Men's Normal Testosterone Levels By Age
Men's Normal Testosterone Levels By Age
Many men out there are concerned about their testosterone. And it’s easy to see why. Testosterone is the man’s hormone, the hormone for strength, the most macho chemical in the body.
Unfortunately, many men out there struggle with low testosterone levels, also referenced as serum testosterone levels. It's an incredibly common problem, affecting thousands of men across the US and beyond.
But what is considered normal? What is deemed to be low? Is there anything out there to help me boost my testosterone? Well, those are fundamental questions. The answers tend to vary by age.
So today, we’re going to walk you through each age group and tell you the T levels to expect for the average man of that age, then we’ll talk about the causes of low testosterone, and we’ll finish by showing you ways to bring your high testosterone levels up when they’re too low for comfort.
What Is Testosterone?
But before all that, we first have to walk through what testosterone actually is.
What Does It Do?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It is produced in the testicles and is used in males in the development of sex organs, to produce sperm, to build muscles, to promote sex drive, and a variety of other functions.
But even though testosterone is the main male sex hormone, females also need small amounts of it. The ovaries produce this small amount of testosterone, and its functions are sex drive or libido, supporting ovarian function, and maintaining bone strength. However, females with low testosterone levels can lead to irregular or missed periods, low sex drive and libido, vaginal dryness, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), challenges with fertility, and weak bones.
For men, testosterone levels can be affected by efficiency of your testes to produce testosterone, the amount of gonadotropins lh or fsh required to stimulate your testes in the first place.
So now we know that testosterone plays a key role in various functions in both the male and female body. So what happens if this androgenic hormone falls too low? Could it possibly affect your health?
What Happens If It Gets Too Low?
Unfortunately, low testosterone is a relatively common problem for men. If you clicked on this article, you may be searching for answers about your low testosterone levels. Well, here are some of the symptoms that can occur if your T levels drop too much.
Because testosterone is crucial for muscle growth, low levels can cause a decrease in muscle mass. Low T can also reduce the amount of facial and body hair you have. You may also experience hot flashes, a decline in focus and mood, and brittle bones.
But the effect you might notice the most is a decrease in your libido and sexual function. This is one of the most common symptoms, and it is also one of the most frustrating. A decrease in sexual desire can lead to tension in sexual relationships and feelings of frustration, and lowered self-esteem.
For this reason, it’s important to treat low levels of testosterone as soon as you find out that your T is not where it should be. But that raises the question: what is a normal, healthy level of testosterone for me?
Normal T Levels
So we’re going to answer that question. But before we do, know that what is normal for you might vary strongly from what is normal for someone else. There are so many factors that affect T levels, and it is constantly in a state of ebb and flow.
However, you should know that the measurements listed below are specific medical measurements. In order to find out your T levels, you’ll need to talk to your doctor about taking a testosterone level blood test. That’s the only way to find out how much T you have in your system.
So, here we go. Let's break down a normal testosterone range by age to give you general guidelines for what is actually normal.
Children and Adolescents
Among boys, testosterone levels vary wildly by age.
In the prepubescent stage, boys should have hardly any testosterone. They should mostly hover around 20 ng/dL until they begin to near puberty. During the later period of the prepubescent stage, T levels can jump to around 100 ng/dL.
During puberty, you can expect jumps in T levels up to 800 and eventually to a maximum of 1,200 ng/dL. This is where the primary development of sex organs comes in, where the voice lowers, when body and facial hair develop, and when major growth spurts happen.
For men, your twenties are likely when you’ll have the most testosterone, especially your early twenties. The late stages of puberty are ending during this stage, and adulthood is flourishing, making for high and healthy T levels.
This period is when your muscles are optimized for growth, when your sex drive and performance are probably at their peak levels, and when you’re probably feeling your best in life.
But every person is different, so the range of normal is quite broad, ranging from 300 to 1,080 ng/dL. If you’re not on the high end of that range, don’t worry! As long as you’re within this scope, you can have normal, healthy body functions.
Thirty is a significant year when it comes to testosterone. For the average man, testosterone levels drop by about 1% every year after they turn thirty, so this decade begins the decline of your testosterone levels with aging.
But throughout this decade, you’re still likely to have a good amount of testosterone circulating in your system. The normal range for this age group is actually still between 300 and 1,080 ng/dL. But it is normal to expect the decline to start during this time of your life.
In your thirties, it is very common to have normal and healthy T levels and be feeling healthy and strong. But it’s not unheard of to begin to feel some lower energy or a small decrease in sex drive.
’40s - ‘50s
The forties and fifties are when you may start to see some of the effects of aging on your T levels. Through these decades, your daily life may begin to be affected by what your testosterone levels are doing.
The normal range here is between 300 and 890 ng/dL. There is still a lot of potential for healthy levels, but there is also a possibility you may be lacking a bit of the testosterone your body is used to and missing out on the benefits of higher T levels.
