Food for Athletes: Fueling for Performance

Food for athletes, fueling performance | Gapin Institute

Food for Athletes: Fueling for Performance

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, two fundamental pillars are nutrition and physical activity. These can contribute to a lowered risk of so many physical diseases and conditions along with improved mental health and well-being. Healthy dietary recommendations include minimum levels of nutrients you need every day. These include protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. But there are some additional nutrition recommendations for athletes, whether you’re competitive or recreational.

Fueling your body for performance is going to play a key role to help you reach or exceed your fitness goals. When it comes to activity, the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends about 30 minutes of activity 5 days each week (or about 150 minutes per week). You may do that much activity, or you may do much more.

The nutrition recommendations I’m sharing in this article apply to both dedicated, competitive athletes looking for an edge over the competition, as well as recreational “weekend warriors.” Whichever scenario you’re in, if you are active, you need to know these. Read on to learn many of the foods that are filled with the energy and nutrients necessary for training and adequate recovery—and the ideal timing so you know when to consume them.

Nutrients for Athletic Performance | Gapin Institute

Nutrients for athletic performance

There are several nutrients to pay attention to when you’re being physically active including fluids, calories, carbohydrates, and protein.


Water is the most important nutrient for athletic performance because it keeps the body hydrated and at the right temperature. During one hour of vigorous exercise, your body can lose several liters of sweat. As little as a two percent drop in hydration can negatively impact your performance.

How do you know how much fluid to drink? In general, clear urine is a sign of adequate hydration, so keep this in mind and be sure to drink plenty of fluids even if you won’t be exercising right away. And when you are exercising, drink the recommended amounts at the recommended times outlined in the section below, even if you don’t feel thirsty.


If you’re very physically active, you’re going to need more calories than someone who is not very active. You need fuel to provide your body with the strength and energy it needs to perform. But, be careful. People tend to overestimate the number of calories burned during their workouts, so be sure not to take in too many extra calories.

For example, a competitive male athlete needs 2,400-3,000 calories per day, and a competitive female athlete needs 2,200-2,700 calories per day. If you’re not competitive, you don’t need this many.


Carbohydrates are the fuel your muscles burn when they are working.

There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars found in sodas and sweetened foods and often provide a lot of energy, but rarely provide many vitamins or minerals. Simple carbohydrates are also found in white pastas, breads, and cereals. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are starches and contain more nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Examples of foods with complex carbohydrates include fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

For your everyday carbohydrate needs, stick to complex carbohydrates. However, when it comes to vigorous exercise, simple carbohydrates can be used before, during, and after an intense workout. This is because more intense exercise needs more carbohydrates to immediately burn as fuel. Having simple carbohydrates helps you feel more energized before a workout, work harder, and recover faster, but they’re not recommended as your primary source of carbohydrates.


Protein is an essential component of muscles (in addition to its importance for other functions such as tissue repair, bones, immunity, enzymes, neurotransmitters, etc.) and that’s why your protein intake is particularly important if you’re focusing on muscle-building resistance exercises. Also, once carbohydrate stores are used up, your body can turn to protein as an alternative fuel source. That’s why some athletes need more protein than non-athletes. For example, many athletes need up to 2 grams protein/kg/day, or if doing intense training, then up to 2.2 grams protein/kg/day.

This doesn’t mean that you need to focus on high-protein foods or use protein supplements if you’re eating enough calories. That’s because most Americans already eat twice as much protein as they really need. Recommended sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, dairy, nuts, and legumes.

Nutrition Working Out | Gapin Institute

Nutrition for different types of exercise

By consistently eating a range of nutrient-dense foods and staying hydrated, you can continue to improve your performance (and health) over time. Here are a few key nutrition recommendations on how to fuel yourself for performance depending on the type of workout you’re doing and how long it’s going to last.

Before any workout

To avoid dehydration, drink about 2 cups of water about 2 hours before your workout.

PRO TIP: If you want to measure the approximate amount of fluids you are losing by working out, weigh yourself immediately before and after your workout. The difference in weight will be mostly due to the amount of water lost so you can follow the guidelines below on what to consume after your workout to replace those fluids.

When it comes to food if your goal is to improve your athletic performance, say for a big game, don’t exercise on an empty stomach. Have a small meal, ideally with fibrous carbohydrates and only small amounts of fat, about 60-90 minutes beforehand.

If you’re going to work out for less than one hour

Water is your fluid of choice. Drink up to 1 cup every 15-20 minutes throughout your workout.

If you’re going to work out for more than one hour

Before you get started, have some carbohydrates and limit the amount of fat you consume. That might look like a glass of juice, cup of yogurt, or an English muffin with jam.

If your 60+ minutes of activity is going to be an intense aerobic workout, you’re also going to want to have lots of fluids and some carbohydrates during that time. Drink up to 1 cup of water every 15-20 minutes for the first hour.

For your second and subsequent hours, you are going to need to replace lost electrolytes and carbohydrates. It is at this point where you can switch your fluid to a sports drink if you want to. Aim for 5-10 ounces every 15-20 minutes. If you choose to stick with water (instead of a sports drink) for your second hour and beyond, add in some food sources of electrolytes and carbohydrates such as 2-3 handfuls of pretzels or a half of a cup of low-fat granola.

After any workout

Exercise depletes the stores of fluids and energy in your body. Depending on how hard you worked out, you may need to top it up. In general, replace the weight you lost during your training session with fluids. This means that for every pound you lose exercising, drink about 3 cups of fluid within the next 6 hours.

If you were active for less than 60 minutes, you can replace your lost fluid weight with water. If you trained for more than 90 minutes, you’re going to want to have more carbohydrates with a bit of protein two hours later. This can be a sports bar, trail mix with nuts, or yogurt with granola.

Trail mix nutrition | Gapin Institute

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a seasoned competitive athlete or a recreational “weekend warrior,” fueling your body properly can improve your performance. The first nutrient to consider is water, so be sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workout as recommended. It’s also important to take in enough calories, carbohydrates, and proteins because these will help power your workout, replenish lost nutrients, and give your body the substances it needs to repair itself afterward.

If you’re wondering whether you may need to change up the way you’re hydrating and fueling your physical activities, reach out to me and my team for a free consult! We can review your activity levels, health goals, nutritional status, and more.


Bernardot, D. (2018, December 4). American College of Sports Medicine. Ten things you need to know about sports nutrition.—homepage/acsm-blog/2018/12/04/ten-sports-nutrition-facts

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, October 7). How much physical activity do adults need?

Clark, N. (2019, June 18). American College of Sports Medicine. The athlete’s kitchen: Sports nutrition myths busted!

Clifford, J. and Maloney, K. (n.d.) Colorado State University Extension. Nutrition for the Athlete – 9.362

MedlinePlus. (2019, May 13). Nutrition and athletic performance.

Murray, B. (2019, March 14). American College of Sports Medicine. Everyday nutrition vs. performance nutrition: Clarifying the carbohydrate confusion.

Richards, L. (2021, April 20). Medical News Today. Nutrition and athletic performance: What to consider.

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. (2019, March 4). Eating for peak athletic performance.

Men’s Health Guide to Boost Your Metabolism

Men's Health Guide to Boost Your Metabolism | Gapin Institute

Boost Your Metabolism | Gapin Institute

Struggling with your weight?

You’re not alone. Weight loss is one of my clients’ most common men’s health challenges. Heck, I’ve struggled with it myself—that’s a big part of what motivates me to help men feel their best.

One reason why losing weight can feel so hard is that it never used to be like this. When we were younger, we didn’t need to worry about what we ate or how often we exercised. We just always used to feel… good. Extra weight just wasn’t a problem. 

But things change as you get older. The body takes longer to recover. And the weight stays on even when you exercise regularly.

One of the reasons that it’s difficult to slim down as we get older is that the metabolism starts to slow. 

This happens to most people, but you don’t have to accept it as normal. There are some things you can do to rev it back up—even in middle age. 

I’m talking specifically about your basal metabolic rate, or how quickly your body burns through the calories you consume. Most people don’t know this, but the majority of the calories we burn each day aren’t from exercise. They’re burned from your body’s normal functioning and maintenance.

Exercising is certainly an important part of any healthy lifestyle and weight loss plan. But if you can also turn up your body’s fire, it’ll make shedding the weight all that much easier. The more your body is burning at its base level, the easier it is to rid yourself of that stubborn body fat. 

Lucky for us, there are things you can do to keep your metabolic rate running at a higher gear. So here are some of my top recommendations for boosting your metabolism to slim down. 


Exercising, weight training Gapin Institute

Hands down, the most powerful way to kickstart your metabolism is exercise. It’s effective both in the short term and in the long-term. 

Physical activity like intense cardio or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) increases your body’s energy needs in the short term. To feed itself, your body burns calories faster. That exercise revs the metabolism into high gear, it stays elevated for hours after.

But with strength training, there’s actually a long-term effect as well. Weight training challenges your muscles and actually creates micro-tears in the muscle fibers. Your body then spends a bunch of energy to repair them. When it repairs the muscles, your body both increases the size of the existing muscle fibers and also builds new fibers. Together, these increase the size of the muscles.

And bigger muscles have a greater energy maintenance need. They eat through more energy, even when you’re not exercising. So the more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be. 

I’m not saying you need to be Arnold Schwarzenegger to give an extra kick to your metabolism. But including strength training in your exercise routine is absolutely critical for every guy, and it will help boost your metabolism in the long term. 

Eat a protein-rich diet

Protein rich food metabolism boosters | Gapin Institute

It turns out that eating can actually give you a short-term boost in metabolism. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). It happens because the body needs energy—a lot, as it turns out—for digesting the food you eat.

But different nutrients lead to different kinds of boosts. 

Researchers have found that protein increases your metabolism at a much greater rate (15-30%) than either fat (0-3%) or carbs (5-10%). So higher protein foods can help you maximize that boost in metabolism from eating. 

Keep in mind that I’m not saying you should only eat protein! Remember that you need to be sure to stick to the macronutrient ratio that’s best for your body. Too much protein can actually hurt your muscle-building efforts by lowering testosterone. Instead, aim for a healthy, balanced diet that includes proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. You need to avoid saturated fats, trans fats, and refined sugars.

Research also suggests that plant-based diets create a higher TEF. I’m not saying that you need to become a vegetarian to burn fat, but most of your dinner plate should be things that came from plants—whole grains, beans, legumes, roots vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, and so on. 

Drinking cold water

Cold Water Metabolism booster | Gapin Institute

Among all its other benefits, water has been found in several studies to increase metabolism and aid in losing weight, and cold water may be especially effective. 

Cold water lowers your core body temperature. In response, your body fires up its metabolism to warm you back up. That warming increases the calories you burn.

As an added benefit, water appears to also help you lose weight and burn fat—especially when you drink water in place of sugary drinks. It also helps fill you up so that you don’t overeat or consume too many extra calories. 

Water is, of course, essential to your health in a number of ways. Helping rev up your metabolism is just one way it helps. 

(And if you get tired of  water, green tea is your metabolism’s friend!)

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting Metabolism | Gapin Institute

You might think that fasting could slow your metabolism. You’re right, it can: restricting your caloric intake tells your body you’re not getting enough food, so your body starts doing less work. That slows down your metabolism.

But intermittent fasting—restricting eating to only certain time periods—can help fire up your metabolism. It does that by giving your digestive system a break and puts that energy into other functions like building muscle.

Intermittent fasting has been found to have several benefits, including: 

  • Balancing hormone levels
  • Encouraging fat lipolysis—the breakdown of fat
  • Increased growth hormone levels, which helps grow and preserve muscle mass
  • Lowering blood glucose
  • Turning off genes related to inflammation.

When we eat, our insulin levels are elevated. And that means we tend towards fat-storing rather than fat-burning. Fasting helps our insulin drop, allowing our body to tap into our fat stores. 

How do you do intermittent fasting?

There are lots of ways of doing it. I provide some more detailed advice in my book, but some options include:

  • Create eating windows. Here, you only eat within a given window of time. For example, you might restrict your eating to only between 10 am and 6 pm. 
  • Skipped meals. Here, you would skip one meal a day. I normally recommend skipping breakfast as a great way to get started with intermittent fasting.
  • 24/48 fast. Here, you fast for a full day or two. You would only do this about once a month.

The easiest one to follow and requires the least amount of adjustment for most people is setting an eating window. If you’re new to intermittent fasting, I would recommend you start here. 

From there, you can try out a few different variations and see what works best for you.

Several of my clients have had huge success with intermittent fasting. If you usually eat well and exercise but you can’t seem to shed those stubborn few pounds, give intermittent fasting a shot.

Remember, intermittent fasting doesn’t mean you have to eat fewer calories (although most people do end up eating a little less). It just means that you restrict when you eat. 


Sleep boosts metabolism | Gapin Institute

There are a number of systemic factors that have a significant influence on our health. One of the ones that many of us underestimate is sleep. 

Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t really sexy, but it is powerful. 

And getting enough sleep actually can help you both feel and even look sexier. For one thing, sleep is when our body builds back muscles after a workout. So if you’re trying to put on lean muscle mass, you don’t want to skimp on sleep. 

Tons of research has also connected sleep to weight loss. Many people think that as we sleep our body becomes less active. But our body is actually very active when we sleep. And all that activity requires energy. So your metabolism keeps burning as you rest.

