Recently I’ve been doing some more digging into testosterone as it relates heavily to men who want to be stronger, leaner, and healthier.
Some lesser-known factors that can fix low testosterone are:
- Sunshine (particularly infrared rays) increases testosterone through the luteinizing hormone.
- Vitamin D levels are correlated to testosterone.
- Eating real honey increases testosterone.
- Eating enough saturated fats helps testosterone. (study)
- Sleeping better helps testosterone (aim for around 7.25–9 hours a night.)
- Magnesium metabolizes vitamin D (along with vitamin K), and up to 50% of the population is deficient—possibly due to soil fertilization problems or too much vitamin D supplementation. (study) Fixing magnesium deficiencies can increase testosterone (study) and fix up heart disease. Red light therapy (or the sun) can also increase magnesium and vitamin D (2019 study.)
But most shockingly, men’s underwear could be a huge problem for testosterone.
Here’s a 2018 Telegraph article covering a Harvard study:
“Men who wear boxer shorts have higher sperm concentrations than men who wear tight fitting underwear, the largest study of its kind has found.
Examinations of 656 men showed that those primarily wore boxer shorts had a 25 per cent higher sperm concentration, 17 per cent higher total sperm count and 33 per cent more swimming sperm than men who favoured tight fitting underwear.
They also had lower levels of follicle-stimulating hormone which kicks in to stimulate sperm production when things are going wrong, and is a sign of poor testicular health, which may be caused by excessive heat.“
Now, testosterone and sperm quality have a complex relationship, but the main point I want to focus on is *heat*.
The testes are dropped down from the body to reduce heat. In fact, they should feel a bit cold to the touch, to operate optimally.
When the testes aren’t getting cooled, they drop down even further. And when they’re hot, the blood starts pooling in the testes, and the veins need to swell up to get the blood out. (Eventually, if this happens long enough, the veins are permanently enlarged, and they feel like a bag of worms, called a varicocele.)
People on Reddit talk about how their testosterone levels shot up once they had fixed their varicoceles.
It’s not just underwear—anything that heats the testicles could be a problem. That means these issues could start right from birth.
A 2007 review on the Lifestyle impact and the biology of the human scrotum wrote:
“Nappy use leads to a long-term increase in scrotal temperature of 1–2 C, compared to air-exposure. There appears to be little difference between the use of modern disposable nappies and old-fashioned cloth nappies used together with a plastic cover. If these become wet or soiled, then a further increase in scrotal temperature may be recorded. Dry cloth nappies without any covering only appear to have a small effect on scrotal temperature.
Babies are often sedentary or asleep for long periods, and nappies may become soiled or wet for much of this time. Nappy usage can extend for several years at a time when the testes may be establishing their reproductive potential.”
I don’t have a son, but one day should we be blessed, you can bet that diapers and underwear will be a consideration. (And also potty training them as soon as possible.)
What can men do to fix up their low testosterone right now?
The easiest thing is for men to begin sleeping naked. That will reduce the heat problem for a good 7–9 hours of the night. (You could also tell your wife to sleep naked too.)
The next best step would be to switch to boxers. (I just spent an absurd amount on linen boxers to see how they do.)
The next best step may be to consider “freeballing,” which has details that can be tricky to pull off (the dribble on pants, cleanliness, etc.)
Men can also avoid hot baths, stop using their laptop on their testicles, and getting a lot more sunshine exposure (infrared in the morning and evening, and middle of the day for vitamin–d.)
Anyways, sometimes I wonder if things were easier in Biblical times in terms of clothing. You’d have your tunic for daily wear that’s free and flowy. But you’d also have the ability to “gird your loins” for fighting. Here’s a great demonstration from the Art of Manliness.
We cover testosterone a bit in our True Gains program, as it’s a huge part of becoming stronger and leaner. If you think you’ve got low testosterone, you may suffer from being skinny-fat (both under muscled and too fat.) In that case, you may want to sign-up for our free email course on fixing it.