○ 14 min read
Testosterone Demystified: Expert Advice from a Fitness Pro
With so much confusion out there about testosterone, it can be tough to know the best ways to keep your T-levels in good health.
To shed some light on this important issue, we met up with Dr. Fernando Titus. Through his own personal experiences and in his professional work as a personal trainer, he has firsthand knowledge of how fluctuating testosterone levels can affect everything from energy and physical performance to muscle gains and even focus and mood.
Find out why Dr. Titus encourages every male over the age of 30 to pay closer attention to their testosterone health and what practical steps every guy can take to level up their workouts, build stamina, and maintain overall vitality.
Dr. Fernando Titus, D.C., is a practitioner of chiropractic medicine, a personal trainer, and a former high-level athlete with a background in performance strength training, advanced conditioning, and rehabilitative training. He draws on nutritional science, a vast knowledge of anatomy and sports physiology, and his own passion for fitness to support and inspire people to continue to improve their lives by strengthening their physical stamina and overall health.
Why don’t you start by telling us what got you interested in the topic of testosterone and how it affects men’s health?
As a former high-level athlete, I continue to actively engage in rigorous physical fitness routines every day. I also consistently strive to discover new and effective approaches to optimize my own workout regimen.
But when I reached the age of 30, I noticed a decrease in my gym performance and muscle recovery compared to earlier years.
This prompted me to delve into the realm of testosterone health and supplements. This information has not only helped me maintain my own fitness goals, but it also helps me guide my clients in the right direction so they can reach their full potential.
All right, let’s dive into the basics. What is testosterone exactly?
That’s a good place to start, so let’s define testosterone.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. During puberty, it’s the driving force behind things like muscle and bone development, face and body hair, and a deepening voice.
But it’s not just about physical characteristics. Testosterone also influences your mood, energy levels, focus, and sex drive, and it does so throughout your entire life.
For most guys, testosterone production starts to slow down around the age of 30. The good news is this doesn’t happen overnight, and there are simple changes you can make to keep your T-levels robust and healthy.
What is free testosterone, and why is it important?
Usually, when we talk about supporting testosterone, what we’re really talking about is supporting free testosterone. And that’s because free testosterone is what’s actually driving the benefits we want, like enhanced muscle mass, vigorous daily energy, sexual vitality, and so on.
The thing is, free testosterone only makes up about 2% of your total testosterone. The other 98% is bound to compounds called carrier proteins. However, once testosterone binds to a carrier protein, it’s basically off-limits — you can’t use it.
The good news is that when you fortify your overall testosterone, you’re also promoting new free testosterone.
What are some everyday factors that impact testosterone?
Okay, so we know age affects testosterone over the long term, but what about right now? What are some things you’re doing — or not doing — that are impacting your T-levels?
♦ Are you getting enough exercise? Testosterone production is deeply linked to physical activity. If you’re not exercising or being active, your T-levels are going to pay the price.
♦ What’s your diet like? If you’re putting a lot of processed foods and sugar into your body, or you’re drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, that’s also bad news for your T.
♦ Last but not least, how are your stress levels? Stress tends to fly under the radar, but it’s actually really important when it comes to T health. When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which impacts testosterone levels.
What are some signs that your testosterone levels are out of balance?
If you notice that you’re tiring quicker, your drive and daily energy levels are down, your memory is a little fuzzy, or maybe you’ve lost some of that spark in the bedroom — these are all signs that your testosterone might need some extra help.
If you’re noticing any of these symptoms, now’s when you want to examine things like diet, exercise, and also your mental health, so you can start taking action.
What can I do to promote healthy testosterone?
Some of the best things you can do to promote testosterone are things that should already be part of your daily health routine — the testosterone benefits are an added bonus.
One of the best ways to activate testosterone is with a good workout.
When you put your muscles to work, and you get your heart rate up, your body sends a signal to your brain to release testosterone. Not only is it going to help fuel your workout, it’s also going to aid in muscle recovery.
When you’re not active, your brain doesn’t get that memo, and so it withholds testosterone from you.
All you need to do to reverse that trend is to get active. You don’t need to do anything crazy. Even 20 to 30 minutes of light cardio or resistance training a few times a week is all it takes to keep your T factory open for business.
If you’re someone who eats a lot of fast foods, sugar, and trans fats — that’s going to negatively affect your testosterone. Alcohol’s another one. Now, a few drinks a week isn’t going to tank your T-levels, but heavy alcohol consumption can take a toll on your testosterone.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, try filling your cart up with lean proteins like chicken or fish, leafy greens, avocados, and whole grains (and go light on the snacks).
Stress can do a number on your testosterone health. And while it’s impossible to get rid of stress entirely, there are plenty of easy things you can do to manage it. Now, it’s impossible to get rid of stress entirely, but there are things you can do to manage it.