There’s also research that connects insomnia with weight gain and obesity. One reason for this relationship is that sleep helps modulate neuroendocrine function—how well your hormonal system works. A less effective endocrine system, in turn, alters glucose metabolism, which is how your blood sugar is turned into energy. 

Lack of sleep also seems to decrease insulin sensitivity, decrease leptin (which is involved in how fat gets broken down), increase concentrations of cortisol (the stress hormone), and increase hunger. Together, those things make it harder to break down fat and easier to store it. 

So if you’re trying to lose weight and you’re looking for one quick win, cleaning up your sleep hygiene might just be it. 

The takeaway: create metabolism-boosting habits

The body is a large, complex system. As a physician, I know that better than anyone. 

But sometimes we overcomplicate our health. Or, said differently, sometimes the best things we can do for our health are also the simplest. 

Each of the factors above can contribute to a faster metabolism and help you lose weight. But also note that each of these also contributes to your health in a number of other ways, too. They will help you lower your risk for chronic illnesses, and help you just feel better. 

I encourage everyone to build those habits—both for a faster metabolism and weight loss, but also just for greater overall health. 

At the same time, we need to acknowledge our individual differences. We all have different genes and a different biochemical environment. Our epigenetics also means that we’re all wired to respond differently to food and have different metabolic rates.

Of course, everyone should exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep. But some people may need an additional game plan that’s tailored directly to their particular biology. Some people may need testosterone HRT or hormone therapy; others may benefit from peptide therapies; still others might need to focus on reducing stress

So focus on the recommendations in this article to help you boost your metabolism and lose weight. But if you’re still struggling, consider finding an approach tailored to your body. 

I offer precision medicine solutions that are aimed at creating an individualized plan for you based on your genes and body chemistry. Boiler-plate health advice can be useful, but it may not be enough to help you get through your individual challenges. Get in touch with me for VIP health coaching and an individualized plan.

Schedule a consultation to take control of your testosterone!

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In Male 2.0™, Dr. Tracy Gapin has turned everything we once thought we knew about men’s health and performance upside down. The old model of how to be “a man” is broken. A man who works himself to death.  Unfortunately, a man who tries to NOT get sick but isn’t really healthy either.  And a man who takes a pill for every ill but is never really cured. That was Male 1.0. Now, imagine being THE MAN ─ owning your performance in the bedroom, the weight room, and the boardroom. Living a fully optimized life. Becoming limitless. This is Male 2.0!

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist,  world-renowned Men’s Health & Performance Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition, and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance.

Want more tips to optimize your health?  Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE


Du, S., Rajjo, T., Santosa, S., & Jensen, M. D. (2014). The thermic effect of food is reduced in older adults. Hormone and metabolic research, 46(5), 365-369.

Pesta, D. H., & Samuel, V. T. (2014). A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutrition & Metabolism, 11(1), 1-8.

Shechter, A. (2017). Obstructive sleep apnea and energy balance regulation: a systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 34, 59-69.

Zurlo, F., Larson, K., Bogardus, C., & Ravussin, E. (1990). Skeletal muscle metabolism is a major determinant of resting energy expenditure. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 86(5), 1423-1427.

Your Stress Resiliency and Management May Predict How Long You Live

Everyone deals with stress. But the way you respond to that stress can either grow you or kill you. That’s not an exaggeration. Your “stress resiliency”—how well you cope with short- and long-term stress—is actually a consistent predictor for health, wellness, and mortality.

Research has shown that the response to stress has a greater impact on health and longevity than the stressor itself.

Let’s take a look at why stress is unhealthy, what stress resiliency is, and how you can enhance your stress resiliency to effectively handle stressors to maintain your health now and for many, many vital years to come.

Health problems of stress

Stress takes a toll on your health. There’s no question about it. You’ve likely felt the physical effects of stress before.

You’re dealing with a stressful project at work, but that stress doesn’t stay at work. You start to get anxious, and your mind is racing a million miles a minute. Your heartbeat is faster and your blood pressure is higher. You wake up in the morning exhausted and you’re tired all day, but you still have trouble sleeping at night. Your stomach hurts, your muscles are weak, and your brain is foggy. And that motivation to finish that project has flown out the window.

We often think of stress as a mental thing associated with anxiety and depression. It is, in part, mental. But it’s also entirely physical as well. Stress shows up in your body in a lot of serious physical manifestations. Trying different treatment plans could be the way forward to help you get this stress under control. 

When faced with a stressor, your sympathetic nervous system activates and releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This sets off the “fight or flight” response, used as a survival technique against the stressor. Physical signs of this response include:

  • Rapid heart beat and breathing
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Pale or flushed skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Enlarged blood vessels
  • Digestion stops (blood rushes to muscles, away from stomach)

The fight or flight response can be incredibly useful when the stressor is an immediate threat to life, like if you run into a bear in the woods or your child is choking. Your body senses the stress and physically prepares to run or act. Your body actually has this response to help you react; for example, your pupils dilate so you can see more of the environment to respond to any incoming bear attacks.

But the fight or flight response was meant to be acute (short-term). It’s not supposed to last for more than 60 minutes. These hormones put your body into overdrive, literally changing how your breathing, blood, and organs function. After the stressor is gone, the parasympathetic system takes over to pull down the response and bring your body back to homeostasis.

The modern-day man is facing a unique biological challenge, though. Most of our stressors aren’t acute or life threatening. Oftentimes, in fact, our greatest stressors are fabricated in our heads. We’re stressed about being embarrassed or rejected. We’re stressed about things that are over and done with or things that haven’t happened (and may not happen).

We stress in a long-term, less tangible way. Stress is no longer: see bear, run or fight bear. Now, stress is: I have to do a presentation, but I don’t have all the information I need because Joe didn’t get it to me, and what if I pick the wrong slides, or what if I sweat through my shirt, and what if they don’t like me or I fail, and what if we lose the entire account because my ideas are no good, oh and by the way, I’ll have to run to my son’s soccer game but I forgot to pack his team snack, and my wife and I aren’t on the same page about saving our finances, and dang, I really want to go on vacation.

Did that inner monologue sound familiar? Maybe you even got stressed out reading it.

We all have stressful thoughts. But spiraling into a “stress monologue” can actually alert your sympathetic nervous system and put you into a perpetual fight or flight response. So, you put your mind and body into overdrive long-term, which is can cause serious health concerns.

Short-term impacts of stress include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness or depression
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability or anger
  • Appetite changes (overeating or under-eating)

Long-term health impacts of stress are linked to:

There’s no doubt that stress is a serious health problem. Stress can even alter the expression of your genes, putting you at risk for disease and illness.

But it’s not actually the stressor that’s causing your health problems. Stress is completely internal. We can either let stress seep in and impact our health… or we can choose not to. If we don’t spiral into that stress monologue, our bodies won’t have that physical response.

Introducing “stress resiliency.”

What is stress resiliency?

Stress resiliency refers to how well you can respond to and cope with stress. It says whether you freak out or laugh it off. It determines how long you feel stressed, what you think about the stress, and how you handle people and situations around you.

Stress resiliency is the top predictor for mortality. Basically, if you stress more, your risk of dying early increases drastically. If you acknowledge stress and let it go, you’re more likely to live a healthier, longer life.

“Stress resiliency” has four main factors:

  1. The stressful event
  2. The external coping resources available to us
  3. The inner coping resources we’ve learned
  4. How we mentally mold the stress

(Psst… The final two factors are the greatest predictors for mortality and longevity. You’ll see why.)

  1. Stress event: Some stressors are more “stressful” than others. For example, the loss of a spouse is probably more stressful than running late for a work meeting. In general, long-term, “heavier” stress generally puts the individual at a higher risk for health complications.

Regardless, no matter the type of stress, the impact on health comes down to your personal coping mechanisms to respond to that stressor. If you easily get stressed every day, you’ll have worse health than someone who can grieve or stress in an effective way.

  1. External coping resources: Research shows that having strong social support can enhance stress resiliency. In opposition, poor social support can actually worsen your response to stress. In fact, a lack of social support may even modify the epigenetic expression of your genes! The feeling of loneliness can actually enhance stress and worsen the ability to respond to everyday stressors, often leading to psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Internal coping resources: However, stress resiliency is not really about what others can do for you. Studies show that how you internally manage your stress is more important. Typically, these internal resources are learned mechanisms that you’ve gathered throughout your life.

For example, Joe sees his parents handle financial stress by fighting about it. Alex sees his parents handle stress by going on vacation for the weekend (leaving Alex with the grandparents). Joe is taught that arguing is the only way to cope with stress, but Alex sees a weekend away as the solution. They’ll likely take these coping mechanisms into their adult years as well.

But it’s not all about your childhood and parents, either. Throughout your life, you’ve handled stress in different ways. Some ways have worked for you. Others haven’t. The coping mechanisms you’ve been “rewarded for” start to get engrained in your brain.

A lot of us don’t have strong internal coping resources. That’s where a major part of the problem comes in. We’ve been (accidentally) taught that we should respond to stress with anger, frustration, sadness, or other negative emotions. We’re taught that stress is evil, so we have to respond by curling into a ball to protect ourselves from it.

That’s where the fourth factor comes in. Changing the way we view stress can improve and enhance our internal coping mechanisms.

  1. Mental molding: This is my favorite part about stress resiliency. The way you view stress is actually the most important factor in how you’ll respond.

Everyone experiences stress. But the people who embrace it, rather than ignore it or let it overcome them, actually see the greatest response. Individuals who see stress as a challenge, not a threat, are actually more productive and motivated.

Here’s the proof that this matters:

  • A study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that people who believed stress had a negative impact on their health had a 43% increased risk of death. Those who experienced stress but didn’t see the effects as negative were least likely to die compared to others in the study.
  • A study published in the European Heart Journal found an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in participants who perceived stress as negative. Repeated results in another study.
  • A two-part study looked at adults’ “affect reactivity” to stress (how they respond to stress). The results showed that negative affective reactivity—an inability to respond positively to stress—had a significant association with mortality risk, more so than even experiencing the stress itself.

Where does this link come from?

Researchers aren’t exactly sure yet why a negative response to stress increases mortality risk while a positive response to stress may actually decrease it.

The two theories to answer this question involve sleep and energy movement.

First, people who don’t know how to handle their stress generally have a worsened quality and quantity of sleep. The brain is consciously and subconsciously worrying and stressing, which interrupts the calmness that’s required for sleep. When sleep goes awry, so does everything else. Your body uses sleep to reset everything including the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems.

But people who know how to handle stress are more likely to have effective coping mechanisms. They might meditate or workout or indulge in fun hobbies to release some of the stress. These healthy stress relievers can improve calmness, regulate hormones, and encourage quality sleep—all of which contribute to improved health and wellbeing. Certain coping mechanisms, like working out, actually make you healthier too!

The second theory is the way energy is translated. Stress creates a buildup of energy in your body. That agitated, restless feeling you get when stressed because your hormones are surging and your blood is racing. This physical response of energy can actually be productive if channeled effectively.

If you think this energy is negative, it will have nowhere to go—so it’ll start to eat away at your health. But if you see this energy is positive, you can actually use it to be more productive, creative, and action-oriented. You can utilize that energy for work or exercise, for example, to actually enhance your results.

Basically, stress can be incredibly useful and can even improve your health—when you think it’s useful.

How to enhance stress resiliency

Let’s go backwards through the four factors of stress resiliency to deepen and develop your response to stress from the inside out.

1. Train your brain.

Stress resiliency is about embracing and managing stress, not about avoiding or reducing it. So step one is training your brain to view stress as healthy.

Every time you have a stress response, it leaves an imprint on your brain so you can handle that stress in the future. This is called “stress inoculation,” where you get a mental vaccine to that stressor. Your brain actually grows and changes from the experience.

That’s why astronauts, athletes, emergency responders, and Navy SEALs all have to go through rigorous stress training. They’re put through physical and mental stress, because it hardens them to other stressors they might see in the field.

It’s time to recognize that stress isn’t against you. It’s there to help you grow. So when you start to feel that anxious, stressed out feeling, take control of your thinking. Follow this mindset process:

  • Where is the stress coming from? What is the stressor?
  • Why are you feeling so stressed out? Are you anxious about the past or future?
  • Where is the stress in your body? Do you feel it in your head, your heart, your stomach? (This brings you into the physical sensation of the stress.)
  • What can you do right now to calm those nerves? Think about your coping mechanisms.
  • Consider what you could learn from this stressor. Why is this challenge put in front of you, and how can you grow from it?

Remember- the only people without stress are under ground!

2. Develop healthy stress management habits.

Now that you’re training your brain to see stress as positive, it’s time to update your internal coping mechanisms. It’s important to develop healthy reactions to stress, so you can have easy go-to methods to calm your brain and body when amidst the chaos.

For example, you may have built up resiliency to the daily stress of your job, but you don’t know how to mentally handle the death of your beloved pet. You want to stress management tools in your belt that you can utilize when new, unexpected stressors arise.

Remember that stress is still physical. So even if you’ve got the mental side down to a science by embracing stress, you’ll still want an arsenal of healthy internal coping mechanisms that can help regulate your stress hormones.

The best internal coping resource is actually laughter. Social studies show that people who can “laugh off” tension generally have a higher resiliency to stress. This isn’t always easy to do, and it often requires a major mindset shift. When you run into a traffic jam, look for the silver lining (like you’ll miss the first five minutes of that super boring meeting). When you and your partner are in a fight, drop the anger and get a little playful. Focusing on fun can help you redirect how your brain naturally responds to stress.

