Becoming the Alpha Male: How to Naturally Raise Testosterone Levels in Men

Testosterone is a hot topic these days. When men talk about it, women roll their eyes. They hear steroids, pimples on our backs, and steroid-rage, all the while envisioning our necks disappearing due to trap development, while we’re talking about our health, eggs, animal fats, and being the men that nature intended for us to be – at least biologically.

Stop equating testosterone with rage, and instead with happiness. It reduces the risk of depression. Higher natural T levels also equates to more muscle mass and greater fat loss. It’s a hormone we naturally have within us that helps us look and feel the way we want to look and feel. It’s a piece of a bigger puzzle, but an important piece none-the-less.

The ‘Alpha Male Series’ is focused on helping you finish that puzzle – becoming the physical, emotional, financial success story of a man you could be at this very moment. We’re diving deep – balls-deep – into every piece of this puzzle. With the first two articles we’re tackling our hormones, one by minimizing bad hormones (cortisol and estrogen), and the second by maximizing the good ones (GH and Testosterone). We’ll move on to other training and nutrition tips, as well as style, motivation, and career-focused articles soon as well.

With that, let’s start with the second piece of the Alpha Male Puzzle:

How to Naturally Raise Testosterone

Through a series of chemical reactions, our body converts cholesterol into testosterone. I’ll spare you the big words that we won’t remember, and focus on the process. Needless to say, cholesterol is a very important aspect of producing testosterone. We get cholesterol directly – from eggs for example – or from fats (monounsaturated and saturated – trans fats get no love).

Testosterone is also at it height in the wee hours of the morning, from 4-6 am. This gives us two important times to fill our body with nutrients and calories that will raise our testosterone levels, taking advantage of this two hour window: at night before bed, and in the morning. As such, our testosterone-raising protocol’s (or routine, whatever you want to call them) will primarily consist of a morning and an evening routine, as well as an optional late afternoon shake that I’ll get to a bit later.

A couple things to do before we get started:

1. Get your T levels checked at your family doctor.

2. Understand that, if he/she prescribes testosterone-replacement theory, that it’s only a temporary solution, and doesn’t actually help our bodies produce more T on their own – it can actually have the opposite effect.

3. Try the following routine(s), then get your levels tested again and report back here.

Foods That Naturally Raise Testosterone

I brought  you briefly through the process of where testosterone begins: with cholesterol. There are certain foods – eggs, fish, meats – that contain properties that help us naturally raise our testosterone levels. While having a diet high in these foods is important, its maybe even more important to have high concentrations of these foods, plus the supplements I’m going to tell you about, in the evening and upon rising.

There are also foods that lower testosterone – like we talked about in the estrogen + cortisol-lowering article. By having a high-fructose diet, men experience lower T levels. A diet high in vegetables and fats (omega-3 fatty acids and saturated fats), without the accompaniment of high-sugar foods, results in higher testosterone levels, but also lower body fat – something that is correlated to higher T levels in men also. Fatter guys typically have lower T levels than guys who are in great shape.

The foods we’ll focus on in our T-boosting routine will be the following:

Alpha Male

Foods High in Good Fats

A recent study looked at the effect of lipid consumption on levels of sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), free testosterone and cholesterol in men. After consuming a diet with a high fat content (greater than 100 g fat/day) for two weeks, the mean plasma cholesterol level increased (p less than 0.02) while the mean SHBG level decreased (p less than 0.02). About 2/3 of your testosterone is bound to SHBG, and not free. Some believe that “free testosterone” is the only form of the hormone that counts, as it’s the only form of T that is actually ready to work on your tissue.

