Testosterone levels in men are significant and something that many ignore until it’s too late. Think about it: if your testosterone level is heading south, you could risk losing your sexual function, sperm production, muscle mass, and energy levels.
Everyone, both male and female, has testosterone. Testosterone is a reproductive hormone that has a dominant role in male vertebrates. Both genders must understand the normal concentration of testosterone to ensure normal reproductive functioning.
Although females also have a reasonable testosterone level in their bodies, men need to be aware of their testosterone production. On top of that, the levels of this hormone change in men as you age.
Therefore, not having a solid idea of normal testosterone levels in men could lead to you not knowing if your body is producing too little or too much.
Also, if you want to lead a long, healthy life, knowing your normal testosterone levels is something you should pay attention to.
Check out the average testosterone level in men and how you can help boost it to ensure you feel like an alpha male daily.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a male hormone that is responsible for male sex characteristics. Testosterone is the one that causes a puberty shift in males.
It initiates the production of male secondary sex characteristics, including beard formation, increased sperm production, voice changes, and more. Apart from transforming a boy into a man, testosterone performs multiple regulatory functions in men’s bodies.
As for the production site, in men and even in other animals, testosterone is produced inside the testicles. When you hit puberty, the testosterone production ramps dramatically, reaching a peak level throughout your 20s.
However, as soon as you reach your 30s, its production starts declining at 1% yearly. Also, it is rare for males to produce high testosterone, especially in older men naturally. The opposite is far more likely when you enter middle age. Natural testosterone boosters are available in the market to boost testosterone.
Role of Testosterone Within Your Body
Since testosterone is a hormone, it transports chemical messages from one site to another. It acts as a chemical vehicle that helps other bodily processes function properly.
As you know, testosterone is most closely tied to your sex drive or libido. It controls your fertility, production of red blood cells, fat storage, and burning ability.
Besides, if your testosterone is not within a normal range, you might face issues managing your mood and emotions. Testosterone helps develop your penis and testes during puberty, sperm production, and voice deepening.
It is when you start noticing facial and pubic hair growth. Therefore, your body requires a healthy level of this male sex hormone to nurture and maintain your fertility.
Notably, if you have extreme testosterone deficiency, then the dipping levels of this hormone can leave you infertile.
How Does Your Body Make Testosterone?
Following the natural process, your brain sends a message to the pituitary gland at the base of your brain. The pituitary gland transmits that signal to your testes, ordering them to make testosterone within Leydig cells.
Leydig cells are primary cells involved in males’ production and secretion of testosterone. Once testosterone production is over, this hormone enters your bloodstream and is distributed throughout the body.
From there, the healthy testosterone levels in your blood initiate the functions mentioned above. Because testosterone is essential, your body carefully monitors testosterone hormone levels within your blood. Your brain manages its production through a feedback loop if it is not within the normal range.
The Side Effects of Low Testosterone Level
The signs and symptoms of low T are varied and numerous. The symptoms are so subtle in men that it’s exceptionally easy to miss them. Therefore, abnormal testosterone levels often put one’s health in danger.
You could be experiencing low testosterone levels but not even realize it. Its effects can be felt in the bedroom and the gym and make you feel drained or depressed.
A testosterone blood test measures the total testosterone content in your blood. Some people are born with certain health conditions that impact testosterone production.
If you have an illness that threatens your testicles, you may experience low levels of this hormone. There are certain foods that increase testosterone. Ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, obesity, HIV, etc., can negatively impact your testosterone levels. Furthermore, its concentration may dip as you age.
Erectile dysfunction is the most common side effect of men’s low testosterone production. As opposed to the common idea, testosterone does not directly impact erections. Instead, it influences the brain receptors that trigger arousal.
You should note that struggling with maintaining an erection does not necessarily mean that you have low testosterone levels. Various physiological and psychological reasons could stop your brain from triggering or sustaining erections.
Other common symptoms and side effects of low concentration of testosterone include:
- Hair loss
- Less semen
- Weight gain
- Low energy
- Fewer spontaneous erections
- Low libido and reduced sexual desire
- Large breasts in men
- Lack of motivation
- Poor concentration
- Decreased bone density
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Less muscle mass and strength
What Are Normal Testosterone Levels in Men by Age?
The healthy or normal testosterone levels in your bloodstream vary significantly. Protein status and thyroid function are among the factors affecting its concentration.
