Protein is put on the pedestal in all diets and praised by nutritionists and health circles, while carbs and fat are demonized and scorned. Supplement companies, driven by their desire for profit, have often funded studies that present protein as the ultimate macronutrient for building muscle. Studies that are independent however, show otherwise.
A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics in 1992, made the following discoveries in regards to protein consumption and exercising:
- If you increase your protein intake and still consume the same amount of calories daily, you won’t experience any new lean muscle gain
- If you start eating more protein and increase your total daily amount of calories, you will increase your muscle mass but you will also gain an equal amount of fat
Yes, it is true that you need to consume protein, but not nearly as much as bodybuilders say you should. The general guideline is that proteins should not make up more than 30% of the total daily amount of calories.
It might sound unbelievable at first, but fat is the macronutrient that is going to really fire up your testosterone levels, particularly for the demographic above 40. The source however is very important. That source should be monounsaturated fats. Foods fool of this kind of fats are coconut oil, olive oil or avocados, which has been shown to significantly increase testosterone levels. One study has revealed that eating monounsaturated fats can also reduce the risk of a heart disease by 25%.
While you are increasing the consumption of monounsaturated fats, you should at the same time avoid trans-fats altogether. A study was made where researchers were feeding lab mice trans-fat acids and the results showed that the mice had lowered levels of testosterone, and not only that, they had abnormal sperm morphology.
A general guideline you should follow is to cut out all foods that have as an ingredient any type of partially hydrogenated oils. Products that contain this toxic compound also contain traces of trans-fats even though you may not see them listed on the nutrition label.
When we say exercise, we don’t mean resting 20 minutes between sets, looking at your Facebook or Instagram or socializing at the gym. You need to incorporate heavy weight training with a lot of intensity, frequency, although you can cut back on volume.
As long as you follow these guidelines, you can change your training regimen in whichever way you like:
- Always make compound exercises the staple of your training program. Compound exercises target multiple large muscle groups. Examples include deadlifts, squats, bench presses, overhead presses, pull-ups and push-ups.
- Strive to reach muscle failure within the 4-6 rep range using the appropriate load.
- Do 4-6 sets of each compound exercise and rest about one to two minutes between sets so that you are able to do the next set with approximately the same intensity.
Also, there’s no reason to spend more than 45 minutes to an hour in the gym. Research has shown that exercising increases testosterone levels, however only up to the 45-60 minute mark, after which they plummet rapidly.
Get enough sleep
Scientists have been trying to determine the direction of causality between testosterone and lack of sleep for many years. Does having low levels of testosterone cause sleep deprivation or vice versa. According to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2011, it turns out it goes both ways.
The study consisted of male participants who were not allowed to sleep more than 5 hours a night. After eight days have passed, their testosterone levels dropped by 10 to 15 percent. The experiment also resulted in a chronic fatigue in the subjects. In order to optimize your testosterone production, you need to have uninterrupted REM sleep for at least 8 hours. Disruption of any REM cycle can also cause your cortisol levels to increase. Try to sleep for 7-9 hours every night. You should also try going to bed and waking up at the same time so that you don’t disrupt your circadian rhythm.
When you are sleeping a great amount of testosterone is produced. This is one of the reasons why you feel hornier and explains why you experience “morning wood”. Testosterone levels are at their highest around the time you wake up. If you do not experience these things or feel the urge for m**********n or s*x when you wake up, then that means that you might not be getting enough quality sleep.
It’s about how committed you are
When you hit the 40-years old mark, testosterone levels naturally start to decrease. However, when you implement the right changes in your lifestyle you can get your testosterone to a level that is above average for your demographic. Taking that into consideration, your age should not be an excuse to start using TRT or any other testosterone medication. Increasing your androgen levels naturally is much healthier and beneficial long-term.