One way to measure testosterone includes a T to Cortisol ratio. By limiting cortisol levels – like we talked about in the first article – we raise T levels. Omega-3’s have been shown to lower cortisol levels. Make sure you include the following foods that are high in these powerful fats in your diet on a daily basis:

  • Eggs – rich in testosterone-boosting cholesterol, saturated, and monounsaturated fats.
  • Almonds and Brazil nuts – high in Omega-3’s that have been shown to naturally raise T levels in men.
  • Unpasteurized Raw Organic Milk – milk that’s high in good fats, nutrients, but without all of the added hormones that they pump into pasteurized milk, and the cows that produce it. Hormones that can raise estrogen levels in men.
  • Chia – chia is a seed that’s extremely high in Omega-3’s, and will be a part of our 3x a week shake along with the Organic, unpasteurized milk.
  • Fish – whether it’s just the oils, or if you have fish in the morning – an optional food source. Fish, such as salmon, is rich on protein, but also a great – maybe the best – source of omega-3’s.
  • Meat – grass-fed beef is a great source of saturated fat. Opt for grass-fed to avoid the hormones pumped into the mass-produced cattle found in most grocery stores.

Foods High in Zinc

A study at the University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, found that zinc raises testosterone levels by inhibiting the enzyme aromatase from working. Aramatase is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen.

Foods like red meat, oysters, beans, and pumpkin seeds are all high in zinc. Include these in your diet on a regular basis to stop the flow of estrogen, and raise your T levels.

Other Foods to Include

  • Broccoli is high in indole-3-carbinol, a food compound that can help reduce estrogen in half in men.
  • Garlic contains allicin, an ingredient that raises T levels and lowers cortisol.

man up

Natural Supplementation

Some supplements help us raise T levels by blocking the production of estrogen (zinc), while others help us increase our levels of “free” testosterone by separating our T from the proteins bound to them. With one exception, each of these supplements can be found at your local drug store

Vitamin D – vitamin D has been shown to target the male reproductive system. A study by researchers at the Medical University of Graz, Austria, evaluated whether vitamin D supplementation influences T levels in men. Participants received either 3,332 IU daily for one year, or a placebo. Free testosterone levels increased significantly (from 0.222 ± 0.080 nmol/l to 0.267 ± 0.087 nmol/l; p = 0.001) in the vitamin D supplemented group. There was no significant change in any testosterone measure in the placebo group.

Most men should take 3,000-5,000 IU daily; however, get your D levels checked as many men are deficient in vitamin D and may require a greater dose (I take up to double as I’m not in the sunniest of climates up here in Vancouver).

Zinc – we can get zinc from the foods mentioned above, or we can supplement. If you eat enough of the foods talked about, supplement with low amounts – 10-15 mg, but if you’re lacking in this nutrient (again, go see your doctor), 25-50mg may be called for.
Keep Testosterone’s Home Safe (your balls)

Ever notice that when it’s warm (or they’re warm), that your balls drop. Then when it’s cold their they’re brought back up closer to your body. Well, they drop because they want to move away from our body because it’s too hot. They need to cool down so they wander away. Things like boxers briefs and underwear bring our balls closer to our body when they want to be moving the other way. This brings more heat, heat that kills sperm and creates a less-than-optimal atmosphere for testosterone.

The thing is, we’re surrounded by heat. We take hot showers in the morning, then again after we train. We’re putting our balls through hell, what we need is less heat and more cold in that area. A couple options:

1. Take cold showers, but especially focus on your boys. Have a cold shower when you wake up, then again before you go to bed. I also take a cold shower after a workout to help expel lactic acid and glycogen from my muscles. Keep in mind that the most important area to keep cool is your balls, so if you don’t want to shower, make sure you get some cold water on your boys – use your imagination, I don’t even want to go down that road, but do what you gotta do.

2. Wear loose boxers – or nothing – when you sleep. During the day, my guys need support. I like boxer briefs even though they aren’t great for me. But when it comes time to sleep, I wear loose boxers or shorts, some opt for nothing at all – each of which is a viable choice. If you’re not willing to wear loose boxers during the day, make sure you give your balls some cool air when you sleep.

Lift Heavy Weights

Not only does weight lifting help decrease body fat and increase muscle mass, resulting in higher testosterone levels, but it directly effects T levels. Men – and women – need resistance training. Exercises like deadlifts, squats, and O-lifts help naturally raise both T levels and human growth hormone levels.

This is a topic we’re going to cover in an upcoming article in the Alpha Male series, about how to construct the Alpha Male Physique, but even on a hormonal level, lifting weights is very important. Find a routine (like this one), that contains the prescribed exercises I mentioned, and get started!