By the way, throwing a smile on your face actually makes you happier. Even if you’re not feeling amazing, smiling signals your brain to release “feel good” chemicals, so you’ll actually start to feel better!

Other ways to manage stress include:

If you are struggling to figure out your internal coping mechanisms, consider talking to a professional. Therapists are trained to figure out what makes you tick, so you can find stress management tools that will work for you.

3. Get social support.

You want to surround yourself with people who care about you, support you, and love you. Interestingly, though, “social support” isn’t actually what it might sound like. You shouldn’t surround yourself with people who are just there to make you feel better or let you wallow in your stress. You want “support” in that they push you and challenge you. Your social support should give you tough love and encourage you to channel your stress into something positive.

There’s another type of social support that works well: giving social support. One study looked at the link between stressful events and assisting others. They found that going through a major stress event increased a participant’s risk of death by 30%. But there was no increase risk of death in participants who frequently helped others or gave to their community—even if they dealt with high levels of stress. The researchers concluded that helping others could actually reduce stress and mortality rates.

The goal here is to get out of your own mind and into the beauty of relationships. You want to surround yourself with people who will comfort and challenge you, while being grateful for the people you have in your life. You also want to channel your stress to become a beacon of light for others. Giving is the best way to receive.

4. Know your stressors.

The first factor of stress resiliency is just the stressor itself. Different people have different stressors that elicit different reactions. For example, you might get really stressed by traffic but not by being late. Or you might be constantly stressed about your kid or your boss or your weight, but your wife is always stressed about money.

It’s important to acknowledge what makes you stressed, so you can learn to embrace these moments. It’s not about avoiding traffic or quitting your job. You just want to understand where your stress comes from, so you can start to focus your energy on how to better embrace those areas of your life. You can then direct your internal coping mechanisms effectively.

5. Focus on your health.

There’s a fifth method to consider… your health! Stress can worsen your health—but poor health can also stress out your body. If your hormones are out of whack, it’s easier to let stress seep in.

For example, low testosterone can actually worsen stress. The symptoms of low testosterone include fatigue, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, depression, weight gain, and a loss of muscle mass. These symptoms can all make your mind and body more stressed, which can send you into a “stress spiral.”

For example, if you’re not sleeping, your body doesn’t have time to produce testosterone and clear our cortisol—so you end up with an even worse imbalance of low T and high cortisol. The higher your cortisol, the more you’ll feel those physical effects of stress. Check out these 5 easy ways to balance your hormones.

Pregnenolone is the “building block” hormone. It’s the hormone used to create all other hormones—including both testosterone and cortisol. When the pregnenolone isn’t being used to create testosterone, there’s more available to create cortisol. So keeping your testosterone high is also a great way to keep your cortisol to a minimum. Oh, and by the way, some research shows that strong testosterone levels are linked to longer lifespans. Get more info about testosterone here.

You are resilient

Stress resilience is a direct predictor of mortality. How you respond to stressful situations has a greater impact on your health and mortality than even exposure to stress on its own. A negative view of stress can lead to a number of health problems in both the short- and long-term, eventually leading to early death. But seeing stress as an exciting challenge to overcome may actually improve your mental and physical health.

So how do YOU see stress?

Is your stress going to make you or break you? Are you going to grow or perish?

Are YOU ready to transform your health?

With our high performance health program, I use testing and analysis to look at your genetic makeup and epigenetic expression to understand exactly how your body is working today. Together, we then create a personalized lifestyle plan, one variable at a time, to bring your body into its peak state.

Want more tips to optimize your health and testosterone?

Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS – Board Certified Urologist in Sarasota, High Performance Health Expert and Founder of

Can High Intensity Interval Training Make You Manlier?

So we know that testosterone is the masculine hormone. We also know that exercise boosts testosterone.

But what’s the best method to use exercise to make you healthy, sexy, energetic, and manly?

The solution? High-intensity interval training.

Can HIIT make you manlier?

Yes. High-intensity interval training can make you manlier by boosting your testosterone levels.

So how does it work?

Testosterone is the “masculine” hormone. It’s what gives you your male features like growth of body hair, increased muscles, and bone mass. Testosterone is what helps develop the male reproductive tissues during puberty, like the testes and prostate.

Testosterone also controls libido, energy, sleep, mood, metabolism, and protein synthesis. High testosterone leads to that high, teenage-like sex drive and that insane ready-for-anything energy. It helps you sleep better, feel better, and be happier, along with helping you to lose weight, maintain a healthy body fat mass, and grow your muscles.

Testosterone is what makes you super-man.

But what happens if your testosterone is low? Does that make you less manly?

No, you’re still a rock star guy. But, you might start to feel less manly if you have less testosterone. And no guy wants that.

You might have reduced sexual desires, low libido, or erectile dysfunction. You might be feeling depressed, anxious, or less motivated. It’s possible that you’ll even start to gain a softer belly with male breasts and reduced muscle mass.

Learn more about the symptoms and causes of low testosterone here: What is low testosterone?

You need testosterone for all your manly attributes.

And HIIT helps increase your testosterone.

How does HIIT work?

In my article Does Exercise Boost Testosterone?, we discussed the three-step workout to boost T:

  1. Compound exercises
  2. Fewer reps, higher weight
  3. Longer rest periods

Most experts lovingly refer to this type of workout as “high-intensity interval training.” It’s also sometimes referred to as high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT).

Let’s break it down.

“Training,” refers to working out. So, in order to see results—you actually need to get up and get yourself to the gym. (Or you can even get yourself to your living room.)

“Interval,” refers to the number 3 in the three-step workout. Interval workouts are when you workout as hard as you can for a specific period of time before resting your body. For example, you might lift weights for 15 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and then lift for 15 seconds again. This creates intervals that alternate between aggressive movement and prolonged periods of rest.

“High intensity,” refers to numbers 1 and 2 in the three-step workout. During the intervals that you’re working out, you want to be doing the most intense movements as possible. This comes in two parts:

  • You want to strain as much muscle tissue as you can at once. These are called “compound exercises,” which work multiple muscle groups in one movement.
  • Additionally, you also want to lift a higher weight for fewer reps (as opposed to a lower weight for more reps). Lifting more weight strains your muscles more.

In essence, HIIT is an anaerobic exercise that alternates between bursts of intense compound movements and long recovery periods.

How does HIIT impact testosterone?

Up until this point, you’ve just believed me when I told you that HIIT increases testosterone. So thank you for your trust.

But now I’ll explain how it works and why that impacts your “manliness.”

Study after study shows that HIIT can increase testosterone. Some examples include:

Where does this relationship of HIIT and testosterone come from?

HIIT boosts protein synthesis (aka it helps build muscle). It’s the number one way to burn fat while building muscle. And testosterone plays a critical role in muscle synthesis. So, while HIIT is building more muscle, your testosterone levels have to increase in tandem to help synthesis that muscle.

Building muscle requires testosterone. Your body has to produce more testosterone and amino acids to give you those strong muscles.

In essence, the more you strain and grow your muscles, the more testosterone your body generates.

The benefits of HIIT include:

  • Increases testosterone
  • Boosts the human growth hormone
  • Increases nitric oxide
  • Boosts muscle mass and density
  • Enhances energy
  • Normalizes blood sugar
  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Improves sleep quality

All of these HIIT benefits actually help further increase testosterone. For example, better sleep quality gives your body more time to reset and generate testosterone. Enhancing nitric oxide boosts blood flow throughout the body—especially to the penis—to help overcome erectile dysfunction.

There’s another important benefit of HIIT that has massive impacts on testosterone levels…

HIIT burns fat.

A study at the University of South Wales found that those who participated in HIIT lost 3x the body fat as the non-HIIT group.

HIIT is one of the best ways to quickly and effectively burn fat. When you do cardio or other endurance exercises, your body actually starts to tap into some of its muscle mass in order to get the energy it needs. This can make you start to lose muscle as opposed to fat. (That’s why you’ll sometimes see marathon runners who have a little bit of a gut, even though they’re able to run marathons with ease.)

When your body eats at its muscle, it actually starts to deplete its natural free testosterone sources.

But interval training causes your body not to tap into muscle energies. Instead, HIIT taps into your stored sugars. You get the strength and stamina you need from your fat reserves. So you’re burning fat as opposed to using muscle.

Plus, HIIT actually puts your body in fat-burning mode for up to 36 hours after your workout.

Overall, HIIT actually burns more fat than any other form of exercise.

And burning fat plays an important role in testosterone. If you have more fat, your body will start to create more estrogen. Estrogen is the antithesis of testosterone.

More fat = lower testosterone

Less fat = higher testosterone

So HIIT can help you burn fat so your body can focus on testosterone production.

Fun fact: During a HIIT workout, put your hand on your stomach. If it feels cold, you’re burning belly fat! That’s your body trying to regulate its temperature as it uses up energy.

Why is HIIT better than cardio?

Cardio is good for your heart—but it also has a lot of downsides. Steady cardio actually overworks your body, putting your body into a state of stress. This causes an increase in cortisol levels, which steals away from testosterone production. Cardio can also decrease the immune system, cause oxidative damage, create chronic inflammation, and decrease your metabolism.

That’s not to say cardio is the devil. It’s still a great way to help clear out your arteries and protect against serious disease like hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

However, you want to avoid chronic, intense cardio. Instead, cycle your HIIT workouts with light to moderate cardio to see the benefits of both. HIIT will raise your testosterone and cardio will keep your body moving and strong.

Your HIIT plan

Below are some basics you should know about how to start creating a HIIT plan that will work for you, especially with regards to the length of your workout, the types of exercises, and the frequency of training.


One of my favorite parts of HIIT is that you don’t have to do super long workouts to see the effects. One HIIT session should last no more than 30 minutes. This shortened length is because the intensity of the intervals actually burns more calories and builds more muscle mass than longer, less-moderate periods.

Plus, if you do HIIT for too long, you can actually over-stress your body, which can actually increase the production of cortisol. Too much cortisol actually “steals” away from the production of testosterone. You want to be careful not to stress your body while you workout.


You don’t want to do HIIT workouts every day. Like the length of your workout, too frequent HIIT sessions can stress out your body and raise cortisol levels.

Your body needs recovery periods. It’s actually during this recovery that you start to build muscle.

Plus, HIIT puts your body in fat-burning mode for 36 hours after the workout. This means you don’t actually need to do it every day in order to keep your body burning fat—even while you’re resting.

You should perform HIIT only 3-4 times a week. On your rest days, do lighter cardio (like swimming or jogging) to burn calories and keep your body active without overdoing it.

HIIT sounds easy, right? You only have to work out 30 minutes every other day! Score! But it’s not easy. In fact, most men say that even a 15-minute HIIT workout is harder than any other form of working out that they do. So don’t take it lightly! You may even want to get a coach or trainer to help get you through it.


HIIT is a type of workout method—not the workouts itself. So you can actually apply this type of training to any form of exercise you want. If you like to run, you’ll sprint for 20 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. The same is true of swimming, biking, kickboxing, martial arts, or any other type of training that you like to do. You can even turn yoga into a HIIT workout since yoga has some seriously awesome sexual health benefits!

I usually recommend pairing HIIT with resistance training, for example, an exercise with resistance bands. You want to focus on compound exercises that work a lot of muscles at once. With HIIT, you want to be working as much muscle tissue at one time as possible in order to see the greatest effect.

I like doing half of my HIIT as cardio and the other half as resistance training. Below are some sample exercises.

HIIT cardio exercises:

HIIT resistance exercises:

  • Bicycle crunches
  • Calf raises
  • Dips
  • Dumbbell punches
  • Dumbbell squats
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Lunges
  • Oblique crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Resistance band curls
  • Sit-ups
  • Sled training
  • Squats

Check out these awesome 10 HIIT workouts from Men’s Journal.

Sample HIIT plan

I’m going to give you some sample plans that you can mix and match to start blasting fat and boosting T this week! How does that sound?

Let’s go!

Sprinting explosion

Equipment: You can do this on a track, on a treadmill, or in your backyard.
Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 minute warm-up (slow walking/jogging)
  • 30 seconds sprinting at almost full-capacity (like a 7/10 power)
  • 1 minute jogging
  • 30 seconds sprinting at full power (10/10 power)
  • 1 minute slow jogging
  • 30 seconds sprinting at almost full capacity (6/10 power)
  • 1 minute jogging
  • 30 seconds sprinting at full power (10/10 power)
  • 1 min 30 seconds slow jogging
  • 30 minutes sprinting at full power (9/10 power)
  • 1 min moderate jogging
  • 1 minute cool-down (slow walking/jogging)

Ab blast

Equipment: Towel/mat

Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 minute warm-up jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds plank
  • 1 minute rest
  • 30 seconds push-ups
  • 1 minute slow crunches
  • 30 seconds side shuffle
  • 1 minute rest
  • 30 seconds oblique crunch
  • 1 minute side stretches
  • 30 seconds plank
  • 1 minute rest
  • 30 seconds oblique crunch
  • 1 minute cool-down walking

Lower body boost

Equipment: jump rope


  • 1 minute warm-up jumping rope
  • 30 seconds dumbbell squat
  • 1 minute rest
  • 30 seconds calf raises
  • 1 minute stretching
  • 30 second jump squat
  • 1 minute rest
  • 30 second switch lunge
  • 1 minute stretching
  • 30 second stability ball squat
  • 1 minute rest
  • 30 second burpees
  • 1 minute cool-down walking

Notice here that we’re looking at time as opposed to reps. However, if you’re using HIIT with your typical lifting routine, you’ll want to focus on using heavier weights with fewer reps. For example, you might do 6 curls at 80 pounds as opposed to 12 curls at 50 pounds.

