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Men then vs Men now

We all have smirked at such memes as the one we see above. It is actually quite symbolic. Not only it underlines the difference between men treating women differently than they used to, but also it underlines the physiological differences, psychological shifts & even clothing choices. 30-40 years ago men were more athletic, less obese, dressed sharper, & overall lived a more healthier life. Both as a living organism and as a “persona”. Disclaimer: the meme does not glorify a Mafiosi over a singer, neither it does compare their characters. Take it as – 2 different photos telling a story and portraying irony. One thing that stands out on photos is – is excess and lack of Confidence.


I am not trying to body-shame anyone or criticize someones choices, as a wordsmith I am painting a picture. 


It is weird how somewhat offensive humour underlines a biological fact – Men had more testosterone back then.


You will find various sources & many prominent scientists speaking on the matter. The exact figure by how much it has decreased is debatable. However, what is not debatable is the fact that it has decreased significantly enough to show physiological differences in men globally.


Debating a fact would not be the best use of our time. Therefore, I am just going to leave this link right here & it will be followed by a bunch of others at the bottom of the article.


Dr Joshua Smith a research scientist is saying the following:


“The average testosterone level of a 60-year-old man in 1987 was around 17.5nmol/L, according to a 2007 study in Massachusetts. Compare that to a 60-year-old man in 2002 — his testosterone level was closer to 15nmol/L


Based on this, average testosterone levels in men are declining by 1% every year, give or take.  

Research carried out on Finnish and Danish populations has shown the same trend . And even more recently, a large-scale study of Israeli men has shown how average testosterone levels have dropped between 2006 and 2019  — by over 10% across almost every age category.  


Of course, we can’t know for certain that 60-year-old millennials and Gen Zers will have lower testosterone levels, at least not for a few decades, but it’s looking very likely.  


What’s concerning is testosterone levels aren’t the only problem. Sperm counts are dropping significantly and some reproductive disorders, like testicular cancer, are on the rise. Even men’s grip strength has declined.”


At this point you might ask, what has happened to men? What has changed in the last decades? What do we do more or less? Are we living, eating, moving and sleeping differently? You are seeing where I am getting right?


I dare you to go to google and type in “beach photos from 50s, 60s or 70s”. You will see how those photos are different from what you saw on the beach this summer.


While many believe that decreased testosterone occurs only in older men, age is only one factor associated with your risk of low T. There are a variety of things you can do (like testosterone replacement therapy) and avoid that can affect your testosterone levels. I will outline some of them in a bit. Below you will find the fundamentals that require a shift, as testosterone continues dropping, there are a few factors you should consider:


  • Food

There have been hundreds of studies showing particular foods have detrimental effects on your testosterone. These include soy, nuts, fish, spearmint tea, some types of mushrooms, flaxseed, refined carbohydrates, and hormones in meat. To properly combat these effects, it’s important that you eat these foods in moderation. Processed foods & additives like Licorice root cause a lot of damage as well. Licorice root is an ingredient commonly used to sweeten candies and beverages. It is used as a flavoring in candy, beverages & tobacco products. Eating organic more, finding alternative sugar sources and other nutritional advices are detailed on my other article called “Ali’s pyramid”.


  • Beverages

Along with foods that affect your testosterone levels, there are also beverages to avoid. Two of the most commonly known drinks are beer and water with high estrogen levels. Even moderate alcohol consumption has been found to decrease testosterone levels up to 6.8%. In my personal case, there were only 3 occasions during the last decade when I drank more than 2 glasses of alcohol – my wedding day, the day my daughter was born & at a wedding las summer in Turkey. Other than that, I might sip only 2-3 glasses of wine the most throughout any given year. I do not like how I feel after alcohol intake. You might also want to consider all those drinks which have a lot of sugar in them (carton packaged juices and fizzy drinks). Here is another weird fact that I stumbled on. Apparently drinking from plastic containers decreases testosterone as well. Many plastic containers, including plastic bottles, can develop Bisphenol-A, a synthetic chemical found in overheated plastic containers.

recent study showed that 89% of men attending fertility clinics had BPA in their system. The bottom line is, you should avoid drinking from plastic bottles and use glass or stainless steel whenever possible to avoid lowering your testosterone levels.