Testosterone Protocol

So we’ve seen foods that naturally raise testosterone, foods that we should be including in our diets. Now, let’s get down to the protocol’s. Have the following cocktail every morning and night before you go to bed. Accompany this cocktail with a cold shower to maximize benefits of both.

Testosterone cocktail:

  • 2 whole eggs (cooked or raw)
  • 2,000-4,000 IU vitamin D
  • 25 mg zinc (only once daily)
  • Omega Blue is the fish oil pills

Optional testosterone shake:

I got this shake from Tim Ferriss’ 4-hour body. It’s a great book. I’ve altered some of what he says due to new studies, but his information is great, definitely a book I suggest picking up. Have the following shake – similar to his – 3 times a week to elevate T levels.

  • 2 raw eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 cups organic unpasteurized raw milk

Naturally Raising Testosterone Levels in Men

Testosterone shouldn’t be a conversation relegated to meatheads in the gym. It deserves intelligence, facts, and attention from men everywhere, of all shapes, sizes, and goals. If your goal is to be ripped, healthy, well-conditioned, jacked, or happy, you should be taking care of your testosterone levels.

Hopefully this article gave some valuable information. Information you’ll apply and scrutinize, but will help you not only raise your testosterone levels in a natural manner, but serve as one more piece to the puzzle that sees you becoming your very own alpha male.

Read This to Learn How to Naturally Boost Your Testosterone Levels

  • Great post and I’m happy to see that I’m already doing a lot of these things!

  • You got a good blog man! This is a very interesting topic. I’ve been reading your posts, and they generally have a great quality.

    • What do you think of suplements like ZMA or Tribulus Terrestris?

      • I like ZMA. Great to have before bed. If you’re looking at natural T enhancers take a look at STATUS, the one I mention in the article. I’ve heard positives and negatives about Tribulus.

      • I have taken Tribulus twice. I didn’t have an substantial muscle gain, but my libido was really raised.

        Beside almonds to raise T levels, there is also another nut that we can find here in Brasil that’s called Baru (Dipteryx alata). It really make T levels high and is also a natural aphrodisiac.

        Brazil nuts (Pará nuts, actually, because there are thousands of nuts here) have it’s effect improved when taken with cashew nuts, due to tryptophan absorption.

      • That’s awesome info, never heard of those nuts, I’ll look into them, thanks man.

      • Hey Chad!

        Beside the Pará nuts, another seed that is very high in Omega 3 is flax (Linum usitatissimum). Here in Brazil, it’s easy to find it’s flour, and I would personally recommend the “golden flax flour”. It seems more natural then the industrially processed oil. I take then everyday in the morning and it shows good results.

        Together with Brazilian Baru nuts, there is also another one from Peru with similar properties that’s called Maca (Lepidium meyenii). Long used to enhance energy and boost stamina, it is often considered as an aphrodisiac and a natural T booster.

        see you, man…

  • Matt Miller

    Didn’t you mention something about citrus fruits for helping raise T levels with the xtra vitamin c?

    • I don’t think I did Matt. I’ll be doing some edits and may add that in there. I’ve read that before, I just need to find the study. Thanks for that.

  • There’s a few things I would like to comment on from this post. Once again Chad, great post assisting us from all (possibly unthought of) angles.

    What I will say while time (for me at least) is short is that some of the supplements listed here should be taken only at the described dosage. Zinc for example can be quite toxic taken in high levels. These levels also aren’t too far above the 25mg advised dosage. For example, zinc is often sold in pills upto 80mg for the purpose of assisting macular degeneration, and tablets containing 50mg are commonplace in almost every health store I go into. At a dosage of 50mg a day, signs of anaemia can be seen within four weeks and occasionally gastrointestinal discomfort accompanied with vomiting, headaches, diarrhoea and general nausea can occur within 8 hours of ingestion.

    This isn’t to say these things WILL happen to you, but more make you aware of the dangers of flooding the body with just one element (Zinc is usually balanced with copper and occasionally magnesium and iron to stabilise the body when high dosages are taken)

    Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean dosages can be ignored “because I reckon more will help!”

    Take Chad’s advice, certainly, because it is good advice; but just be aware that ‘natural supplementation’ can cause as many problems as “other” health supplements.

