by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
If you want a natural way of increasing testosterone, look no further than your potassium consumption!
Adopting healthy potassium levels into your lifestyle has proven highly effective at increasing production levels for testosterone production in men.
Potassium is an indispensable mineral that not only regulates blood pressure and fluid balance, but also assists with production and release of testosterone.
Low potassium levels have been associated with reduced testosterone levels, leading to reduced muscle mass, low libido and fatigue among other issues.
How can you ensure you're receiving enough potassium in your diet? Add potassium-rich foods such as bananas, avocados, oranges, and spinach into your meals for maximum benefit.
Consider taking potassium supplements but make sure that first consulting with healthcare professional before doing so.
Increased potassium consumption combined with regular exercise, reduced stress levels and adequate sleep can all play a part in naturally increasing testosterone production.
If you want to naturally raise testosterone levels then making potassium part of your daily life and diet should be priority number one!
Testosterone and Potassium
Testosterone is an androgen that binds and activates various sites, including potassium channels.
Testosterone can cause both endothelium-dependent and independent relaxation of porcine coronary arteries due to this effect; suggesting testosterone modulates excitability through opening of these channels.
Tests using glibenclamide revealed that testosterone's vasodilatory response was eliminated in vessels preconstrained with this KCl channel blocker, suggesting its dilatant action is related to modulating KCa and KV channels.
The role of potassium in testosterone production
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone for both males and females.
While essential to reproduction, testosterone also plays an integral part in secondary sexual characteristics like muscle and bone mass, body hair growth, sex drive and cognitive functions like memory recall.
Furthermore, testosterone influences metabolic output energy expenditure as well as cardiovascular health benefits.
Researchers published in The Journal of Endocrinology have revealed that potassium deficiency in mice led to an impairment of LH secretion from the pituitary gland and stoppage of testosterone synthesis.
Yet, when supplies of potassium were restored both LH and testosterone production resumed again - likely as a result of reduced concentration gradient across cell membranes.
Researchers have demonstrated that testosterone's dilatant action on isolated rat aortae was independent of prostaglandin release or endothelial-derived relaxing factor release, suggesting it has direct action on smooth muscle cells to induce vasodilatation.
Furthermore, pretreatment with calcium antagonists like glibenclamide or 4-AP or with the KCa channel blockers TEA or apamin did not abate this response, suggesting it occurs via direct effector pathways rather than prostaglandin release or release.
The link between potassium deficiency and low test
Low potassium consumption can limit your kidney's ability to concentrate urine and balance your fluid and electrolyte levels, leading to frequent and excessive urination (polyuria) as well as an accumulation of salts and minerals in your bloodstream.
Potassium deficiency can result in several symptoms, including muscle cramps, fatigue, numbness in the feet or hands and infertility.
Sperm counts may decrease while testosterone levels rise causing less desirable sex experiences - infertility may also occur and lead to swelling or tender breasts (gynecomastia) as well as changes in appetite or digestive problems.
Low potassium can have serious repercussions for your nervous system, making it more difficult for nerves and muscles to respond to stimulation, including those in the heart.
Potassium can counteract sodium's effect of raising blood pressure while transporting nutrients into cells while disposing of waste products.
Studies show that an increase of one gram a day could reduce systolic blood pressure by as much as 0.9mm Hg; it's vital that you seek medical advice if these symptoms arise.
Food rich in potassium that can boost testosterone
Testosterone is an essential hormone for men, playing an essential role in muscle growth, bone development and energy production.
Unfortunately, levels of this hormone may decline with age but certain foods can help support production of testosterone within your body.
Oysters are an excellent natural source of zinc, an essential mineral needed to produce testosterone at healthy levels.
Oysters also contain vitamin B6 and iron; spinach can also help increase testosterone production thanks to its rich magnesium content - something scientific studies have proven correlates positively with testosterone production levels.
Fatty fish such as tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to positively influence the levels of testosterone within the body. Furthermore, tuna also serves as an excellent source of vitamin D which has been linked to healthy sperm counts among men.
Mucuna pruriens (velvet beans) is an increasingly popular dietary supplement that contains powerful testosterone-enhancing nutrients such as magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.
Furthermore, velvet beans also contain L-DOPA or levodopa which increases fertility while simultaneously increasing libido.
The benefits of potassium-rich foods
Attaining potassium involves eating foods such as avocados, bananas and oranges as well as vegetables, low-fat milk products and seafood.
But to truly increase intake, your dietary pattern must include lean meats such as poultry eggs fish as well as whole grains nuts seeds beans peas lentils and limit added sugars saturated fat trans fat and sodium intakes.
Researchers have linked diets rich in potassium with lower risks of cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis and kidney stones in women.
Bananas are packed with potassium, an essential nutrient for heart health. Each banana provides approximately 10-12 percent of the recommended daily value.
Furthermore, bananas also boast magnesium, phosphorous and all of the B vitamins for maximum heart wellness.
Eating more potassium-rich food could help lower blood pressure by keeping sodium accumulation under control while protecting against future hypertension episodes.
Women who consume the highest quantities have an 11 percent lower risk of heart disease compared with those who ingest less of this mineral.
