alt= Worldwide Shipping from the USA and UK
TestoFuel Blog : Make Gains & Pack on the Muscle

Over 50? Here are Seven Ways to Boost Your Testosterone 

Most men of a certain age feel that they probably need to increase their testosterone production, but many may not be certain as to why this is. What is testosterone? What are its functions? But most importantly how can men over 50 increase their testosterone levels? This article will help you to find out. 

What is Testosterone? 

Testosterone is a sex hormone that is produced in the testes in men and the ovaries in women. Cholesterol is converted into testosterone in Leydig cells, which can be found in the testes and to a lesser extent in the ovaries.  

Testosterone is a type of androgen (sex hormones), there are several others (DHT, DHEA, and Androstenedione) but testosterone is the primary androgen. Women also produce androgens but in much smaller amounts, instead, they rely on estrogen. 

Testosterone has many functions, it helps: 

  • Increase bone density 
  • Improve libido and fertility 
  • Develop muscle 
  • Produce red blood cells 
  • Distribute fat 

A general rule of thumb would be that the more testosterone your body produces, the healthier you are. This isn’t always the case, but it is remarkable how highly correlated testosterone levels are with overall health.  

Poor health, stress, insomnia, and poor mental health can all disrupt healthy testosterone production, which will lead to low testosterone. In turn, low testosterone can lead to poor health, stress, insomnia, and poor mental health. Creating a vicious cycle that many men struggle to break out of.  

Why Do Men Over 50 Need to Boost Testosterone? 

As young boys go through puberty, their testosterone levels will be at maximum capacity. This leads to growth spurts, increased bone density, muscle mass, and high libido. It can also cause some side effects such as acne, mood swings, and increased sweat. 

After puberty, testosterone production is still high throughout your 20s, but the effects are not as extreme. Once you reach your 30s, your testosterone production begins a natural decline. Total testosterone drops 1.6% per year [1]. 

This won’t be much of an issue in your 30s, but by your 40s and 50s the drop in testosterone production will begin to bring unwanted side effects. The medical term for very low testosterone production is hypogonadism.  

According to a 2001 study, 20% of men in their early 60s will suffer from hypogonadism, with this number rising to 50% in men over 80 years of age [2] 

Some of the most common symptoms of low testosterone include: 

  • Low sex drive 
  • Insomnia 
  • Depression 
  • Infertility and erectile dysfunction 
  • Low libido 
  • Poor recovery from exercise 
  • Increased body fat 
  • Sweating 
  • Lethargy (low energy) 

For the vast majority of men over 50, boosting your testosterone levels is not about reaching ridiculously high levels (such as bodybuilders would have). It is about restoring your testosterone to healthy levels and supporting its natural production to prevent future loss.  

In this article, we will be talking about ways to support healthy testosterone production and help you to sustain the ideal levels.  

Seven Ways to Boost Your Testosterone 

Here are seven ways for you to boost your testosterone production back to healthy levels and sustain high testosterone indefinitely. Each step will provide an explanation of the science behind it, and practical steps for you to follow. 


Isn’t it great when the first piece of advice somebody gives you is to sleep more? Sure, it isn’t always easy to fit sleep into busy routines, but you will rarely find a more pleasurable way to improve your health than snoozing that alarm clock and getting an extra hour in bed! 

The relationship between reduced sleep and low testosterone is well established. A 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that sleeping 5 hours per night led to a 10 to 15% drop in testosterone production after just one week [3]. 

There is also evidence that low testosterone levels can lead to poor sleep quality. A 2014 study found that low testosterone affected sleep quality, and that treating the low testosterone led to better sleep quality [4] 

A 2011 study also found that sleeping 5 hours led to a 15% reduction in testosterone production, it also found that the time of day when testosterone levels were lowest (due to bad sleep) was between 2pm and 10pm [5]. This is interesting because you would assume that it would affect morning testosterone levels the most.  

But bad sleep affects testosterone in a number of other ways. Bad sleep has been shown to raise cortisol levels the next day [6]. Cortisol is often described as the “testosterone killer” because chronically elevated cortisol levels can inhibit testosterone and growth hormone production [7]. This is why stress is often blamed for infertility in males.  

