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How to Increase Testosterone: Methods You Would Never Expect

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

Testosterone Optimazation

Testosterone, a vital hormone, plays a significant role in our overall health and well-being. It contributes to our energy, mood, libido, and drive to compete. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to enhance your testosterone levels for optimal health. It draws on various strategies and methods discussed in Andrew Huberman's podcast episode 15, 'How to Optimize Testosterone and Estrogen.

Understanding the Role of Testosterone

Testosterone is often associated with vigor and masculinity. It not only boosts our drive to exert effort and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, but also lowers the threshold for anxiety, promoting resilience and endurance.

Testosterone and Competition

Interestingly, our competitive nature is intricately linked with our testosterone levels. A competitive environment alone can elevate testosterone levels, with winning further amplifying this effect due to the release of the dopamine hormone. Even if a victory isn't achieved, the act of participating in a competition can still result in a significant testosterone boost, enhancing our drive to compete and willingness to endure.

Testosterone and Libido

Testosterone is a key player in maintaining a healthy libido. However, it's worth noting that a balance between testosterone and estrogen is essential. If men experience a total loss of estrogen, it can result in a libido decline.

The Impact of Sexual Activity on Testosterone Levels

Engaging in sexual activity can cause an increase in testosterone levels. A study conducted in 2011 by Escasa found that testosterone levels can be slightly elevated by observing sexual activities. Such as watching pornography, experienced a slight increase in testosterone levels during the observation, although the increase was modest, around 10%.

Participate in Sex

However, the increase is considerably more significant when the individual actively participates in sexual intercourse, rather than just observing it. Engaging in sexual intercourse can lead to an increase in testosterone levels of up to 70%.

Ejaculation and Testosterone

Contrary to popular belief, sex, and ejaculation do not deplete testosterone levels. Instead, they trigger an increase in prolactin levels. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for the refractory period in males, a period during which they cannot engage in sexual activity again.

Boost Testosterone Level Up to 400%

Interestingly, abstaining from sex or avoiding ejaculation for a week or more can result in a substantial testosterone boost, up to 400%.

The Importance of Nose Breathing

Apnea and Testosterone

Apnea, characterized by under-breathing and an excessive buildup of carbon dioxide in the body, is often associated with lower testosterone levels. It has various detrimental effects, including accelerated aging, reduced hormone production, and compromised overall health. Sleep apnea, in particular, can negatively impact testosterone levels.

Nasal Breathing for Testosterone Optimization

Nasal breathing is a simple yet effective way to optimize testosterone levels. It not only improves jawline aesthetics but also positively impacts hormone balance. Additionally, it promotes better sleep quality, which in turn leads to increased testosterone production. Reducing or eliminating apnea during sleep can significantly enhance testosterone levels in males and promote a balanced testosterone and estrogen ratio in females.

Light Exposure Impact on Testosterone Levels

Exposure to bright light within the first hour of waking can affect sleep, wakefulness, and hormones. Light and dopamine have a closely intertwined relationship, Our light-viewing behavior directly influences hormone levels, fertility, libido, and the body's ability to heal quickly. It's important to note that this topic specifically focuses on viewing light with our eyes, not just the body. Therefore, it's crucial to adopt appropriate light-related behaviors.

Get Sunlight Early in the Morning

Optimizing testosterone levels is not solely about improving sleep quality but also about ensuring an adequate amount of light enters our eyes to stimulate dopamine production. To achieve this, we should aim for 2 to 10 minutes of exposure to bright light early in the day. Simply wearing sunglasses is not sufficient for this purpose.

Avoid Bright Light Exposure in the Middle of the Night

It's advisable to avoid exposure to bright light during the middle of the night as it can suppress dopamine release, ultimately leading to a decrease in testosterone levels.

The Influence of Temperature on Testosterone Levels

Seasonal Variations in Testosterone Levels

Testosterone levels tend to be lower during winter and higher in summer, influenced by dopamine levels. Cold exposure, such as ice baths or cold showers, can have a positive effect on optimizing testosterone levels.

Cold Exposure to Testosterone

Cooling down neurons can reduce their activity, and cold exposure of 1 to 10 minutes can increase testosterone levels. As the gonads and the surrounding area heat up again, there is hyper-vasodilation, which leads to increased delivery of hormones and stimulates the gonads to release more testosterone.

Exercise and Testosterone Levels

Lifting Heavy Weights

Engaging in heavy-weight training within the 1 to 8 rep range, typically working at around 70% to 95% of our maximum capacity, results in a significant increase in testosterone levels.

Cardio and Testosterone

It's advisable to prioritize weight training before cardio exercises to optimize testosterone response. Endurance exercises lasting more than 75 minutes tend to reduce testosterone levels. It's important to note the effect may vary depending on the intensity of the exercise.

Nutrition for Testosterone Optimization

Vitamine D, Zinc, and Magnesium

Vitamin D, Zinc, and Magnesium are crucial for testosterone optimization.

Tongkat Ali

Tongkat Ali, an herbal supplement, can help increase testosterone levels in men with low testosterone or age-related decline.


Creatine increases DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a hormone responsible for the development and maintenance of male sexual characteristics.


Boron supplementation can have positive effects on testosterone levels.

Too Much is Not Good

Sometimes, we tend to believe that consuming more will lead to greater effectiveness, but it's important to remember that excessive consumption is definitely not beneficial.


Enhancing your testosterone level is a multifaceted process that involves various lifestyle modifications. By adopting the strategies outlined in this article, you can take a significant step towards testosterone optimization, ultimately leading to improved health and well-being.


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