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What Causes Low Testosterone? (Plus 8 Tips on How to Fix it)

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, it is responsible for the development of reproductive tissue, and can lead to increased muscle mass, bone density, and hair growth. Testosterone levels are at their highest during puberty and tend to drop significantly as we age. But what causes low testosterone?

Low testosterone is often (correctly) attributed to age, with many articles discussing how 25% of men over 30 have low testosterone. But lifestyle factors play an even bigger role in how much testosterone you produce.

A 2007 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that “many health and lifestyle factors were associated with accelerated decline” [1].

While you cannot prevent ageing, you can prevent weight gain, inactivity, stress, and poor sleep. All of which play huge roles in testosterone production.

What Causes Low Testosterone?

There are many causes of low testosterone, but to keep things simple. Low testosterone is the result of reduced testosterone production but it can also be caused by increases in hormones or enzymes that prevent testosterone from functioning properly.

For example, if you have a high number of aromatase enzymes, then you could have high testosterone production, but low testosterone levels. This is because aromatase converts excess testosterone into estrogen.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Low testosterone production (known as Hypogonadism) is very common in men over 30, and there are a number of causes:

  • Age – The ageing process doesn’t appear to directly lower testosterone, but many of the lifestyle changes associated with growing old can cause low testosterone production.
  • Poor Sleep – Bad sleep can lower testosterone in a number of ways. Studies have shown that poor sleep can lead to significant losses in testosterone [2].
  • Chronic Stress – Being stressed for long periods of time can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can harm testosterone production [3].
  • Weight Gain – Increased body fat from high-calorie foods can lead to increased estrogen levels, elevated cortisol, bad sleep, and increased inflammation. Which can affect testosterone production as well as free testosterone levels.
  • Diet – Obviously high-cal foods (see above), but also foods and drinks that can lower testosterone levels such as chronic alcohol abuse, a high-soy diet, or junk foods that can be high in phthalates [4].
  • Overtraining – Exercising too often, while not recovering properly can lead to bad sleep, high cortisol, and inevitably low testosterone production.
  • Medication/Illnesses/Injury – Some causes of low testosterone are not lifestyle-related. An injury to the testicles can drastically lower testosterone production, as can certain medications. Cancer treatment can also affect testosterone levels. Some people also suffer from genetic disorders that can low testosterone.

What are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?

There are a number of symptoms of low testosterone, and many of them can contribute to a worsening of the condition. For example, people with low testosterone are more likely to suffer from depression.

This can affect sleep quality and appetite and could lead to weight gain and chronically high cortisol. Which both further reduce testosterone production.

Here are some well-known symptoms of low testosterone [5]:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression/low mood
  • Loss of libido
  • Body fat accumulation
  • Impotence
  • Gynecomastia (breast tissue growth)

8 Ways to Restore Healthy Testosterone Levels

While we can’t reverse ageing, we can restore healthy testosterone levels through a number of different methods. Here are 8 ways to restore healthy testosterone levels:

Tip#1 Exercise Regularly

Exercise has so many health benefits that it should be no surprise to you that it can also boost testosterone levels [6]. Studies have shown that exercise has an immediate impact on testosterone production, but it also has a long term effect [7].

Lifting weights and training at a high intensity have been shown to be particularly effective [8], but for men who haven’t exercised in a long time, any form of exercise will be beneficial.

Tip#2 Prioritise Recovery

At the beginning of this article, we asked “what causes low testosterone?”. One of the answers was overtraining. This is where you exercise too often (or too intensively) without properly recovering. This can cause increased cortisol levels, trouble sleeping, depression, stress, and ultimately low testosterone [9].

You can avoid overtraining by prioritising your recovery, and adjusting your training schedule to match your abilities. You can aid recovery by sleeping longer, taking Epsom salt baths, increasing protein, and using supplements.

Tip#3 Sleep 8 Hours

As we stated above, a lack of sleep can seriously affect both your health and your testosterone levels. Studies have shown that restricted sleep can lead to a loss of testosterone in healthy young men [10], and the effect on older men is even worse.

Give yourself a bedtime (and stick to it), avoid caffeine after 4 pm, and take herbal remedies that are proven to help sleep such as ashwagandha [11] and ginseng [12].

Tip#4 Learn How to Manage Stress Better

Stress is something that you can never eradicate from your life, and nor should you look to. But chronic stress, where you feel like there is no respite, can be very bad for your mental health and your testosterone levels.

Luckily, there are many things you can do to manage stress better. They can range from the extreme (find a new job) to the practical (take a long walk in nature, improve your sleep).

Avoid stress where possible, have a good strategy for dealing with stress when it occurs and consider talking to a doctor or therapist if you feel constantly stressed.

Tip#5 Eat a Healthy Diet

There are a lot of foods that can help to boost testosterone. Healthy fats that contain good cholesterol are fantastic. Foods that contain aromatase inhibitors (cruciferous vegetables for example) are great at helping to prevent testosterone decline.

Eating a healthy diet can also help with sleep, and can lead to a reduction in body fat, which as you will discover in tip #7, can help to protect and even boost testosterone.

Tip#6 Avoid Testosterone Killers

If you have read our article on testosterone killers to avoid, you will know that there are a number of foods and drinks that can lower testosterone if consumed in large quantities. Most testosterone killers are fairly obvious (alcohol, junk food, soy) but a few may surprise you (liquorice and mint for example).

Tip#7 Keep Body Fat Low

Check out our article on the link between weight loss and testosterone levels for a more in-depth discussion. There is a lot of evidence that high body fat causes a drop in testosterone levels while dropping body fat is associated with a rise in testosterone.

Tip#8 Use Supplements

Prime Male contains a number of ingredients that are well-known to help promote effective sleep, reduce fatigue, and support healthy testosterone. When combined with the other 7 tips in this article, they can produce significant results.

For example, Prime contains ashwagandha and ginseng, which have both been shown to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. As you know, reducing stress and improving sleep quality can protect testosterone production and lead to a boost over time.

Other ingredients in Prime can directly boost testosterone and support healthy testosterone levels in young men and old.

What Causes Low Testosterone? Final Thoughts

While age is often blamed for low testosterone, it does not directly cause low testosterone, instead, it is lifestyle changes and body changes that occur as we age. But these changes are avoidable. A healthy 50-year-old man can absolutely have higher testosterone levels than an unhealthy 20-year-old.

When it comes to testosterone, age really is just a number. If you want to protect and boost your testosterone levels, then start today. The results will surprise you!














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