Testosterone is a key male sex hormone but vital to both sexes. People who are testosterone deficient can have a whole raft of serious health problems, from weight gain to poor overall health.
We will look through the tried and tested ways you can naturally increase testosterone levels without medical intervention. In doing this, you can see improved wellness overall, athleticism, and sexual health.
Key Takeaways: Naturally Raising Testosterone
Can You Boost Your Testosterone Naturally?
Yes, there are a number of scientifically proven ways that you can boost testosterone production naturally.
As you age, your testosterone levels will naturally fall. After the age of 30, your testosterone levels will drop, on average, 1% every year thereafter .
Common issues with reduced testosterone are reduced sexual function, weight gain, erectile dysfunction, poor overall health, and loss of bone density .
If you boost the production of testosterone, it is then crucial to make changes to keep your free testosterone levels elevated. The easiest way to do this is with changes to your lifestyle and eating balanced amounts of healthy food.
10 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Testosterone Fast
Here is a quick run-through of tried, tested, and proven ways to boost testosterone naturally.
- Avoid excess body fat.
- Boost muscle mass.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Check your prescription medications.
- Take herbal supplements.
- Magnesium supplementation.
- Vitamin D supplementation.
- Take natural testosterone boosters.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Reduce stress levels.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Science has shown that by maintaining a steady and healthy BMI, you can boost your testosterone levels. Avoiding being overweight is the key to success .
Insulin resistance is related to a high BMI. This is, in turn, related to lower testosterone levels. When you have low testosterone, your body fat levels go up. This leads to your body not using insulin efficiently, i.e., insulin resistance.
You can see how this is a problematic cycle to be in. By keeping a steady weight, you avoid yo-yo dieting and the stresses that rapid weight loss/gain puts on your body. This also promotes good health and allows you to maintain healthy levels of testosterone.
2. Try Strength Training
It has been shown that exercise, particularly strength training and achieving an increase in muscle mass, can positively affect your testosterone levels .
High-intensity interval training and resistance training are great ways to increase muscle mass to help maintain and boost testosterone naturally.
Swimming is a low-impact way to increase fitness generally. Attending swimming classes, aqua aerobics, or even an hour a week swimming in a pool will work wonders for your bodily health.
3. Eat a Balanced Diet
Randomized controlled trials have shown that when you eat balanced amounts of fruit and veg, or a Mediterranean diet, this naturally increases testosterone levels .
A balanced diet consists of three main parts: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is important to have all three in the correct proportions. You should aim for a percentage of your caloric intake from the three types as follows:
- Carbohydrates: 45–65%
- Fats: 20–35%
- Protein: 10–35%
Different diet plans, such as the ketogenic diet, cut out certain food groups altogether and replace the lost calories from the other food groups. If you are having issues with hormone levels, this sort of diet is not recommended.
A lifestyle and diet change would ensure that you have no mineral or vitamin deficiencies. It would help achieve and maintain a BMI for healthy T levels.
4. Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D has long been linked with a range of health effects, not least with being a natural testosterone booster .
Sunlight is a great way to boost vitamin D production. Making sure you are out and about in the sun, winter or summer, will certainly boost your D vitamin levels.
As well as the apparent health benefits of naturally boosting your vitamin D levels, enjoying the outdoors and helping you lead a healthier lifestyle will help raise your T levels.
There is also a range of foods you can eat that are rich in D vitamins, such as:
- Red meat.
- Cod liver oil.
- Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel.
Finally, there are a number of vitamin D-containing supplements available that you can take for a boost to your vitamin levels .
5. Address Other Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
If you seek professional medical advice or dietary advice, you can see if your current diet lacks any specific mineral or you have a vitamin deficiency.
A vitamin D deficiency can lead to a lowering of testosterone levels. Zinc and magnesium are both key minerals in the bodily manufacturing process of testosterone. Be aware of your diet and any deficiencies in it.
Haemochromatosis is a condition where the body stores too much iron. One result of this is a reduction in the overall production of testosterone, leading to chronically low levels .
Overall bodily health is essential to keep and maintain your sex hormone levels. Once you take steps to address this in general, you might find that your hormone levels will rise, and you can maintain healthy testosterone levels naturally.
6. Assess Your Medications
Your doctor can provide medical advice regarding any prescribed medications that you take. Some medications have an adverse effect on sex hormone levels .
Here is a quick checklist of some common medications that can lower your testosterone levels:
- Statins: You may be prescribed these to lower your cholesterol levels .
