Both men and women produce testosterone.
You might be wondering now, "how much testosterone do men have?" It depends on a man's age since testosterone production naturally declines with time.
Continue reading this article to know more about men's normal range of T levels by age.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone responsible for a man's masculine features, deep voice, and several other body functions.
The adrenal glands and testes are the body parts in men that produce testosterone. However, their capacity to produce this hormone will naturally decline(1) as men get older.
NOTE: Women's ovaries produce testosterone too, but at much lower levels than men's.
Your daily energy, muscle mass, sex drive, and ability to gain weight are all affected by your T levels.
How Much Testosterones Do Men Have: What Are Normal Testosterone Levels in Men by Age?
Testosterone levels start relatively low during the pre-teen period, as seen in the list below. T levels will then rise and peak during the teen years.
Test production will then level out during young adulthood till a man’s late 30s.:
- 10-11 years old have a normal range of 75-400 ng/dL
- 12-13 and 15-16 years old produce 70-800 ng/dL and 100-1200 ng/dL, respectively
- 17-18 years old are expected to have 300-1,200 ng/dL
- 19 years and older have a lower range of 240-950 ng/dL
Below are the testosterone levels of older men:
Testosterone Levels of Men in Their 40s
A slight DECLINE in T levels can be observed after its peak during adolescence and when a man reaches his 40s. On average, 40-year-olds can expect levels in the range of 252-916 ng/dL.
Testosterone Levels of Men in Their 50s
Men at this stage are expected to average 215 - 878 ng/dL. One might already experience a decline in muscle mass and build at this age, but reaching acceptable T levels is still possible.
Testosterone Levels of Men in Their 60s
As men reach their 60’s, t levels will continue to fall which would then range from 196 - 859 ng/dL - now a far cry from the test production in their younger selves.
Testosterone Levels of Men in Their 70s
This is when the real struggle in testosterone production begins. At age 70 onwards, men will experience their lowest T levels, ranging from 156 – 819 ng/dL.
Why Do Testosterone Levels Change With Age?
The continuous decline in T production as men age (hypogonadism or andropause) is only natural, as premenopause or menopause is natural to women.
A man will have higher concentrations of the male hormone from his early teens to his late 20s. When they hit 30, T levels will slowly decline at a 1-2% rate annually(2), which is why some resort to testosterone supplementation.
How Often Should a Man Have His Testosterone Levels Checked?
Getting your testosterone levels checked every 5 years is the standard interval. You should start when you are 30 to 35 years old since this is when your T level starts to decline.
NOTE: Testosterone can be found in the blood with the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) protein. Getting a blood test is the best way to determine your T level.
Normal testosterone levels after two tests are often good signs. Otherwise, you should consult your doctor for recommendations.
What Is Considered Low Testosterone?
The lower end of normal T levels for a man is 300 nanograms per deciliter(3). Thus, any figures below this can already be considered low.
You can then find ways, like testosterone supplementation or even testosterone replacement therapy, to reach normal testosterone levels and avoid the unwanted symptoms of low T.
What Is Considered High Testosterone?
Anything above 300ng/dL up to 950 ng/dL, the upper end of normal testosterone levels, is already considered “high”, especially if you’re past your teens.
Any higher and you’ll be exposing yourself to more health risks than benefits.
What Are the Health Benefits of High Testosterone Levels?
Being on the upper end of normal total testosterone levels can have many benefits for men’s health.
You can achieve this via testosterone supplementation, and these are the following advantages:
- Better heart health
- Strong bones
- Lower body fat
- Increased sex drive
- Better daily mood
What Are the Side Effects of High Testosterone Levels?
Going beyond normal high testosterone levels can lead to serious health issues. For one, people with too much T are most likely irritable.
Yes, higher levels of testosterone may give you a boost in energy but having too much of the male hormone will result in mood inconsistencies.
Moreover, abnormally high t levels can lead to more severe side effects: heart problems and prostate cancer(4).
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone Levels in Men?
Men experience low testosterone levels due to age, health conditions, certain medications, or bodily injuries.
These are the common health conditions that may lead to low testosterone levels:
- Heart problems
- Dysfunction in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus
- Problems in sleeping
- Testicular issues
These more prominent health problems are not the only signs. Low testosterone levels can also lead to the following symptoms:
- Low daily energy levels
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weak and unformed muscles
- Difficulty in losing weight
What Is the Best Treatment for Low Testosterone in Men?
