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are:

      • Mackerel
      • Herring
      • Salmon
      • Sardines
      • Trout
    • Garlic

      Garlic contains a compound called allicin which can be useful for lowering your cortisol levels. Cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland, which is where testosterone is produced. When your body is under stress it produces cortisol and this has an impact on other bodily functions, including the production of testosterone. therefore, by reducing the amount of cortisol in your system you allow testosterone to be produced more effectively by the adrenal gland. Garlic doesn't itself boost testosterone but it is a cortisol reducer.

    • Berries, Cherries and Pomegranates

      Berries, cherries, and pomegranates are high in flavonoid antioxidants, which may help protect testosterone-producing cells from damage and increase testosterone production. Pomegranates, berries, and cherries may protect against obesity-induced inflammation, which can lower testosterone levels.

Natural Supplements

Some natural supplements may increase testosterone levels, including fenugreek, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and ashwagandha. However, it is good to consult a healthcare provider before starting any supplement.


Lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, stress management, minimizing exposure to estrogen-like compounds, and balanced nutrition have all been linked to increased testosterone levels. However, it's crucial to remember that sudden, drastic changes in testosterone levels can have side effects. Always seek medical advice before making significant changes to your lifestyle or starting supplements to boost testosterone levels.


Helpful Information

What is testosterone and what role does it play in the body?

Testosterone is a key male sex hormone that plays a crucial role in developing male reproductive tissues, promoting secondary sexual characteristics, and maintaining overall health. In both men and women, testosterone is vital for physical growth, bone density, muscle mass, and the body's response to exercise.

How does testosterone influence mood and mental health?

Testosterone levels can significantly impact mood and mental health. Low levels of testosterone can contribute to conditions like depression, anxiety, and cognitive difficulties, while healthy levels can boost mood, energy, and overall wellbeing.

What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

Symptoms of low testosterone include fatigue, depression, decreased sex drive, difficulties with concentration and memory, reduced muscle mass, increased body fat, and issues with bone density. It's essential to consult with a healthcare provider if you're experiencing these symptoms.

How does aging impact testosterone levels?

Aging can cause a gradual decrease in testosterone levels in men. This natural decline starts around middle age and can result in symptoms of andropause, similar to menopause in women, such as low energy, mood swings, and reduced sexual desire.

How can one naturally boost testosterone levels?

Lifestyle changes can help naturally boost testosterone levels. These include regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, and limiting alcohol intake.

Can low testosterone affect sleep quality?

Yes, low testosterone can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to conditions like sleep apnea. Proper testosterone levels are needed to regulate sleep quality and ensure restful sleep.

What role does testosterone play in body composition?

Testosterone is vital for maintaining muscle mass and strength, as well as regulating fat distribution in the body. Low testosterone levels can lead to increased body fat, reduced muscle mass, and problems with metabolism.

How is testosterone deficiency diagnosed?

Testosterone deficiency is diagnosed through a combination of symptom assessment and blood tests to measure testosterone levels. If symptoms suggest low testosterone, your doctor may recommend a blood test.

What are the treatment options for low testosterone?

Low testosterone can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which can be administered through injections, patches, gels, or pellets. Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are also important. However, TRT should only be used under a doctor's supervision due to potential side effects.

Does testosterone impact cardiovascular health?

Testosterone plays a crucial role in cardiovascular health. It can aid in red blood cell production, which is essential for heart health. However, both high and low levels of testosterone can potentially impact heart health, so balance is crucial.

What role does testosterone play in sexual health?

Testosterone is key to sexual health in men, playing a crucial role in libido, sexual arousal, and sexual performance. Low testosterone can lead to decreased libido and erectile dysfunction.

Can high levels of testosterone have negative health effects?

While testosterone is important for health, high levels can also have negative impacts, including sleep apnea, heart disease, liver disease, acne, and mood swings. It can also increase the risk of prostate cancer in men.

How does testosterone affect energy levels?

Testosterone helps maintain energy levels in both men and women. Low levels can lead to fatigue, while maintaining balanced levels can support sustained energy throughout the day.

What is the relationship between testosterone and bone health?

Testosterone helps stimulate bone production and maintain bone density. Low levels of testosterone can lead to weak bones and osteoporosis.

How does exercise impact testosterone levels?

Regular exercise, especially resistance and high-intensity interval training, can help boost testosterone levels, improve mood, and increase muscle mass.

What is the relationship between testosterone and body weight?

Testosterone plays a key role in regulating body fat. Low testosterone can lead to weight gain and difficulties losing weight, while maintaining healthy levels can support weight management.

Can stress affect testosterone levels?

Chronic stress can negatively impact hormonal balance, including reducing testosterone levels. Techniques to manage stress, like meditation and yoga, can help maintain healthy testosterone levels.

What is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and what are its risks?

Testosterone replacement therapy involves supplementing testosterone to counteract the effects of low testosterone. However, TRT can have side effects such as increased red blood cell count, acne, sleep apnea, and potential stimulation of prostate cancer growth.

What is the role of testosterone in women's health?

Although it is often considered a male hormone, testosterone is also important for women's health. It supports bone strength, brain function, and libido. However, high levels can lead to problems such as acne, male pattern hair growth, and menstrual issues.

What foods can help boost testosterone levels?

Certain foods can support testosterone production, including lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Foods rich in zinc, vitamin D, and antioxidants can be particularly beneficial.


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