So you’ve noticed you feel a little more tired lately, your sex drive is not what it used to be. Maybe you lack the vigor, confidence and thirst for life you once had. These are all signs of low testosterone levels but you may be able to reverse them. Your nutrition, daily activity, mindset and recovery can make you a lion or a sheep. If you’re ready to gain your life back then read on.

You have nutrient deficiencies.

As a man your body is a high performance, intricate machine and it needs the proper attention. Just making “healthy” choices for the most part is not necessarily enough. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to low testosterone levels. For example suboptimal levels of zinc can lead to low testosterone levels. Zinc is essential in producing testosterone and prolactin. It’s also a key component in the creation of prostatic fluid and a severe deficiency can cause hypogonadism.

It’s not alway easy to tell if you have a nutritional deficiency without a test unless you have symptoms in which case it’s a significant deficiency. Foods such as beef, nuts, oatmeal, spinach, mushrooms and oysters contain significant amounts of zinc. Notice that there are foods in each macronutrient category that contain this necessary nutrient which is why a well rounded diet is essential.

EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!” is a classic statement you may have heard as a kid and they were right. Plenty of nutrient deficiencies can be avoided by simply eating a palmful of veggies at every meal.

You don’t consume enough protein.

This will prevent you from gaining strength, building muscle and recovering from workouts. A good point of reference is that each of your protein servings, as a man, should be about 2 times the circumference and thickness of your open palm assuming you eat 3 or 4 times per day and are active. As a note your ability to build muscle and gain strength is a sign of healthy testosterone levels. The same goes for the inverse.

You eat the wrong types of carbs.

When it comes to carbs, they should come from the ground. What I mean is that most of your carbs should be consumed as close to their original form as possible. Instead of potato chips eat actual potatoes. Instead of take-out chinese fried rice, eat steamed seasoned rice. Instead of eating hot wings from the sports bar, eat…well, you get the idea.

You do not exercise consistently.

Movement is medicine. Exercise plays a role in the optimization of your testosterone. Vigorous exercise promotes the release of testosterone and the endorphins serotonin and dopamine during and after exercise. This leads to increased feelings of confidence, pleasure and satisfaction.

You feel pleasure and satisfaction because you know you’re working toward becoming a stronger, healthier version of yourself. Exercise also promotes mental focus, more energy production and enhanced vigor. Whenever I fall into a funk, a great workout always puts me in a positive mental state. It’s like someone injected caffeine into my veins and my thirst to conquer the day is rejuvenated.

You are not sleeping enough.

Sleep is unquestionably a magic bullet. It’s more important for recovery than any bullsh*t. testosterone booster or mass marketed supplement you ever tried and will yield better results. I’ve coached numerous men that have lost more body fat, grown more muscle, recovered better from workouts and improved their performance in the workplace and bedroom simply by prioritizing sleep. I’ll go into the details of why that is in a future article.

Sleep has personally helped me focus better on my work, get leaner faster and recover better from my workouts.

Your mindset is fragile and untrained.

An important piece to the puzzle is what you think about yourself on a daily basis. Make no mistake about it, a positive mindset is a muscle that you need to train it daily. Your mind is like a garden. If you don’t plant flowers (positive thoughts) then weeds (negative thoughts) will automatically grow. Positive thoughts decrease cortisol in the brain, release serotonin which helps regulate sleep, digestion, sexual desire and memory.

On a daily basis you should be listening to messages that motivate you and inspire you. There have been days where I’ve listened to something every few hours to keep me focused on my goals. Now i’m at the point where some days I don’t need it but it’s taken a lot of work to get here. Your mindset will make you a king or a sheep.

A black and white image of a Crossfitter deadlifting while sweating and exercising for power and explosiveness

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