Low testosterone (or low T) is a really hot topic today. It seems everyone is diagnosed with low T and treated with gels, injections, and sometimes even pellets under their skin. In this article, I will tell you about the three most important lifestyle changes you can make to increase testosterone levels without drugs.


Symptoms of low T tend to overlap with other conditions, like depression, thyroid disorders, and sleep apnea. Sexual symptoms include decreased libido, ED, and lack of morning erections. There are also psychological symptoms like depression, irritability, sleep problems, and difficulty concentrating. Physical signs and symptoms include decreased body hair and beard growth, anemia, osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass and strength, and increased body fat.
A comprehensive history, complete physical exam, and thorough lab testing are needed to diagnose low T. In addition, the cause of low T must be discovered so it can be treated appropriately.
Armed with that information, lifestyle changes may be the first and safest intervention a patient can make with their healthcare provider.


Although there are many factors that may influence T levels in specific people, I am going to talk about the 3 that I think apply to the most people and also give the biggest bang for your buck.
Sleep is extremely important in keeping testosterone levels high. Studies show that as little as 5 nights of sleep deprivation (4 hours per night for 5 nights straight) lowers T in healthy young men. Sleep deprivation is extremely common, and may be partially responsible for low T levels–as well as several diseases including diabetes and obesity.
For many men, increasing sleep time is as simple as having a cutoff time for all screens (TV, computer, cell phone, etc.). For a more in-depth article on improving sleep click here.
Studies show that being more physically active increases testosterone levels. This is true whether someone adds resistance training or simply increases their total daily steps. I recommend increasing physical activity slowly. If you are completely sedentary, start with just 10 minutes of walking daily and increase slowly over time until you are doing at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly.
Research shows that obesity is highly related to low T, and, in fact, appears to be a cause of low T. As men become obese (BMI > 30), their T levels decrease similar to aging 10 years.
However, research shows that just by losing weight (at least 6% of your body weight) you can increase your T levels, and the more weight you lose the better. This is true regardless of how the weight is lost (e.g., lifestyle changes vs surgery).
If you’ve tried losing weight but have had difficulty being successful, seek a specialist in weight management.
So there you have it. The 3 most important things you can do to increase testosterone levels naturally.

Feel like nerding out? Here are a few links to dive deeper.