    Jamie.

    • Hey Jamie, great point. I might do an entire article on zinc. A large portion of the population is zinc-defficient. There are actually studies where they’ve given deficient men 150 mg doses to get their levels back on track, then leveling them out to 25mg. I will put it in the article to get your zinc levels checked by your doctor first. But doses are very personal, they can range from the massive dose, to like you mentioned, a very minimal dose, depending on how much we get from our diet on a daily basis.

      Thanks for the comment. Some good info there. All true for those who have healthy levels of zinc already, but the deficiency in our population is growing rapidly.

  • s.p.mukherjee

    extremely useful & helpful article,well written

  • That’s very well and fine for most people but what about people like me who have a severe alergy to eggs?

    • Then don’t consume eggs, just follow everything else in the protocol. It’s just one piece of the puzzle. You can make up for it elsewhere – eat more beef and game.

  • Gerard Smutler

    Chad, HUGE change that you need to make. I’m sure it was a mistake given the word was on your mind after writing a few times in the previos paragraphs, but please do change “testosterone-boosting cortisol” (in the eggs line) to “testosterone-boosting cholesterol”. Thanks!

    • Yes, that would be a big one! I’m changing that right now, good eye. Those two words are too closely linked to sound so alike.

  • Gerard Smutler

    Chad, just wanted to hear your thoughts on coffee, or caffeine in general. Caffeine has the side effects of raising cortisol, but most of us consume the heck out of it in many ways whether through coffee, energy drinks, sodas, etc. What are your thoughts on caffeine consumption and how it might interfere with testosterone production?

    • I love coffee. Caffeine is great before a workout, it’s an awesome natural stimulant, but we need to consume it in moderation. I think it’s after 3 cups of coffee that cortisol is raised. Coffee is also full of antioxidants, so I’d stick to coffee or tea for your caffeine source, avoid sodas and limit energy drinks.

  • gurprataap

    Chad..bro…so glad to have found your site..
    I can totally relate to ur way of thinking n ideals
    You are a blessed great soul cz ones who BETTER THIS WORLD with whatever they have are the real alphas who are always blessed from up above ;))

    Anyways I had some questions

    Its winters here n is there still a need to take cold showers i dint take really hot ones n i evn pour cold watwr when washing my boys n dick..n wear almost like no underwear (loose boxers) except wen iam out

    About zinc…i get around 12 mg froma tonic (alongwith other vitamins)..is that safe. .n I read that upper limit for males is 49 mg max..how much u think i shd take

    Iam almost a masturbation addict(very less porn though) and wheneve i have abstaibed from it i have felt like an alpha n feel the rise in testo levels
    U shd do an article about it..its a big disrarcion and one f the reasons i comprimised my drive to meet girls do things that i wanted
    I thinks thats all for mow
    Sorry for the typos..its my touchphone :p
    God bless evry1

    • Thanks man, really appreciate the comment.

      Zinc, 12mg is good. Keep it at that.
      That’s an interesting thought man. Let me think about that. I’ve gotten a lot of emails on that topic. I might do one on porn and its effects on the upcoming generation.

      We’ll see.

  • You need to try the Dr Max Powers Stack. I’ve been stacking different types of supplements that promote the growth of GH and testosterone for quite some time, all legal and natural of course. The best combination I have had was when tribulus was in the mix. No doubt it plays a large role in elevating normal levels of testosterone into a zone where my strength and endurance increases on all levels. There is of course the bed room side effect that you’ll need to be prepared for…helps very much if you have a girlfriend!

    If your reasons for wanting to raise test levels is for the gym or you just have extremely low leves to begin with, I would recommend looking into The Dr Max Powers Anabolic Stack, which puts together all of the natural boosters like DHEA, trib, DAA, longjack, and some others I cannot think of. I’ve combined many of these supplements in the past on my own, so I will reiterate that something like this would be for someone who is looking to build some serious muscle and is willing to deal with the side effects of more aggression and sexual tension. Sorry but thats what happens when test levels get too high, to me it’s worth, others not so much.

