Testosterone is paramount for a healthy male life. It influences your mood, muscle development, and even your sex life. It’s the quintessence of masculinity, essentially. Which is why it’s your job as a man to make sure your body’s testosterone production is in top shape. There are plenty of things to discuss, but let’s start with 4 common mistakes that can sink your testosterone levels.

1. Not Getting Enough Sleep

I always find it funny that many guys who want to boost their testosterone levels don’t realize how important it is to get plenty of rest. Of course, that’s not always a huge surprise. After all, in today’s society, staying up late until 3-4AM is very easy to do. All you need is a computer or a mobile device, Internet access, and it’s extremely easy to lose track of time.

alarm clock

For some, it doesn’t seem like too much of an issue. Hell, some people are even okay with only getting around five or six hours of sleep per night. However, the truth is that doing something like that is likely to have a negative influence on your testosterone levels. In fact, if you were to get only five (or less) hours of sleep per night for a whole week, it would lower your testosterone by up to 15%.

And keep in mind that’s just what happens if you do that for one week. Do it for longer and you might just end up with T levels as low as those of a male writer from BuzzFeed.

My recommendation? Try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep, and try going to bed earlier (around 11PM-12AM). One way to manage that is to avoid exposure to screen lights one or two hours before getting in bed. Try a book instead.

2. Drinking Too Much Green Tea

I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who’s heard how great green tea can be for your health. Not to say that it doesn’t have some perks, but I’ve even had people (some of them gym buffs) tell me that drinking a lot of green tea can actually have a positive impact on testosterone production in the body – because it’s so full of antioxidants. As convenient as that sounds, it’s just make-believe.

Yes, it’s true that antioxidants usually enhance T levels, but remember that only certain types of antioxidants do that. When it comes to green tea, the antioxidant contents vary a lot.

For example, in this study, male rodents were injected with the main antioxidant found in green tea, namely catechin. According to the researchers, the test subjects didn’t just experience a significant decrease in testosterone (70%) but — with some subjects — the size of the testicles ended up being reduced by up to 20%.

“Yeah but that study wasn’t run on human males so it might not be accurate.”

I know that’s the first impression you’d get, but consider this: male rodents have an endocrine system that is surprisingly similar to our own. So, I wouldn’t say it’s too “out there” to believe that the results would be the same if the studies were done on human males.

And if that’s not enough, here’s one more thing to keep in mind: Green tea generally contains large quantities of fluoride. The problem with that is that high levels of fluoride can actually damage your testosterone levels pretty badly.

man holding a cup of tea

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink green tea at all. Just remember that moderation really is key in this case — the occasional cup won’t harm your T levels too significantly.

3. Wearing Tight Underwear

Most underwear today feels tighter and more constricting than ever. “It’s a fashion choice; it just looks better,” some people might tell you. But the sad truth is that the tighter your underwear is, the more it negatively impacts your body’s testosterone production.

For one, your gonads are squeezed into a tight spot, which means they’ll be exposed to more heat this way. Well, the problem with that is that continuous exposure to high temperatures can lower testosterone levels and even reduce testicular weight.

And again, I know that the study used wistar rats as test subjects, but their testicles are almost identical to ours (if you don’t take the size into account, of course).

That’s not all, though. Since your testicles are being forced into an unnatural position, your scrotum won’t be able to hang normally. As a result, the circulation in your genitals will be hindered. Consequently, it will take longer for your brain’s luteinizing hormone (the hormone that stimulates your body’s Leydig cells to start producing testosterone) to complete its journey and start synthesizing testosterone.

My advice is to just wear loose underwear every single day. It’s more comfortable anyway.

4. Focusing on a Low-Cholesterol Diet

“Wait, what?”

Yeah, I know a lot of people automatically associated cholesterol with man boobs, ruined gains, and – ironically – low T levels. But the reality is far from it.

foods rich in cholesterol

Thing is, cholesterol is essentially a sterol, and it can be found in pretty much all of your cells. What makes it stand out in this case is the fact that it’s a precursor for your hormones (including testosterone). Also, remember the Leydig cells I mentioned previously? They’re actually responsible for converting cholesterol into testosterone.

Lastly, here’s another tidbit of info you should know: If your cholesterol levels are too low, your liver will automatically start synthesizing it. In case you need more convincing, here’s a study that showcases how large amounts of HDL cholesterol have a positive effect on T levels.

So, there’s no reason to go with a low-cholesterol diet — it’s actually detrimental to your body’s testosterone production. It’s the intake of polyunsaturated fats (seed oil, oysters, nuts) you’ll want to reduce.

Bottom Line

Since testosterone is so important for a man to enjoy a healthy, natural life, it’s necessary to do everything in your power to make the right changes. Sure, it might be a bit inconvenient at first for some of you, but you should focus on the long-term goal of living a manly, confident, and happy life.

And if you know of other similar mistakes or practices that lower T levels, be sure to share them with the rest of us.

Read More: 5 Ways To Boost Your Testosterone

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