According to the American Urological Association (AUA), a normal range of testosterone levels in the bloodstream should be at least 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
So, if you have a testosterone level below 300 ng/dL, you are diagnosed with low-T. At 18 and 19, your testosterone levels reach their peak just before they start declining throughout your adulthood.
In the Womb
Testosterone’s role in the normal development of the fetus during pregnancy is not to be underestimated. It manages the healthy development of the fetus’ male reproductive system while in the womb.
Apart from that, testosterone levels in the mother’s womb may impact the functioning of the left and right brain. The hypothesis was recorded from one study that examined 60 children.
Testosterone concentration must fall within a minimal margin. Only then can it lead to the healthy development of the fetal brain. In addition, if there are high levels of fetal testosterone, autism is hypothesized to have a link with it.
Testosterone production in a male baby during the first couple of months should be 75 to 400 ng/dL. When he is 10 to 11 years old, the level should shift to 7 to 130 ng/dL.
Adolescence to Early Adulthood
In their early teens, between 12 to 13 years, boys should have 7-800 ng/dL. For boys between 15 and 16 years of age, the levels should be 100-1,200 ng/dL.
The testosterone concentration in your body is at its peak during adolescence and early adulthood. In teenage boys, the primary physical symptoms of increasing testosterone and androgens in their bodies are evident during puberty.
Some physical changes include a change in voice, broadening of shoulders, and a more masculine facial structure. Your blood test should show testosterone concentration falling between 300 ng/dL to 1,200 ng/dL during this stage.
When you enter your 30s, the testosterone levels in your blood start declining at 1 percent per year. In adulthood, your body should have a testosterone level between 240 to 950 ng/dL.
Doctors perform blood tests to confirm your testosterone levels. Considerably, the best time to have your testosterone level checked is in the morning. Between 7 and 10 am, your testosterone concentration is at its highest. Therefore, having a blood test during that time is recommended.
Treatments for Low Testosterone in Men
When your testosterone level is under 300 ng/dL, your doctor will diagnose you with low testosterone production. In that case, your physician might recommend different solutions to the problem, including low testosterone therapy.
You can have low testosterone therapy in different forms. Generally, creams, gels, pellets, or injections are enough to do the job.
If you are interested in testosterone therapy, you should consult an expert physician. You should be careful because only a medical professional should conduct such treatment.
You should not worry about declining testosterone levels as you grow older. Still, you should know that abnormal testosterone levels can cause health complications. For example, losing weight can be difficult for people with low testosterone levels due to low energy problems.
Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone
Having low testosterone could lead to serious health issues. While taking different testosterone-boosting supplements is possible, nothing works better than receiving testosterone in its natural form.
There are natural ways in which you can improve your testosterone levels. The natural methods can be helpful even if you receive testosterone replacement therapy.
So, here are some things that men can do to enhance their testosterone levels naturally.
Regular Exercise and Lift Weights
Exercise is one of the most beneficial ways to keep yourself from many diseases linked to lifestyle. More importantly, working out can increases testosterone levels by regulating hormonal production.
The results of an extensive review study showed that people who engage in exercise regularly had higher testosterone concentration. In older adults, exercising regularly uplifts testosterone level, reaction time, and fitness.
Research on obese men found that increased physical activity is far more effective than a weight loss diet. Researchers noticed that obese men with high physical activity had increased testosterone levels.
Exercise is also a great way to lower stress levels, make you happier and improve your appearance.
Therefore, if you are getting nowhere with physical education class or the gym, try some at-home exercises instead. Things like bodyweight training (push-ups, pull-ups, squats), walking, and running are great ways to get fit, cheap, and convenient.
In addition, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), weight lifting, and resistance training boost testosterone levels. These exercises can help you achieve normal levels of this hormone both in the short- and long-term.
Besides, if you take caffeine and creatine monohydrate as a supplement with your training program, you can successfully maximize the benefits.
Eat Protein, Fat, and Carbs
Your diet greatly impacts how your brain triggers testosterone production in your body. Not only that but what you eat also influences other hormone levels in your endocrine system.
For this reason, you should take notice of your long-term calorie consumption and diet plan. Furthermore, overeating or following a constant and strict diet plan can harm your testosterone levels.
