What is testosterone?
Testosterone is the male sex hormone, though both males and females have testosterone. In males, testosterone is primarily produced in the testes, while a much smaller amount of testosterone (often as little as 10% of a man’s) is produced naturally in females by the ovaries.
Testosterone’s primary role is as a sex hormone, aiding in the production of sperm and boosting libido, but it also affects muscle and bone mass, red blood cell production, and mood in both sexes. In men, testosterone influences how and where the body stores fat.
How do I know if I have low testosterone levels?
Having low levels of testosterone can produce the following symptoms:
- Weight gain (especially in “womanly” areas such as the breasts and hips)
- Depression (this occurs in both males and females)
- Mood swings
- Low energy/fatigue
- Reduced body hair
- Brittle bones (while a risk for both sexes, this is a common symptom for females)
- Low libido (this occurs in both males and females)
A simple blood test is the easiest way to find out for sure if your levels are low or not. While you can go to speak to your doctor for a blood test, there are now plenty of convenient at-home blood tests you can do with a finger prick.
While healthy ranges vary depending on which health provider you ask, normal levels are approximately 280-1,100 ng/dl for males and 15-70 ng/dl for females.
What causes low testosterone?
While being over the age of 30 does mean male levels of testosterone drop, it does not mean your testosterone level should be considered low. Having low testosterone may be a result of:
- A testicle injury
- Undergoing radiation or chemotherapy
- Chronic stress
- Alcoholism (though interestingly testosterone initially increases in men after a low dose)
- Kidney and liver problems
- Removal of testes (or ovaries in females)
- Pituitary problems
- Hypothalamus problems
Not all causes of low testosterone are so severe - if your levels are low, but not critically so, it could be a lifestyle factor at play. A sedentary lifestyle, sleep apnea, and a high-fat diet from processed foods are all shown to reduce testosterone levels.
How can I naturally increase my testosterone levels?
If you have low testosterone, there is plenty you can do to naturally increase the amount of testosterone your body produces. Here are some of the best ways:
- Get more exercise - Exercise naturally boosts testosterone production. A review of numerous studies found that physical activity was significantly more beneficial for boosting testosterone in obese men than calorie restriction.
- Try strength training - Your body is an adaptation machine; it will adapt to live your lifestyle as easily as it can. Once you introduce strength training, you ask your body to adapt to move heavy stuff, which encourages an increase in muscle and bone mass. The body will produce testosterone to make this adaptation.
- Lose weight - Carrying extra weight can put a damper on your testosterone production because insulin resistance inhibits the production of globulin. Globulin is a protein that helps create sex hormones.
- Eat whole foods until satisfied - An extremely restrictive diet may help you lose weight, but it won’t help you get healthy, which you need to be if you want balanced hormones. Avoid extreme calorie or macro-nutrient restrictive diets and focus on eating quality whole foods until you are full. Try using free meal plans for inspiration and find new ways to support your body.
- Reduce stress - This point is perhaps one of the hardest things to do on this list since chronic stress can become a way of life. Chronic stress can be extremely harmful to your health and it’s often not until your body forces you to slow down that you finally feel able to make reducing stress a priority. Need some help? You can try taking calming supplements such as ashwagandha which promotes mental wellbeing, stress reduction and relaxation.
- Get enough sleep - Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can lower your testosterone levels. One study found that only getting 5 hours of sleep a night equated to a 10-15% drop in testosterone. Try sleep supplements that are formulated to help you regulate your sleep cycle and fall asleep quicker. Our Deep Sleep Supplement has a unique combination of 5-HTP, magnesium, L-tryptophan, lemon balm extract, hops extract, valerian root extract, choline, zinc and vitamin B6 could help you get a deeper and longer sleep as well as leave you feeling refreshed the next morning.
- Take supplements - We’ll get into this in depth below, but getting enough vitamin D, zinc, and other nutrients are essential to healthy testosterone levels. Other compounds such as ashwagandha are also shown to be extremely beneficial.
What supplements help increase testosterone?
