Testosterone and Food: What you eat can boost your testosterone levels!
For all of the men reading this, here’s a question: How many of you would like to have low testosterone (“Low-T”)? The only sane answer is NO ONE! There are many good reasons to be concerned about low testosterone. Here are just a few of those reasons:
- Loss of strength
- Shrinking muscle mass
- Rickety bones that may eventually lead to osteoporosis
- Increasing joint soreness and discomfort
- Brain fog
- Weight gain and accumulation of fat
- Metabolic syndrome
- Soaring blood sugar that may lead to type II diabetes
- Diminishing libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- And more debilitating symptoms that no man wants to experience
If you have landed on this page it’s a good chance that you are interested in testosterone, and are seriously considering Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). GREAT! You are exactly where you need to be.
At our clinics, one of our main specialties is TRT. We have spent decades devoted to staying on the cutting edge of the more efficient and safe methods of testosterone restoration. We design TRT treatment regimens individually by considering all aspects of the client: family history, age, current condition, and goals.
And we don’t stop with just TRT.
Our programs are comprehensive and include nutritional guidance, physical fitness, nutritional supplements, stress control, the importance of hydration, sleep, and toxin avoidance. Nothing is left to chance.
And that leads us to this question? Are there specific foods that can boost testosterone? Conversely, are there foods that can diminish testosterone and therefore should be avoided? The answer to both of these questions is a loud, resounding “YES.”
Let’s take a look at some recent research studies and see what the researchers have to say.
Starting at around age 40, men’s testosterone levels start to decline by about 10% per decade. But that metric is not set in stone. Some older men manage to keep their testosterone levels similar to or even greater than younger men. Gaining weight and an expanding mid-section is a huge problem (pun intended) according to Dr. Shalender Bhasin, professor of medicine at Harvard and the director of the Research Program in Men’s Health: Aging and Metabolism at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
A recent study that consisted of 206 volunteers concluded that men on low-fat diets had testosterone levels that were an average of nearly 60 points lower than men on high-fat diets. Men on a vegetarian diet had the lowest levels of testosterone compared to those who consumed a high-fat, meat-based diet.
Another study tested two styles of diets in 25 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 30. Calorie intake was similar, but one group fed on a high-fat, low-carb diet, consisting of 75 per cent of calories from fats, 5 per cent from carbohydrates, and 20 per cent from protein.
The other group of men consumed a standard low-fat diet, consisting of 25 per cent of calories from fats, 55 per cent from carbohydrates, and 20 per cent from protein. After 10 weeks of devouring the high-fat diet, testosterone skyrocketed by an incredible average of 118 points. The men on the low-fat diet experienced a drop in testosterone levels of approximately 36 points
Similarly, a study of approximately 3,000 men determined that those who reported eating a low-fat diet had slightly lower testosterone levels — about 30 points lower — than men who ate higher-fat diets.
But none of the men had low testosterone. “The moral is that healthy men who are of normal weight with no significant comorbidities are unlikely to benefit from restrictive diets,” said Dr. Richard J. Fantus, one of the study’s authors and a urologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill.
Diet studies are complicated, because changing one component of the diet, such as fat intake, alters so many other things, such as the number of carbohydrates, protein, and micronutrients consumed.
It’s unclear which component of the diet may have prompted the hormonal changes, Dr. Bhasin said. Furthermore, testosterone levels may also be shaped by sleep patterns, jet lag, when they eat, and how often they eat.
Dr. Faysal Yafi, chief of the division of Men’s Health and Reconstructive Urology at the University of California, Irvine, says his patients who eat healthily tend to lose weight, become more active, and cut back on alcohol. All of these steps can boost testosterone. He suspects any connection between diet and testosterone may be the result of a healthier lifestyle.
All research agrees that long-term alcohol abuse causes testosterone to drop like a lead balloon by damaging cells in the testicles, which produce testosterone, and the liver, which controls testosterone metabolism. But pouring down copious amounts of alcohol occasionally does not appear to have much of an impact — it lowers testosterone for only about 30 minutes, according to one study, after which levels bounce back to baseline.
Overweight men who have low levels of testosterone can increase levels by cutting calories and losing weight, no matter what eating plan – Ketogenic, Atkins, Zone, Vegan, Weight-Watchers, South-Beach, Raw Food, DASH – they follow. Conversely, Dr. Bhasin said he is noticing an increasing number of men at his clinic who are suffering from low libido and fatigue. Strict calorie restriction, exercising intensely, and being chronically stressed can all cause testosterone levels to plummet and are likely to blame, he said.
So where do we go from here?
While not overwhelming, the overall evidence does conclude that what you eat can affect your testosterone levels. Let’s take a look at a specific list of powerhouse nutrients that can give you a fighting chance against “old-man aging” and the loss of precious testosterone.
- Zinc. Zinc is effective at blocking aromatase, which impedes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Food sources of zinc are tuna, oysters, crabs, shrimp, lobster, chicken, beef, pork, oatmeal, dairy products, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, and seeds. Also, consider a zinc supplement.
- Magnesium. This miracle mineral is critical for sleep and recovery, and is, therefore, an indirect way to boost testosterone. Foods rich in magnesium include leafy greens, lentils, beans, grains, seeds, dark chocolate, bananas, amaranth, and nuts.
- Vitamin D. It’s challenging to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D from food alone since most foods contain low amounts of this vitamin. Therefore, strongly consider supplementation.
- Complex Carbohydrates. Complex carbs deliver an energy boost that propels us to get off the couch and get moving and exercising, which raises testosterone. Sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats quinoa, legumes, and other beans are good sources of the type of carbs that help restore testosterone.
- Vitamin K. Vitamin K acts as a precursor to testosterone by stimulating the activity of testosterone-synthesizing enzymes. Vitamin K2 MK-4 has been shown to increase testosterone production by activating protein kinase. Foods that are high in vitamin K are leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chicken, and avocados. If you are supplementing, look for the K-2 version since it is more bioavailable than K-1.
- High-Quality Protein. Bodybuilders have long been aware of the link between protein, testosterone, and muscle. Eggs, organic chicken, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, cottage cheese, protein shakes, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils are all good protein sources.
- Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that helps to strengthen the immune system and control stress. Look for Ashwagandha in capsules or powder form.
- Cholesterol. At first glance, it seems improbable that cholesterol can have an effect on testosterone. But many foods that contain cholesterol are testosterone boosters. Beef, eggs, cheese, and shrimp help with Low-T, but don’t overdo it with these foods.
What you don’t do, drink, or eat is also crucial
As important as the above-mentioned foods and substances are for adequate testosterone production, it is also paramount to keep in mind that several foods, drinks, substances, or actions you take may cause your testosterone levels to plummet. Here are a few of the “no-no’s” to avoid:
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Processed foods
- Fast foods
- Uncontrolled stress
- Chronic sleep difficulties
- Liver and kidney problems which result in an accumulation of toxins
None of these above-mentioned testosterone killers on their own can cause your testosterone levels to crater. But quite often when one of these conditions is a problem, many other conditions are also lurking in the background.
Hopefully, you are now aware of the fact that testosterone replacement is a holistic approach. Our TRT treatments alone can reverse the downward spiral of vanishing testosterone. And when combined with healthy lifestyle adjustments the results are even more spectacular!
We have the total program that has been developed with one goal in mind: make your testosterone levels blast off!
Contact us for a FREE, no-obligation discussion about the benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
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Welcoming You To Our Clinic, Professor Tom Henderson.
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