I turned 53 a few weeks ago and it reinforced my focus on increasing my performance and energy levels as I age. I’ve increased my testosterone (“T”) naturally 36% over the last five years by focusing on my lifestyle, diet, and exercise. Use these tips to get the energy boost you need in later life:
Get regular sleep
Your body produces most of your energy hormones when you’re asleep. Burning the candle at both ends leads to adrenal fatigue and reduced energy levels. I aim for 6-7 hours a night which is the optimal sleep period for someone my age. I feel lucky if I honestly get 6 hours straight as I get older. I also take a mix of very light natural sleep aids a few nights a week to help me get a full nights rest. It’s a mix of ingredients that help you sleep but also help boost energy hormones at night while you rest. I also take magnesium before I go to bed. Usually about 300mg.
The leaner you are, the more testosterone you naturally produce. That “beer belly” is nothing more than a fast track to declining T, increased estrogen, and a host of other health problems. Keeping the weight off gets harder and harder as you age. Here’s how I do it:
Skip the long cardio:
Long, slow cardio is time consuming and sucks away your energy and natural human growth hormone (HGH) production. Instead, I focus on a mix of strength, mobility, and short, high-intensity training, which I call “P.R.I.M.E Training” (Peak Repetition Intervals at Maximum Effort). P.R.I.M.E Training involves an all-out effort doing rowing, burpees, or similar exercises over 20-30 seconds followed by 1-2 minutes rest between sets. I’ve also started “rucking” more – doing hikes or stair work with anything from 40-60lbs of weight in my backpack or on my shoulder. This type of training promotes lean muscle, helps drop fat, boosts and maintains high energy levels, and kicks up T and HGH levels.
Lift hard and heavy:
As you get older your muscle mass starts to decline. So I include lifting heavy weights and working large muscle groups in my training program. Studies show that increasing the weight load on the big muscle groups (hips and quads) boosts short-term T production. So forget the “ego muscles” like biceps and triceps and focus on the big muscle groups that with give you the real gains in life!
There’s a reason why our testicles (the main producers of T) hang outside our body – they love the cold (or just hate being hot!)! Cold showers, cryotherapy, or ice baths after exercise are a great way to reduce inflammation and can also help in boosting your energy, HGH, and fertility. I do cryotherapy 1-2 times a week and I can absolutely attest to the benefits – I go in feeling 75% and I come out feeling 200%. Try to also sleep in a room that’s between 60 and 67 degrees, which has been shown to enhance sleep quality. And sleep naked – it helps regulate body temperature.
Eat more fats and foods that boost your energy levels
Fats have had a bad rap over the years, but eating the right fats (e.g., omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated) is critical for us guys as we reach our later years. The fats in avocados, nuts, coconut oil, and other healthy fats have been shown to maximize T, help with Alzheimer’s, reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease, and promote weight loss. So make fats your friend. But don’t overdose, as those calories can add up.
I do intermittent fasting (IF) every Tuesday and Friday. IF has been shown to decrease inflammation, and boost your natural T levels. There’s no real magic to my IF – I just don’t eat for a day, usually from 6pm to the following 6pm.
Cut back on the alcohol and give your bathroom an “energy audit”
We all love a drink. But alcohol increases the metabolism and elimination of T from your bloodstream and also reduces the rate that your body produces the hormone. Cutting back on drinking helps increase your natural T levels and also helps you sleep better at night – which allows your body to naturally replenish your T levels. Alcohol also affects your liver, which is the main organ responsible for regulating the availability of free-T in our bodies. If you want to go “all in” then join me on one of my regular alcohol fasts. Your liver will thank you – and so will your energy levels!
Speaking of which, you probably didn’t know that many common household products and personal skincare items can rob you of your T and energy levels. You can read more about these toxins here and how to reduce their effect on your personal health.