Potassium is an essential electrolyte that facilitates nerve and muscle communication, transports essential nutrients into cells, and keeps sodium levels under control.
Too much potassium, however, can lead to serious health issues including muscle weakness and irregular heartbeats if consumed excessively.
Lifestyle changes to increase potassium intake
Studies have linked lower potassium intakes with higher rates of blood pressure and diabetes, so eating foods rich in potassium - such as fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat (1%) dairy products, fish and others - can help mitigate these risks.
Eating such foods may also help lower sodium levels which in turn will lower blood pressure.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has issued Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for potassium for adults ranging from 4,400 to 11,300 mg daily, taking potassium supplements has been shown to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension.
Certain medications such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) and angiotensin receptor blockers as well as diuretics like thiazide/loop diuretics may increase potassium intake significantly.
Those suffering from kidney disease, heart failure, type 2 diabetes or adrenal insufficiency should also speak with their physicians prior to increasing potassium consumption.
Supplementing with potassium for testosterone
Additionally, you can boost your testosterone levels through taking specific supplements.
But before making any purchases, it is a wise idea to speak to a doctor, who can assist in selecting one suitable to your needs and will also ensure it will not interact with any existing medications or health conditions.
Yue et al. (1995) examined how testosterone induces vasodilation in isolated rat thoracic aortae preconstrained with prostaglandin F2a, and discovered that its vasodilatory effect was independent of endogenous prostaglandin production or NO production, suggesting its action through potassium channel opening as its mechanism.
Castration also increased Kv7.1-IK channels expression in ventricular myocytes, while gene selective inhibitors of transcription factor SP1, such as mithramycin, abolished this upregulation by testosterone.
Therefore, its long-term effect may involve genomic modifications which alter cardiac cells sensitivity to calcium; consistent with previous research.
Exercise and its impact on testosterone production
Testosterone plays an indispensable role in muscle building and maintaining optimal hormone balance.
The hormone signals to your muscles when it's time for them to grow, activating protein synthesis for stronger, denser muscle tissue growth.
That's why it is crucial that a sufficient level of testosterone exists before beginning an exercise regimen.
While any physical activity can help stimulate testosterone production in your body, multi-joint strength training exercises that work your larger muscle groups are particularly effective.
Studies have demonstrated that weightlifting (a form of resistance training) results in an immediate boost to serum testosterone levels.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT), which entails short periods of intense exercise followed by recovery periods, can also be an effective form of workout at home or the gym, with activities like cycling, burpees, box jumps and lunges typically featured.
However, long-term endurance cardio exercises like marathon running have been associated with decreased serum testosterone levels.
This could be because long-term endurance cardio exercises tend to raise cortisol levels which has an adverse impact on testosterone.
Other natural ways to boost testosterone levels
While testosterone levels decrease with age, there are natural ways to boost them naturally.
Exercise and diet that include leafy greens, fish, potassium-rich foods and healthy fats may all play a part in increasing levels.
Furthermore, getting adequate quality sleep has been shown to raise daytime testosterone levels by 15 percent more for every hour more slept!
Minimizing stress can also increase a man's testosterone production.
Chronic stress causes adrenal glands to release cortisol, which reduces testosterone production.
Techniques such as meditation and deep breathing may be effective ways of managing stress.
Natural ways to increase testosterone include eating oysters and foods rich in zinc.
Zinc works to block proteins that bind testosterone, so more of it reaches the bloodstream and stimulates production of the hormone.
Magnesium also assists production, and can be found in leafy greens, nuts and beans.
Pomegranate juice may help boost testosterone production in men's bodies as a 2012 study discovered.
Both men and women who consumed this fruity beverage experienced higher salivary testosterone levels.
Testosterone is an extremely potent vasodilator of blood vessels that promotes increased vascular flow in all regions, including to the penis.
This effect is caused by testosterone's agonist activity on nitric oxide synthase pathway which produces vasodilating molecules such as nitric oxide.
Furthermore, testosterone enhances production of nitric oxide by endothelial cells through calcium channel antagonism.
Although potassium may not be considered a natural testosterone booster, it does help raise testosterone levels. Potassium helps balance out calcium ions with other bloodstream constituents to produce more nitric oxide and therefore aid erections.
An alternative natural method to increase testosterone is by eating potassium-rich foods, like bananas and kale.
A single banana provides 10% of your Recommended Dietary Allowance for potassium while providing Vitamin A and C which support testosterone production in your body. Kale is rich in magnesium which may also boost testosterone.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that testosterone relaxes endothelium-denuded porcine coronary arteries, the rat thoracic aorta and in vitro peritoneal diaphragm in vitro as well as smooth muscle from ovarian glands of control mice with sufficient potassium levels.
Testosterone's direct action on vascular smooth muscle has been evidenced in numerous independent investigations using isometric coronary artery preparations and single myocyte patch-clamp experiments.
In these latter cases, activation of large conductance calcium/voltage activated potassium channels such as BKCa was identified as being responsible for relaxing these vessels as a direct result of testosterone treatment.
However, the mechanism(s) underlying this vasodilatory action remain enigmatic.