Testosterone in your body can be affected by food, exercise and other lifestyle choices in the following ways:
- some can lower testosterone production (vegan eating as well as overly consuming saturated animal fats).
- some can affect the levels of female hormones in one’s body (reducing female hormones increases the effect of body’s testosterone).
- some can affect cortisol production (cortisol competes with testosterone for the same sites in muscle cells).
- some can increase blood flow and thus transportation of testosterone through the body.
- some actually increase the actual production of testosterone by the body.
FOOD for testosterone
Here is a list of 50 foods that increase a man’s testosterone levels:
asparagus, chia seeds, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cocoa, olive oil, coconut oil, citrus fruits, celery, red meat, cod liver oil, butter, beef, blueberries, avocado, oats, eggs, brazil nuts with skin, bananas, garlic (in combination with a high protein diet), broccoli, oysters, onions, beets, button mushrooms, ginger, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, parsley, bacon, cayenne pepper, sauerkraut, kefir, mangosteen, kelp, watermelon, spinach, cabbage, organic animal liver, animal heart, nettle roots, raw honey, wild fish, red wine (but only at low levels), animal brain, raisins, almonds, unprocessed salt (e.g., Sea salt), and kale. For more understanding how these foods can increase your testosterone levels, refer to this webpage.
Meanwhile, it is also advisable to stay clear from foods or diets that lower your testosterone directly or indirectly. Most damaging are sugars, refined carbohydrates and a general excess of carbohydrates (the latter two also being converted to sugars), transfats, alcohol, and soy based products. In addition, a low fat diet also contributes to decreases in testosterone. Moreover, plastics contain chemical oestrogens. I mention this under the foods section because it is often used to contain foods and drinks. So avoid using plastic containers, and especially avoid heating foods in plastic containers. Plastics also decompose in the sea into small parts, which end up in the food chain, so eating seafood may pose a risk. Then there is propyl gallate and 4 hexyl resorcinol, both food additives and xenoestrogens. The former is used to prevent fat spoilage, while the latter is used to prevent discoloring in seafood. Next in line, and – no, not a myth – but canned food is really bad too due to the bisphenol-A (BPA) in the lining of tins. And finally, our drinking water may often be contaminated with female hormones, especially if it is water originating in urbanised or industrial areas, as large quantities of female hormones from hormonal contraceptives are excreted via urine. These remain in the water even after the water filtration process.
Some examples of aforementioned foods to be avoided are sugary foods such as soda, candies, and ice cream. An excess of carbs means and excess of bread, pasta, nacho’s or combination thereof. Transfats are found in fries, highly processed (fast food) meat, deep fried chicken wings and greasy biscuits and cookies. Alcohol is not only entering our body through alcoholic drinks, but can also be part of foods such as honey buns, hot sauces, sugarless gums, energy drinks, protein bars, vitamins, “alcohol free” beer or wine, foods cooked with alcohol, foods contained with alcohol, ripe fruits and fermented soda drinks. Medicines (inhalers, suppressants, decongestants, antihistamines, sleeping aids, etc.), chewing tobacco with fruit flavors, hygiene products (mouthwash, deodorant spray, aftershave, perfume, toothpaste, skin applicants), and wind shield wiper fluid (of which the alcohol can be inhaled) all can contain alcohol which can find its way into your body. Soy products include tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, soy shoots, soy beans, some vegetarian spring rolls, vegan protein bars and what have you more. The xenoestrogen propyl gallate which prevents fat spoilage is found in shortening (fat solid at room temperature, used to make pastry), baked goods, dried meats, pork sausage, candy, powdered milk, and even mayonnaise! (Except in self-made mayo.) The other estrogenic food additive is the one preventing discoloring in shrimp, lobster, and shellfish. Of canned products, almost every canned product, especially those with acidic products such as tomato in it, but also green beans, juicy juice, soup, corn, chili and even baby formula contain BPA. That is quite a list of things you should stay clear of, isn’t it?
LIFESTYLE for testosterone
Lifestyle promoting testosterone also includes the degree to which one is active, is able to minimize stress and other factors. A higher level of activity leads to better breakdown of carbs and sugars, thus reducing their detrimental effects on testosterone. If you take into account time of day and train right after waking, which is when testosterone levels are highest, you can exploit your increased testosterone levels for increasing your fitness, which in turn increases your testosterone more, especially when you manage to reduce body fat. However, over-training with too little recovery time may initially reduce testosterone levels, unless your body has been gradually eased into increasing amounts of training, gets the right nutrients and rest. A lack of sleep also reduces testosterone, so it’s best to make sure you get enough sleep.Even if you take sufficient time for sleep, get checked out for sleep apnea, because this also lowers your levels. If you have a stressful life, it’s advisable to try out a number of approaches to reduce stress, such as yoga, taiji, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, other meditation or even a regular short vacation. These may not be considered manly things, but if they manage to reduce your stress, your testosterone WILL increase. (Or rather, the effects of testosterone will increase, as testosterone receptors are no longer occupied by cortisol.) Laughter, gum chewing, and mega doses of vitamin C also help reducing cortisol.
IRON CROTCH TRAINING for testosterone
And finally, there are some methods used in the Chinese martial arts training for iron groin, a practice which allows one to take shots to the groin without collapsing in pain. Of course, you can also apply these training methods solely to increase your testosterone and without having to take shots to the groin. Most of these methods increase blood flow to the genital area, and make the local tissues healthier and stronger, and increase their function of producing testosterone and semen. These techniques are discussed in detail in our post on iron crotch training.