Sleep can also affect your appetite, causing you to overeat and gain weight. As we will find later, weight gain is a big cause of low testosterone. Sleep causes you to overeat in two ways.  

Firstly, it reduces production of leptin, this is a hormone that tells us when we are full. When working properly, leptin can stop us from overeating, but when its production is inhibited (by sleep for example) it won’t function as well, and we will be able to eat a lot more food without feeling sated. 

It also affects ghrelin, a hormone that tells us we are hungry. Bad sleep can raise ghrelin levels, making us feel more hungry than usual. Think about that as a combination. You feel much more hungry than usual, and it takes more food to make you feel full. You are almost definitely going to overeat. 

Which is exactly what happens. People who sleep poorly see increases in ghrelin, reduced leptin, and increases in body weight [8] 

This could well be a survival instinct from our ancestors. Bad sleep will lead to fatigue, so eating more food than usual would help to address the energy imbalance. Of course, in a world where we spend a lot more time sitting down and a lot less time hunting/gathering this can lead to weight gain.  

The second way in which sleep affects eating habits and weight is quite fascinating. A 2014 study titled The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Food Desire in the Human Brain found that: 

“Sleep deprivation significantly decreases activity in appetitive evaluation regions within the human frontal cortex and insula cortex during food desirability choices, combined with a converse amplification of activity within the amygdala. Moreover, this bi-directional change in the profile of brain activity is further associated with a significant increase in the desire for weight-gain promoting high-calorie foods following sleep deprivation, the extent of which is predicted by the subjective severity of sleep loss across participants.” [9] 

In other words, bad sleep causes a temporary change in brain activity, leading you to seek out high-calorie foods rather than more sensible, nutritious choices. If you have ever woken up after a terrible night’s sleep and grabbed a doughnut rather than a bowl of oatmeal then you will have an understanding of this issue. 

Continued bad sleep (insomnia) can easily lead to weight gain, fatigue, depression, and increased cortisol. All of which can lead to depressed testosterone production. On the flip side, addressing these issues (see below) can help to raise your testosterone levels back to normal and support them. 

What to Do Next: 

The obvious answer is SLEEP MORE, but that’s easier said than done. Hectic lifestyles, kids (or grandkids), pets, neighbours, noise pollution, these are all factors that are outside of our control. But where possible, you need to prioritise your sleep. Here is a quick checklist of ways to improve your sleep duration and quality: 

  • Have a strict bedtime 
  • Wake up at the same time every day 
  • Avoid caffeine 6-8 hours before bed 
  • Take sleep supplements such as 5-HTP, melatonin, ashwagandha root 
  • Avoid electronic devices for 30 minutes before sleep 


There are many ways in which diet can affect testosterone, the most obvious of which would be eating too many calories can lead to weight gain. But we’re going to focus on weight management later on in the article. In this section, we will be taking a look at foods that you can eat that will help to protect and raise testosterone levels. 

One way to directly increase testosterone is to consume more HDL cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is often described as “good” cholesterol and it can be found in foods such as olive oil, fatty fish, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.  

As we discussed in the section “What is testosterone?”, cholesterol is converted into testosterone in the Leydig cells. So, a diet that is high in good cholesterol can lead to increased testosterone.  

Diets that are low in fat, and therefore low in cholesterol, have been associated with lower testosterone production in men [10]. On the other hand, diets that contain a lot of high-cholesterol foods could cause weight gain, which negatively affects testosterone. So, you need to be strategic, stay within your calorie target while eating a wide variety of healthy fats.  

You can also increase testosterone by eating foods that inhibit aromatase. This is an enzyme that the body uses to convert testosterone into estrogen. As you can imagine, too much aromatase can seriously affect testosterone levels. Luckily, a number of foods are able to lower aromatase production. Eating a diet rich in these foods is a great way to protect your testosterone. 

Foods that can inhibit aromatase include: 

  • Cruciferous vegetables – kale, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli 
  • Mushrooms 
  • Cranberries 
  • Oats 
  • Grapes 

Alongside aromatase-inhibiting foods, you can also look at shoring up nutritional deficiencies. Vitamin D, zinc, D-aspartic acid, and magnesium deficiencies can all lead to low testosterone. Many of these deficiencies can be addressed by eating foods that are high in them. For example, eggs contain D-aspartic acid, zinc, and vitamin D. But sometimes supplementation is the answer (see the natural testosterone boosters section).  

