If you are male, your testicles may be subtly trying to “talk” to even as you read these words.
They are telling you to go out and make your mark in the world, to seize the day, to move boldly towards your goals and dreams, toward greater self-realization. So far so good. But there is a problem.
Go ahead right now and listen to your testicles for a bit. How loud are they talking to you?
Just speaking statistically, your grandfather probably had balls that talked to him a lot louder than yours talk to you. Maybe if you put a stethoscope on them right now you would hear their message as loud as your great-great grandfather did.
If you are having a problem hearing your balls with or without a stethoscope, it is because they speak to you not with words directly, but mainly through the hormone they produce.
And let’s get the bad news out of the way first, your forefathers likely produced a lot more of it than you do. As a result, you have a harder time “hearing” their message, causing you to be in some sense “less manly” and less driven, less fulfilled.
We will get to some of the reasons why modern males produce less testosterone, and what you can do about it, but first let’s look more closely at this simple arrangement of atoms we call Testosterone.
You might know that testosterone is considered to be the male hormone, the hormone of sexual desire and also the hormone that is largely responsible for our secondary sex characteristics as men. Yet women also have it circulating in their bodies and it also plays a role in their sexual desire.
Beyond that though, can we look at testosterone as a “spiritual molecule”? For men, I would argue that we can.
If the term “spiritual molecule” seems oxymoronic to you, then you might not have heard of the enigmatic molecule called DMT. DMT is produced in the human body constantly in small quantities and it also happens to be one of the most potent psychedelic substances known to humanity.
DMT is often called the “spirit molecule” because in larger quantities it is claimed to be the cause of visionary states, near death “white light” experiences, and out of body experiences among other things. People in controlled scientific studies who have been administered DMT report such mystical, spiritual experiences.
And for a man trying to find his purpose in life, it may be that testosterone is one of the more important among such “spiritual molecules”.
So modern science is giving us ammunition to speak intelligently about even simple, endogenous molecules as being somehow “spiritual”. And for a man trying to find his purpose in life, it may be that testosterone is one of the more important among such “spiritual molecules”.
There are many spiritual traditions and philosophies that actually do look at the gonads as having a spiritual function. So by that measure alone it may not be too far-fetched to refer to testosterone as a spiritual molecule, since testosterone is produced primarily in the testicles.
To examine some specific example, we find for example that in Hinduism, the root chakra is correlated with the pelvic floor, the gonads and their hormonal secretions.
Similar thinking can be found in Taoist philosophy, the Chinese practice of Chi Gong, Alchemy, and can even be traced back to the reason for practicing celibacy in various monastic practices, the idea being that conserving the sexual energies and secretions of the gonads allowed for a transmutation into a more refined spiritual energy.
Even if we limit the scope of what “being spiritual” means to simply having a strong drive, enjoying life and sex, feeling strong and vivacious, and accomplishing one’s dreams, then testosterone is part and parcel of all of those things for men.
Now let’s look at why modern men are producing less testosterone on average than their male ancestors of the same age.
Ancient males lived in an environment free of mass produced chemicals, but the modern male is assailed by chemicals that can disrupt his hormonal production. A class of chemicals called “xenoestrogens” actually mimic the effect of the female estrogen in the body.
Chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BSP) and phthalates fall into the category of xenoestrogens, and various studies show that exposure to these chemicals lowers testosterone levels in men. Both chemicals are primarily found in plastics as well as even being present on the receipts you get handed from registers in stores when you make everyday purchases.
Lack of Sleep
Testosterone production peaks in the male body peaks in the morning hours starting at around 6 am, which is partially responsible for the occurrence of “morning wood”. In general, the longer and more quality sleep, the more testosterone can be produced.
Modern males tend to be kept awake by artificial lighting which has been proven to interfere with the “sleep molecule” melatonin. Further, waking up early to an alarm can interrupt the prime hours for testosterone production.
Less Physical Activity
Many modern men find themselves in front of a keyboard typing away for the majority of their work days. Strenuous movement that involve moving the body through a full range of motion produces testosterone spikes, but the average modern male has far less opportunity to “lift heavy things” or do natural squatting motions in the course of his work day than his ancestors did.
Consider that just 50 to 100 years ago the average male job involved lifting and moving heavy things at a factory or farm setting. By contrast, the average male job today in first world countries is more likely to involve sitting at a desk typing at a keyboard, away from direct sunlight.
Dietary fats and cholesterol are precursors in the production of testosterone. However, in recent decades, dietary concerns have caused many men to excessively restrict the intake of both of these substances.
In general, the switch to high carbohydrates, refined sugars, and lower fat intake has been really bad for natural testosterone production.
There are actually more factors, but these are 4 of the worst ones. So the question is, what can you do to keep your natural testosterone production alive?
Here is a short list of things that should start helping immediately:
1. Avoid xenoestrogens
This means avoiding drinking fluids that are bottled in plastics, especially soft plastics. And never, ever microwave food in plastic containers. As much as possible, try to only use glass instead of plastic.
Also, avoid handling receipts given to you after you make purchases. If you need a record, write it down in your smart phone or have an email receipts sent to you.
Avoid eating produce that may contain pesticides, as pesticides often are xenoestrogenic.
2. Get better sleep
Try to get about 8 hours of sleep, ideally starting around 10 PM. This optimizes your circadian rhythm for producing testosterone. Avoid blue wavelengths of light past about 7 or 8 pm as this interferes with your melatonin production which helps you sleep.
3. Get plenty of exercise.
If your daily work does not involve much exercise, then you can consider supplementing it with basic free weight training. In particular, performing exercises that move your body through a full range of motion under strenuous resistance has the most effect on testosterone production.
The free weight barbell squat is probably the king of such exercises, but make sure you get proper instruction on how to perform it safely, and consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise program.
4. Consider adding back cholesterol and healthy fats if your diet is low in them
This is another area where you will want to first consult a doctor. However, the general recommendation if you find out you have low testosterone would be to include sources of fat like monounsaturated fats from avocados, olive oil, fish, and even some intake of saturated fats from “grass fed” sources like grass-fed butter and steak in your diet.
Eggs are a good source of cholesterol for those wishing to maintain a diet free of meat.
5. Find a hobby that allows you to compete and ideally win at something
Competing and winning are great ways to naturally spike your testosterone. Ideally these are physical activities, but they can also be things like playing poker or chess. Even making gains in stock trading can spike your testosterone. Of course conversely losing in these activities can actually lower it slightly, so ideally you want to choose something you already have some proficiency in, or commit to gaining enough proficiency that you win more regularly than you lose.
There are of course many other ways to increase testosterone naturally but hopefully this article has helped you realize again how important it may be in your life, and why it is possible you could have less than nature intended for you to have. Try some of the above tips to increasing your testosterone and see if your life improves as a result.