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What is free testosterone?

What is free testosterone?

7 min read

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04 May 2023

Grab your cheat sheet

  • What is free testosterone?
  • Benefits of free testosterone
  • Causes of low free testosterone
  • Symptoms of low free testosterone
  • Natural ways to increase free testosterone

  • If you're a man over 40, your testosterone levels are likely not as high as when you were younger. Fortunately, there is a solution you can pursue to ensure that you maintain a healthy level for longer.

    The solution?

     Boosting your free testosterone levels. 

    Before taking any steps to increase this important hormone, it's vital to understand exactly what free testosterone is and why it matters for men as they age. 

    Read on to learn everything you need to know about free testosterone, such as what it looks like in the body and why it is vital for men's health and vitality as they age:

    What is free testosterone (and how is it different from total testosterone)?

    It's crucial to understand that there are multiple types of testosterone in your body and the different forms it can take as it interacts with other internal body parts. 

    Although we'll spare you the minutia, it is essential to know that you have two main types of testosterones: free testosterone and bound testosterone. 

    Free testosterone is key to measuring and evaluating men's overall health. 

    It is the bioavailable form of testosterone, the male sex hormone, which cells can use to perform all sorts of functions related to reproduction, strength, vigor and other bodily roles. 


    This form of testosterone is different from other types since it doesn't include the portion of testosterone that temporarily binds with proteins. 


    When testosterone is bound to protein, muscle tissue cannot absorb it, which helps to control the effects of testosterone in your body. However, free testosterone is not bound and is therefore accessible for your muscles and other body tissue, making it a much more volatile and impactful type of testosterone. 

    You'll often notice in health guides that free and total testosterone are usually compared, leading to misconceptions that total testosterone is the opposite of free, unbound testosterone. 

    The truth is that total testosterone refers to the total amount of testosterone found in your body, regardless of its type. In simple terms, total testosterone is the amount of free and bounded testosterone combined.

    As such, test results for free testosterone will be lower than those for total testosterone but still provide an understanding of how much active, usable testosterone your body has. 

    Knowing your free and total levels helps you pinpoint areas to work on and make meaningful adjustments to bring back balance to your masculinity.

    Benefits of free testosterone

    Free testosterone is vital for healthy functioning in men. 

    Studies have shown that it increases strength and muscle mass, improves exercise capacity, and increases energy levels. It's also beneficial for mental clarity and sharper thinking, libido and sexual performance, improved mood and general well-being. 

    It's believed that men with elevated free testosterone are more likely to perform better at work, school, or any task they undertake due to the improved focus, energy, and motivation it provides. 

    In addition to these effects, which are admittedly shared with other types of testosterones, free T has its unique function too. 

    It controls things like your secondary sex characteristics, such as facial and body hair, and the deepness of your voice. In short, it governs the characteristics that make you more masculine. 

    Causes of Low Free Testosterone Levels

    Low free testosterone levels can be caused by several factors, from aging to lifestyle choices. 

    For example, men who are chronically stressed and don't find the time for proper relaxation will be at greater risk for lowering their testosterone levels. Poor nutrition and an inactive lifestyle can also make a man vulnerable to low testosterone.

    Certain medications can contribute to this very concerning health problem, so you must check in with your doctor if you're noticing any symptoms associated with lower-than-average testosterone levels. 

    Fortunately, there are a few simple steps a man can take to ensure his free testosterone level stays within the healthy range, such as eating an optimal diet filled with whole foods and plenty of vegetables, staying active, managing stress levels effectively and getting the right amount of sleep each night. 

    Symptoms of Low Free Testosterone

    Low free testosterone levels can have a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty concentrating, low libido, erectile dysfunction, and mood changes.

    If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical help. Your doctor can conduct tests to check your testosterone levels and provide support for treating the condition and alleviating your symptoms. 