  • Lack of Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a very common problem in our society. For middle-aged and older men (and even younger men), lack of sleep is proven to decrease morning testosterone levels. Eve Van Cauter, PhD, professor in medicine at University of Chicago, found that men who slept less than five hours a night for one week in a laboratory had significantly lower levels of testosterone than when they had a full night’s sleep. Low testosterone has a host of negative consequences for young men, and not just in sexual behavior and reproduction. It is critical in building strength and muscle mass, and bone density. Sleep is actually one of the main pillars of health in general, on that same article called “Ali’s pyramid” I have underlined it more in detail.


  • Less intercourse

Research studies show that men who have more sex or even stare at attractive women have increased testosterone levels. Thinking about and having intercouse is important to male health. I know this one sounds funny, but facts are facts. Another interesting fact is, pornography addiction is causing same outcome. Research has shown that men who watch pornography frequently tend to have lower testosterone levels than those who don’t. “Porn addiction can lead to desensitization to sexual stimuli, which can decrease arousal and lead to difficulties achieving and maintaining an erection,” clinical sexologist and psychotherapist Dr. Rob Weiss told the New York Post.


  • Exercise

Regular exercise naturally boosts your testosterone levels but do too much of it and it can have adverse effects. Researchers at the University of North Carolina suggest that high-intensity exercises are linked to a lower sex drive and lower testosterone levels. Therefore, a more moderated general physical activity on weekly basis is a MUST for a man. I have outlined the importance of this as well in that same article “Ali’s pyramid”.


  • Stress

In my opinion this is the worst T-level killer. Chronic stress raises cortisol levels making it hard for your hormones to pass through central pathways. This suppresses reproductive hormone secretion, including testosterone. Stress can majorly affect your health including testosterone levels. Unfortunately, the lower your testosterone, the more likely your stress levels will rise again. This puts your body into a destructive cycle. However, managing your stress levels can help improve your low T symptoms including sex drive, moodiness, and ability to sleep.


Therefore, there are multiple ways how you can reverse the descent of testosterone. On top of which you can use supplements as well. You might think, what does healthy testosterone levels lead to? According to National library of medicine’s research paper – Restoring testosterone levels to within the normal range can improve many of the effects of hypogonadism. Most importantly, these include beneficial effects on mood, energy levels and patients’ sense of well-being, sexual function, lean body mass and muscle strength, erythropoiesis and bone mineral density (BMD), cognition and some benefits on cardiovascular risk factors.


What saddens me the most with all these findings is that, we are destructing our hormonal background with all these above mentioned activities and we are passing on these genes to our next generation. Breeding even “weaker” men. Overall, having balanced testosterone levels can lead to Confidence. Here is what one of my favorite authors James Clear (author of Atomic Habits) has to say on the topic.

“Recent research coming out of Harvard University, The University of Oregon, The University of Texas and many other places is revealing that powerful and effective leaders not only share similar mindsets, but also similar hormone levels. More specifically, powerful leaders tend to have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol. Higher levels of testosterone (in both men and women) lead to increased feelings of confidence. Meanwhile, lower levels of cortisol lead to decreased anxiety and an improved ability to deal with stress. Here’s what that means: if you enjoy these hormone levels, then you are biologically primed to be more assertive, confident, and relaxed. At the same time, you will be less reactive to stress and more likely to handle pressure situations well. In other words, the correct hormone levels can make you feel more confident and less stressed.”


Sounds good, right?


If I have managed to make some sense with this article then here is what you should do. Change, adapt & overcome. 


Pura vida!

Rashad


Sources:

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