If you consume enough protein, then you can assist your body in maintaining a healthy level of testosterone and fat loss. On the other hand, carbohydrate consumption also has its importance.
Research shows that carbs intake can help optimize testosterone concentration during resistance training. According to other studies, good healthy fats are great for testosterone production and health management.
Most importantly, a whole-food-based diet is the best solution. It contains a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and fats. Taking care of your diet and exercising can help boost your body’s natural testosterone, so you’re not a slave to low testosterone.
Lower Stress and Cortisol Levels
Long-term stress is a powerful indicator and predictor of threats to your body and its normal functioning. It is notorious for elevating the levels of cortisol hormone in your body.
Elevated cortisol can lower the total testosterone concentration if your gland secretes cortisol unnaturally. Since these hormones are antagonists to each other, they behave in a seesaw-like manner.
So, when one hormone goes up, the other one starts dipping. In addition, cortisol elevation is not the only important factor when you are under stress.
High cortisol levels can increase your food consumption, thus increasing your body weight and harmful fats around your organs. As a result, these fluctuations may adversely affect your testosterone levels.
Therefore, you should eliminate repetitive stress-inducing situations to raise your testosterone levels. In a nutshell, you should ingest a whole food diet, exercise regularly, have a sound sleep, and have a good laugh. Only then will you be able to enjoy a balanced lifestyle without a low testosterone problem.
Get Sunlight or Take Vitamin D Supplement
Vitamin D is becoming more popular because of its benefits. Research has demonstrated its various health implications and ability to act as a natural testosterone booster.
Regardless of its benefits, almost half of the US population has vitamin D deficiency. Even a higher percentage of the population has suboptimal levels of vitamin D that raise significant health issues.
The result of a 12-month study depicted that supplementation of 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day boosted the testosterone concentration by 25%. Moreover, in older men, calcium and vitamin D helped optimize testosterone levels. Both of these supplements significantly reduced the risk of testosterone falling.
Therefore, if you want to elevate your T-levels, you should get enough vitamin D through sunlight or supplementation. You can take around 3,000 IU of a vitamin D3 supplement per day.
Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
The benefits of taking multivitamins are an issue of dispute. Regardless, taking specific vitamins and minerals can boost your overall health.
According to a study, vitamin B and zinc supplements helped increase sperm quality by 74%. Athletes and people with zinc deficiency use zinc supplements that boost their testosterone levels.
Other research also suggests that vitamins A, C, and E have a prominent role in sex hormone production and release. Among those hormones, testosterone is also included. However, the study demands further research on this topic.
Out of all the minerals and vitamins supplements, vitamin D and zinc supplements have the strongest benefits.
Ensure Plenty of High-Quality and Restful Sleep
A whole diet and regular exercise are worthless without sound sleep. To reap the benefits of physical activity and diet, you need to pair them with good sleep.
Consequently, it can have effects on your testosterone levels. The appropriate amount of sleep varies from one person to another. However, according to a study, sleeping only 5 hours every night can lower your testosterone levels by 15%.
Long-term research supported this study. One study demonstrated that for every additional hour of sound sleep, there is an average rise of 15% in testosterone levels.
Although some people do not find it unhealthy to have a 5-hour sleep, science says 7-10 hours of sleep should be a must. Restful sleep is a good factor for long-term health and optimal testosterone levels.
Follow Healthy Lifestyle and Avoid Estrogen-Like Compounds
Apart from the factors mentioned earlier, several other pointers may affect your hormone levels. The most important is having a healthy sex life that helps regulate your sex hormone and testosterone concentrations.
In addition, exceeding exposure to estrogen-like chemicals may impact your hormone levels. Therefore, you need to lower your daily exposure to parabens, Bisphenol-A (BPA), and other compounds present in some kinds of plastic materials.
Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs can significantly lower your testosterone levels. In contrast, happiness, laughter, and success positively affect testosterone levels. Hence, you must ensure they are a part of your everyday life.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Do you feel like your body, and especially your abilities as a man, have been on the decline? Then, using testosterone replacement therapy can help you restore your vitality.
Testosterone replacement therapy is also called androgen replacement therapy. It is an approved treatment for male hypogonadism (low testosterone level).
In this therapy, men use testosterone injections, creams, patches, or gels to treat erectile dysfunction, improve sex drive, and lessen fatigue. Once you decide to use testosterone therapy, you will have a life-long treatment.
