Do you feel a little different when the temperature drops? Do the layers of clothing and shorter days suck your energy and motivation?
There are definitely psychological effects associated with cooler, darker temperatures. But these seasonal changes might be affecting men physically, too. It’s possible that when temperatures drop, testosterone does as well.
A study published in the Central European Journal of Urology found a correlation between testosterone and the season. The small study found testosterone levels were higher in the summer and dropped in the winter.
The study really highlights how relative testosterone levels can be. For example, testosterone remained in the “normal” range for participants throughout the year, but relative drops elicited differences in sexual thinking, behavior, and mood.
If you lack energy and your typical vigor since temperatures have fallen, and have noticed this trend in the past, you can work to stay ahead of it.
Keeping testosterone levels from dropping in the winter involves maintaining activity levels and finding ways to work out despite the temperature.
Being that we’re caught up in a pandemic, working out at home is essential. Lifting with resistance bands and dumbbells a few times per week can help maintain muscle and stabilize testosterone. If you have the space for more heavy-duty equipment, consider it a smart investment.
Doing cardiovascular activity may help, too. This could involve getting out for fall hikes or winter snow-shoeing expeditions. You could also shovel your neighbor’s driveway.
Exercise can do double-duty for testosterone levels because it can also help minimize and control stress. Stress can contribute to lower testosterone, so find ways to keep it in check. Better sleep, exercise, and mindfulness can all help with stress management.
Your diet plays a role, too. Keep eating healthy, and put a little bit of focus on getting plenty of protein—about 1 gram per pound of body weight per day—and include healthy fats from places such as fish, avocado, nuts, and olive oil.
Vitamin D supplements may play a big role in maintaining stable testosterone levels, and zinc might help, too. Consider a multivitamin for the winter months to help top up any additional nutrient requirements.
Don’t let testosterone’s potential seasonal wave suck your energy away as the temperatures trend downward. Try these natural methods to keep it steady and make the most of the season.
Devon Andre holds a bachelor’s degree in forensic science from the University of Windsor in Canada and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Andre is a journalist for BelMarraHealth, which first published this article.