- Opioids: These are prescribed for pain management. Long-term use can affect your testosterone levels .
- Chemotherapy: Some chemo medications can lower testosterone. Speak to your oncologist .
- Spironolactone: If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or fluid retention issues, then this may be a medication you are taking.
- Cimetidine: This is a common, over-the-counter medication for acid reflux and heartburn .
- Ketoconazole: This is a common antifungal. You may be prescribed this in pill form, as a shampoo, topical cream, foam, or gel .
- Antidepressants: If you are taking any of the SSRI’s then you will find these can lower your testosterone levels .
- Asthma Inhalers: Inhalers use corticosteroids, which are related to cortisol. As detailed, cortisol is not testosterone’s friend.
- Antihistamines: Very commonly used to treat allergies .
Your health professional can advise if there is a different treatment course you can take.
7. Decrease Alcohol Consumption
It has been shown that excessive alcohol consumption can depress your natural levels of sex hormones. Make a note of how much you drink and how often, and see if this is likely to be a problem .
People who drink for five days in a row show a 15% reduction in testosterone levels. Studies have also shown that long-term alcohol abuse can result in shrunken testes. In males, this is a key cause of low testosterone .
Cutting down on alcohol is always a good way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as above, so this will naturally help you reach your goal.
8. Try Natural Testosterone Boosters
There are many over-the-counter health remedies that usually consist of a range of nutrients, micronutrients, and minerals that have been shown to be testosterone boosters.
The market leader is Testogen. It has a range of proven beneficial ingredients, herbs, minerals, and boosters for the body’s hormone system. Regular use can keep your testosterone at optimal levels.
9. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
You can’t overestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Science has shown that having a good eight hours or more positively impacts testosterone levels.
Lab studies have shown that only five hours of sleep a night result in a 15% reduction in testosterone levels. A separate study showed that only 4 hours of sleep resulted in a borderline deficiency of testosterone  .
This just underscores how important a good night’s sleep really is to healthy testosterone levels.
10. Reduce Stress Levels
Research has shown that the stress hormone cortisol is an issue in reduced testosterone levels. Long-term elevated cortisol (chronic stress) is to be avoided at all costs .
Any steps that you can take to reduce daily stress and stress levels overall can only help you raise your testosterone levels.
Stress-busting moves like yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation are all proven to reduce one’s stress levels and lower cortisol. This will boost testosterone naturally.
Strategies to Naturally Increase Testosterone in Women
Testosterone is an important male sex hormone, but it’s vital to women too. In women, it is the adrenal glands that produce testosterone, rather than the gonads, for obvious reasons .
It is critical to maintain a healthy testosterone level as women age. Low energy, low libido, mental health issues, and osteoporosis are all serious issues associated with low daytime testosterone levels . While there aren’t exactly gender-specific ways to increase testosterone levels, women can use these techniques:
- Relax. Find a way to bust your stress levels. High levels of cortisol result in lower serum testosterone levels.
- Boost your vitamin D levels. This vitamin helps in the production of testosterone and can help raise levels of free testosterone.
- Exercise. Regular, high-intensity workouts will help raise and maintain your testosterone levels.
- Lose weight. Having a high BMI can cause insulin resistance. This can lead to a lowering of testosterone.
- Choose a diet rich in foods associated with raising testosterone. Alternatively, take supplements with ingredients said to boost testosterone levels in women, such as Eurycoma longifolia and Tribulus terrestris .
- Testosterone boosters. There are a number of available, over the counter products that can help raise your testosterone production and overall testosterone levels.
If, as a woman, you have low testosterone levels, then there may be a medical reason for this, including:
- Long-term use of birth control pills.
- An eating disorder.
- Certain medications, opiates, and antihypertensives.
Which Foods Increase Testosterone the Most?
There are several foods rich in specific vitamins and minerals that can help raise testosterone levels:
- Oysters and beef: Both are rich in zinc, and this mineral is key in the production of testosterone.
- Ginger: A study showed that three months of ginger supplements gave almost a 20% boost to testosterone levels .
- Beans: Lentils, chickpeas, and baked beans contain high levels of zinc.
- Onions and garlic: Both are members of the same family and contain chemicals that can boost a hormone level that will trigger a rise in testosterone.
- Low-fat milk with vitamin D: Boosting D vitamin levels has been linked with boosting testosterone.
- Spinach, peanuts, cashews, and almonds: They all contain high levels of magnesium. This binds to a key protein that attaches itself to testosterone.