Sixty and Beyond
From 60 years old through the rest of your life, low testosterone becomes a more common and likely problem you will face. You may see a decrease in libido as well as shrinking muscle mass and loss of hair.
While this is common and may be considered normal, you should still try to keep your testosterone up. We’ll talk more about how to do that later in the article.
Normal testosterone range for seniors is between 300 and 720 ng/dL. Levels are likely to have dropped significantly from your twenties and thirties, and you may be feeling some of the symptoms.
You may have noticed that the consistent floor throughout your adult life is 300 ng/dL. That is the minimum healthy level. So remember, if you’re above this, you can be healthy. But you still might want to consider taking steps to raise your T
What Causes Low Testosterone?
If you’re concerned about potentially developing low testosterone, or if you’re currently feeling the weight of low T levels, it’s good to identify what can cause this problem so that you can take steps to fix it or prevent it.
So let’s look at some common inhibitors of testosterone.
Obesity is one of the major contributors to low T. Scientists have found that each point of increase in your Body Mass Index (BMI) makes you 2% more likely to have low testosterone.
In addition, a four-inch increase in waist size in men increased odds of low testosterone by 75%.
Obesity can seriously inhibit your testosterone. This can be a real problem because decreased testosterone can lead to waning muscle mass and lower energy levels, which only work to further the cycle of obesity.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is one of the body’s most important cycles—the rhythm of sleep allows our body to regulate and recover so many different functions. And testosterone is one of them.
Your hormone balance is relatively fragile. The pituitary gland controls it in the brain. If your sleep is consistently irregular, unsettled, or cut short, your body cycles may be disrupted, and testosterone levels may dip.
We’ve already talked about the effects of aging on testosterone levels. It’s no secret that as you age, your testosterone levels slowly decrease. Of course, it is always possible for an older man to have perfectly normal T levels, but your risk for low testosterone increases significantly with age. Such signs can be caused by other factors, including medication side effects, thyroid issues, obstructive sleep apnea, and other common fertility problems found in American men.
Illness and Medication
Another common cause of low testosterone is a chronic illness or medical condition. As we said before, the hormonal system can be affected by a variety of different things. Many different illnesses can contribute to low T.
This also goes for the medications you may be taking for those illnesses. Medicines have side effects, and sometimes certain meds, especially antidepressants, can affect your T levels.
How To Bring Your T Back
If your testosterone has taken a hit, don’t lose hope. There are always things you can do to promote a healthy level of testosterone in your body. Changes can be made, and you could very well see results in testosterone improvement with a few simple life changes.
Exercise And Diet
Exercise and diet are not only vital for maintaining a healthy life in general, but they can make a real difference in your testosterone levels.
The main benefit of these lifestyle choices is that they ward off obesity. As we said before, obesity is a killer of testosterone, so you want to avoid it at all costs! Diet and exercise are the keys to doing just that.
But there are other benefits as well. Regularly exercising, primarily through strength and resistance training, can increase your muscle growth and promote testosterone production.
Maintaining a healthy diet, cutting out sugars, and eating lots of healthy fruits and veggies will also help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol, which are other inhibitors of that valuable testosterone.
Testosterone therapy may be a solution for you if your testosterone is very low, like below 200 ng/dL. Testosterone therapy is when you replace the lost testosterone in your body with synthetic testosterone.
There are various methods for this: injection, a patch, a pill, but they all give you synthetic testosterone.
This testosterone treatment can be controversial, as there are some potential health risks, such as the increased risk for cardiovascular issues, but many doctors recommend this treatment.
Supplements are a great way to promote your body’s natural production of testosterone. Formulas like Total T and Free Testosterone Booster are designed to fuel the body with the nutrients it needs to support testosterone production.
Because supplements work to support and maintain the systems already in your body, they are a far less risky treatment than testosterone replacement therapy. So you can sleep a little easier knowing that your treatment is both practical and safe.
Stress is another big inhibitor of testosterone. When you go through stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol, the stress hormone, brings your body into a state of high alert, almost like a survivor mode.
This state prioritizes essential functions of the body and directs energy to only the essentials, which, unfortunately, do not include testosterone functions. Because of this, when cortisol is in the bloodstream for long periods of time, testosterone is limited.
So you need to work to manage your long-term stress. See a therapist to work through whatever is weighing on you. Resolve that issue in your relationship. Pick up a relaxing and fun hobby.
These things can reduce your long-term stress and keep your cortisol levels at normal levels.
So now you know what your testosterone levels should be looking like. Though they may vary a lot, there are certain things you can expect from your T levels.
And hopefully, you’ve also been able to identify the problems keeping your testosterone down so you can take the proper steps to treat your levels and get them back to where they belong.
So go and boost your T, restore your health, and get to feeling great again.