    You can restore your free testosterone levels and enjoy improved physical and mental health with the proper evaluation and treatment. One of the best ways of doing this is through supplements like those offered at Testoprime. Using natural ingredients can help boost your production of free testosterone. 

    Here's a look at all the symptoms you should keep an eye out for:

    1. Low libido 

    One of the most common symptoms of low free testosterone is decreased libido or sex drive. A man with low free testosterone may have little interest in sex and cannot maintain an erection.

    2. Fatigue 

    Another common symptom of low-free testosterone is fatigue. A man with low free testosterone levels may feel tired all the time and may find it difficult to concentrate or focus on tasks.

    3. Muscle weakness 


    Low free testosterone levels can also cause muscle weakness. A man with low free testosterone may find it challenging to build muscle mass and may experience decreased strength, affecting their workouts.


    4. Depression 

    Depression is another common symptom of low-free testosterone. A man with low free testosterone levels may feel sad or down and lose interest in activities he used to enjoy. Additionally, low free testosterone levels can cause irritability and mood swings.

  • Related content: Does low testosterone cause depression

  • 5. Reduced bone density 

    Low free testosterone levels can also reduce bone density, increasing the risk of fractures. Getting more bone injuries than normal can be a big sign.

    Natural Ways to Increase Your Free Testosterone Levels

    Natural testosterone boosters can effectively increase free testosterone levels and help improve physical endurance, energy, and muscle mass. To ensure the best results, it's important to incorporate a nutritious diet and regular exercise program into your daily lifestyle. 

    Many natural ingredients have been studied and proven to effectively raise free testosterone levels in men, such as zinc, Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, herbal roots like ashwagandha and fenugreek, and minerals like magnesium. 

    Cardio workouts are also essential for maximizing the benefits of these natural sources. Additionally, avoiding intense stress and regularly getting 8 hours of sleep every night will make all the difference in keeping hormones balanced. 

    With proper attention to these key elements, any man can naturally boost his free testosterone levels. Here's a closer look at everything you can do to improve your testosterone levels.

    1. Get Plenty of Sleep

    One of the best ways to increase free testosterone levels is to get plenty of sleep. 

    Sleep is essential for hormone production, and studies have shown that men who sleep less than 7 hours per night have lower testosterone levels than those who sleep more. 


    Additionally, sleep deprivation has been shown to decrease muscle mass and increase body fat, both of which can lead to a decrease in testosterone levels.

    2. Eat a Healthy Diet

    Eating a healthy diet is another excellent way to increase free testosterone levels. 

    Certain foods are known to boost testosterone levels, such as oysters, eggs, and fatty fish. Additionally, eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals is important, as deficiencies in these nutrients have been linked to low testosterone levels.

    3. Exercise Regularly

    Exercising regularly is another great way to increase free testosterone levels. Exercise helps to boost testosterone production by increasing muscle mass and reducing body fat. Additionally, exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality, which, as mentioned before, is essential for hormone production.

    4. Limit Alcohol Consumption

    While moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to have some health benefits, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a decrease in free testosterone levels. 

    Alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage, which can interfere with the production of hormones like testosterone. Additionally, alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain, which can decrease testosterone levels.

  • Related content: Does alcohol lower testosterone?

  • How important is free testosterone?

    Free testosterone is responsible for many features associated with masculinity, affecting libido and mental and physical health and governs your secondary sex characteristics. 

    Though aging naturally causes free testosterone levels to decrease, several factors, such as depression and obesity, can further decrease this important hormone. 

    Fortunately, there are natural strategies to increase current levels of free T-levels through diet and lifestyle changes which can vastly improve overall well-being. Pay close attention to the symptoms, get all relevant tests done when needed and make changes to diet, exercise and supplements based on scientific advice from healthcare professionals.

    Supplements such as Testoprime can help reduce the symptoms of low testosterone, helping you feel more like your old self. 

    With that said, remember that free testosterone is just one factor in your overall health and well-being; while essential, it's not the only thing that defines a healthy and happy life.

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