ROTTERDAM – Increasing my testosterone is an extremely manly thing to do for obvious reasons I really don’t want to get into. Brett and Kate, however, really want to get into it:
When it comes to the differences between men and women, some are
arguablycultural and some are biological. And the ones that are biological all pretty much have one thing in common: testosterone.
Let me correct that.
It was testosterone that helped form your penis and scrotum when you were just a fetus and put those first awesome hairs on your chest as a teenager. You may not have thought about testosterone much since your voice cracked while reciting Shakespeare in Mrs. Tonnelson’s ninth grade English class.
Testosterone is part of the androgen group and is the primary male sex hormone. The majority of your T is produced by your trusty testes. Women have T too, but men have 40-60 times greater amounts in their bodies. Testosterone is what gave you bigger muscles and organs than women. And it’s what gave you a “male brain,” which is larger than the female brain (although we should strongly point out that size has nothing to do with intelligence) but which has a decreased connection between the hemispheres. Perhaps most importantly, T is what enables you to rock an awesome beard or mustache. Testosterone maintains your manly characteristics throughout your whole life and regulates several systems in your body.
I love how they say that they “should” point out that there is no correlation between brain size and intelligence as opposed to just stating it as the fact it is. Language, it tells you so much about a person.
But, okay, I get it. Learnt it in biology in high school. Why should I care?
Well, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you feel like your libido has been ebbing away?
Has erectile dysfunction caused you embarrassment?
Have you been carrying some extra pounds that won’t go away?
Do you often feel physically and mentally tired?
Do you feel depressed and unhappy?
Do you feel shiftless and lack drive?
Do you wish you felt more like a man?
Testosterone is not the cure for all of life’s ills. But it can go a long way in addressing these ailments and contributing to your overall health and well-being.
Testosterone is literally what makes you a man. And it’s for sale, too. Just google “testosterone” and you’ll get a bunch of pages with creams and gels and pills and whatnot that all increase testosterone levels. And all of this is of course necessary:
Researchers in the US are finding testosterone levels to be substantially lower — by about 15 to 20% — than they were fifteen years ago. Scandinavian studies show similar declines, and in younger men too; a man born in 1970, for example, had about 20 percent less testosterone at 35 than a man of his father’s generation at the same age.
SEE NOW THERE’S SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT OUR MANHOOD IS UNDER ATTACK NOW WE HAVE LESS TESTOSTERONE. Next thing you’ll tell me that some shadowy organization has been doing this on purpose.
So what’s sapping our T? Here’s a few of the factors at play:
1. Stress. Stress increases our level of cortisol and decreases our testosterone.
2. Lack of sleep. Testosterone rises while you sleep, particularly during the REM phases. Today, men are often skimping on their shut eye, which in turn is sapping their testosterone.
3. Soy intake. Soy is supposed to be so good for you, right? Wrong! Soy increases your estrogen and decreases your T. It will also lower your sperm count.
SEE REMEMBER THAT TIME YOUR MOTHER MADE YOU EAT THAT DISGUSTING VEGETARIAN HAMBURGER AFTER SHE READ SOME SH*T ARTICLE IN SOME GLOSSY ABOUT HOW MEAT IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU. THEY’RE ALL PART OF IT IT’S ALL A BIG CONSPIRACY.
4. Eating a low fat diet. Low fat diets have been widely debunked these days. But in case you needed yet another reason to put down the Snackwell’s, it has also been proven to decease your T.
AND WHEN YOUR GIRLFRIEND WANTED YOU TO LOSE WEIGHT, REMEMBER THAT? THAT WAS JUST HER WAY OF REDUCING YOUR “T” SO SHE COULD BE BOSSY AND TALK FOR YOU IN CONVERSATIONS WHEN SOMEONE ASKS YOU HOW YOUR HOLIDAY WAS.
On the other hand, there is also evidence that being fat decreases your testosterone levels.
5. Smoking. The nicotine and cotinine in cigarettes inhibits and reduces T production.
AND SEE… oh. Hm. I actually looked this up, and in the link that says being fat is bad for your testosterone levels, it also says that:
Smoking is associated with higher testosterone levels; if you stop smoking that can bring levels down.
Okay… so sucking on a phallus-shaped stick does make you manly after all.
So your task for today is to do three things from the following list that will help increase your testosterone. Obviously, doing more than 3 is great, and I would encourage you to commit to them for the whole 30 days and beyond.
I am outraged now. You know what, I will do as many as possible for a week. I want to take my “T” back. Those bitches just took it from me. Like this guy, I am totally absolutely saying that these “aggro tankgrrls” are responsible for the “scalzification” of the modern man*.
*I am not.
So, what should I do?
1. Get at least 8 hours of sleep tonight.
2. Do not smoke at all today. (If you don’t smoke right now, you can’t count this one as one of your 3)
3. Do no eat anything with soy in it. You’re going to have to read labels. It will blow your mind how many things contain soy these days.
4. Meditate for at least 10 minutes. This will help you de-stress.
5. Do resistance training. Lift some weights and do compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, dips, rows, and pull-ups. They’ll boost your T more than bicep curls. You also need to use heavy weights and short sets. If you’re looking to maximize your T, I highly recommend the Strong Lifts 5X5 program.
6. Eat a serving of good fat. As you fat intake goes up, so do your T levels. Aim to get at least 30% of your calories from fat today and spread your consumption of it throughout the day. Monosaturated fats-the kind found in nuts, fish, olives, olive oil, seeds, and avocados-are particularly beneficial to your testosterone level (and your health).
7. Eat a serving of animal protein. Vegetarian diets have been proven to lower your T levels. So go ahead and have that steak. (This might be the easiest day of the challenge yet!) There’s no need to overdo it though; a diet with a carb to protein ratio of 2:1 is ideal for testosterone production.
8. Eat a serving of cruciferous vegetables. Veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, cabbage and brussel sprouts contain Diindolylmethane which helps balance your estrogen and testosterone levels and increases the amount of free circulating T in your body.
9. Have morning sex (if you partner is willing, of course). Just having an erection increases your testosterone. And you already get a surge of T when you wake up, so this will bump it up even further.
.. cause, if you would do this when your partner is not willing, it’d be rape. Thank you for reminding me, Art of Manliness! Ah, good days to be a gentleman.
In all seriousness, there is scientific evidence that points out testosterone levels have decreased generationally, and they don’t really know why (unless you want to take this guy’s word for it and blame it on tight underpants). On the other hand, low levels of testosterone are not necessarily bad for you. In fact, this article says that if you are castrated you’ll live 20 years longer.
I have read a bunch of articles on recent research and the general conclusion seems to be that too little is bad for you but too much is too. That in itself is the anti-climax of scientific findings, but it still does not explain why a guy my age 50 years ago had more testosterone than I do now.
Lifestyle factors do have a significant effect on testosterone levels and how they decrease over time (they are supposed to do that, by the way).
Maybe I should stop wearing tight boxers.
*NOTE: Neither me or the people who wrote the original post are nutritionists, biologists or have any actual background in the subject-matter. We have no idea what we’re talking about, really. I just read a bunch of scientific articles which in no way makes me an expert on testosterone or on how to increase it. Just saying.
Man-meter: I feel a bit worried about my testosterone levels now.