Keep it intense—but don’t forget to rest!


HIIT is a time-efficient way to boost your testosterone and build your muscles. This high intensity isn’t easy at first—but it will make you feel better in no time. HIIT the strongest way to boost your testosterone, increase your energy, and renew your manliness.

I gave you a few HIIT workouts to get you started, but it’s not specific to your individual sexual and overall health needs.

If you want to truly take control of your workouts and FINALLY get control over your health…

If you want to have a clear-cut, doctor-recommended plan to get your T high and your muscles bulky…

Then its time for a MALE 90X Consult.

Schedule a consultation to learn how Gapin Institute can help YOU.

Ready to take the next steps?

Schedule a Call


Does Exercise Boost Testosterone?

Strap in, because I’m about to completely change your idea about what “healthy” workouts look like.

It’s true that working out can help raise your testosterone levels if you’re suffering from low testosterone. But not the workouts you might imagine.

You don’t need to workout every day to boost testosterone.

You don’t need to workout more than 30 minutes to boost testosterone.

You don’t need to run marathons to boost testosterone.

In fact, it’s not that you just don’t need to—you shouldn’t actually work out every day, workout too much, or run long distances.

Instead, you should be focusing on strong bursts of resistance training.

In this article, I’m going to give you the specifics about how to exercise to boost your testosterone levels and get back on track to ultimate sexual and overall health.

Does exercise boost T levels?

In short, the answer to this question is, yes. Exercise can boost testosterone levels—if you exercise correctly. Testosterone is the hormone that controls muscle synthesis and energy, and it also helps regulate weight. Since exercise is also important for muscle and weight, the two go hand-in-hand to lend towards overall health and wellness.  

Research shows two major impacts of exercise on testosterone levels: short-term and long-term.

Firstly, testosterone spikes 30 minutes after a training workout. However, testosterone returns to resting levels after about an hour. This means that there’s only a short-term spike in testosterone during the day.

But that doesn’t mean that short-term spike isn’t helping long-term. In fact, research shows that the more frequently men experience this quick T spike, the greater their resting testosterone level.

This means that exercising boosts testosterone levels most significantly in the short-term but most profoundly in the long-term. If you consistently workout to raise T levels, your resting T levels will start to raise methodically and permanently.

Working out also has an indirect relationship with testosterone due to the impacts of exercise on body fat, stress, and sleep.

Body fat

Working out helps reduce body fat, especially around the midsection. Maintaining a healthy body weight is important to healthy levels of testosterone. Visceral fat can actually raise cortisol and estrogen, which in turn lowers testosterone.

If you want high levels of testosterone, you need a healthy weight.

If you want to lose weight, you need to be moving and exercising consistently.


Exercise is a proven stress reducer. It releases endorphins that make you happier while reducing anxiety and depression.

When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol (the “stress hormone”). Cortisol and testosterone have an inverse relationship. High cortisol equals low testosterone and vice versa.

This is because cortisol and testosterone are both made from the same “base” hormone called pregnenolone. If the body has to use more pregnenolone to make cortisol, it won’t have enough left over to make testosterone. This is called “cortisol steal” because it steals away the building blocks of necessary T production.


Getting enough sleep is an important part of testosterone production. Studies show that sleeping too few hours can drastically lower testosterone by boosting cortisol to exorbitant levels.

Working out can help you sleep better. It uses up extra energy and trains your muscles, so you’re more likely to get a higher quantity and quality of sleep. Exercise also lowers cortisol, so you can have a more restful night’s sleep. and Plus, since working out reduces your stress, you’ll be in a better mental state to help fall asleep.

Still don’t believe that exercise boosts testosterone?
Check out the scientific proof:  

What kind of exercise boosts testosterone?

Not all exercise is created equal when it comes to raising testosterone levels.

Resistance training (lifting weights) is the best way to raise testosterone. Studies show that strength training can actually induce the release of growth hormone and testosterone regardless of age.

In reverse, research shows that long-distance running can actually lower testosterone levels. In fact, one study found that the long-distance runners had lower T levels than even the non-athletic group. This is because running for long distances over-stresses the body. This stress releases cortisol, aka the “stress hormone,” and leads to cortisol steal (as discussed above).

For the same reason, you want to avoid overtraining or over-exerting your body during workouts. Working out too hard can release cortisol that reduces the production of testosterone.

So yes, I’m telling you not to overdo it with your workouts if you want to see T-raising benefits!

When to workout

There are two schools of thought with regards to when you should work out to best boost testosterone.

The first is that you should work out in the late afternoons or early evenings.

Testosterone is naturally highest in the morning. Testosterone is actually one of the hormones that helps you wake up in the morning with energy and vigor. (That’s why men with low testosterone often feel fatigue, low energy, and low interest.)

T levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day, but they steadily decline as the day progresses. This is one of the reasons you might find that you start to lose some of your energy in the middle of the day.

The second school of thought is that you should work out in the mornings.

Studies show that working out on an empty stomach has the greatest fat burning benefits. Burning fat can help raise testosterone levels. Lifting weights on an empty stomach can also help increase metabolism and muscle synthesis, which can further boost testosterone.

My suggestion? Workout whenever it fits in your schedule! If you workout in the mornings, don’t eat beforehand and you’ll see greater fat burning benefits. If you workout in the evenings, drink a cup of coffee to improve your energy and performance.

How to workout

There are three things you need to focus on in your workout in order to boost testosterone levels:

  1.    Compound exercises
  2.    Fewer reps at higher weight
  3.    Longer rest periods

Most experts refer to this kind of workout as “high intensity interval training (HIIT).” Basically, you’ll want to push more muscle groups, with heavier weights, for short intervals.

1. Compound exercises

Compound exercises work a number of muscle groups at one time. Research shows that testosterone levels are correlated with the amount of muscle tissue that’s stimulated during a workout. The more muscles you work, the greater the T boost. You want to avoid isolation exercises, which have no proven impact on testosterone.

The ideal workout would consist of three compound exercises. This includes one upper body pull, one upper body push, and one lower body exercise.

Examples of upper body pull include pull-ups, dumbbell rows, and chin-ups. Upper body push includes push-ups, chest presses, ring dips, and shoulder presses. Lower body compounds include body weight squats, weight squats, lunges, and reverse lunges.

Before you get into your compound movements, you want to warm up your muscles. I recommend 30 seconds of skipping rope and 30 seconds of jumping jacks. This gets your heart rate up while also moving the muscle groups you’ll need for your compound movements.

Do 30 seconds of rope skipping, 30 seconds of jumping jacks, and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat three times, and you’ll be warm and ready!

2. Fewer reps, higher weight

Studies show that you’ll see the best results if you use a higher weight with fewer reps as opposed to more reps at a lower weight. This is because higher weights exert your body at a greater rate, which helps build muscle and set off testosterone production.

You want to get through 6 to 8 reps at a high weight. This ensures you don’t injure your muscles by overexerting, but you’re still pushing your body just enough.

Remember—you see the greatest results in the last rep that you “can’t do!” Power through it.

Repeat for six sets. By the end of the sixth set, you’ll be exhausted and ready for an extended rest period.

3. Longer rest periods

You want to rest at least one minute between sets and five minutes between exercises. This gives your body the chance to recuperate to take on the next set.

The five minutes between each exercise helps relieve your central nervous system so you don’t start to release cortisol (and end up with cortisol steal and lower testosterone levels).

You also want to rest 48 hours between each workout.

That’s right—you don’t want to workout like this every day! Doing so can actually overexert your body and damage your T levels.

You don’t want to be sitting on the couch and eating potato chips on your down days, though. You should still get up and get your body moving for at least 30 minutes each day. I recommend light cardio, like walking or swimming. This will help you burn calories and stay active without stressing your body.

When boosting your testosterone levels, recovery is especially important!

Pulling it together

Altogether, you want to train large muscle groups, lift heavy, and rest long.

You have three compound movements: 1 upper body pull, 1 upper body push, and 1 lower body compound. Do each movement with 6-8 reps for six sets. Rest one minute between sets and five minutes between each workout. This brings you to about a thirty-minute workout.

This kind of HIIT workout is what we call “explosive resistance training.”

I love this kind of training because it’s quick but mighty. You only need a half-hour to see amazing results in your testosterone levels, muscle growth, weight loss, energy levels, and overall health.

HIIT has even shown significant results in the bedroom. It can actually help boost your stamina and make you a better lover. Score!

Benefits of using exercise to boost testosterone

Working out:

Raises testosterone, which leads to higher libido, greater energy, and improved wellness.

Burns fat, which reduces the risk of disease and raises self-confidence.

Enhances stamina, which allows for improved workouts and sex sessions.

Reduces stress, which lowers the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) and other serious diseases.

Improves sleep, which helps produce more testosterone and other hormones.

Overall, exercise creates a cycle of sexually invigorating testosterone production!


Does exercise boost testosterone? Heck yes, it does! Working out one of the most natural and effective ways to overcome low testosterone and bring back optimal health. Resistance training is one of the best ways to get your T level back to where you want it to be.

The benefits of exercise are immense. But we all have our excuses. We don’t have time. We don’t have a gym nearby. We’re too busy.

It’s time to stop making excuses. There’s no better time to take control of your health than RIGHT NOW!

You can find thirty minutes every other day to improve your health, can’t you?

You just need to start. You need someone to help you.

That’s what I’m here for.

Do you want specific, in-depth exercise plans that can help you raise testosterone this month?

Are you looking for more ways to boost your testosterone?

Then it’s time to sign up for The Male 90X program!

This genetic-based report and analysis will give you everything you need to know about low testosterone levels and any sexual health concerns. You’ll also get a private consultation to address an individually-tailored plan that will put you on the track to success.

It’s time to invigorate your sexuality and enliven your vitality! 

Schedule a Call


Happy Men’s Health Month!

Happy Men’s Health Month! June is our favorite month because it’s a period dedicated to education and awareness about men’s wellness. This is a great opportunity for the media, healthcare providers, and public policy creators to bring men’s sexual health to the forefront of the healthcare conversation.

Did you know that the life expectancy for males is 76.1 years, while the life expectancy for females is 81.2 years?

Although it’s possible that there are genetic factors, most experts believe that behavior plays a larger role in the shortened life expectancy of the American male.  

This June, it’s time to commit to your health. With awareness and understanding of common men’s health concerns, you can reduce your risk of serious health concerns.

What are common male health concerns?

Not every man will have the same lifestyle, behaviors, and health risks. However, there are a number of diseases that affect a large percentage of men, especially with age.  

Below are the most common male health concerns and their typical causes or risk factors.

Heart disease

The most prominent male health threat is heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S., accounting for nearly 1 in 4 male deaths. It’s much more common in men than women, with over 3/4 of sudden cardiac events occurring in men.

One of the most frightening statistics about heart disease is that half of the men who die suddenly from heart disease have no previous symptoms.

Though not showing symptoms, research has proven that heart disease can be preventable. The key factors for high risk of heart disease are all controllable:

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

Other significant risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking. Unfortunately, though, half of American men have at least one of these three risk factors—even though these are entirely dependent upon lifestyle choices.

Heart disease isn’t something to mess with. At the very least, it can cause erectile dysfunction and reduced quality of life. At the worst, it can be fatal. 

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (except for skin cancer). It is often treatable, but it’s the second leading cause of cancer death behind lung cancer. In America, 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and 1 in 41 will die of it.

Prostate cancer is rare before age 40 and becomes much more frequent after age 65. Nearly 6 of 10 diagnosed cases occur in men over the age of 65, and the average age of diagnosis is 66. 

Early detection is key to treating prostate cancer. It is completely curable if caught early enough. In fact, with early detection, the 5-year relative survival rate of prostate cancer is 99%, the 10-year survival rate is 98%, and the 15-year survival rate is 96%. Thus, it’s recommended that prostate cancer screening start at age 50 and occur at least every five years. For some men, doctors may recommend yearly screenings.

Risks for prostate cancer include age, family history, race, nationality, sedentary lifestyle, diet, calcium, obesity, beer, smoking, height, and Agent Orange.

Learn more about prostate cancer here.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common concern for men, affecting about 40% of men in their 40s, 50% of men in their 50s, 60% of men in their 60s, and 70% of men in their 70s. ED also called impotence, is when a man cannot get or sustain an erection long enough to have satisfying sexual intercourse. It becomes a long-term concern that can impact sexual health, relationships, and even mental health.

Although it’s more common for men of older age, studies suggest that 1 in 4 men seeking treatment for ED are under the age of 40. Those under age 40 also often have more severe symptoms of erectile dysfunction.  

Erectile dysfunction is often not a disease in and of itself. It is usually a symptom or side effect of another serious health concern like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity. ED is often one of the first warning signs that something serious is going on in the body.

Thus, if you’ve been experiencing ongoing erectile dysfunction, you want to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will usually consider ED as a symptom, so they will screen you for other potential concerns as well.  