- Pomegranates: A 2012 study with 60 volunteers drinking pure juice every day for 14 days showed a 24% increase in salivary testosterone .
Do Bananas Increase Testosterone?
Bananas contain an enzyme called bromelain. In some studies, this has been linked with a possible rise in testosterone levels, but it seems the jury is still out on this one .
We have compiled a quick list of the most commonly asked questions regarding natural testosterone boosters.
Can Testosterone Be Increased?
In a word, yes! There is a range of ways to do this naturally by altering your lifestyle slightly.
Have a read through the listed techniques and see which ones suit your lifestyle best. You can make a number of quick and easy changes that can give you an immediate boost. One of the most reliable ways is to reduce your alcohol intake, or better still, cut it out altogether.
Stress-busting moves are another surefire quick fix. Try meditation in the morning or the evening, just before you go to bed. That way you can get a good night’s sleep and reduce stress levels in one.
How Can I Boost My Testosterone Fast?
Everyone likes a quick fix, right? There are a few ways to quickly boost your testosterone, but the key really is to maintain the increase naturally.
It is best to avoid yo-yo-ing your testosterone levels as this isn’t good for your health. There are several lifestyle changes detailed above you can use to make this a reality.
If your low testosterone levels are severe, your doctor may suggest testosterone therapy to boost your levels quickly.
What Are Endocrine Disruptors and Are They a Problem?
Yes, they are a problem. Studies in clinical endocrinology have pinpointed a range of environmental chemicals and toxins that can disrupt hormone production in the body .
These chemicals can mimic how a hormone works or bind to the site that a hormone usually would, preventing it from working. They can also attach to transport proteins in the blood, preventing the circulation of hormones.
In the environment, many artificial chemicals have unintended effects, the insecticide DDT, for one. Organic foods are the best way to limit exposure to any possible environmental toxins present in your food.
How Can I Increase Testosterone Production?
A tried and tested way to kick start your testosterone production is to get a lot of sun. Taking vitamin D supplements or over-the-counter testosterone boosters like Testogen will undoubtedly help.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the production of testosterone, so a surefire way to give yourself a boost is with extra vitamins.
What Is the Best Natural Testosterone Booster?
You can look to increase levels of zinc and vitamin D with diet. Both have been shown to boost testosterone naturally.
There are a lot of solutions available over-the-counter to help you naturally increase testosterone levels. Herbal supplements with added minerals and vitamins are also effective.
There are many on the market currently, but the most popular are Testogen, Test RX, and Testo Prime.
Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?
There is a lot of conflicting advice around this. It started with the idea that athletes would ‘abstain’ from sexual activity before big competitions.
Hormone and metabolic research have shown that there is a clear link between testosterone and sex drive. The metabolic research is less clear on causation vs correlation. Some studies have shown that T levels actually rise after sexual intercourse .
It is also true that having a naturally higher level of free testosterone increases sex drive, so it is still unclear if it is a cause or an effect.
Low testosterone is a real problem as we get older. The health issues associated with it are clear. However, we can make a few quick and straightforward changes to maintain a healthy testosterone level as we age.
Diet and changes in your lifestyle will reverse the decline in circulating testosterone levels. High-intensity interval training is another excellent way to give yourself a lift.
There is the option of vitamin and mineral boosters; all can increase testosterone naturally.
If low testosterone is a worry for you or feeling the effects of a testosterone deficiency, don’t worry. The effects can be reversed quickly and easily. You can be back to normal in next to no time!
- Golan, R., Scovell, J. M., & Ramasamy, R. (2015). Age-related testosterone decline is due to waning of both testicular and hypothalamic-pituitary function. The aging male : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male, 18(3), 201–204. https://doi.org/10.3109/13685538.2015.1052392
- Tyagi V, Scordo M, Yoon RS, Liporace FA, Greene LW. Revisiting the role of testosterone: Are we missing something? Rev Urol. 2017;19(1):16-24. doi: 10.3909/riu0716. PMID: 28522926; PMCID: PMC5434832.
- Endocrine Society. (2012, June 25). Overweight men can boost low testosterone levels by losing weight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 8, 2021 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120625124914.htm
- Craig BW, Brown R, Everhart J. Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. Mech Ageing Dev. 1989 Aug;49(2):159-69. doi: 10.1016/0047-6374(89)90099-7. PMID: 2796409.