The therapy helps your low testosterone as long as you continue your treatment. Most testosterone products are available with a prescription only.
Still, some drug and health food stores have them over the counter. Yet, few of the available products contain all-natural ingredients.
As for the application, you need to apply the product to your armpit. Also, a patch or a buccal system applies to the inner cheek or upper gum.
Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone replacement therapy can revitalize the man’s interest in sex while improving his ability to maintain erections. For most men, treatment of their declining testosterone levels is the reason for testosterone therapy.
During testosterone therapy, many men report increased energy levels and better libido. Moreover, testosterone maximizes muscle mass, insulin sensitivity, good mood, and bone density.
Risks of Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone provides many benefits that can make you feel like a young man. However, there are some cautions that you must be aware of if you want to go for a safe option. Testosterone therapy can potentially increase your chances of blood clots and stroke.
Men can offset this threat if they donate blood occasionally. In addition, there are some uncommon side effects to TRT.
These include acne, breast enlargement, and sleep apnea. Once you stop the treatment, you can eliminate these side effects.
Men need to wash their hands properly after using testosterone gel. In addition, they should keep themselves from touching any other spot besides the one they medicate.
If a child or woman comes in contact with the testosterone gel, it can also negatively affect them. The side effects in children and women include hair growth and premature puberty.
Doctors recommend their patients take safety measures by avoiding skin-to-skin contact with children, women, or pets after two to four hours of gel application. On that note, you can use a nasal gel that excludes the transfer risk to other individuals.
What’s more, if you want to keep enjoying the benefits of optimal testosterone levels, you should use the product consistently. You should remember that testosterone therapy’s long-term safety is still unknown.
Furthermore, there is also a risk of prostate cancer while on testosterone therapy. However, there is not enough research that could prove the link between testosterone therapy and prostate cancer.
When it comes to health, knowledge is power. Therefore, you must consider these factors before agreeing to testosterone therapy.
When Should You Have Your Testosterone Level Checked?
People like to put off medical checkups — including male physicals — until the last minute. It’s easy to forget that you should check how your testosterone levels are doing at least once a year – especially if you’re 40 or older.
As per doctors’ recommendations, men should have their testosterone levels checked once they hit 35. Also, they should keep checking their T levels every five years after the initial checkup.
However, you must carefully monitor your testosterone levels if you are getting testosterone replacement therapy. This is to save yourself from the trouble of having very high levels of testosterone.
Once you start the treatment, monitoring testosterone levels becomes a balancing act. Therefore, you must take precautionary measures to ensure your testosterone production is in control.
On that note, you should consult only an experienced medical professional if you observe your testosterone level getting out of hand.
How to Test Testosterone Levels At Home?
You should start checking your testosterone levels once you are 35 years of age. There are several testosterone checking kits on the market. You can use them to check the baseline of this vital hormone at your home.
Hone’s at-home assessment kit is one of the popular solutions for checking your testosterone levels. You can use this to have a more accurate blood test reading.
You can conveniently do it at home without booking an appointment with your doctor. There are several biological markers in this kit. These include total testosterone, free testosterone, luteinizing hormone, estradiol and albumin. They also include sex hormone-binding globulin, aspartate transaminase, and alanine transaminase.
Usually, the testosterone molecule is bound to the sex hormone-binding globulin in the blood, and the other one is called free testosterone. Finding the concentration of both is important to calculate the total testosterone concentration.
Besides, if you do not want to test yourself at home, you can go to a lab or ask your physician for a blood test for testosterone level. If your results show a sub-optimal level of this hormone, you should seek further help from your physician.
Conclusion: What Are The Normal Testosterone Levels In Men?
Low testosterone levels mean you’re not getting the best benefits of this crucial hormone. Most men don’t get the most from their bodies because they don’t know how dropping testosterone levels can make them feel.
A low T-level means lower energy, more fat retention, more fatigue, and more challenges with your body’s natural ability to stay in an optimum state of health. The good news is that you can improve your testosterone levels without expensive tests and treatments.
Ideally, your testosterone levels should be between 300 and 1,200 (nanograms per deciliter) if you want to maintain all these great aspects of masculinity.
The normal testosterone levels in men will vary depending on their age, diet, and what they do in a day. Knowing and understanding your testosterone levels is essential in feeling like yourself again and restoring natural health.