Exercise is a great stress reducer, and we already know that it also benefits testosterone. And if you’re not somewhere where you can start busting out pushups, even taking a walk around the block and getting some fresh air can really help you de-stress.
Another thing we can all do is limit our screen time. Instead of doom-scrolling for hours on end or getting into arguments with strangers in the comments section, try 10 minutes of deep breathing or mindfulness meditation.
You want to make sure you’re getting at least 7 to 8 hours of good sleep every night to give your body and your mind a chance to recharge.
Along with these changes, it might be time to take a look at testosterone supplements.
A good testosterone supplement can be an absolute game-changer and a lot of guys swear by them.
But not all T supplements are created equal. It’s easy to be lured in by slick marketing, only to wind up with a product that doesn’t live up to the hype.
Do testosterone supplements actually work?
The short answer is: yes, a high-quality supplement can work, but it’s important to remember that supplements are not magic pills.
That’s why they’re called “supplements.” They are there to support the work that you’re already putting in.
And it’s actually in that supporting role that a good T supplement is the most effective.
What should you look for in a quality testosterone supplement?
The market is hyper-saturated with testosterone supplements, and unfortunately, a lot of companies out there over-promise but underdeliver.
So, with all the BS out there, how do you find a quality T supplement?
The first thing you should look at is who’s offering the product. Is that company trustworthy? Do they follow Good Manufacturing Practices? And do they test their supplements for purity and potency?
Secondly, check out some product reviews. Read what real people are saying. Are they happy with their purchase and are they getting the results they want? This is one of the best places to find honest answers.
And most importantly, look at the formula. What kind of ingredients are in the T supplement? Are they backed by science? And what’s their dosage?
If the product uses a proprietary blend of ingredients, make sure the doses are completely listed. Otherwise, you may end up paying top dollar for a bogus supplement.
What are some of the best ingredients to look for in an effective T supplement?
These days, you see a lot of products with 10 or 20 ingredients in them, but the truth is you only need a handful of ingredients to make an effective T supplement.
So what are the key ingredients that are going to have the biggest impact?
♦ One of the most effective ingredients for helping your T is called shilajit, a mineral resin that’s been used for centuries in Eastern medicine.
In one study, men who took shilajit twice a day for 90 days saw a significant increase in their testosterone levels, including free testosterone, which is that primo stuff your body can actually use.
♦ Next up, we have diindolylmethane, or DIM, for short. When you eat vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, they release an enzyme that’s converted to DIM in the body.
DIM affects levels of an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. By keeping this enzyme, called aromatase, in healthy ranges, your testosterone can stay in its most useful form rather than being converted to estrogen.
♦ Another big one for me is ashwagandha. This is an ancient Ayurvedic adaptogen that’s been used for millennia to promote everyday energy, focus, vitality, and even immune support.
But what makes ashwagandha special is its properties that help daily stress and tension melt away. Remember, we want to keep those cortisol levels under control.
♦ Last but not least, we have boron. Earlier, we mentioned that most of your testosterone is bound up with carrier proteins such as sex hormone-binding globulin or SHBG.
Boron helps to keep SHBG levels in the optimal range, which allows free testosterone to continue to circulate instead of being bound up with SHBG. That means plenty of free testosterone for things like muscle building, everyday energy, and sex drive.
♦ Now I want to give an honorable mention to zinc. This is something you find in a lot of testosterone supplements, and zinc really is good for your T-levels.
But the truth is, it’s a filler ingredient. Most people get enough zinc from the foods they eat. And if you’re taking a multivitamin or another supplement with zinc in it, you’re more than covered.
Just remember, if you’re considering trying a testosterone supplement, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor first, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition or take prescription medication.
What testosterone supplement do you like to recommend?
It’s probably no surprise that T-hero® from Essential elements® is my go-to supplement for male health and support.
One thing I love about Essential elements® is that they stick to naturally-derived ingredients. No fillers, no fluff. T-hero has just the essentials I mentioned earlier, like shilajit, DIM, boron, and even ashwagandha, to help keep me relaxed and focused. And all the doses are clearly labeled on the bottle.
T-hero has become an essential part of my wellness routine. Just two capsules a day, and I’m back in my element.
So what are you waiting for, fellas? Wake up your inner hero today with T-hero® from Essential elements®.
The Essential Element
What are you waiting for? If you are trying to amplify your workout experience or expand your physical limits, make sure you’ve got a good foundation to start from. As Dr. Titus said, you’ve got to put in the work and make lifestyle changes to keep your testosterone levels steady. T-hero® can give you the extra support you need to reach your goals.
With potent ingredients and effective dosages, T-hero® helps you maintain peak performance while strengthening your endurance and motivation. Magnify your efforts and unleash your superhuman potential!