There are a number of potential causes of erectile dysfunction including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Performance anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Neurological diseases
  • Hormonal disorders
  • BPH
  • Low testosterone
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • Prostate cancer treatment
  • Porn addiction

ED can also be a side effect of certain medications you’re taking—including the medications that could be causing your ED in the first place. Work with your doctor to understand where your ED is coming from and what you can do about it.

Check out more erectile dysfunction resources here!

Low testosterone

Testosterone is the “man” hormone. It’s the most important hormone in maintaining male health including muscle mass, hair growth, bone density, red blood cell development, and sex drive. It also plays a role in cognitive function, mood stability, exercise endurance, and energy.  

Testosterone levels naturally decline with age. But this decline can create serious health problems for men. Low testosterone can cause:

  • Lower libido
  • Fatigue
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Mood changes
  • Reduced cognitive function
  • Poor memory
  • Arthritis
  • Increased risk of heart disease

Men with low testosterone often present a general feeling of “un-wellness.” If you’ve been feeling “off” recently, you may be dealing with low testosterone.

There are natural ways to boost testosterone, and there is the possibility of replacement therapies if lifestyle changes aren’t showing fast results. You can quickly overcome low testosterone if you commit to your health and wellness! 


A stroke is caused by a clot or ruptured blood vessel that cuts off blood flow to the brain. This can cause lasting brain damage that can have serious and fatal implications.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., numbering about 800,000 deaths yearly with an additional 130,000 from stroke-related complications. Men are at a higher risk of stroke than women.

There is an increased risk of stroke in those who smoke, have high blood pressure, have diabetes, abuse drugs or alcohol, are overweight or obese, or live a sedentary lifestyle. Don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk for something that could permanently damage your brain.


Diabetes is when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 1) and/or can’t use its insulin properly (type 2). This causes sugar levels to rise, which can create serious health concerns. It increases the risk of heart disease and impacts eyes, kidneys, and nervous system. It’s also directly linked to increased prevalence of erectile dysfunction.

The risks for type 2 diabetes and complications from diabetes include smoking, being overweight, sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It’s also more common in men over age 40.

See if you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes with this 60-second online test.


After age 40, the prostate can start to grow. This is called benign prostate enlargement, and it’s “mostly” benign. Although it isn’t dangerous, it can create a number of sexual health concerns for men. It mostly impacts the urinary tract, creating a number of “bathroom” problems like a sudden urge to go to the bathroom or a slow urine stream.

BPH has also been linked to erectile dysfunction and other metabolic diseases. This is because the prostate typically grows when there’s a change in the prostate cells. This can be due to infection, prostate cancer, prostate cancer treatment, age, or other factors.

Although BPH is itself not harmful, it’s often the first sign of another underlying factor. Enlargement is a signal that something in your body is changing your prostate cell makeup—and it’s not a sign to be ignored.


Mental health is equally—if not more—important than physical health. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, and almost 45,000 people die by suicide yearly. Men die by suicide 3.53x more than women, and the rate is higher in middle age.

Too many men feel like they’re drowning with no route for escape. Men’s health month is the perfect time to open up the conversation about men’s mental health.

If you are struggling or feeling lost, it’s important that you realize you’re not alone—and you won’t feel this way forever. Find a local professional or support system to take the first steps towards regaining your life.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the term used to describe a collection of conditions that increase the risk for diseases, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Conditions of metabolic syndrome include:

  •     Insulin resistance (pre-diabetes)
  •     Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  •     High cholesterol
  •     High blood sugar
  •     Obesity 

Metabolic syndrome is a direct cause of lifestyle choices like diet and exercise.

Did you know…

Chronic inflammation may be the link between all of the above diseases including heart disease, cancer, stroke, depression, and Alzheimer’s. Preventing chronic inflammation may help minimize the risk of disease. Learn more about chronic inflammation here.

How can you protect your health?

Handsome businessman with eyeglasses working from home

I didn’t present you with all the major male health problems to scare you. I’m not here to spook you. Rather, I’m here to remind you of your own mortality—as well as your CONTROL over your mortality.

All of these diseases are preventable with the right lifestyle changes and behaviors. So what can you do to make sure you’re maintaining your health and wellness this June—and the rest of the year?

  1. Get yearly screenings.

When was the last time you went for an annual checkup? If it was more than a year ago, it’s time to go get screened.

Yearly screenings are the top prevention method for all of the above diseases. It allows you to “catch” diseases or conditions early, so they can be treated and monitored.

You should get an annual liver, kidney, sugar, and cholesterol screenings at the very minimum. Also, talk to your doctor about a PSA test as a preliminary prostate cancer checkup.

Kill the monster while it’s a baby before it turns into an unstoppable force. If you catch diseases when they’re early on, they’re more treatable. 

  1. Eat a healthy diet. 

Diet is one of the key lifestyle factors to overall health and wellness. Diet impacts your genetic expression and epigenetics,  meaning it plays a role in just about every disease.

Studies show that you can prevent prostate cancer with a healthy diet

Learn more about eating a healthy diet with the following resources: 

  1. Exercise.

Exercise is one of the simplest ways to fix nearly all of your health problems. Working out 4-5 hours per week can:

  • Help lose fat and maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve metabolism
  • De-methylate genes
  • Improve sleep
  • Minimize stress
  • Elevate mood and happiness
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Reduce bad cholesterol
  • Get rid of inflammation

Exercise is one of the easiest ways to control your health—without even thinking about it. Whether you swim, walk, lift weights, or play Frisbee, your body needs movement to be healthy and strong. I especially recommend a low-pressure exercise that won’t damage your joints, like yoga, stretching, and swimming.

Learn more about the importance of working out here.

Running man in forest woods training and exercising for trail run marathon endurance race. Fitness healthy lifestyle concept with male athlete trail runner.

  1. Know your supplements.

Most American men don’t get the micronutrients they need to maintain their health and vitality. Thus, I recommend most men take the following supplements to boost their wellness:

But make sure you know what’s in your supplements. A lot of one-a-day vitamins actually contain inactive ingredients that can do more harm than good. Always take a look at the ingredients label.

You should also talk to your doctor about the medications you’re on. If you’re experiencing any side effects, don’t be afraid to open the floor for conversation.

  1. Stress less.

Stress is the number one killer of men today. It’s an epidemic that seems to only be getting worse in America. In fact, more and more research is proving that stress is at the root of a number of serious, fatal diseases. Stress even influences your genes and epigenetic expression, “turning off” the protective genes and “turning on” those that cause serious disease.  

Make sure you’re taking time for yourself. Whether that means spending time with family, taking up yoga, or finding a less stressful career path, it’s critical that you put your health first. Learn more about how to address stress here.

  1. Sleep more.

Sleeping 7 to 8 hours every night has proven health benefits. Sleep is when your body’s hormones reset, which helps lower cortisol (stress) and boost testosterone. Without this period of rest, your body starts to go into “overdrive” and its normal functioning starts to slow down. Sleep (and a lack of sleep) can even impact your genes.

Learn how to sleep better right now.

  1. Use sunscreen.

Put on your SPF. Skin cancer is the most common cancer, and it’s frequently caused by exposure to UV rays. Daily sunscreen can help prevent the free radical damage that causes both cancer and wrinkles.

Sunscreen should become a daily habit to show the full effect. Check out these other five habits that will boost your health overnight!

  1. Drink water.

Health and wellness all come down to water. Water makes up the majority of your body. Without it, your body can’t function properly. That’s why just a couple of days of dehydration can kill you.

Drink more water and you’ll find improvements in energy, weight, sleep, mood, diet, exercise, sex, and more. Water is the building block of life—so make sure you’re getting enough.

Pro-tip: Drink pH balanced water. This helps keep your body’s pH aligned, which helps keep your body in balance to fight disease and infection.

Celebrate Men’s Health

How are you going to celebrate men’s health month? By FINALLY going in for that yearly screening? Or using these summer months to get outside and exercise?

How about changing your diet? Or by signing up for a N1 Performance Health consultation?

The G1 Performance Health Consult is a private consultation that takes you through every aspect of your health. We discuss everything about diet, exercise, psychology, and sexual health to reinvigorate your health and wellness. With high performance wellness & anti-aging medicine, Dr. Gapin provides Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurs a personalized path to lose weight, maximize energy, & restore vitality.

And yes, I prescribe having more sex…

Schedule a consultation to learn more about N1 Performance Health.

Ready to take the next steps?

Schedule a Call


Epigenetics Series: Can Working Out Change Your Genes?

Professional athletes seem to have a special “something” that no one else has.

“It must be in his genes,” we say when we see Michael Phelps swimming or Michael Jordan shooting a three-pointer.

But is it actually in their genes? Is there a gene for athleticism?

Epigenetics says “maybe.” It’s not necessarily that professional athletes have a certain DNA sequence that no one else has. It’s that they have a unique DNA expression that the rest of us haven’t yet activated.

For example, elite Kenyan runners have dominated distance running events for the last two decades. Research is working to prove that a mixture of training regiments, high altitude, and diet create a certain type of genetic expression. If researchers can understand the unique interactions of these lifestyle factors, it could theoretically be replicated in any population.

So yes, I’m telling you that you can change your genes and finally be a pro baseball player or soccer player.

But epigenetics isn’t just relevant to professional athletes.

Your genes can impact your athletic ability…

But the reverse is true as well.

Your exercise routine can also impact your genes.

In fact, working out may change your genetic expression so drastically that it can deactivate the genes of disease and illness.

You’re shedding more than just pounds when you exercise. You’re shedding off methyl groups that impact the expression of your DNA.

Let me explain.

What is epigenetics?

Epigenetics looks at the expression of DNA genetic makeup. The DNA you’re born with is the DNA you’ll have until you die. It stays the same throughout your life.

However, the expression of those genes can change.

For example, your hair might change colors or textures based on how your genes are expressed—even though the gene for your hair hasn’t changed. This is because a certain gene is turned “on” or “off.”

In the same way, you can actually activate or deactivate your risk for disease and illness based on how these genes are expressed.

Science has proven that genetic expression has a direct impact on your risk of disease and illness.

Epigenetics looks at two key modifications that impact DNA expression: methylation and histone acetylation.

In this article, we’ll focus on the specific link between DNA methylation and exercise.

What is DNA methylation?

DNA methylation occurs when a methyl (CH3) group is added to a DNA strand. A reaction occurs on the DNA chain, likely between the methyl and the fifth carbon atom of a cytosine (which is one of the four nucleotides of DNA).

Basically, when a methyl group attaches to DNA, it changes the way that DNA is expressed.

Think of it like a light switch. When the methyl group is added to the strand, the light switch is turned into the “off” position. When the methyl group is removed, the light switch flips back to the “on” position.

Methylation usually slows down the expression of genes (although not always).

In some cases, this slowing of genetic expression is a good thing. For example, if you have a gene for Alzheimer’s, DNA methylation may help slow the onset.

In other cases, you don’t want DNA methylation to impact your genetic expression. For example, it could “turn off” the genes that help regulate your body weight. You could be putting on the pounds—even when dieting—simply because your metabolism genes are slowed down due to methylation.

How does exercise impact DNA methylation?

There hasn’t been a lot of conclusive research about the impact of exercise on overall epigenetics just yet. But there has been one significant finding that is completely changing the way researchers are looking at both exercise and epigenetics as a whole.

Yup, this finding is that important.

A Swedish study looked at muscle biopsies of 14 healthy men and women before and after physical exertion. They put them on an incremental treadmill test to exhaustion.

They found significant changes in the DNA in their muscles after an intense workout. The genes that were involved in metabolizing energy actually de-methylated after exercise.

This tells us three really important things:

  1. Working out changes our genes.
  2. The intensity of the workout matters.
  3. Working out even once can impact your epigenetics almost immediately.
  1. Working out changes our genes.

The most important takeaway? Overall, exercise impacts our genes.

The fact that working out can change our genetics is an incredible finding. This says that we are not victims of our DNA. We have control over our genetic expression based on certain lifestyle factors, like working out, diet, or even sleeping.

  1. The intensity of the workout matters.

Researchers pushed participants to the point of exhaustion. They have not yet studied what happens after a mild to moderate workout.

The researchers concluded, though, that methylation is dependent upon intensity. A leisurely walk likely isn’t changing your genetic expression like a sprinted marathon.

  1. Working out even once can impact your epigenetics.

Probably the most surprising result of this study was how quickly the genetic expression changed. The participants had de-methylated genes after just one exhausting workout.

This completely alters the former notion that genetic changes happen slowly (if at all).

This test showed that genetic changes don’t happen overnight… they can happen faster than that.

However, there’s a caveat to this. The researchers know that genetic expression changed after one workout. But we don’t know how long these changes lasted for.

We don’t know if methyl groups were added back to the genetic sequence immediately afterwards—when the participants went back home and started living their normal lives again.

So, change is fast… but we’re not sure if it’s lasting.

What does this mean for your workout?

  1. You need to workout.

If you want to avoid disease and illness, you need to exercise. Of course, working out is the best way to keep your muscles strong, your body fat low, and your arteries clean and clear. Beyond that, working out will help remove harmful methyl groups that could be slowing down your healthy genes.

Your genes can help prevent disease—but only if they’re healthy and clear themselves.

  1. You need intense workouts.

Harder exercise produces more de-methylation. This means that you need to boost the intensity of your workouts on a consistent basis.

