Optimizing Hormone Levels

This is largely based on the Huberman Lab Podcast, specifically this Episode

Why even bother to optimize Hormone Levels?

Hormone levels, more specifically Testosterone and Estrogen, are a big part of how we feel and how we perform. I wanted to spend some time to experiment with optimizing my hormone levels, and this is sort of a log of my findings.

Some things that Huberman recommends to optimize Testosterone and Estrogen Levels, and my thoughts on them:

Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for hormone regulation, and getting enough high-quality sleep can help to maintain healthy testosterone levels.

Usually I’m trying to get a minimum of 7-8 Hours of sleep a night, and i notice significant drops in motivation and energy if i don’t get enough sleep. One thing I’ve been struggling with is keeping a consistent sleep schedule. The way I’ve been trying to approach this is just to aim for one consistent wake-up time, this is easier to handle, and allows for some deviation, for nights-out and the like.

See the sunlight in the morning: Exposure to sunlight in the morning can help to increase dopamine and testosterone levels. Try to get 2-10 minutes of sunlight in the morning, either by stepping outside or by sitting near a window.

This has been really good for me, and also quite easy, most mornings i usually either exercise first thing in the morning, which forces me outside, or I take a walk to the local bakery to get some breakfast. I’ve been noticing a nice bump in early morning motivation and energy levels when doing this.

Try cold exposure: Cold exposure, such as cold water swimming or taking a cold shower, has been shown to increase testosterone levels.

Theres actually also an interesting angle to this from a Dopamine perspective, as short cold exposure has been shown to increase dopamine levels by quite alot, and also without the usual crash that comes later. So this is one thing I’ve been trying to do every time I shower, and its also a nice exercise in discipline, as it can be quite uncomfortable at first.

Exercise regularly: Exercise, especially weight training with heavy loads (but not to failure), can increase testosterone levels for up to 48 hours. However, it’s important to note that intense endurance activity can increase cortisol levels, which can decrease testosterone. Therefore, it may be beneficial to do weight training before endurance activity.

I usually exercise 3-4 times a week. I focus on heavy sets, to optimize for time. I generally try to be at the Gym for no longer than 1.5 hours. I don’t really do any intense cardio/endurance, to not jeopardize my training sessions. But I have been really loving taking long walks as a sort-of replacement for cardio. I thing regular exercise is a no-brainer to be honest.