Brad Hoppmann | August 22, 2014

As we look to strengthen our financial health, it’s important to remember that taking care of our bodies and minds is one of the best ways to feel rich.

And so, in my past few Friday morning columns, I’ve shared some “uncommon wisdom” designed to help readers find unique approaches to taking care of their emotional, spiritual and physical health.

Your feedback has been positive overall. But last week’s note “Is the Government Poisoning You?” struck a bit of a nerve and many of you let me know about it. (You can read some of the comments I received at the bottom of the article link.)

I know our “healthy” discussions are a bit different from what you signed up for, and I am thrilled that you share your feedback so that we can turn our “uncommon” wisdom into “collective” wisdom.

One thing we can all agree on, however, is that it’s not always easy to make good decisions when we’re not feeling well.

If you’ve ever made a bad trade or bought/exited an investment too early because something was going on with your health — whether you were preoccupied or in a hurry or in a fog from a medication — you’re not alone.

So today I want to look at an often-overlooked condition that affects roughly 25% of men. We’ll look at some of the major causes, and I’ll share six simple strategies that could help combat it.

Reportedly, 1 in 4 men in the United States suffers from low testosterone levels, and that number continues to grow every year.

This is a real problem for many men, because the effects on the body and mind can be daunting.

Most men think that this is just part of growing older. However, men as young as 21 years old have reported dealing with this condition.

Sure, men’s testosterone levels are supposed to decline over time, but at a healthy and gradual rate.

However, when a man is diagnosed with clinically low testosterone, experts say it’s likely due to a foreign source from outside causes.

Here are some of the issues linked to “Low T”:

  • Fatigue.
  • Increased depression and mood swings.
  • Higher body fat, less lean muscle and decreased strength in the gym.
  • Heart disease.
  • Decreased libido and sex drive.

3 Major Culprits of Low Testosterone

In short, low testosterone’s main antagonist is the hectic lifestyle of the 21st century.

Of course, this is not the scientific explanation, so let’s dive in …

The causes of Low T are numerous, but here some of the major ones.


We live in a world overrun by stress. Our daily lives blur at an unforgiving pace through a world filled with complexities.

From paying the bills to the safety of our children at night and everything in between, the worries never end.

You’ve probably heard of the “stress hormone” cortisol. In a man’s testes, there is an enzyme called 11ßHSD-1, which is responsible for keeping cortisol from pushing down testosterone levels.

However, in times of stress, there is simply too much coristol vs. 11ßHSD-1, and this leads to a decrease in testosterone production.

Simply put, the more stressed we are, the less testosterone we produce.


The majority of testosterone used every day replenishes at night. However, when we don’t get enough sleep, we produce less testosterone.

In fact, just one week of poor sleep can lower testosterone levels.

However, what really matters is the quality of sleep. Normal testosterone production requires restful, undisturbed REM sleep.

If we never reach that REM phase due to factors such as caffeine intake or exposure to blue light, our testosterone levels will slowly fall.

High Sugar Intake

Research presented at The Endocrine Society’s 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., found that sugar ingestion can significantly lower a man’s testosterone level.

They also found that high blood glucose levels resulting from sugar intake can cut a man’s circulating testosterone levels by 25%.

To put that in perspective, the World Health Organization’s recommended daily intake of sugar is 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons), which is less than one can of soda or one glass of orange juice.

However, according to the American Heart Association, the average adult eats 91 grams of sugar per day, and the average child 133 grams.

That’s almost four times the recommended daily intake of sugar for the average man …  and it is wreaking havoc on his testosterone levels.

These are just three common causes of Low T, but you can check out a larger list here.

The answer is … YES!Should You Get Tested?

If you’re over the age of 30, it’s a no-brainer to get your testosterone levels checked.

Even if you’re under 30, it would still be a good idea to get a check-up if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of Low T.

For many people, however, it’s a challenge to seek a diagnosis and/or treatment for something that may not feel urgent.

However, complacency and stubbornness is not the answer when it comes to any health matter. To feel good each and every day, one simply must have adequate testosterone levels.

I believe every man can agree he wants to live at his optimum best for himself and his family.

What Can You Do Right Now?

In extreme cases of severely low testosterone levels, a doctor may recommend testosterone replacement therapy.

Research on such therapy is limited and it is a personal choice. And I recommend consulting your doctor before taking any actions regarding your health.

But I would like to share with you six quick strategies you could use to boost your “T” levels so that you can ensure you are feeling your best …

  • Sleep, sleep and more sleep — As I said, lack of sleep can quickly lead to the lowering of your T levels. Make a quality 7-9 hours of sleep a night a priority in your life.
  • Exercise — As little as 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise has shown to increase testosterone levels in men!
  • Reduce stress — Whether it’s full-on mediation or a walk in the park, it is essential to a man’s body and mind to relax and take some time off. Get in the habit of taking time to rest a bit … it can work wonders for stress levels.
  • Get some sun — Vitamin D deficiency itself has become an epidemic in the United States. Virtually every tissue type in the body possesses receptors for Vitamin D including the testes, which produce testosterone. Just 20 minutes a day in the sun can provide you with all the Vitamin D you need for the day.
  • Cut back on the booze — As liver processes alcohol, it produces compounds that inhibit the release of testosterone, reducing its overall level in your body. While even one or two drinks will cause a minor, temporary dip in your “T” levels, this is a bigger worry for individuals who drink heavily multiple times per week.
  • Consume plenty of zinc — This mineral is essential for testosterone production. Research has shown that males who don’t get enough zinc in their diet can lead to significant decrease in testosterone levels. Eat zinc rich foods such as grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish and nuts. Zinc supplements can also greatly impact testosterone levels.

These are just a few easy tips that you can implement right now. Please feel free to share these strategies with anyone you think could benefit from them.

Now I can’t guarantee that feeling better will help you to make better investments. But not having to worry as much about your health can certainly free up your time and your mind for more-productive pursuits!

Happy and healthy investing,

Brad Hoppmann
Uncommon Wisdom Daily

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