What to Do Next: 

Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great place to start, though that does not mean you need to become vegetarian or vegan. A plant-based diet means getting a lot of your calories from plants, but not all.  

Adding foods that can inhibit aromatase is a great move, eating more fatty fish and eggs is really helpful as they can help to provide HDL cholesterol while also preventing nutrient deficiencies. Whatever you do, make sure that your diet is not leading to weight gain (unless you are underweight) as this could lead to testosterone production problems in the future.  

Stress Management 

There are different types of stress. You have physical stress (too much exercise), stress caused by pain, then there is mental stress and anxiety. All forms of stress cause cortisol to be released. Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone for this reason. While cortisol can have many benefits (it helps to regulate blood pressure for example) chronically elevated cortisol can severely affect testosterone. 

A 2016 focused on the effects of psychological stress on testosterone, but also mentioned how other forms of stress can lower testosterone production [11]. The study also found that there are many genetic factors that can influence how badly your testosterone production is affected by stress.  

The study concluded that emotional control could help to limit how badly your testosterone was affected. What does this mean?  

Well, you can’t just cut stress out of your life. Not for at least another 15 years (depending on how close to retirement you are right now). But you can reduce your risk in two ways: 

  1. Lower the likelihood of dealing with stress (change job, avoid people who cause you stress) 
  1. Improve your response to stress (cognitive behavioural therapy, meditation) 

One cause of stress that surprises a lot of people is exercise. A good workout has many benefits, but it is also physically (and often mentally) taxing. That’s kind of the point. You are pushing your body past its comfort zone in an attempt to force it to adapt.  

Your body needs time to recover from a workout. Depending on a number of factors (intensity, experience, genetics) that recovery time may be several hours, or several days. Exercising too often and not getting sufficient rest can cause your body a lot of physical stress. This leads to overtraining, which can lead to lower testosterone.  

Studies have looked into the surprisingly common case of men who train very often at a high intensity yet suffer from low testosterone [12]. Exercise is obviously beneficial (see the next section) but too much exercise is a form of stress, and stress is bad for testosterone.  

What to Do Next: 

As best as you can, reduce your exposure to situations that can cause you stress. One aspect that you have more control over than others is your social life and family life. Try to avoid staying out drinking too often, avoid drug use, avoid people who bring drama with them, and make sensible decisions where possible.  

If there are causes of stress that you cannot avoid (work, family, financial) then look at ways of improving how you react to them. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is becoming more and more popular as a way to improve how you react to stress and anxiety. Talking to a health professional is another excellent option.  

Resistance Training 

In the previous section, we talked about the dangers of overtraining, but no matter how dangerous overtraining may be, it is nowhere near as dangerous as not exercising at all! Resistance training (free weights, machines, bodyweight exercises) has been consistently found to raise testosterone levels and improve the many health factors that can contribute to high testosterone.  

Studies show that free weight exercises, particularly compound movements, cause the largest spikes in testosterone. A 2020 study found that while there was no difference in strength gains between free weight exercises and machines, that free weight exercises led to a greater hormonal response in men [13] 

But any form of exercise can help to raise testosterone levels, cardio can help by lowering body fat, improving mood, and it allows you to spend time outside which can help with vitamin D. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has also been associated with elevated testosterone [14]. 

Regular exercise, 3-4 times per week, with sufficient recovery time, is a fantastic way to raise your testosterone naturally. It can also help to improve your mood, improve sleep quality, and help with weight management.  

What to Do Next: 

Join a gym, go for runs, hire a personal trainer, join an exercise class, or even just go walking more often. Be consistent, push yourself, and ensure that you are giving yourself ample time to recover. If you can, learn how to perform compound lifts such as deadlifts, squats, kettlebell swings, bench press, and bent over rows, as these provide the best testosterone producing results.  

Reduce Body Fat 

This is a combination of all of the steps we’ve looked at so far. If you are overweight and have a lot of stored body fat then you are likely to have low testosterone. This is because body fat can increase production of aromatase (that enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen) leading to low testosterone and high estrogen levels.  

