It’s common knowledge that testosterone production in men begins with a rapid build from puberty around the age of 12 or 13 years, then peaks at 18 or 19, just in time for long bones and growth plates to fuse and make the man a full-fledged adult.
Sadly, it's all down hill from there. Naturally, this decline is gradual, but it is continuously progressive. In a study called "Androgens and the Aging Male" authors Simon, Nahoul and Charles found that as men age, their median testosterone ranges drop dramatically, by decade:
Men 25 to 29 = 637 ng/dL
Men 30 to 34 = 597 ng/dL
Men 35 to 39 = 567 ng/dL
Men 40 to 44 = 527 ng/dL
Men 45 to 49 = 518 ng/dL
(Note: Nanograms per deciliter = ng/dL)
These findings don't even take into account that, on the low side, almost any man - for whatever reason (see factors box below) - can experience a dip in optimum testosterone at any age. This effectively means that a man who is 35 could exhibit the low testosterone numbers of a man who is 50, quite easily, if stress, overweight and other issues become mitigating factors.
Age: The Silent Thief
The symptoms of low testosterone are gradual and something that most men won't notice until one day if feels normal to wakes up and feel poorly. From Low libido and erectile strength, depression, mental fogginess, decreased facial and body hair, anxiety, lack of confidence, and fatigue, to weight gain and loss of muscle.
More seriously, low testosterone is associated with heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, to name a few.
Obviously, the easiest thing to do is go to the doctor and get your testosterone tested - every man should do this at least at 30, 40, and 50 - or even every five years - to get a read on levels for a baseline from which to establish the amount of drop per period of time.
There's no getting around it, you are producing less testosterone today at 40 than you were at 25 or 30. The problem comes when doctors who don't specialize in hormonal mitigation call 290 ng/dL a normal range testosterone reading for a man of 45, when it's actually very low. If that happens, go find a new doctor and use the diet and workout tips below to help boost that reading before the next blood draw.
Why? Because, in reality, if you are operating with less than 350 ng/dL, you are probably going to experience any number of the symptoms (erectile dysfunction, fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, lack of confidence).
The Way Out
But do men have to take waning testosterone - and all the many ill effects it brings - lying down? No way! Training can boost your testosterone levels, as can diet, and even the type of cardio exercise you choose. But so can eliminating environmental causes and stress.
You Are What You Eat
Diet is important in just about any physical or performance goal, but never so important as it is in boosting testosterone. Here are a few things you should include in any testosterone-boosting diet:
~ DO INCLUDE: Leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach, eliminate estrogens that hamper testosterone's production and release
~ DO INCLUDE: Walnuts, cocoa and pomegranates help you produce nitric oxide
~ DO INCLUDE: Coconut oil, milk and water are all medium-chain triglycerides that promote testosterone production and minimize body fat
~ DO INCLUDE: Fish oil capsules (1 gram of EPA is recommended)
~ DO INCLUDE: Rare or raw beef in your diet
~ DO INCLUDE: More monounsaturated fats and Omega-3s into your diet, including canola oil, avocado, fatty fish (salmon) and natural seed and nut butters (peanut, almond, walnut).
Boosting testosterone at any age requires a multi-faceted approach. It isn't just one magic thing that works - it's a synergistic approach to enabling your body to produce and release the most natural testosterone it can prior to even taking powerful anabolic-inducing supplements.
Workout is the most important component. And for the man with waning testosterone, it's important to train a particular way - namely, to train using compound movements and varied set types. Growth hormone (hGH) is secreted at the same time as testosterone and will magnify its effect - and that is something only gotten through exercise.
Most importantly, hGH is secreted most often in two situations: When compound movements are used, and when lactic acid is at its greatest concentration, such as during a set of forced reps, super sets, giant sets or rest-pause failure sets.
Composing a routine that includes compound exercises - squats, deadlifts, bench and incline press, chin-ups, military press, barbell rows, power cleans, and dips, for example. These should be followed by one or two isolation movements per body part.
Plugging this into a workout that includes set types that force lactic acid and hGH release will look like this:
Monday - LEGS
Squats 3 x 12, 10, 8 (increase weight with each set)
Leg press + Lunges (superset)
Tuesday - BACK
Deadlift 2 x 10
Barbell Rows (drop set) 3 x 10, 8, 6, 4
Chin-ups 2 x failure
Wednesday - CHEST
Barbell Bench press 3 x 10, 8, 8
Incline Dumbbell Press + Dips (superset)
Thursday - SHOULDERS
Standing Military Press 3 x 8
Lateral Raises 3 x failure (using drop set or same weight)
Friday - ARMS
Close Grip Bench or French press 3 x 10
Preacher Curls + Concentration curls (superset) 3 x 8/6
Saturday & Sunday - OFF (Do HIIT cardio intervals on Saturday)
Factors that Lower Testosterone
| Many things found in our environment and in the foods we eat can quite easily lower testosterone. Add work and life pressures and stress, overweight from not exercising and eating a poor diet, and consuming foods that are processed as opposed to whole or organic fruits and vegetables, can all contribute to a more rapid decline in testosterone. Here are just a few factors:
Supplements that Aid Sexual Performance
| As a man ages, supplements are crucial to encouraging the natural production and release of testosterone, inhibiting the enzymes that convert testosterone into DHT that causes hair loss and loss of sex drive, and reinforce blood flow that leads to erectile strength. The following supplements are part of an important regimen: