In this post, we will explain the decrease and what you can do to maximise your testosterone & sperm count.
Why Is This A Problem?
Optimal sexual health isn’t just a figure of speech or a bragging right – it’s crucial for all of us. Many of the issues below combined, also likely lead to a shorter life.
Sexual Experience: Men with low testosterone struggle to get and maintain an erection & suffer from a lower libido.
Risk of Injury: Reduced muscle strength combined with decreased bone density increases injury risk.
Body Composition: It becomes more difficult to regulate your body weight, leaving you with high body fat, less muscle and reduced strength.
Energy Levels: Fatigue and feeling lethargic are normal for men with low testosterone.
Reproductive Rights: Women tend to find men with optimal testosterone physically attractive.
Mental Health: Increased levels of depression, less motivation and loss of focus.
Hair Loss: Increased likelihood of suffering from hair loss.
Identity Conflict: An exponential rise of androgyny and transgenderism.
Human Advancement: Testosterone is the 'dominating' hormone. Without it, we experience a reduced motivation to achieve great things, overcome challenges and advance the species.
Immunity: Experience reduced immunity
Less sperm means you are less likely to fertilise an embryo to conceive children. On a global scale, if decreasing sperm levels continue to worsen (it looks like they will), it threatens the population even though it may not be so apparent now (Our population size recently hit 8 billion).
Therefore, it isn’t a stretch to say that it is our duty as men to maximise our sexual health for the future of humanity. Women also need to take heed as optimal hormones influence their fertility too.
So, what causes these issues, and what can we do about them?
Causes of Decreased Sperm Counts & Lower Testosterone
1. Family history
The overall health of your mother and lifestyle choices during pregnancy are important. Poor decisions here could mean many men are fighting a losing battle to have a high sperm count before they’re even born.
Same for the father. For example, if your father was overweight, had a poor diet, didn’t exercise regularly or smoked, these lifestyle choices could also be reducing your ability to produce a healthy amount of sperm.
Knowing that your children’s health depends on your actions today, before they are even conceived in the womb,should motivate you to take this seriously.
Lack of exercise, poor diet, chronic stress, no goal-seeking, minimal connections with nature and avoiding discomfort are significant causes for poor sexual health. Why would you need optimal testosterone levels when your lifestyle doesn't necessitate it?
So, why don’t we just eliminate endocrine disruptors? Unlikely to happen because they're in a wide range of substances used in everyday life for all industries: Industrial, agriculture, residential, pharmaceutical and heavy metals.
Examples of Endocrine Disruptors
Pesticides used in farming pollute the soil, contaminating the air we breathe and food we eat.
BPA plastics are used to produce many everyday items, including food storage containers.
PFAs used to make non-stick coatings, particularly in cooking utensils.
We live in a highly polluted environment, and it’s only going to worsen. The low sperm counts we’re seeing in men today were caused by the environment our parents were exposed to in the past. So, if the current situation is alarming to you, it’s only going to get worse with the next generation.
Your Mission: Maximise Sperm Count, Testosterone and Fertility
Drastic changes need to be made on a global scale, however, you must take personal responsibility to improve your sexual health. Don’t rely on others. To accomplish this, approach this with the attitude of optimising the simple things and slowly make changes to your lifestyle; one step at a time.
Here is a brief overview of some steps you can take. We’ll expand on them in significantly more detail in separate blog posts.
1. Optimise Body Weight and Body Fat Percentage
Being high bodyfat percentage (25%+)/ overweight or obese is linked to decreased sperm count and testosterone levels. Strength training + slight calorie deficit will improve this over time.
Consuming creatine, zinc, vitamin D3 and magnesium have been shown to increase dihydrotestosterone levels. This leads to an increase in androgen receptors, allowing your body to maximise your current testosterone levels.
Improving gut health is also a key part of this which is often overlooked.
Note: Optimising your behaviour should be the first step before considering supplements. Build good habits first.
