This is Part 2 of the article Testosterone Creams & Gels: Victor Conte Revisited.
First, a DISCLAIMER. Artificial testosterone, whether creams, orals or injections, is a prohibited substance for tested athletes, including Masters athletes.
So it’s best to raise your testosterone levels naturally.
Here are 4 best ways to raise your testosterone levels LEGALLY!
Unless you have a genetic pre-disposed condition, this is probably the best advice for anyone. NOT 8 hours as you may have been told by your mama, but either 7.5 or 9 hours because of your REM cycle. See the articles on REM sleep here: REM Sleep 2011, REM Sleep 2009, and REM Sleep 2009.
It’s the QoS (Quality of Sleep) that really matters, not just the actual number of hours. As well, it’s when you wake up from your REM sleep that is important.
Another tip for deeper sleeps is to take ZMA (more on that later in the article)
Other tips include getting the best mattress, pillow, and proper sheets. My Masters sprinter friend Francis Schiro has a neat sleep dream pillow that may help you sleep better.
One last tip is make sure your bed is pointing north for feng shui reasons, and that includes hotel rooms. If you have to sleep with your feet pointing to the headboard, so be it.
Two of the best ways to increase testosterone naturally are “good” fats and Vitamin D.
Now, I’m NOT promoting a high protein high fat diet like the Atkins or Paleo diet, but the fact of the matter is your body does need fat!
Make sure your diet is high in good fats, including monounsaturated fats found in certain nuts as well as adequate omega 3 found in fish and flaxseed. This is why I think Omega 3 is one of the top supplements to take in today’s lifestyle.
There are some things to consider with respect to Vitamin D when it comes to reducing the common colds and increasing natural testosterone:
- Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported in their Dec 2009 issue of "The Johns Hopkins Newsletter" that a deficiency of vitamin D can be linked to low testosterone and estrogen levels in some men.
- Some people claim it’s the lack of Vitamin D in the winter months that causes sickness and colds. Sunshine stimulates natural Vitamin D production. There is less sun in winter months in northern countries like Canada and Scandinavia. If you can, sunshine in small doses is the best medicine without sunscreen. In rainy Vancouver, “sunny” winter vacation destinations are a must!
- All Vitamin D pills not the same! The synthetic version of Vitamin D is Ergocalciferol or Vitamin D2, and the natural form is Cholecalciferol or Vitamin D3. The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for Vitamin D is about 600 IU per day.
- Watch out for Vitamin D in “fortified foods”, like milk or cereal. In Canada, “fortified milk” adds D2, not D3. In the USA, milk is voluntarily fortified with 100 IU/cup (8 oz or 250mL) whereas in Canada, milk is fortified by law with 35–40 IU/100 mL.
- The flesh of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are among the best sources of Vitamin D3. Even canned sardines! Small amounts of vitamin D are also found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
- You can supplement your diet with cod liver oil, which is high in Vitamin D (1,360 IU/tablespoon or about 10mL) but also high in Vitamin A as well. So don’t over do it. More is not better.
- Some high-end fish liver oils contain a natural source of Vitamin D without the extra Vitamin A. Just make sure it’s Cholecalciferol or Vitamin D3.
3. Resistance training
There’s a reason why the section on diet is a long read, and that’s because diet appears to play a bigger role in maintaining testosterone levels.
In a study published in J Appl Physiol. 1997 Jan;82(1):49-54 on individuals doing resistance training under various diets. The testosterone levels temporarily increased post-resistance exercise in all groups, but the true correlation between the groups resting testosterone levels, was actually due to their diet and fat intake!
But there’s also enough proof out there that weight training, strength training or whatever you want to call it is beneficial to maintaining healthy normal testosterone levels. Like your father said a million times, “hard work never killed anyone”. So get off your butt and move the body the way it’s supposed to move… manual labour, not automation. Walk to the market, not take your SUV to the 7-11 or le depanneur.
In terms of getting your zinc levels up, oysters and crab are great dietary sources of zinc. Meat eaters can boost their zinc levels with poultry, beef, pork and eggs.
But the last thing I want you to do is overeat just to get your vitamins and minerals.
And don’t forget the mineral and trace element absorption rules. Zinc can be increased by certain amino acids. However, the absorption of zinc decreases with increasing calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and copper! The human body is complex!
I have mentioned ZMA and the new and improved ZMA-5 several times on this blog because I have personally used it during my training.
There are other research findings where zinc supplementation may improve insulin sensitivity and guards against diabetes, as well as protecting against prostate problems. Great news for men!
Just remember when buying vitamins, all are not created equal!
Part 3 of this series will discuss How to Track your Testosterone, Zn and Mg levels, and what you can do about it.