Testosterone - the hormone usually associated with manliness, moustaches and Popeye-sized muscles - plays an important role in the sexual development of an adult male. To benefit from a consistent sex drive, hair growth and increased muscle mass, it is important to keep levels topped up - particularly from the age of 30 onwards as hormone levels naturally begin to decline.
Before you have visions of long needles and syringes, it's worth saying that increases testosterone levels can be achieved through entirely safe and natural means. The unsexy truth about hormones is that they're affected dramatically by your daily lifestyle. So while there are products on the market that can raise levels, these will be helped if you follow some of the natural guidelines below.
Review your diet
If you're overweight, increasing your testosterone levels will prove very difficult without shedding some of those excess pounds. But a diet plan is essential even if you're of average size as some foods naturally contain vitamins and minerals that can help to boost certain hormone levels.
There's a reason Popeye is known for eating spinach. This green leaf contains extremely high levels of zinc and magnesium which are both great for testosterone production. You'll also want to keep protein high so work plenty of meat into that diet plan as this can help build muscles which in turn generate testosterone. Certain fats are great for testosterone development and good sources for these are olives and avocados - great foods for snacking.
It's helpful to have a motivational tactic when you're dieting, so try developing some mantras and say them to yourself when you're confronted with a particularly tempting meal that might be bad for you.
Get into an exercise routine
You might already have some sort of exercise programme in place, but if you don't, now is the time to start.
Activities that leave you breathless are the best for developing those all-important testosterone levels, so choose high intensity exercise or supplement your regular routine with it. This involves warming up for three minutes, exercising as hard or as fast as you can for thirty seconds and then recovering at a slow pace for 90 seconds. Repeat up to seven times.
Strength training is also good for increasing the amount of testosterone produced by your body, but bear in mind that this has to be intense in nature. Focus on activities that use a large number of muscles, such as squats or deadlifts.
These lifestyle changes can be supplemented with the use of natural testosterone treatments, which often come in the form of pills to be consumed on a regular basis. More often than not, these provide your body with the additional minerals such as zinc and magnesium required for consistent testosterone production - well worth investing in, particularly if you're averse to spinach.