An integral part of building muscle and maintaining a healthy body is making sure you have properly balanced hormones. For men, an important hormone to be aware of for overall health is testosterone. If your body doesn’t produce enough testosterone, it could have unwelcome effects, such as low energy, disrupted sleep patterns, and even changes in appetite. In addition, low testosterone can limit muscle growth. For those whose fitness goals involve building muscle mass, low testosterone can quickly get in the way.
Increasing Hormone Production through Exercise
While low testosterone can slow muscle growth, there are activities that can increase the production of testosterone. The best types of exercises for boosting testosterone production are multi-joint exercises, preferably ones that use the largest muscle groups in the body. These are usually high intensity short burst activities, such as sprints. Low-rep high-weight lower body weightlifting can also help boost testosterone production, and increase muscle production as well. Push ups, squats, and deadlifts are also beneficial activities to use.
Encouraging Hormone Production through Diet
After exercise, one of the first things you can do to help increase your testosterone production is take a good look at your diet. The food you eat ensures that your body has plenty of energy to get through the day, but it also makes sure that your body has the energy to produce essential hormones, such as testosterone. A good first step to improving your diet is to try to cut out food with little nutritional value. Make sure that you are getting enough protein for your body to be able to handle the workouts you want to participate in. Consider taking multi-vitamins for an extra boost as well. These often contain zinc and vitamin D, which can help in the production of hormones like testosterone. You can also look for certain foods that contain these vitamins, such as low-fat milk which contains vitamin D, or fish, which is a great source of protein.
Boosting Hormone Production through Sleep
Exercise and diet are some of the biggest factors in testosterone production, but not the only factors. Sleep is also an important part of hormone production. In order to produce testosterone naturally, your body needs time to rest. Getting enough exercise and maintaining a healthy diet are the building blocks of healthy testosterone production, but your body needs sleep in order to put those building blocks to work. The amount of sleep each person needs varies by individual. Some factors, such as age, may affect everyone, but pay attention to your own body to learn how much sleep you need to stay healthy. A good generalization to begin with is at least 7 hours of sleep a night, but preferably 8-9 hours per night.
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