Here are some of the compounds that help the body naturally produce healthy amounts of testosterone and their testosterone supplement benefits:
Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral for the production of testosterone. It promotes the secretion of luteinizing hormone, which is responsible for stimulating testosterone production in males. Additionally, zinc helps to protect testosterone from oxidation and breakdown. Furthermore, studies have shown that supplementing with zinc can increase both total and free testosterone levels in men, providing a natural way to boost energy and libido.
Selenium: Selenium helps to enhance semen mobility and increases serum testosterone in males. It works by increasing the amount of luteinizing hormone, which stimulates the production of testosterone in the body. Studies suggest that it may also increase sperm count and reduce inflammation. Additionally, selenium has antioxidant properties that can help protect against cell damage and improve overall health.
Chromium: Chromium promotes healthy muscle growth and boosts testosterone levels. It can increase testosterone levels by up to 4%, thereby improving libido, strength, and muscle mass. Chromium also supports healthy blood sugar levels, which can further improve overall hormonal balance in men. Additionally, the mineral may help boost metabolism, allowing men to burn fat more efficiently and maintain lean muscle mass.
Nettle root: Nettles may be annoying in the summer, but their leaves and roots are natural boosters of testosterone. It has been found to increase the amount of free active testosterone in the body, giving users an improved energy level and metabolism. Nettle root also helps balance blood sugar levels, which can lead to reduced stress and better hormonal balance overall.
Ashwagandha: This root has made an impression on the scientific community due to its ability to help reduce stress and ease insomnia, amongst other benefits. Ashwagandha also boosts DHEA (a hormone that helps the body create other hormones) and testosterone levels. In a study of men aged 40-70, it helped increase testosterone levels by 15-18%.
Maca root: Maca root helps improve libido along with sperm mobility and production. It also can enhance energy levels and stress-resistance, which are both key factors for boosting testosterone.
Ginseng: Ginseng has been seen to increase testosterone levels in both men and women. Studies have shown that it also increases sperm count and quality, as well as improving general vitality and energy levels. Ginseng may be beneficial for boosting sex drive, fertility, and even muscle growth.
L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine helps to naturally boost testosterone levels by improving the transport of fatty acids into cells, which then get converted into energy. This increased energy helps improve sexual stamina and libido, increase blood flow during erections, and provide essential nutrients for hormone production.
L-Arginine: L-arginine promotes the secretion of LH (luteinizing hormone) which is necessary for the production of testosterone. Additionally, L-Arginine can also help reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and promote sexual performance.
L-Citrulline: L-Citrulline is a powerful nutrient for boosting testosterone levels. It is converted by the kidneys into L-Arginine, which can help improve blood flow and stimulate testosterone production. Studies have shown that supplementing with L-Citrulline can significantly increase testosterone levels in men, resulting in higher energy levels, stronger libido, improved muscle growth and recovery, as well as improved overall health.
Superoxide Dismutase: Sounding a little like a supervillain, this compound helps increase testosterone levels and sperm mobility. It boosts testosterone levels by removing harmful compounds, like free radicals and oxidation, from the body. It also increases sperm mobility and provides a protective effect against damage caused by environmental stressors. Additionally, it can help reduce inflammation in the body, which helps improve testosterone production and optimise hormone balance.
All of these important and helpful compounds are included in our Testosterone Complex supplement.
Vitamin D: Research shows that people with low levels of vitamin D are also low in testosterone. A study in 2017 took this further and found that taking a vitamin D supplement helped improve testosterone levels. Pick up some of our Vegan Vitamin D carefully sourced from lichen to provide a concentrated natural source of vitamin D3 (1000iu/25ug).
Is there a natural testosterone supplement? (Best Testosterone Supplement UK)
If you’re looking for where to buy testosterone supplements in the UK that are all-natural and will help support your body holistically, you need Testosterone Complex.
Testosterone Complex offers you complete testosterone support, while also supporting your overall health and wellness goals. All our supplements are vegan, natural, and eco-friendly, so you can feel as good as possible about prioritising your health. To try Testosterone Complex for yourself, click here.