12 Steps To Building The Best Morning Routine For Men

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Start your day with the best morning routine for men that optimises your testosterone and health for long term success

When it comes to restoring and optimising your health, the way you start the day will set the tone for the rest of your day. A well designed morning routine can not only take from snooze to energise, but it can play a pivotal role boosting your testosterone levels. This is particularly important for men, especially after the age of 30, as testosterone levels start to  decline noticeably [1].

Fortunately, testosterone is influenced by several lifestyle factors that you can manipulate, including the choices that you make first thing in the morning,  This article will guide you through a comprehensive and powerful morning routine designed to maximize your testosterone levels, ensuring that you start your day in a way that supports your long-term health and wellness.

1. Start Your Morning By Preparing The Night Before

The foundation for an effective and efficient morning routine is laid down the night before. Make sure all the equipment and clothing that you are going to need in the morning are laid out and ready to use. The last thing you want to be doing in the dark hours of the morning is to be stumbling around trying to find that heart rate monitor chest strap at the bottom of your drawer. 

2. Quality Sleep Is The Foundation Of Hormonal Health

With these two jobs taken care of, you can now start your bedtime routine. I have written about sleep protocols here if you need some help with getting this sorted.

The impact sleep has on your testosterone levels are significant and often underestimated. It is during the night that your testosterone is synthesised, building to a peak at about 8am, before it slowly declines to it’s lowest levels at about 8pm.

Studies have found that any disruption to sleep quality, or not having enough quality sleep, can reduce testosterone levels by about 10-15% [2]. Therefore it is essential that a consistent sleep schedule is followed, going to bed and waking up at the same time, aiming for about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This not only avoids disrupting testosterone production, but also reinforces your body’s natural circadian rhythm, which further optimises production. 

3. Get Up Early To Give Yourself Time

Now, the definition of early will vary from person to person, but to me it means waking up early enough to give me time to do my morning routine before the time I need to leave for work. I have the luxury of not needing to leave for work until 8:30am, therefore I aim to wake up at 6:30am to give me two hours to do my routine and get ready for work. For others they may need to wake at 5am to allow them two hours, or may only need 1 hour to do their routine and get out for work. 

Either way, set the time you want to wake up on your alarm clock and put it in another room so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. I find that I am often awake before the alarm as I do not want to wake my wife or the kids and suffer their wrath!

4. Drink A Glass Of Water With A Supplement

Overnight, whilst sleeping, we become dehydrated, losing anywhere from 200ml to 1L of water depending on factors such as room temperature or if exercise was performed prior to sleep [3]. So it is important to counter this as soon as possible in the morning, drinking at least 500ml of water. Not only does this help rehydrate you, but it helps to lower the cortisol caused by being dehydrated, allowing your testosterone levels the opportunity to increase when stimulated – something the rest of the morning routine is geared up to do. 

Now would also be a good time to take your supplements, if you have use any. There are many supplements touted to have testosterone boosting abilities, but I tend to advise ensuring the basics are covered with a quality multi-vitamin and omega-3 fats. I personally add in ashwagandha for it’s cortisol lowering effect, improved sleep quality, and potential increase in testosterone levels [4]

5. Make Your Bed (Or Do Some Other Quick Win)

There is popular advice given to “make your bed” on waking. This is probably impractical for a lot of us, as our partner may still be in bed. However, the essence of the advice is to give yourself a quick win on waking. Examples include emptying the dishwasher, tidying up the kitchen, or reorganising a drawer. Doesn’t have to be challenging but has to be productive in some way. This helps you build momentum to do and acheive more tasks by giving a quick squirt of dopamine, which can also boost testosterone levels [5]

6. Get sunlight as soon as you can

Harmonising our circadian rhythm with the demands of our typical day is important in optimising our hormones and metabolism. One of the ways to cue up our circadian rhythm is to get early exposure to sunlight or a bright light of at least 1000 lux [6]. Note that an overcast day gives 2000lux, so don’t fear a cloudy day wont do the job! 

With this early light exposure you trigger and establish the cortisol pulse which helps set the start point of your circadian cycle. It also causes an increase in dopamine and leutinising hormone release, which leads to a boost in testosterone levels [7]. So, get outside and in the sun as soon as possible to set your body up for the day and increase your testosterone.

7. Take a Cold Bath Or Shower

Nothing takes me more will power than going outside into my garden and getting into my cold water immersion barrel for a few minutes in the morning. The immediate shock lasts a good 20-30 seconds, but when I focus on slowing my breathing down, I start to relax and I feel strangely warm (except my feet, they remain stubbornly cold)! 

I do this for a few reasons – one of them is that straight after doing this I feel great! This is probably due to the increase in neurotransmitters and hormones such as endorphins and noradrenaline in response to the cold shock. 