3. Optimise Your Stress & Anxiety Response
We can’t always control the external world, but we can strive to control our response. Society likes to give lazy people pills, work on yourself to control your response.
Enjoying social connections (partner, friendship, pets, participating or watching events) help suppress long-term stress by releasing serotonin. If you don't have social connections, we'll have a post out soon showing you how.
Procrastination will trigger stress due to inaction and guilt. Spend time creating a to-do list / plans and get to work. One task at a time.
Short-term, you can reduce your heart rate by manipulating your breathing. Inhale through the nose, then deeply exhale through the mouth. The exhale should be longer than the inhale. This will temporarily reduce your heart rate. There are various breathing techniques which you can look in to through a Google search.
Meditation / mindfulness, getting into nature, exercise, making time for yourself are additional ways to optimise your stress response.
4. Learn to be a Nasal Breather
On the note of breathing, many people breathe through their mouths; strive to change this. Cosmetic benefits, sleep apnea reduction, CO2 removal, increased lung capacity, dilated sinuses and reduced cortisol. All of these are benefits which indirectly raise hormone levels in the appropriate ratios.
5. Strength Train Regularly
Regularly raising your heart rate by engaging in moderate exercise, including strength training, on a regular basis will help your body produce powerful antioxidant enzymes that encourage sperm and testosterone production. Testosterone increases for up to 48 hours post-strength training (don’t go to failure too often though because this has the opposite effect).
Intense endurance activity decreases testosterone temporarily due to an increase in cortisol production. So if you’re going to do this, do it after a strength training session rather than before.
6. Get Outdoors & Increase Cold Exposure
Exposure to sunlight first thing in the morning for at least 2-10 minutes increases dopamine and testosterone. Longer-term, absorbing vitamin D is critical for production of testosterone and sperm.
Cold exposure (ice bathes, outdoor swimming, cold showers etc) have been shown to spike testosterone levels for up to 24 hours post-exposure. Cold exposure causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels). After this there is a rebound vasodilation (widening of blood vessels). Due to this, more blood is sent to the gonads and a neural effect also takes place; where the gonads are stimulated more to release more hormones.
7. Optimise Sleep & Light Consumption
A regular sleeping pattern that allows you to rest for 7-8 hours per night is optimal.
Light-viewing behaviour has a direct relationship on your dopamine, hormone levels, fertility libido and recovery. Increased light through the eyes (not the skin), increases dopamine levels, this increases melanocytes and increases activity of melatonin-producing cells which indirectly increase testosterone and oestrogen levels. Simply getting up to 10 minutes of bright light into your eyes early in the day without sunglasses will help optimise this process.
Avoid bright light during the night, this will suppress dopamine and therefore negatively impact hormone levels.
Use a blue light filter on your device if you need to use a screen. Wear a black-out sleep mask or install black-out blinds. Especially for shift-workers, it will prevent you from being woken up by the sunlight and help you fall asleep faster.
8. Consider Abstaining from Sexual Activity for 1-Week Intervals
This is contentious but studies have indicated that withholding from sex / ejaculation for 1 week can increase testosterone levels by up to 400% temporarily. Having sex can also increase testosterone levels temporarily, but not as much as abstaining.
9. Reduce Endocrine Disruptor Exposure
Although endocrine disruptors are polluting our atmosphere, waters and food, you can takesteps to reduce your exposure to EDCs. Making better food choices, storing food in BPA-free containers and preparing food using methods that minimise the use of endocrine disruptors are all steps to take.
10. Get Tested Every Year
Knowing your metrics is important for two reasons. 1) When your health goes south, doctors can review your hormone history to see what they need to help regulate 2) If you are trying to optimise your levels, you have a benchmark to work from and are able to measure success.
The modern-day environment is negatively impacting everybody's sexual health. Even the animal kingdom is feeling its effects. While the overall problem needs to be addressed by governments to make widespread change, as men we must take personal responsibility and produce changes to our lifestyle that optimise testosterone and sperm. If it seems like a lot, start with taking one step at a time.
The future of humanity depends on us taking individual action today.