In recent decades what it means to be a man has been changing. ‘Metrosexuals’ are the new cool guys, and it is considered being in touch with your feminine side and comfortable with your sexuality if you file your nails and straighten your hair. The guys women find attractive in the cinema are ‘Edward Cullen’ and other skinny men without an ounce of muscle on them. It gets to the point where even you and I find ourselves in dance classes instead of the gym.
There are many reasons for this. The women’s liberation is often cited as one, with women gaining a more prominent role in society. Another is probably the media – which affects this fact as it starts to cater for women who have just as much money to take to the cinema as men. Finally another theory often postulated is that there is actually oestrogen – the female hormone – in our water. This then would actually be making men more feminine directly. So how can you go about increasing your male hormones and restore the balance a little?
Fortunately there are quite a few things that can increase your male hormones and specifically your testosterone and these all revolve around your diet and your lifestyle. There are many foods and supplements that can help your body to produce extra testosterone naturally for instance. For example if you eat red meats they will help you to produce extra testosterone, giving you one more excuse to eat steak. Likewise the herb ‘tribulis terrestris’ can also increase your natural production and is found in a number of supplements aimed at increasing testosterone. A range of other supplements also include a number of testosterone boosting herbs and ingredients including Oxcat, ZMA and more. These work to varying degrees however and the noticeable difference when taking these in either supplement or raw form is minimal. At the same time you should also avoid eating things that either contain oestrogen or increase your body’s natural production of oestrogen. Among these is most notably celery that can decrease your natural production as a result. Similarly as the water is said to now contain oestrogen (as a result of women disposing of their own supplements and… tissues…) you might do well to avoid drinking tap water where possible and to instead drink bottled water or another drink. This is a bit expensive however of course so is only really advisable for those who are very serious about changing their hormone levels.
Fortunately there are other more simple ways to increase your testosterone that do have a more profound effect. One of these is to simply work out more, which will create all kinds of hormonal changes in your body and all of which will cause you to be more masculine. While this will increase testosterone levels through the link with muscle (lifting heavy for fewer reps to build mass rather than to improve definition is supposed to be the best way to increase ‘T’), it will also create more growth hormone which is not technically a male hormone but has many of the same effects causing you to build more muscle, lose more fat and feel more powerful and energetic. It also causes the production of many so-called ‘happiness’ hormones which act like natural anti-depressants and leave you feeling more positive and energetic. Interestingly testosterone is also increased indirectly by exercise – as losing weight can also lower oestrogen levels in the body.
Another activity that can cause you to produce more testosterone is to have more sexual activity. The main form of this of course is just sex which again causes a range of chemical changes in the body, but studies have also shown masturbation to increase testosterone too – which to the brain is very similar to sex. The studies, granted, only showed a ‘spike’ in testosterone levels when the men masturbated, but then that testosterone has to go somewhere. Having sex in the morning (and theoretically masturbating in the morning) has been shown to drive up our hormone levels for the rest of the day).
As any woman knows the only time a man does not want sex is when he is too tired. This is not only because it is too much effort though, but also because tiredness is a sure fire way to kill testosterone levels. Finally aggression has also been shown to be linked with testosterone. While the assumption is that testosterone causes aggression, the reality is that it is a two way thing and anything your body does regularly it gets better at. This is not an excuse to go out starting bar fights, so instead try playing shoot ’em ups and beat ’em ups on the Xbox, or watching a violent film which will also increase your heart rate temporarily.
In short then there are a lot of ways to increase your testosterone levels, and it is perhaps unsurprising that most of these are behaviours that are considered typically male; eating red meat, lifting weights, sleeping, shouting at the screen while shooting things and having lots of sex. In turn you can expect to feel the benefits of that testosterone – increased drive, energy, sexual performance, muscle tone and weight loss. There is nothing wrong with being in touch with your feminine side and in fact it is very beneficial, but at the same time we should not be afraid of being men either, and it can even be bad for us to do so. Now go and cook up a steak and book tickets to see The Expendables.