But as well as this it improves blood circulation, activates brown fat [8], lowers white fat, improves the immune system, and lowers inflammation [9]. With repeated exposure, your baseline cortisol levels drop giving you more potential to increase your testosterone levels. 

If you dont have a cold water barrel, then a cold shower would be a suitable alternative. Doing this every morning is a good way to get ensure you have a productive day as every other task thing else will seem that much easier to accomplish in comparison.

8. A Morning Coffee To Get Your Day Started

For many of us, Coffee is the classic go-to for giving us our get up and go. It is the caffeine that causes a cascade of different actions that gives us motivation, elevates mood and makes us feel awake.

When drunk before exercise it has been shown to improve performance in both aerobic and anaerobic activity. It is for this reason that caffeine is included in pre-workout supplements. However, another little known consequence of drinking coffee is that it can cause a small increase in testosterone [10]. It is short lived, but every little helps as we get older – so have that morning coffee! 

9. Exercise To Boost Testosterone And Metabolism

Working out, at any time of day, is known to boost testosterone [11], especially strength training or HIIT. So, no matter what, make sure to workout every day at some point.

However, exercising in the morning as part of your routine allows for more consistency. At that time of the day there is less chance of disruptive events preventing your from exercising, and less possible excuses for not doing it (other than failing to wake-up in time). On top of this, a recent study found that doing HIIT in the morning, rather than in the afternoon, had a greater effect on a variety of metabolic measurements, including insulin sensitivity, VO2max, and fat loss [12]. Simply by doing the same exercise early, you get more return for your effort!

I usually exercise after doing the cold water immersion as it helps me to warm up, but there is some evidence that it can also lead to a higher rise in testosterone than if the cold water dip was skipped [13]

10. Testosterone Friendly Breakfast

After working out it is time to fuel up and take advantage of the anabolic window opened by your exercise session. Make sure that you dont succumb to the cereal makers adverts and have a one of their high GI carb breakfast. This has been found to lower testosterone levels by increasing insulin and cortisol in response to that type of breakfast [14]

Instead, have a breakfast of high protein, low GI carbs, and healthy fats. This provides protein to support muscle repair and growth, maintain or even increase testosterone, lessen the insulin spike, and supply healthy fats that increase satiety, reduce inflammation and play a role in the production of testosterone. Just simply having 3 whole eggs every morning for breakfast boosted total testosterone levels by 240 on average, compared to just 70 in those that didnt [15]

11. Meditate To Reduce The Impact Of Stress

Life is busy and trying to balance the demands between work and home can be stressful. Whether we feel stressed or not, our body keeps the score, and reflected in low heart rate variability, increased cortisol, high blood pressure, increased insulin levels, increased inflammation, and a weaker immune system. All of this leads to reduced testosterone levels. 

One way to combat this and reduce stress is to activate your parasympathetic system (your rest and repair response) through breathing exercises. A simple exercise to do is called belly breathing, where you lay on the floor with one hand on your belly (I mean six pack, right?) and one on your chest. Breath in slowly and make sure that it is only your belly that moves up. Once you have taken a full and deep breath, breathe out slowly through pursed lips again making sure it is only the belly moving downward. Do this for several minutes to fully activate your relax and heal response, increasing your HRV [16] and lowering your cortisol levels. 

12. Reflect and Review your intentions for the day

The last step of my morning routine is spent reflecting on yesterday and looking ahead to what tasks need to be completed today and what has been scheduled in. This doesnt directly boost testosterone levels, but it may help to lower stress levels which can indirectly increase testosterone. More importantly it signals the end of the morning routine and the start of the rest of your day. 

Final Thoughts – Best Morning Routine For Men

Having a well structured morning routine can be a game-changer for boosting testosterone and overall health for us guys. From the second you open your eyes to the end of your morning routine, every step contributes to getting your hormones on the right track. A good night’s sleep is the foundation for hormone production, and then comes the hydration, getting some sun, and eating right, all allowing your body to keep testosterone levels optimised. Add in some exercise and a bit of deep breathing, and you’re not just ticking boxes for health, you’re supercharging it.

The real magic here is in being consistent with it. It’s not about quick fixes. It’s about building habits that last and really transform your health over time. This routine isn’t just about boosting testosterone – it’s about setting up a lifestyle that maximises your health for the long term.

About the Author: Dr Ben Ingram

Dr Ben Ingram, a medical doctor and biochemist, specialises in enhancing the health and performance of middle-aged men. His unique approach focuses on naturally boosting testosterone levels, tailored to each individual’s needs. Dr. Ingram’s methodology avoids the side effects associated with synthetic hormones, ensuring a harmonious balance with the body’s natural processes. He provides continuous support and guidance, helping his clients navigate life’s challenges while maintaining their health trajectory. Committed to empowering men to thrive in all life aspects, Dr Ingram’s mission is to make their later years dynamic and fulfilling.

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