As a man, testosterone doesn’t just define your perceived sense of “manliness”, it is essential to your health and wellness.
The male body is a work machine, as such, testosterone is needed to maintain the higher mechanical demands placed on the body.
However, we live in a time where testosterone levels in men are declining year by year, at a rate of about 1% each year.
This is due to many factors including rampant sedentarism, increased stress, and increasingly poor nutritional habits.
A decline in testosterone leads to an increase in estrogen, the female sex hormone.
When the male system becomes estrogen dominant, a lot of negative things happen to one’s health and quality of life.
Here’s why lowering estrogen should be a priority.
Why You Need To Lower Estrogen
Estrogen is an antagonist of testosterone, meaning it competes for a reception in the body.
When estrogen gets too high or becomes more prevalent than testosterone, male health can be negatively affected.
Loss of muscle mass and strength, mood instability, hair loss, and lowered libido are all resultant from estrogen dominance.
Other more adverse consequences such as a decline in reproductive health, loss of bone mineral density and development of breast tissue (gynecomastia) can also result.
Lowering estrogen is therefore crucial for your health.
However, that doesn’t mean you should aim for the elimination of estrogen.
Hormones need to be in balance. Just as women need some amount of testosterone, men also need some amount of estrogen in order to function healthily.
Eliminating estrogen from the male body also has a profoundly negative health impact.
That being said, this article will focus on high estrogen and the habits you should stop or modify in order to reverse the problem.
5 Habits That Are Killing Your Testosterone and Raising Your Estrogen
Lack Of Physical Activity
Not exercising enough is one of the number 1 causes of lowered testosterone and increased estrogen.
As mentioned, the male body as compared to the female body is designed to withstand more mechanical stress and generate more physical force.
As such, testosterone is needed in higher quantities in order to maintain this function.
Testosterone provides the means for optimized bone and muscle development but only on an as-needed basis.
That means if you are not putting your body in situations of mechanical and metabolic stress through exercises, chances are your testosterone levels will be sub-optimal.
There was a time when physical activity was built into daily life, so most men had their exercise fix whether they wanted it or not. Today, our daily activities consist of less and less of any physical tasks, leading to a decline in testosterone as a result.
Lack of exercise also leads to an accumulation of body fat. This increases estrogen levels because fat cells have been shown to boost the production of the hormone.
Moral of the story, get off your butt and get a good workout regularly.
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep is a big testosterone killer. It's another hallmark of modern society to see people sleeping less and less with worse overall sleep quality.
The hefty work hours we are now subject to as well as the bombardment of stress (another factor we will get into), create the conditions for poor sleep and thus low testosterone and estrogen dominance.
Try and optimize your sleep through mindfully executing a sleep ritual. Also reducing stress, eliminating the pre-bedtime intake of caffeine or alcohol, and getting a mattress that works for you are great steps forward in improving sex hormone balance.
Alcohol is one of society’s longest-running mysteries.
It has never provided any health benefits, at best making us temporarily jolly in exchange for agony and distress, and at worst, leaving a trail of destruction and even death.
But if that isn’t enough to inspire you to limit your drinking, maybe learning that alcohol consumption leads to estrogen dominance will.
Evidence shows that frequent drinking, especially on a binge level, has significant deleterious effects on testosterone production and raises estrogen levels.
Infrequent, occasional and moderate drinking is the best way to go if any alcohol needs to pass your lips.
Stress is a known testosterone killer.
All the run-off consequences of common stress directly correlate to what a man would experience from low testosterone.
- The decline in muscle mass
- Accumulation of body fat
- Chronic fatigue
- Hair loss, etc…
The list goes on, but the bottom line is, the release of cortisol, the stress hormone is the root cause.
When this hormone is abundant chronically, it can lead to a prolonged decline in test levels, leading to a raising of estrogen.
Taking a break from work, therapy, meditation, and creative pursuits are all good ways to limit stress and reduce estrogen boosting anxiety.
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Poor Dietary Choices
Your dietary habits hold great sway over your hormone balance, especially your sex hormones.
When it comes to estrogen dominance, there are certain foods that might be contributing to the issue. The tricky thing is, some of these foods might even fall in the category of “healthy”.
Foods such as oats, barley, wheat and soy, all contain what are known as phytoestrogens.
These plant-based estrogens mimic the activity of naturally occurring human estrogen.
Beer is also laden with phytoestrogens from the hops which are one of the main ingredients in the brewing. That makes regular beer consumption a double no-no when you consider the estrogenic effects of alcohol combined.
Other dietary choices that limit testosterone are certain nutrient deficiencies. Vitamin D and zinc are big ones when it comes to testosterone production. If you are missing out on these, then you are at risk, if not already experiencing, estrogen dominance.
Estrogen is the number 1 testosterone killer, but poor lifestyle habits are how you are the one pulling the trigger.
Avoid these pitfalls in order to achieve a better, healthy hormonal balance.
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