The Testosterone Diet
Testosterone is the key hormone in men that increases lean muscle, libido, sperm production, bone density, and energy. Testosterone levels begin to drop after the age of 30. Through proper diet, exercise, and supplementation we can ensure maximum production of this hormone in our bodies.
Ensuring sufficient production of this hormone requires eating the right amount of specific foods such as:
– Oysters: Provide the highest dietary amount of zinc, a key mineral that supports testosterone production.
– Beans: Are high in Zinc, fiber, and protein which are all needed for testosterone production. Fiber helps to remove bile from our intestinal tract which in turn lowers estrogen.
– Protein – Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs: Provide quality protein, cholesterol, zinc, B vitamins, magnesium, and saturated fat. All of which are essential for testosterone production. Cholesterol is the base for the making of this hormone, while the minerals, vitamins, and amino acids from protein are required for its production. Don’t eat too much – Consuming more protein than carbohydrates can increase the loss of testosterone through urination. While protein is necessary for higher testosterone levels, too much can have a negative effect. Stick to about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
– Broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts: Contain a compound known as Indole-3-carbinol which greatly reduces levels of bad estrogen known as Estradiol. High estrogen increases body fat and reduces the effects of testosterone.
– Garlic: Contains a compound known as Allicin. Allicin helps to increase testosterone levels and lowers Cortisol; a hormone that competes with testosterone and breaks down muscle.
– Avocados, Nuts, and Fish oil: Contain healthy unsaturated fats which help to support healthy cholesterol levels – balancing LDL and HDL. Monounsaturated fats in particular help to raise Testosterone the most. Although, too much fat healthy or not can lower testosterone.
– Figs: Are high in amino acids believed to increase libido and testosterone production.
Aside from eating the right foods, there are a few other factors that can affect healthy testosterone levels as well. These include:
– Getting sufficient sleep: The body requires rest for recovery, sufficient hormone secretion, and production. Without proper rest the body will increase in cortisol secretion which helps to inhibit testosterone production and muscle repair. The amount of needed sleep can vary by age and activity level. However, it is recommended that everyone sleep at minimum 7 hours and no more than 9 hours. Too much sleep can have the same detrimental effects as not getting enough.
– Stress: Some stress can be good for us if we use it in a constructive and motivating manner. However, too much stress is hard on the body, not just for regulating testosterone but on all major bodily functions. Stress can age us; create an unhealthy environment within our bodies, as well as raise estrogen, cortisol, and lower testosterone.
– Alcohol: Alcohol is a poison to our bodies – upon consumption testosterone production is brought to a halt. Furthermore, alcohol increases stress hormones like cortisol and aids in body fat production as well as muscle breakdown. It’s effects are unfavorable to anyone seeking decreased body fat, increased lean muscle, strength, and an elevated libido. Keep consumption at a minimum of no more than 1-2 drinks per week.
– Obesity: Having a higher than normal body fat percentage puts you at a disadvantage for peak testosterone production and helps to amplify estrogen which is counterproductive to testosterone. Also, having a large amount of abdominal fat in particular has been shown to be a marker for increased risk of many diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Focus on sufficient exercise and proper eating habits to lower body fat and increased testosterone will be one of many rewards.
– Smoking: Is not just terrible for your health, it can create erectile dysfunction, lower libido, raise estrogen, and decrease testosterone. Kick the habit and increased lifespan won’t be the only reward.
– Refined Sugar: Found in most processed foods, it won’t just increase body fat. Refined sugars have been found to decrease health, promote over eating, disrupt many bodily functions, and lower testosterone.
– Soy: Has been shown to increase estrogen due its high content of compounds called Phyto-Estrogens. These compounds mimic estrogen in the body which reduces the effects of testosterone. Try to avoid soy as well as processed food items as many ingredients now include soy derivatives. Note, that many protein bars and supplements contain high amounts of soy so watch for them in the ingredients list.