Testosteron: So halten Sie einen gesunden Testosteronspiegel
HormonesMen's Health

Testosterone: How to maintain a healthy testosterone level

Written by

Anna Roell
20 May, 2024

Medically checked article All HOMED-IQ content is reviewed by medical specialists

Testosterone is more than just a hormone – it is an essential component of health, both in men and women. From the development of male sexual characteristics to strengthening bones and regulating our libido, testosterone plays a central role in many body processes. But did you know that factors such as age and lifestyle can influence your testosterone levels? Certain factors can affect testosterone levels and impact your health and well-being. In this article, we will explain the role testosterone plays in the body, what can cause abnormal testosterone levels, and what you can do to treat it. If you would like more insight into your testosterone levels, test easily from home with Homed-IQ’s Athlete Test.

Table of contents

What is testosterone?

Although testosterone is often thought of as a ‘male’ hormone, it actually plays an important role in the bodies of both men and women. In men, it is primarily produced in the testes, while in women, it is produced in smaller amounts in the ovaries and the adrenal gland in the brain. Testosterone is crucial for the development of male characteristics such as the development of the genitals, voice deepening during puberty, the growth of facial and body hair, muscle building, and bone strengthening. It also plays an important role in sperm production and male fertility (Cleveland Clinic, 2022).

What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

Testosterone plays an important role in several body functions, and an imbalance of this hormone can cause a range of symptoms. General symptoms include:

Testosterone: How to maintain a healthy testosterone level - Homed-IQ

Source: MedlinePlus, 2023

  • In men, low testosterone can cause symptoms such as decreased sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, and loss of muscle mass.
  • In women, low testosterone may cause symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, and possible changes in menstruation and bone health.

Please note that these symptoms can also occur due to other medical conditions. Speak to your doctor if you are unsure what could be causing your symptoms.

If you recognize yourself in the above symptoms or simply want to gain insight into your testosterone levels, you can test your total testosterone from home with Homed-IQ’s Testosterone Test.

Want to get insight into your own health?

If you recognize yourself in the mentioned symptoms or simply want clarity about your testosterone levels, you can easily do this from home with the tests from Homed-IQ. Specifically for athletes, we have developed the Athlete’s Blood Test, which not only measures testosterone levels but also captures other important health values that are particularly significant in the field of sports activity. Additionally, we offer the Women’s Hormone Test, which, alongside other important hormones like estrogen, also determines testosterone levels. High cholesterol levels can contribute to testosterone deficiency; you can check this with the Cholesterol Test. Speziell für Sportler haben wir den Bluttest für Sportler entwickelt, der nicht nur den Testosteronspiegel misst, sondern auch weitere wichtige Gesundheitswerte erfasst, die besonders im Bereich der sportlichen Aktivität von Bedeutung sind. Zusätzlich bieten wir den Hormontest für Frauen an, der neben anderen wichtigen Hormonen wie Östrogen auch den Testosteronspiegel bestimmt. Hohe Cholesterinwerte können einen Testosteronmangel begünstigen; dies können Sie mit dem Cholesterintest überprüfen.

What should I do if my testosterone level is low?

Identifying the cause of a testosterone deficiency is the first step in treatment. If a blood test shows that you have low testosterone, you should speak to your doctor about potential causes or follow-up testing.

What causes low testosterone?

Testosterone deficiency can have various causes, which fall into three main categories:

  • Primary Causes: These include conditions that directly affect the testes, such as genetic disorders like Klinefelter syndrome, physical damage to the testes, or the aging process. Testosterone production decreases by an average of 1% per year starting around age 30 (Mayo Clinic, 2024).
  • Secondary Causes: These include issues related to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland (two important areas of the brain that control hormone production). Examples include tumors, hormonal dysfunctions, and certain medications.
  • Lifestyle Factors: A range of lifestyle factors can affect testosterone levels. These include being overweight, a lack of physical activity, and an unhealthy diet. Chronic stress, high cholesterol levels, smoking, and high blood pressure are also significant risk factors that can negatively impact testosterone levels.

Source: Nassar & Leslie, 2023

Interesting to know: Cholesterol is essential for testosterone production, but an excess of cholesterol can lead to health problems such as circulatory disorders, which in turn can promote a testosterone deficiency.

What can help support healthy testosterone levels?

If medical causes for low testosterone levels have been ruled out and lifestyle is suspected to play a role, several measures can help naturally increase your levels.

How can my diet contribute to balanced testosterone levels?

Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. It not only is necessary for building muscle, but also helps you feel fuller longer. Omega-3 fatty acids, abundant in foods like fish and certain plant oils, support heart health and can indirectly positively influence testosterone levels. Foods rich in zinc, selenium, and magnesium, such as nuts, fish, and leafy green vegetables, may also help boost testosterone. While research suggests that vitamin D might play a significant role in testosterone levels, more studies are needed to confirm this relationship definitively. Foods like fatty fish, eggs, and vitamin D-fortified products are good sources of vitamin D (Pilz et al., 2011). It’s also important to minimize risk factors for low testosterone. Factors such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, and high cholesterol levels can affect testosterone levels (Cleveland Clinic, 2022).

Can body weight affect testosterone levels?

Yes, being overweight and obese is associated with lowered testosterone levels. Maintaining a healthy body weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise is important. Fat cells, for example, can convert testosterone into estrogen, which can lower testosterone levels (Kelly & Jonas, 2015).

Can exercise increase testosterone levels?

Studies show that strength training and high-intensity interval training can lead to a temporary increase in blood testosterone levels. Strength training is especially effective, as it promotes muscle mass development, which in turn boosts metabolism and can increase testosterone production.

The effect of exercise on testosterone levels depends on various factors, such as the type of training, intensity, and duration of the training, as well as individual aspects like age and body weight. While regular exercise is generally associated with higher testosterone levels, excessive training, especially in endurance athletes, can lead to lower testosterone and higher cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone released when the body is under stress or experiences perceived danger (Richay et al., 2020).

What other lifestyle factors can help support healthy testosterone levels?

  • Stress Management: Prolonged (chronic) stress can cause increased cortisol levels, which can negatively impact testosterone balance. Stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, taking breaks, or socializing with friends can help manage stress.
  • Sleep: A healthy sleep cycle is crucial for hormone regulation, including testosterone production. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

Source: Mawer, 2023

Monitoring testosterone levels using blood tests can help detect imbalances early. A healthy lifestyle is not only important for testosterone levels but also for overall health and well-being.


Could you have low testosterone? (2023, May 12). MedlinePlus. Retrieved January 26, 2024, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000722.htm

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Testosterone and obesity. (2015, May 15). PubMed. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25982085/

Testosterone: What It Is, Function & Levels. (2022, September 1). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/24101-testosterone

Various Factors May Modulate the Effect of Exercise on Testosterone Levels in Men. (2020, November 7). NCBI. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739287/

Wilson, D. R., & Mawer, R. (n.d.). 8 Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone: Exercise, Diet, Sleep. Healthline. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-ways-to-boost-testosterone#diet

Zittermann, A. (n.d.). Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. PubMed. Retrieved February 6, 2024, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21154195/

About the author

Anna Roell

Anna is a trained nurse and health economist specializing in epidemiology, combining her medical and scientific interests. Her goal is to improve others' understanding of medical information and to communicate it in an understandable way. Anna is originally from Germany and now lives in Amsterdam. What she appreciates most about Amsterdam is the open-minded, active attitude of the people, the markets, and the beautiful nature in the areas surrounding Amsterdam.