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BIOLOGY

Do Cold Showers Really Boost Testosterone? Debunking the Myth

Explore the science behind the popular belief that cold showers increase testosterone levels, and discover effective, evidence-based alternatives for boosting men's health.

August 16, 2023
Medically-reviewed and fact checked by Ryan Lester, PA-C

Cold showers have long been touted as an innovative and all-natural means of increasing testosterone levels.

Cold water therapy proponents claim that by subjecting themselves to it, their energy can increase, alertness heightens, and normal testosterone levels are increased; however, recent studies discredit this widely held belief.

We will explore whether cold showers increase testosterone levels and dispel common testosterone myths while offering other strategies which positively impact hormone production and overall wellness.

BATHROOM TOWELS HANGING ON A HOOK

Do Cold Showers Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally?

A number of individuals, particularly in men's health fields, have advocated cold showers as an effective natural testosterone boost.

According to theory, exposure to cold water increases testosterone and other essential hormones essential for muscle growth and overall vitality.

Though some research studies have demonstrated a link between cold showers and slight increases in testosterone levels, cold water exposure does not seem to provide significant enough improvements for anyone looking for reliable ways to increase testosterone production.

The majority of studies assessing this relationship have not identified any consistent correlation between cold showers and improved testosterone levels. Instead, eating healthily, optimizing sleep, and engaging in regular exercise are more effective at promoting natural increases in testosterone.

Factors That Affect Testosterone Levels

While cold showers have been widely discussed as one way of increasing testosterone levels, other elements can have just as great an effect. It is essential to recognize that many different elements may influence hormone production.

Testosterone plays an essential role in many biological functions, from mood, sexual drive, and sexual function to bone density, strength, and muscle growth.

Factors that reduce testosterone levels include age, chronic stress, poor sleep, poor nutrition, certain medications, and lack of exercise. Each individual may see different rates of decline depending on his production level and individual genetic makeup.

Medication use can have an influence on testosterone levels as well. Studies have linked certain medications, such as opioids, corticosteroids, and antidepressants, with reduced testosterone production among male subjects.

Mental health also can have an influence. Men suffering from depression or anxiety could experience reduced testosterone levels, while those with greater self-esteem and an optimistic perspective could see elevated ones.

Chronic stress and obesity are also strongly associated with reduced testosterone levels.

Maintaining healthy testosterone levels requires exploring natural testosterone boosters such as improving exercise, nutrition, sleep, and stress management.

Natural Testosterone Boosters

PLATE OF FOOD: EGGS, LEAN MEAT, SEEDS, and VEGETABLES

Here are some natural ways of increasing testosterone:

1) Eat A Variation of Healthy Foods

While there is no magic food that can dramatically increase testosterone levels, there are certain dietary choices that can potentially support healthy testosterone production in men. 

  1. Healthy Fats: Consuming healthy fats is important for hormone production. Include sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like avocados, nuts (such as almonds and walnuts), seeds (such as flaxseeds and chia seeds), and fatty fish (like salmon, mackerel, and sardines).
  2. Protein-Rich Foods: Adequate protein intake is essential for maintaining muscle mass and supporting hormone production. Include lean sources of protein like chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, eggs, and plant-based protein sources like beans, lentils, and tofu.
  3. Zinc-Rich Foods: Zinc is a mineral that's important for testosterone production. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, beef, poultry, nuts (such as cashews and almonds), seeds (such as pumpkin seeds), and whole grains.
  4. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is associated with healthy testosterone levels. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are good sources of vitamin D, and you can also get it from fortified dairy or plant-based milk, eggs, and spending some time in the sun.
  5. Cruciferous Vegetables: Some studies suggest that vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts may help to regulate estrogen levels in the body, indirectly supporting healthy testosterone levels.
  6. Healthy Carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables provide energy and help maintain balanced hormone levels.
  7. Magnesium-Rich Foods: Magnesium plays a role in testosterone production and can be found in foods like nuts, seeds, leafy greens, whole grains, and dark chocolate.
  8. Avoid Excessive Sugar: High sugar consumption can lead to insulin resistance, which can negatively impact testosterone levels. Limit sugary foods and drinks.
  9. Limit Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can lower testosterone levels. If you drink, do so in moderation.
  10. Avoid Trans Fats: Trans fats can contribute to inflammation and negatively affect overall health. Limit processed and fried foods containing trans fats.
  11. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is important for overall health, including hormone balance.
MAN EXERCISING

2) Exercise

Regular physical activity has been demonstrated to positively affect testosterone and other hormone levels in men.

Working out stimulates endorphins and other hormones within your body that encourage muscle repair and growth, ultimately increasing testosterone production.

Strength training can be one of the best natural methods of raising testosterone levels. By lifting heavy weights, strength training stresses your muscles and prompts your body to produce more testosterone.

Compound exercises like deadlifts, squats, and bench presses have proven highly successful at increasing testosterone levels.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), consisting of short bursts of vigorous exercise interspersed with brief rest intervals, is another efficient means of raising testosterone levels.

Though regular exercise may help raise testosterone levels, some individuals may not see significant increases from training alone.

Man sleeping

3) Sleep

Quality sleep induces testosterone production and is crucial to physical and mental well-being.

During sleep, testosterone levels can fluctuate. Research suggests that the majority of testosterone is released during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is a stage of deep sleep that occurs in cycles throughout the night. The first cycle of REM sleep usually occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep, and subsequent cycles occur at intervals throughout the night.

Lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep significantly decreases testosterone production, which can lead to diminished energy levels, muscle atrophy, fat accumulation, reduced sexual drive, and erectile dysfunction.

Studies have revealed that men sleeping less than five hours a night experienced testosterone levels comparable to those ten years their senior

Wellcore’s Hormone Optimization Program

While cold showers may provide certain health advantages, no evidence supports claims they boost testosterone levels.

Be wary of any health trends or myths and conduct extensive research before significantly adjusting your routine.

Wellcore's hormone optimization program for men provides safe and clinically validated solutions for enhancing testosterone. Experience the convenience and accuracy of at-home, painless blood tests that analyze 22 biomarkers and provide a comprehensive overview of your health. 

Visit Wellcore's website and see how Wellcore can assist in reaching your health and fitness goals.

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Join millions of men and women who are improving their health by ordering the Wellcore At-Home Assessment Kit today.

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