As a man, testosterone is the one hormone you will want to keep as high as you possibly can. Not to sound too cliché, but testosterone is the hormone responsible for masculinity, and so the higher your test levels are, the more benefits you will reap. This hormone helps build muscle, it promotes strength and stamina, it boosts endurance, and it even helps boost the libido and maintain sexual health. Testosterone levels peak in our late teens/early twenties, and by the time we reach 30 they unfortunately begin to decline. Some men find that their testosterone levels drop quicker than others, and if you’re one of these individuals, this could be because of something that you are doing. Here’s a look at 4 things that are lowering your testosterone levels.

Lack of sleep

If you’re burning the candle at both ends, as it were, it’s time that you stopped denying yourself of sleep and actually climbed into bed and sorted your sleeping routine out. We need sleep for a whole variety of physiological functions, particularly the synthesis of testosterone. When we are tired, everything in the body slows down, which is why you have very little energy and feel irritable. This means that the testes are unable to produce as much testosterone as they should. On top of that, sleep promotes the secretion of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that actively suppresses the production and secretion of a number of androgens, including testosterone. Those getting 5 hours or less of sleep per night will generally see their testosterone levels plummet by as much as 15%, so get to bed!

Too much alcohol

Before a night of passion, it is sometimes nice to have a drink or two to give you a little Dutch courage, as it were, but too much alcohol is the last thing you need when it comes to testosterone. Alcohol is damaging for a number of reasons when it comes to testosterone. To begin with, alcohol can suppress the production of testosterone, meaning that we will produce less than normal. On top of that, it has also been found that alcohol can cause oxidative damage to the testosterone molecules which are already circulating their way around your body. The odd beer or wine now and then is okay, but if you drink regularly, it’s time to knock that on the head.

 

Sugar

Sugar may be a sweet treat that can make seemingly anything taste delicious, but if you’re serious about holding onto your raw, rugged masculinity, you may need to cut back on the sugar consumption. Processed refined sugars can severely reduce the amount of testosterone your body produces. In fact, those that consumed 75g of sugar per day, say their T-levels drop by around 25%. Avoid sugary drinks as these are the biggest culprits when it comes to sugar intakes, but you should also stay clear of diet sodas. These drinks are chemically sweetened with artificial sweeteners that also reduce testosterone levels and are actually considered even worse than sugar.

 

Soy

Soy protein and soy milk are marketed as healthy, but this isn’t always the case. You see, soy has been proven to increase Estrogen levels in men. Estrogen is the arch-enemy of testosterone, as it has the exact opposite effect on the body. Furthermore, soy also promotes the production of a chemical located in the gut, known as equol. This is an anti-androgen, which means that it blocks testosterone and other androgens.