I recommend high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of training exhausts your body with intense intervals, followed by periods of rest. These cycles of intensity and recovery may have the most influential impact on DNA methylation.

Plus, HIIT is the best way to burn fat, improve muscle mass, and raise your testosterone levels. Learn more about HIIT here.  

  1. You need both cardio and lifting.

In the study, researchers looked at the effects of cardio. This means that you need to get your heart pumping if you want to impact your genetics.

But this doesn’t mean cardio is the only exercise you should be doing. Lifting can also produce an intense exercise that could influence DNA.

In fact, researchers concluded that the reason for the de-methylation was due to muscle contraction. The muscle cells were contracting and releasing at high intensity during the cardio, which was likely what removed the methyl group.

I like to think of it that your muscle flexes “shook loose” the methyl groups from the DNA.

Thus, both cardio and lifting are important. Cardio contracts muscles throughout your body, while lifting concentrates the muscle contractions. These contracts lead to intense de-methylation in your genes.

Pairing cardio and lifting in an intense, sweaty workout may be able to improve your genes in just one session!

  1. You need to workout frequently.

We don’t yet know how or why DNA methylation occurs.

We know from this study that genetic expression can change quickly. This means that it’s possible that even one fatty, fried meal could add a methyl group back to your genes after an intense workout.

Just as quickly as exercise can de-methylate your genes, other lifestyle factors can reapply methyl groups to your genes.

We don’t yet have a clear understanding of what does and doesn’t impact methylation. All we know is that exercise can help de-methylate important genes. Thus, if you want to prevent harmful methylation, you need to workout often.

The more frequently you workout, the more opportunities you have to remove methyl groups from your genes—no matter where those methyl groups are coming from.

This frequent de-methylation can help speed up healthy, disease-preventing genetic expressions.

A note about caffeine…

If you read the study, you’ll find that the researchers found that caffeine has a similar effect as exercise.

They gave a culture of muscle cells a dose of caffeine. Caffeine releases calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, which mimics a muscle contraction.

This is how they realized that muscle contraction are the basis for de-methylation.

They were then able to conclude that calcium might create a cellular trigger that activates de-methylation.

But hold on for a second. Don’t start glugging coffee in place of your workout. You’d need about 50 cups a day to have the same de-methylation effect that one intense workout would have. (Yes, 50 cups of caffeine could be lethal. Don’t try that at home.)

However, you may want to try drinking a cup of black coffee before you workout.

Caffeine is a stimulant that can give your muscles a jolt of energy, pushing you further in your workout. With this added energy, you can lift more at a higher intensity—which encourages de-methylation.

Caffeine hits its peak stimulation between 30 and 75 minutes of consumption. So try drinking a cup about one hour before your workout.

Plus, research found that drinking caffeine before a workout can help keep cravings in check while reducing caloric intake for the day. This can help boost your weight loss efforts. Two-for-one!

Why black coffee? Milk and sugar create a temporary sugar high. When your body starts falling from this high, it will lose all its energy and start to crash. This creates low energy that can kill your workout.

If you need to cut the bitterness of your coffee, try almond or cashew milk. This helps you avoid dairy while giving you healthy fats that can help improve your workout.

Other benefits of working out:

Exercise makes you healthier, stronger, and trimmer.

I think it’s time to start working out.


You know that exercising is important for your health. But it goes beyond just body fat, calories, muscle, and even organ health. Working out has a direct impact on the health of your genes—which is the foundation of your overall wellbeing.

You could be a professional athlete if you wanted to—as long as you altered your genes appropriately.

But even if you have no interest in a Super Bowl ring, exercise can improve your genetic makeup to help resist disease and illness.

Healthy genes make a healthy person. And exercise makes for healthy genes.

Not sure how to workout for optimal health? Or how to impact your genes towards overall wellness?

No worries.

That’s why I’m here.

Check out our Male 90X programa genetic-based report and analysis that will help you unlock and achieve your maximum potential.

You can change your health, your genes, and your life right now.

Learn How To Leverage Your Genetics with the MALE 90X program.

In this eBook, Dr. Tracy Gapin unlocks the secrets to naturally increase testosterone and how to optimize your performance in the bedroom, the boardroom and beyond – by leveraging YOUR unique genetic blueprint.

Epigenetics Series – Is Cancer Related To Your DNA?

Are we predisposed to cancer, based on our DNA?

Or do our lifestyles and choices primarily determine our health?

For years, doctors debated this question in a “black or white” fashion: either disease is predetermined in DNA or disease is determined by lifestyle.

Recently, though, doctors determined that the answer falls somewhere in the gray area between both sides.

Our risk of disease, especially cancer, is defined by the expression of our genes.  And the expression of our genes is defined by our lifestyle and environment.

This is where epigenetics has stepped in to answer questions about disease and illness that have stumped scientists for decades.

There is an intimate link between disease, genetics, and lifestyle that can’t be ignored.

These epigenetics findings declare resoundingly: you are not a slave to your genes.

You can take control of your own health and wellness, which can enable you to fight off disease and cancer at its root.

Let’s explore how epigenetics plays a role in cancer—and what you can do about it.

What is epigenetics?

In order to understand how epigenetics impacts cancer, we need to first understand the basics of epigenetics.

Epigenetics is the expression of your genetic sequence. You’re born with a certain DNA sequence, and that’s the same DNA you’ll have for life. However, the expression of those genes can change throughout the course of your life. This expression depends on which of your genes are active or inactive.

There are two primary epigenetic factors that impact the expression of your DNA sequence: DNA methylation and histone modifications. (There’s also RNA-associated silencing, which we won’t get into today.)


DNA methylation occurs when a methyl group is added to DNA. Usually, it’s added to a specific part of the DNA sequence: on a cytosine nucleotide next to a guanine nucleotide linked to a phosphate.

This is called the CpG site. Keep this in mind, as we’ll be discussing the impact of methyl groups at the CpG site in our discussions of cancer and disease below.

Generally, methylation “turns off” or deactivates genes. More methylation equals greater silencing of the gene.

In some cases, this can be positive. For example, if you have a gene that puts you at high risk for disease, you would want it to be silenced with a methyl group.

However, you don’t want to silence genes that fight off disease or tumors. Silencing certain tumor-fighting genes is one of the key causes of cancer.

Histone modification

Histones are proteins that make up chromatin, which is the foundational component of DNA chromosomes. DNA wraps around histones, like thread around a spool. When these histones are modified, then the chromatin arrangement can be altered and misread.

There are two types of histone modification: acetylation and methylation.

When an acetyl is added to the histone (acetylation), it typically activates chromatin. Deacetylation, then, is associated with heterochromatin, which is a deactivated or suppressed expression of the gene.

Histone methylation also impacts the active and inactive regions of chromatin. For example, a methylation on lysine K9 with histone H3 is responsible for the inactivated X chromosome of females.

Any of these epigenetic factors, especially methylation, create abnormal activation or silencing of genes. This can put you at greater risk for cancer, disease, syndromes (especially chromosomal instabilities), and other serious illnesses.

So how do these epigenetic changes occur? What causes methylation or acetylation?

Environment and lifestyle dynamics have a direct impact on these epigenetic factors, which I’ll discuss further below.

How does epigenetics affect cancer?

One of the most forceful diseases of our time is cancer. While there’s still so much we don’t know about the growth and treatment of cancer, there is one thing we know for sure: genetics and epigenetics play a significant role in the development and progression of cancer.

In fact, study after study has proven that there are links between certain types of cancers and certain epigenetic modifications.

Epigenetic factors can suppress cancer-fighting genes.

All humans are programmed with certain genes. These genes are meant to keep us healthy and functioning.

For example, there’s a gene that helps fight off diseased cells (aka cancer cells). There’s another gene that suppresses tumor growth.

You want these healthy “fighter” genes to be active, so they can minimize your risk for cancer.

But if methylation or acetylation impacts these genes, then they can be deactivated. So if cancer strikes, your body is unable to fight off the diseased cells or spread of cancer. This then would leave you susceptible to cancer, which you may have otherwise been able to fight off had your healthy genes been activated.

Studies have even shown a proportional link between methylation levels and severity and prognosis of cancer.

For example, the GSTP1 gene is methylated in over 90% of prostate cancers.

An early study found that diseased tissue affected by colorectal cancer had less DNA methylation than normal tissue. This is because the methylated genes “turned off” or deactivated the tumor suppressor genes.

Methylation deactivates genes that are necessary to fight off cancer.

Methylation impacts cancer cell growth.

Moreover, methylation itself plays a role in how cancer develops. Methylation is involved in cell divisions, DNA repair, apoptosis (cell death), metastasis, cell detox, and more.

High levels of methylation (hypermethylation) indicate that diseased cells aren’t dying off and healthy cells aren’t generating fast enough. Thus, high methylation is a predictor—and potentially a cause—of cancer.

For example, hypermethylation in APC and RASSF1A genes are used as epigenetic markers for early detection of cancer, especially breast cancer.

Methylation causes microsatellite instability.

Microsatellite instability is linked to a number of cancers, including colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, and gastric cancers.

Microsatellites are repetitive DNA, they have certain strands of DNA  that are repeated within the genome. They’re common in normal individuals without disease.

Instability of microsatellites, though, is linked to chromosomal instability. This upsets the genetic function, creating a dangerous mutation.

Microsatellite instability is a direct cause of DNA methylation, especially methylation of the gene MLH1, which is the gene that repairs DNA. If the gene is methylated, then it is unable to properly repair your DNA when it becomes damaged by disease and cancer.

Researchers have seen microsatellite instability in a number of cancers, even occurring in 15% of colorectal cancers.

How can I prevent cancer with epigenetics? 

Genes are inherited. This means that your risk for cancer could come from your ancestors—just like your genes that suppress tumor growth and cell division come from your ancestors. 

But just because you inherit certain genes does not direct the course of your fate.

In fact, nearly half of all inherited genes related to cancer can be impacted by methylation.

And methylation is not inherited. Methylation and other epigenetic factors are proven responses to environmental stimuli including diet, toxins, pollutants, and other stressors.

This means you can take control of your risk for cancer by directing your epigenetic expression.

In fact, some doctors have even started building cancer-fighting programs—like my EDGE Blueprint Consultbased on epigenetics as potential chemopreventative measures.

You can change your health with certain lifestyle and diet choices, many of which I go through below.

  1. Get your folic acid.

Folate or folic acid is a B vitamin (B-9) that plays an important role in cell growth and function. It’s actually the foundation of a number of prenatal vitamins as a means of reducing the risk of birth defects.

Folate can play an important role in gene expression and DNA integrity and stability. Studies have shown that folate can help modulate DNA methylation. On the other hand, a folate deficiency may cause DNA methylation.

Learn more about folate’s role in epigenetics in section 3.1 here.

You can get folate through both diet and supplementation. You can find folate in:

  • Garbanzo beans (100% of the required daily dose)
  • Liver (55% DV)
  • Lentils (45% DV)
  • Pinto beans (37% DV)
  • Asparagus (33% DV)
  • Black-eyed peas (28% DV)
  • Beets (17% DV)
  • Avocado (15% DV)
  • Spinach (14% DV)
  • Broccoli (14% DV)

You’ll also receive folate in oranges, lemons, bananas, melons, and strawberries.

You can also take folic acid vitamins. The recommended daily amount of folate is 400 micrograms (mcg).

  1. Consume polyphenols.

Polyphenols are antioxidants, which help reduce the damage of cancer-causing free radicals. They help minimize cell damage and regulate methylation. There are four types of polyphenols: flavonoids, phenolic acids, benzoic acids, and stilbenes.

Green tea polyphenols have been shown to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and oesophageal cancer. It’s been shown to suppress methylation or demethylate TSG promoters, which helps protect against the spread of cancer.

Resveratrol has been shown to modify histone acetylation, as it works as a Silent Information Regulator 1 (SIRT1). It helps fight off cancer while maintaining the structural integrity of DNA. You can find resveratrol in blueberries, dark chocolate, red wine, peanuts, cranberries, and pistachios.


  1. Drink coffee. 

Caffeic acid is a type of polyphenol. It affects the bioavailability of SAM, which is a methyl donor (and required for methylation).

Some studies have shown that coffee consumption may be able to reduce the risk of cancer, especially progressive prostate cancer. In fact, one study found that coffee was a better regulator of methylation than even tea.

As with anything, though, you want to regulate your caffeine intake. A cup or two a day may help with methylation, but too much can have the opposite effect.

  1. Get sleep.

Sleep has a direct impact on epigenetic factors of methylation and histone acetylation. Learn more about the link between sleep and epigenetics here.

Sleep can literally help your body fight cancer. Tonight’s “all-nighter” could put you at risk for serious disease down the line. Get your Zs for optimal health.

  1. Cut the alcohol.

Alcohol consumption is directly linked to DNA methylation.

Over 20 studies have found that heavy alcohol consumption creates epigenetic modifications that can lead to disease and cancer.

One study, in particular, found that low folate intake and high alcohol intake had a significantly greater prevalence of hypermethylation, which was especially linked to colorectal cancer.

This doesn’t mean you need to cut out alcohol altogether necessarily. A glass of red wine can give you a boost of resveratrol and heart-healthy benefits. As with coffee, it’s the excess of alcohol that can cause genetic concerns. Stick to one glass daily at maximum.

  1. Eat a balanced diet.

Like sleep, nutrition has a direct impact on your genetics. What you put into your body can be the strongest predictor of future health—especially in regards to cancer.