  • Laconic Drew

    Alright, brother, so I’m on board with enhancing my diet to increase T levels, but I’ve found that I stay much more motivated to workout through boxing, swimming, running and body weight exercises. I’ve heard that most great gains come through sleep and diet, but I just lose steam being in the gym. I get much more out of a workout if I know it’s serving a purpose (function). In Latin, they said, ‘Temet nosce’, ‘know thyself’, and knowing what will keep me motivated and what won’t sometimes makes the difference between working out and becoming a lazy whus. My question is this, though, what kind of gains can I expect, if any, by changing my diet but not changing my workouts to include gym workouts? Thanks, Chad, for this blog; thanks for making the case for manliness in a man-less world.

    • Anytime man.

      If your workouts suck, your diet can only do so much. The same if your diet sucks, your workout can only do so much.

      Why not start a challenge? Step up to the plate, take the PowerHowse challenge. The diets are there, the workouts are awesome, and there’s a support community on the members page. Lot’s of guys trying to do what you’re trying to do and keeping eachother accountable.

      http://www.thepowerhowsechallenge.com

      Make the diet changes, but why not go all in?

  • gurprataap

    Hey chad…i eat all of these. .bt the thing is at different times…
    Vitamin d i get plenty from sunlight 15 mins minimun i sit
    I eat a tablespoon of flaxseed after evry meal and zinc along with other nutrients froma tonic after every meal n before sleeping..will thie have the same effect?
    Or shd i put the tonic in a cup of raw eggs n flax seeds n drink that shit up. .lol

    • Hey man, it sounds really good. I love eggs, so get those in your diet, especially to start the day.

  • Angel

    Great info Chad,

    Quick question. Does working out 4-5 days a week decrease libido? I’m taking zinc and magnesium supplements. Or could it be that some people need to sleep more than others? I’m trying to sleep 8-8.5, do you think that could be a problem. I checked my T levels and they are within the average range. There is nothing else that comes to my mind.

    Thanks.

    • If anything it should help it. Are you consuming fats before bed and upon rising? The protocol’s in this article will help you greatly.

  • Anil

    hey Chad you are making our life easy by sharing your knwledge & helping us to reach our goal strongly & safely,may God bless you for your great work,stay happy & keep doing good work

  • Arpegius

    Hi Chad I got a prescription for Rhodiola Rosea from my nutricionist in order to reduce stress and cirtisol levels and Increase my Testosterone have you ever heard about this herb? By the way this is an awasome blog to stay motivated, thank you

    • I’m all for natural stuff that decreases cortisol, so go ahead man, should be fine. Something I’ll look into further as well.

  • Chad Could you possibly help me? I am so confused. I got your book The Man Diet and I think it is absolutely amazing. I have always felt off as a male and i suspected it was my diet and lifestyle. That being said, I have been on the diet and I interpreted the man diet as somewhat of a VERY low carb high fat diet. I have adjusted to this way of eating and I have noticed minor differences in just a month. HOWEVER, my concern with free testosterone and SHBG. Are carbohydrates really that important? and is it true that a low insulin type diet as this one encourages the production of SHBG, thus inhibiting free testosterone? I would love if someone could hep me as I am SO CONFUSED.

    • Hey keep your eye on the newsletter – we’re making slight adjustments to the macros, slight increases in the carb intake, but as they are now they’re fine, it’s not so low carb especially with that post workout “free carb” meal, you should be getting enough carbs in your diet.

      But we have updates coming within the next week that will REALLY clarify everything you’ve mentioned above.

      • Thanks so much! Your diet and ebook is phenomenal by the way….It seemed to be a huge reset that was spilling into other aspects of my life. Im glad I searched and dug deeper on this whole thing.

  • Dennis

    Hey Chad, does it matter when I take my Vitamin D3 Supplement. I usually took it after waking up with an Omega-3 Capsule, but after reading this, I wonder if I should switch to taking it before bed. Can you help me?

  • Chad, if testosterone is at its peak between 4 and 6am, what does that mean for our sleep schedule? Is it best to be asleep during those hours? Awake? Wake up somewhere in that block? Should we be working out that early or just resting? Feeding our body or waiting til after 6 to eat? Thanks for your work!