Testosterone replacement therapy(5) (TRT) is the best way to address abnormally low t levels in men. This treatment is designed to boost testosterone production in your body.
Not only is it effective, but there are also a variety of methods to choose from, like:
- Pellet Implants
- T Injections
- Skin Creams
Are There Any Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone?
TRT or taking T boosters is not the only way to solve lower testosterone levels.
You can improve your testosterone production naturally, usually, through practices that you might be neglecting every day:
Regular exercise brings a whole host of health benefits to our bodies.
Researchers(6) have also found a significant connection between testosterone levels in men and exercise.
Men who exercise regularly have better T levels than those with sedentary lifestyles.
Improve Your Diet
Choosing a healthy and balanced diet will help you lose weight and reduce body fat. It can also help increase the lifespan of testosterone in your body.
Eating more protein is also highly recommended for higher t levels.
Being mindful of what we put into our bodies every day will have a positive effect on low T production.
Lower Your Stress Levels
If you don't manage your stress levels carefully, you can expect an increase in cortisol. This hormone contributes to a man's low testosterone level.
Thus, stress-reducing activities, such as having a hobby, will help. Getting enough sleep is also one of the best ways to reduce stress and stay healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Much Testosterone Does a Man Naturally Produce?
The average free and total testosterone levels vary per age. Older adults naturally have lower T production than younger ones. A young man can produce an average of 6mg to 7mg(7) of testosterone daily. However, the average range should be 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter.
How Is Low Testosterone Tested?
Testosterone levels are typically measured via a blood test. Testosterone is at its peak from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thus, this is also the perfect time to get blood tests done.
What Men Should Not Use Testosterone Therapy?
Men with existing health issues like prostate cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, kidney problems, and liver issues should be extra cautious when considering Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
How Does One Ensure That Testosterone Levels Remain in Balance?
Even though declining testosterone levels are natural in older adult males, you can still help your body produce more hormones and increase longevity via a healthy lifestyle and consuming natural T boosters.
How Common Is Low Testosterone (Testosterone Deficiency) In Men?
A man's testosterone levels naturally go DOWN with age due to the decline in his body's capacity to produce male hormones. Thus, low testosterone is quite common, especially when you reach your 30s.
Normal to high testosterone levels help improve men's musculature, energy, and sex drive.
However, too much could also lead to irritability, heart disease, and cancer.
Thus, aiming for the “high” within the normal range of t levels according to one’s age is best.
- Golan, Ron et al. “Age-related testosterone decline is due to waning of both testicular and hypothalamic-pituitary function.” The aging male : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male vol. 18,3 (2015): 201-4. doi:10.3109/13685538.2015.1052392
- Nardozza Júnior, Archimedes et al. “Age-related testosterone decline in a Brazilian cohort of healthy military men.” International braz j urol : official journal of the Brazilian Society of Urology vol. 37,5 (2011): 591-7. doi:10.1590/s1677-55382011000500004
- Mulhall John P., et al. “Evaluation and Management of Testosterone Deficiency: AUA Guideline”. Journal of Urology, vol. 200, no. 2, WoltersKluwer, Aug. 2018, pp. 423–432, doi.org10.1016/j.juro.2018.03.115.
- Michaud, Jason E et al. “Testosterone and prostate cancer: an evidence-based review of pathogenesis and oncologic risk.” Therapeutic advances in urology vol. 7,6 (2015): 378-87. doi:10.1177/1756287215597633
- Bassil, Nazem et al. “The benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy: a review.” Therapeutics and clinical risk management vol. 5,3 (2009): 427-48. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s3025
- Ari, Zeki et al. “Serum testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels, mental reaction time, and maximal aerobic exercise in sedentary and long-term physically trained elderly males.” The International journal of neuroscience vol. 114,5 (2004): 623-37. doi:10.1080/00207450490430499
- Behre, H. M. “Male Reproductive Function”. International Encyclopedia of Public Health (Second Edition), edited by Stella R. Quah, Second Edition, Academic Press, 2017, pp. 529–536, doi.org10.1016/B978-0-12-803678-5.00265-4.