Eating phytonutrients and vitamins is the only way to fight against inflammation, oxidative damage, imbalanced hormones, and more.

Learn about the importance of a rainbow diet for your epigenetic health.

  1. Minimize your stress.

Stress is a proven cause of DNA methylation. The more stress you have, the more it impacts your genetic expression.

In fact, stress has even been linked to cancer—but until recently, the cause of this link was always fuzzy. Epigenetics might be the “missing link” in the DNA.

Stress creates harmful free radicals while also causing methylation that suppresses cancer-fighting genes. This creates a double whammy that can cause progression of cancer.

Find out about the link between stress, epigenetics, and cancer here.

  1. Get more vitamin D.

Studies show that Vitamin D can reverse abnormal epigenetic modifications. Vitamin D has especially been linked to the development of breast cancer due to the role that vitamin D plays with estrogen.

Vitamin D is also linked to the development of prostate cancer.

  1. Workout.

Working out directly impacts your genes. Studies have shown that intense workouts can eliminate methyl groups in just one session. Daily exercise regulates ongoing methylation at a greater rate than even diet or sleep.

This means that you may be able to reduce your risk of cancer with intense, frequent exercises.

If you want to have improved overall health and optimal epigenetic expression, you need an exercise routine. 


Cancer is directly related to epigenetic expressions of your genes. But you can control this expression with lifestyle changes that minimize methylation and acetylation.

It’s time to sign up for our G1 Performance Health program to start experiencing the health and vitality you’ve always dreamed of.

Disease doesn’t wait—so why are you?

Sign up now to start living.

How To Last Longer In Bed Right Now

If you want to learn how to last longer in bed or extend your stamina in the bedroom, you’re not alone. Almost every guy wants to last just a bit longer. Stamina can help you please your partner, grow your relationship, boost your self-confidence, burn more calories, and have a more satisfying sex life overall.

But at least 35% of men have problems with premature ejaculation. In fact, The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-Ups reported that 45% of men—even those not diagnosed with PE—orgasm in under two minutes. This can cause psychological and relationship concerns for a number of men, and it may even signal an underlying health concern.

But even those with great endurance want more stamina.

So what can you do to improve your stamina in a healthy (and even sexy) way?

What causes premature ejaculation?

The average duration of orgasm for men is anywhere from 3 to 13 minutes. “Short” sex sessions aren’t a cause for concern. However, premature ejaculation, whether diagnosed or not, can damage your self-esteem and relationship quality.

PE can stem from a variety of physical, emotional, and psychological causes that can be hard to pinpoint. Physical causes of PE include low testosterone and erectile dysfunction. Low T levels can create low libido and reduced energy, which can drastically minimize sexual stamina. Erectile dysfunction has its own branch of causes and concerns, often stemming from psychological stressors or worries.

PE can also often stem from psychological concerns, including performance anxiety. If a man feels he isn’t able to please his partner in bed or feels ashamed for some reason, he will usually tense up and get anxious. This can actually cause him to orgasm faster as the body’s way of relieving this uncomfortable tension.

Thankfully, though, there are ways to overcome these physical and psychological concerns to improve your stamina in bed.

  1. Reduce your anxiety.

Anxiety is one of the major causes of PE, so reducing anxiety is the first step to overcoming fast ejaculation times. It’s common for men to get too “in their heads” during sex. You basically get so nervous about finishing too quickly that it actually sneaks up on you—and you don’t even get to enjoy it as much.

Anxiety disconnects the mind and body so you don’t even realize what you’re physically feeling.

Thus, it’s important to try to relax your mind and body before and during sex.


Relaxation in the bedroom starts outside the bedroom. You want to minimize your life stressors while partaking in relaxing hobbies like meditation and yoga. This can help put your mind in a more peaceful and calm state, which allows your body to be more receptive to sex.

Plus, studies have shown that a mind-body connection through yoga can actually lead to more intense orgasms.

Yoga can also help improve lower back pain and flexibility, which both play a role in sexual endurance and stamina.

Find some of my favorite yoga for ED here.


One of the best ways to relax your body in both the short- and long-term is through breathing exercises. Deep breathing can help put you in a meditative state to lower cortisol and stress. Cortisol can actually reduce testosterone, which could lead to ED and lowered libido.

Breathing not only helps reduce stress, but it also helps transport oxygen to your muscles. This influx of oxygen helps the muscles relax—including the muscles in the penis. This relaxation can help prevent you from tensing up and having an orgasm too quickly.

Below are three breathing exercises specifically designed to boost your sexual stamina while reducing stress, boosting energy, and minimizing performance anxiety.

  1. Simple breath

Lie on your back. Bend your knees up and rest them comfortably together. Feet should be hip-width apart and flat. Put one hand on your stomach and the other on your heart. Close your eyes. Inhale and feel the way your belly and heart rise. Exhale, and feel them lower. Hold for 10 seconds and release for 10 seconds. Do at least 25 breaths.

This will help you find the rhythm of your breath. You can then call on this belly-breathing technique during sex if you find yourself tense and anxious. Doing these sorts of meditative breathing exercises not only helps improve your relaxation and endurance—but it can actually make you more connected with your partner as well.

  1. Rocking breath

Sit on a block or folded blanket so you’re slightly raised from the floor. Your legs should be folded comfortably underneath you. Place your hands at your hips, as if in a superhero power pose.

Breathe as you did in the first exercise while rocking your pelvis back and forth gently. Move forward on the inhale and backward on the exhale. Increase your speed slightly after each inhale-exhale cycle.

This can help push energy to your pelvis to improve blood flow and muscular strength.

  1. Circular breath

In the same position and breathing in the same rhythm, move your hips in a circular motion. Move your ribcage over your pelvis as you inhale and exhale. Don’t move your lower body; focus on the movement of your ribcage. This circular motion can help open up your pelvis for improved energy and blood flow.

  1. Strengthen your body.

Sex takes a bit of athletic performance. Endurance in the bedroom starts by building your athletic endurance.

You want to especially focus on strengthening your lower back and abdominals. Most sex positions require the use of the lower back muscles, so pain in this area can lead to poor performance and shorter duration in the bedroom. You also need a strong abdominal core for continuous thrusts. Building your core can also help improve stamina, endurance, and stability.

Exercises for your lower back:

  • Superman
  • Child’s pose
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch
  • Glute bridge
  • Front fold
  • Trunk twist

Exercises for abdominals:

  • Plank and side plank
  • Exercise ball crunches
  • V-ups
  • Reverse crunch
  • Flutter kicks
  • Bicycle kicks

Along with strengthening your muscles, you also want to build your energy levels. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) uses bursts of cardio and strength training to help blast fat and improve endurance. Because you’re working in intervals, your body uses a short recovery time to build up stamina to get ready for the next interval. Often, sex works in a similar way with intervals and periods of faster thrusting and slower movement.

Plus, HIIT has also been shown to increase testosterone levels. Raising your T through exercise is a great way to improve your libido and energy in the long-term.

Recommended Read: 9 Exercises To Beat ED And Have Better Sex

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Developing your pelvic floor muscles can help support harder and longer erections as well as a healthy prostate and bladder and bowel functions. One study found that a 12-week course of pelvic floor exercises increased the average ejaculation time from 31.7 seconds to 146.2 seconds—an increase by nearly four times! A second study found that keel exercises restored normal erectile function to 40% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction.

Pelvic floor exercises help you control the muscles in your pelvic region, so you have greater regulation of your orgasms and sensations.

How to do pelvic floor exercises:

  • Find your pelvic floor muscles. When you’re urinating, stop midstream. This can help you become aware of the feeling of the pelvic muscles. (Don’t do this too often or you could hurt your bladder.)
  • At rest, tighten these muscles for five seconds. Then release for five seconds. Repeat ten times. As you practice, you can hold and release for longer intervals.
  • You should alternate longer intervals with pulsing intervals. Quickly contract and release these muscles for 10 repetitions with a 10-second rest. This variation will help grow the muscle faster.

I recommend doing these exercises three times daily. You can do them anywhere at any time—so you can improve your sex life on the go! Try doing the exercises in different positions for different resistance.

  1. Boost your body with diet.

Studies have shown that a healthy diet can actually help improve stamina and sexual function. Processed food, refined sugar, and dairy have been linked to low energy as well as changes in testosterone and hormone production.

Fruit provides a sustainable source of energy, so you don’t get the same sort of sugar crashes like you would from processed sugar. Bananas are high in potassium, which plays a key role in energy and hormone production.

One study found that vegetarians have twice the stamina as meat eaters. They found that athletes on a vegetarian diet could withstand greater physical feats for longer periods of time than their meat-eating counterparts.

Recommended Video: 3 Prostate Healthy Foods

Recommended Read: 13 Natural, Edible Vasodilators To Treat Your ED

  1. Improve stamina during sex.

Now it’s game time. You’re in the bedroom. How can you improve your stamina right now?


Foreplay is an absolute must. It preps your mind and body for an “extended stay” with sex. The slower you ease into sex, the longer you’ll be able to last. A slow start means a slower finish.

Focus on meditative, deep breathing during foreplay. This will help your penis adapt to the excitement and connect your mind and body before penetration.


Focus on your partner’s orgasm before your own. You may want to start with oral sex as opposed to penetrative sex. Helping your partner orgasm first helps you build up excitement and connection with your partner.

It also makes you less anxious, because you know your partner has already had some level of sexual satisfaction. It eliminates the stress and pressure so you can enjoy your own orgasm better. This works especially well for men suffering from performance anxiety.  

Start/stop method

When you’re close to orgasm, try the start/stop method. Often called “edging” in a casual context, this is when you stop thrusting when you’re close to orgasm. This trains your brain to better control your orgasm response in response to different physical sensations.

When you feel close to orgasm, slow down or stop thrusting. Take a few deep breaths. You may want to use this recovery period to focus on your partner’s pleasure. Then, after the sensation has died down, you can continue.

Slowing down in this way helps relieve tension while concentrating on the sensation. It also helps your body recalibrate to continue with greater endurance.

Sex positions

Certain sex positions can actually reduce your sensation to help delay orgasm. These positions usually reduce penetration depth or change the area of pressure. Full penetration stimulates the underside of the penis, especially the frenulum, which what causes men to ejaculate quickly.

Positions that can help you last longer:

  • Woman on top
  • Spooning (laying on side)
  • Modified doggy (partner on stomach, not knees)
  • Perpendicular


Condoms help reduce the sensation, which can delay orgasm and help you last longer. (Plus they help guard against STDs and unwanted pregnancy.) Some condoms are made thicker to actually help extend your stamina by reducing stimulation, like Trojan’s “extended pleasure” or Durex’s “performax.”


Some men find it helpful to masturbate several hours before engaging in planned sex. Masturbation can help boost testosterone levels, so you’ll have a stronger libido and sex drive when you move into the bedroom with your partner. It also removes pent up sexual tension so your muscles feel more relaxed when it’s time for sex.

Masturbation can also help release your first orgasm. After ejaculation, your body needs time to recover. This is called the “refractory period.” This recovery period can actually lengthen your next ejaculation time. (This works in a similar way as HIIT.)

If you don’t want to masturbate or the sex is spontaneous, communicate with your partner that the first round may be fast –but the second round you’ll focus on their pleasure. This communication can help you feel less anxious so you can focus on your connection and sensation during sex.

Recommended Read: 8 Fun Ways To Naturally Increase Your Libido

  1. Don’t use pills or sprays.

Viagra and other pills can make you last awhile… but they’ll hurt you in the long run. These pills mask the symptoms of ED without getting to the root of the problem. Your body actually starts to get dependent upon these meds, and you’ll find that you ejaculate faster or can’t get an erection at all the more you use the little blue pill.

You also want to avoid de-sensitizing sprays. These are local anesthetics that help desensitize your penis to reduce sensation and help you last longer. However, these can have a number of concerns and side effects. If these sprays aren’t applied properly, they can transfer to your partner for an unpleasant experience. You may also find they desensitize you so much that you can’t stay erect long enough for sex.

Never use drugs or alcohol to last longer. Although your lowered inhibitions may help your penis relax and reduce your endurance, this is not a sustainable approach to healthy sex.


If premature ejaculation is interfering with your sexual satisfaction and relationship, it’s time to do something.

You don’t have to go it alone.

With The G1 Performance Health Program, you’ll get in-depth tricks to boost your sexual and overall wellness in weeks!

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9 Exercises To Beat ED And Have Better Sex

It’s time to get physical! If you want better “physical fun” in the bedroom, you need to improve your daily physical activity outside the bedroom as well.

Are you one of the 30 million men suffering from ED? If so, you may be feeling trapped or suffocated in your sex life. You can’t get or maintain an erection like you used to, which can hurt your confidence, your intimacy, and even your relationships. You might be feeling unfulfilled or unsatisfied. There may be a loss of intimacy between you and your partner. You may be falling into anxiety or depression, or you may have trouble getting your partner pregnant.

Many men think popping a blue pill will do the trick. In reality, these only mask the symptoms without getting to the root causes of your ED or related complications. Plus, they often have more side effects than benefits!

But thankfully, you can overcome ED in a natural and effective way… with exercise!

Why exercise for ED?

Exercise can help treat almost all causes of ED. This makes it the ideal addition to any ED treatment. I like to call this solution: “sexercise.”

ED has 8 main causes. Physical activity actually addresses each cause in some way or another.