Being overweight can also cause chronically elevated cortisol levels, which can harm testosterone production and affect sleep. Using diet, sleep, stress management, and regular exercise to lower body fat will lead to significant improvements in your testosterone levels.  

Just make sure that you don’t lose too much weight. Being underweight, or staying in a calorie deficit for too long, can lead to low testosterone in much the same way as being overweight. A 2010 study found that long-term calorie restriction can lead to low testosterone in both overweight and underweight men [15] 

What to Do Next: 

Use the steps we have already looked at (sleep, diet, stress management, exercise) to help you lose excess body fat. This can take time, but it is better that way. Short cuts rarely work. That being said, do not restrict calories for too long, as this will harm testosterone production. Create a small calorie deficit and eat enough food to avoid deficiencies.  

Spend More Time in Nature 

Vitamin D deficiencies are very common, particularly in men who live in countries that have very dark winters. The UK, Canada, Scandinavian countries, and northern states in the US, are examples of this. Men with darker skin are more likely to be affected than men with lighter skin.  

You can fix this deficiency with certain foods, or supplementation, but spending time outdoors can also be highly effective. Studies have shown that spending time in nature (parks, woods, fields, mountains) is very beneficial for mood. So, this can help with stress management, anxiety, and depression [16] 

Spending time in nature also involves some form of exercise. Walking, running, cycling, or some form of sporting activity. This can help with losing weight, building muscle, and directly raising testosterone.  

What to Do Next: 

Schedule at least 120 minutes of your week to be spent outside in nature. This is the minimum time that has been shown to be effective. Walk the dog, play some basketball, train for a 5K race. Whatever you want, just use the time productively.  

Use Natural Testosterone Boosters 

Natural testosterone boosters are becoming more and more popular with men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. They are packed with natural ingredients such as D-aspartic acid, vitamin D, ashwagandha root, and ginseng. These ingredients have been shown time and time again to help boost testosterone in men who suffer from low T.  

The trick with testosterone boosters is to use them in conjunction with the other lifestyle changes we’ve mentioned so far. Alone, they take time to work, but when combined with better sleep, exercise, diet, and the rest, they offer a synergistic relationship. Finding the right natural testosterone booster for you can also make a huge difference.  

What to Do Next: 

Follow all of the steps above, and then choose the right natural testosterone booster to accompany them. You can expect superior results this way.  

Final Thoughts on Boosting Testosterone 

Seeing seven steps to improving your testosterone levels may feel a little intimidating at first. But it really doesn’t have to be. Many of you are probably already doing enough for some steps. Perhaps you sleep badly but have a good diet. Or you have a bad diet but exercise three times per week.  

You don’t need to strive for perfection, just consistency. Make small changes at first and look to progress them over time.  

Another thing in your favour is the fact that mastering one step can often make other steps easier. If you can master sleeping, then dieting and exercise will become easier because you will have more energy, an improved mood, and better appetite regulation.  

Mastering exercise can help with mood, sleep, and weight management, because it naturally raises testosterone while also burning fat and boosting mood.  

Taking a natural testosterone booster can help with mood and sleep, which can then help give you the energy to exercise more. They are all connected. All you need to do now, is take your first step towards boosting your testosterone levels naturally.  


Frequently Asked Questions 

How Do I Boost My Testosterone Fast? 

Sleep well, have a workout, eat a diet that is high in healthy fats, avoid stressful situations, and spend time outdoors getting some sunlight on your skin. A testosterone booster can also help when combined with the above.  

Can You Boost Testosterone Naturally? 

Boosting testosterone naturally is the preferred way to proceed, and yes it can be done. Just lead a healthy lifestyle. Sleep for 8 hours, eat well, avoid excess body fat, exercise often. Take natural testosterone boosters.  

What Foods Increase Testosterone Levels Quickly? 

Foods that are high in zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and D-aspartic acid. Foods that can inhibit aromatase (cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, oats, cranberries, grapes) can also increase testosterone levels indirectly.  

What Vitamin Increases Testosterone the Most? 

Vitamin D increases testosterone the most in men who are deficient in vitamin D. Many people with low testosterone are deficient in vitamin D.  

Are Testosterone Boosters Worth it? 

Good testosterone boosters are worth it, but they work best when combined with lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, and spending time outdoors.