- Tuttolomondo, A., Simonetta, I., Daidone, M., Mogavero, A., Ortello, A., & Pinto, A. (2019). Metabolic and Vascular Effect of the Mediterranean Diet. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(19), 4716. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194716
- Pilz, S et al. “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.” Hormone and metabolic research = Hormon- und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones et metabolisme vol. 43,3 (2011): 223-5. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1269854
- El Osta, R., Grandpre, N., Monnin, N., Hubert, J., & Koscinski, I. (2017). Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in men with hereditary hemochromatosis. Basic and clinical andrology, 27, 13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12610-017-0057-8
- Schooling, C.M., Au Yeung, S.L., Freeman, G. et al. The effect of statins on testosterone in men and women, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Med 11, 57 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-11-57
- Sniderman, A. D., & Thanassoulis, G. (2013). Do statins lower testosterone and does it matter?. BMC medicine, 11, 58. https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-11-58
- Marudhai, S., Patel, M., Valaiyaduppu Subas, S., Ghani, M. R., Busa, V., Dardeir, A., & Cancarevic, I. (2020). Long-term Opioids Linked to Hypogonadism and the Role of Testosterone Supplementation Therapy. Cureus, 12(10), e10813. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10813
- Burney, B. O., & Garcia, J. M. (2012). Hypogonadism in male cancer patients. Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle, 3(3), 149–155. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13539-012-0065-7
- Lardinois CK, Mazzaferri EL. Cimetidine blocks testosterone synthesis. Arch Intern Med. 1985 May;145(5):920-2. PMID: 4039555.
- Krause W, Effendy I. Wie wirkt Ketoconazol auf den Testosteron-Stoffwechsel? [How does ketoconazole affect testosterone metabolism?]. Z Hautkr. 1985 Jul 15;60(14):1147-55. German. PMID: 4036233.
- Smith CG. Drug effects on male sexual function. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 1982 Sep;25(3):525-31. doi: 10.1097/00003081-198209000-00008. PMID: 7127928.
- Mondillo C, Varela ML, Abiuso AMB, Vázquez R. Potential negative effects of anti-histamines on male reproductive function. Reproduction. 2018 May;155(5):R221-R227. doi: 10.1530/REP-17-0685. Epub 2018 Mar 9. PMID: 29523718.
- Bianco, A., Thomas, E., Pomara, F. et al. Alcohol consumption and hormonal alterations related to muscle hypertrophy: a review. Nutr Metab (Lond) 11, 26 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-11-26
- Michał Wrzosek, Jakub Woźniak & Dariusz Włodarek (2020) The causes of adverse changes of testosterone levels in men, Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 15:5, 355-362, DOI: 10.1080/17446651.2020.1813020
- Leproult, R., & Van Cauter, E. (2011). Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. JAMA, 305(21), 2173–2174. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2011.710
- Henkel RR, Wang R, Bassett SH, Chen T, Liu N, Zhu Y, Tambi MI. Tongkat Ali as a potential herbal supplement for physically active male and female seniors–a pilot study. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):544-50. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5017. Epub 2013 Jun 11. PMID: 23754792.
- de Souza KZ, Vale FB, Geber S. Efficacy of Tribulus terrestris for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in postmenopausal women: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Menopause. 2016 Nov;23(11):1252-1256. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000766. PMID: 27760089.
- Banihani S. A. (2018). Ginger and Testosterone. Biomolecules, 8(4), 119. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom8040119
- Arnold A 2017 Primary hyperparathyroidism: molecular genetic insights and clinical implications. Presented at Society for Endocrinology BES 2017, Harrogate, UK. Endocrine Abstracts 50 PL1 https://www.endocrine-abstracts.org/ea/0028/ea0028p313
- Rathnavelu, V., Alitheen, N. B., Sohila, S., Kanagesan, S., & Ramesh, R. (2016). Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications. Biomedical reports, 5(3), 283–288. https://doi.org/10.3892/br.2016.720
- Diamanti-Kandarakis, E., Bourguignon, J. P., Giudice, L. C., Hauser, R., Prins, G. S., Soto, A. M., Zoeller, R. T., & Gore, A. C. (2009). Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: an Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocrine reviews, 30(4), 293–342. https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2009-0002
- James M. Dabbs, Suzanne Mohammed, Male and female salivary testosterone concentrations before and after sexual activity, Physiology & Behavior, Volume 52, Issue 1,1992,Pages 195-197,ISSN 0031-9384, https://doi.org/10.1016/0031-9384(92)90453-9.