1. Stress and anxiety

Stress and psychological problems is one of the most common causes of ED. Working out has been shown to lower stress, reduce cortisol levels, improve mood, and increase endorphins (the “happy” chemical in your brain). According to the American Psychological Association, exercise betters our body’s communication system between all of our organ processes and functions. The more sedentary we are, the less efficient our bodies are at communicating and responding to stress. In this way, exercise is crucial to both the body’s physical and mental reaction to stress.

2. Obesity

Obesity is a significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction. The only treatment that works to overcome obesity-related ED is weight loss. Exercise is crucial to any diet and weight loss plan. You need to stay active to burn calories, shed fat, build muscle, and maintain a normal body weight.

3. Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol

Exercise improves heart health and improves oxygenated blood flow throughout the body. Benefits of regular exercise on cardiovascular risk factors include: increase in insulin sensitivity, increase in good cholesterol, reduction in bad cholesterol, reduction in blood pressure, and reduction in body weight. Exercising regularly is the best way to take care of your heart and blood.

4. Relationship concerns

Communication problems in your relationship can cause erectile dysfunction. But research suggests that working out together can actually improve your overall relationship by increasing your happiness, boosting romantic attraction, enhancing support, and increasing emotional bond. Exercise also helps better overall health, which makes for a healthy relationship in tandem.

5. Confidence concerns

Men suffering from ED due to “performance anxiety” often have low self-confidence or a negative view of their body. Studies have shown that exercise can enhance attractiveness and increase energy levels, where participants rate themselves as higher on positive perception of self. Those men who were working out consistently considered themselves more desirable and were thus able to perform better sexually.

6.  Sleep deprivation

A lack of sleep—with regards to both quantity and quality— has been linked to erectile dysfunction. In fact, a 2016 survey found that 65% of men who came in with sleep apnea (a sleep disorder) also had symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Working out regularly can improve your quality of sleep and help you fall asleep faster. In fact, exercise is the most effective natural cure for insomnia.

7. Hormonal imbalance

There is a link between low testosterone and erectile dysfunction, though it still calls for further exploration. Nevertheless, we know that a severe imbalance of hormones—like too much cortisol and estrogen with low testosterone—can negatively impact sexual performance. Exercise has been shown to help balance out hormone production, raise testosterone, and lower cortisol and estrogen. Basically, exercise can help put your hormones in a sex-friendly state.


8. Nitric oxide

It’s also important to note the link between nitric oxide and exercise. Nitric oxide (NO) is the chemical that opens up the blood vessels (vasodilation) in the penis and relaxes the muscles in the pelvis. After an erection, your nitric oxide levels will naturally decrease to signal to your body that it’s time to stop having an erection. NO basically controls your erections; you need an appropriate amount of nitric oxide in order to have and maintain an erection for any period of time.

Almost every type of exercise is proven to increase the production of nitric oxide. This is because exercise forces the blood to pump harder, so the blood vessels must dilate to handle the pumping blood; this exercised-induced vasodilation then helps produce more nitric oxide. The reverse is true as well; nitric oxide can help improve physical endurance and performance. This helps create a positive cycle to quell erectile dysfunction symptoms.

Overall, exercise increases energy, tones muscle, and burns fat. This improvement in overall health can help combat the typical causes of erectile dysfunction. Study after study has proved that physical activity is linked to sexual vigor. Not only does it improve your erectile dysfunction, but it can also improve your flexibility, endurance, and performance in the bedroom…

So what are you waiting for?

Below you’ll find the 9 easiest exercises that will improve your ED symptoms and sexual health—and you can do them today! No equipment and no experience needed.

1. Kegels

Kegels aren’t just for women. These exercises are actually one of the best ways to regain your overall sexual health since they target the pelvic muscles. The pelvic muscles contract around the testes and base of the penis during sex, contributing to the “hardness” of the erection. Kegel exercises can strengthen two key muscles: the pubococcygeus (PC), which is the muscle that stops the flow of urine, and the perineal muscles, which is the muscle that supports erectile rigidity and ejaculation. Overall, the strength of these muscles impacts erections, sexual experience, ejaculation, and bladder.

Like all of our muscles—these pelvic muscles tend to get weaker with age. This weakness means the muscles can’t contract enough to help the penis “stand up” and have an erection, thus contributing to erectile dysfunction.

But all muscles strengthen when you use them. Think of lifting: the more often you curl a dumbbell, the more your bicep grows. The same is true of the pelvic muscles. The more you use them, the stronger they’ll bebe. Kegel exercises are like lifting but for your penis. The stronger your sex muscles, the better you can control your erections and sexual endurance.

Note: This also means that the more you have sex, the stronger your pelvic muscles; the stronger your pelvic muscles, the better your erections and sexual health. So, if you have just mild ED and can still have sex, this doctor says to do it… and do it often.

So how do you use Kegels to strengthen the pelvic muscles and get back in the game?

  1. You shouldn’t stop the flow of urine while peeing. This can cause infection and bladder problems. But stopping mid-flow onvr can help you get used to the feel of these muscles.
  2. You want to try to squeeze and tighten these pelvic muscles.
  3. Try not to tighten the surrounding muscles. Focus on the PC muscles. Be aware not to tighten your abs, butt, or thigh.
  4. Start with 5-second squeezes. Squeeze for five seconds, then relax.
  5. Do 10 to 20 reps of 5-second squeezes.
  6. As you get more comfortable, increase the length of the squeezing and number of reps.
  7. Be sure to breathe as normal. Don’t hold your breath.
  8. Do a set of reps two to three times per day.

The best part about Kegels is that you can do them anywhere at any time. You can do them while on the floor, in bed, during a commercial break, or even sitting at your desk at work.

Try it right now as you read the rest of this article!

2. Aerobic Exercise

A number of studies and reviews have concluded that aerobic exercise can help improve ED by boosting blood flow. When working out, your heart is pumping faster. This “clears out” your veins from buildup and blockages caused by obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease (which all contribute to by ED).

Furthermore, research presented in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that aerobic exercise of moderate intensity for 5 to 7 sessions per week for 12 weeks increased nitric oxide levels by 32%. Remember that nitric oxide is what pushes blood flow into the penis for an erection and relaxes the penile muscles to allow for stiffness.

A 1990 study reported that aerobic exercise overall:

  • Increases levels of sexual intimacy
  • Improves sexual function
  • Creates more satisfying orgasms
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Reduces body fat
  • Improves self-image
  • Betters sleep

What kind of aerobic exercise should you be doing? Anything that gets your heart rate up! This could be running, using the elliptical, rowing, swimming, or dancing. Even good, old-fashioned walking has significant health benefits. In fact, a Harvard study found that brisk walking 30 minutes per day had a 41% reduction in the risk for erectile dysfunction. I usually recommend avoiding biking, as that can bring with it other concerns for male sexual health.

Whatever aerobic exercise you choose—get sweaty and get your heart rate up!

3. Lifting & Squats

Aerobic exercise can help burn fat and improve ED symptoms, but you shouldn’t neglect your weight training as well. If you are also suffering from symptoms of low testosterone levels, I always recommend men with low T stick to high-intensity interval training. This is because HIIT weight lifting can drastically spike your testosterone levels in the short- and long-term. This, in turn, improves workout performance, burns fat, builds muscle, and heightens the libido.

Although low testosterone and erectile dysfunction are not the same, data suggests they are linked in some way. If you have low testosterone, you won’t have interest in sex; and not having sex means your penis goes unused, which can eventually weaken the pelvic muscles and cause ED. Furthermore, low libido can often cause psychological or relationship concerns that can exacerbate erectile dysfunction. ED is just one part of the equation of men’s sexual health.

Thus, it’s time to get lifting! Not only will it boost your testosterone, but HIIT weight training will also get your heart pumping (like aerobic exercise). Lifting can regulate your hormones, boost your metabolism, and improve weight loss efforts—all of which are vital to erectile function.

My favorite move is the squat. Squats are one of the best exercises because they work a number of large muscle groups at once. The more you’re working, the more benefits you’re getting. Squats are resistance exercises, performed in intervals, with high intensity—the perfect combo for boosting testosterone levels. Plus, squats improve blood flow to the pelvic region. The more blood flow near the penis, the easier it is to gain an erection.


4. Yoga

Yoga is one of my favorite cures for ED and sexual health. A study of a 12-week yoga program found “significant improvement” in sexual scores for men with an average age of 40. They had improvement in: erections, desire, intercourse satisfaction, performance, confidence, ejaculatory control, partner synchronization, and orgasm.

Countless studies prove yoga has benefits relating back to a number underlying causes of ED. Overall, yoga can increase quality of life by enhancing muscular strength, improving cardiovascular function, improving sleep patterns, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, and more. Relaxation is the key here; the intense relaxation that comes from yoga actually helps improve blood flow and oxygen circulation in the blood, which in turn improves organ function (like the sex organs and muscles).

Moreover, certain yoga poses boost blood flow to the penis and work those pelvic muscles. I like to think of these yoga poses as a “wake up call” to your penis, by stimulating the vessels and muscles around it.

Below you’ll find my favorite yoga poses for improved sexual health.

5. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

The “seated forward bend” is easy and comfortable, relaxing the pelvic muscles and promoting blood flow to the hips and penis. It’s also great for reducing stress in a pinch.

How to do:

  • Sit on a yoga mat or blanket with your legs in front of you.
  • Keep your upper body long and straight.
  • Lean forward from the hips, moving your chest towards your knees.
  • Lengthen your tailbone as you reach down towards your feet.
  • Reach as far as you can. Extend and grab your feet if possible. If not, go as far as you can for a comfortable stretch. You can also use a yoga strap around your feet for a deeper stretch.
  • Hold the post for 1 to 3 minutes and then release.

6. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

The “standing forward bend” or “intense forward-bending pose” helps with anxiety and stress, while also stimulating organs in the abdomen (including the sex organs). Tradition even says that this pose is so beneficial for sexual health that it can actually help with male and female infertility.

How to do:

  • Stand with your hands on your hips.
  • As you exhale, bend forward from the hips.
  • Keep your back straight as you bend forward. Lengthen the torso as you bend.
  • Keep your knees straight. A soft bend is okay for newbies.
  • Bring your fingers down towards the floor.
  • If you can’t reach your feet with your hands, cross your forearms and hold your elbows. You can swing gently.
  • Relax into the pose for 1 to 3 minutes.
  • As you inhale, focus on lengthening and straightening your spine. As you exhale, relax deeper and fuller into the stretch, letting gravity pull you down.
  • Avoid straining your neck or back. You should be able to nod your head yes and no while in the pose.

7. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)

The “butterfly pose” or “bound angle pose” stretches the inner thighs and groin. It opens up the hips and pelvis in a way that stimulates the prostate gland, bladder, kidneys, and abdomen.

How to do:

  • Sit upright with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Bend one knee at a time while you exhale, pulling your heel inward towards your pelvis.
  • Drop both knees to either side. Press the bottoms of your feet together.
  • Use your first and second fingers to grab your big toes. You can also grab your ankles with your hands.
  • As you breathe, focus on straightening your torso. Imagine someone is pulling up a string that’s attached to your spine.
  • Stay in the pose for 1 to 5 minutes.

8. Janu Sirsana (Head-To-Knee Pose)

The head-to-knee pose helps with flexibility in the lower body while also relieving stress and improving blood flow in the groin.

How to do:

  • Sit on your mat or blanket with legs extended in front of you.
  • Bend in one knee, bringing the heel towards your pelvis.
  • Rest the sole of that foot against your other thigh.
  • Release your knee towards the floor. Support with a blanket if you need to.
  • As you inhale, raise both of your hands towards the sky.
  • As you exhale, hinge from the hips and bend towards your extended foot.
  • Try to bring your chin to your knee. If you can, clasp your hand around your foot. If you can’t, bend as far as you can and hold on to your shins.
  • Stay in this position for 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Inhale and raise your arms overhead to return to sitting.
  • Repeat with the other leg folded in for balance.

9. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

The “bow pose” stretches your muscles in the groin and thighs while energizing the reproductive areas. Plus, it’ll boost your flexibility—and may make an interesting sex position in the bedroom.

How to do:

  • Lay face down on your mat on your stomach. Your feet should be hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • Bend your knees in towards your back, grabbing the front of your feet with your hands.
  • Raise your upper body and pull up on your legs at the same time. Your chest and knees should both be lifted off the floor, while your pelvis stays grounded.
  • Stay in the pose for 20 to 30 seconds. While posing, take a few deep breaths. The deeper the breath, the more it will stimulate your pelvis.
  • Exhale as you release from the pose.
  • Repeat two or three more times.

Bonus: Work out with your partner.

Getting your heart rate up together can help bring you closer to one another. Partners that work out together find that they have an improved sex life in the bedroom as well. This is likely due to improved self-confidence, regulated hormones, endorphin release, and all those great benefits from working out. But, more than that, couples that work out together connect on a physical level outside of the bedroom. This connection translates back into the bedroom nicely. This is especially true for yoga. One study found that “partner yoga may help couples who are struggling with sexual dysfunction.”

Bottom line

You can naturally overcome your erectile dysfunction and improve your sexual health… and it costs you nothing but your time and willingness! The above 9 exercises and poses will put you on a track of sexual health that will make you looking, feeling, and being the most vigorous you in years. Say goodbye to ED (and hello to exercise).