Has your sex drive gone AWOL? Do you find yourself struggling to roll out of bed in the morning? Are you experiencing reduced energy levels? Have your social batteries reached an all-time low? You might be suffering the effects of low testosterone levels, otherwise known as low T.
While the stress of daily life can affect hormone levels and lower testosterone, so can your diet. Your testosterone can be sent spiralling due to certain ‘testosterone killing’ foods.
A study published in 2020, of men who followed a “Western” diet over a nine-year period – a diet high in fried foods, red meat, and processed – found that adherence to this lifestyle negatively affected their testosterone production and levels, and decreased their sperm count, compared to those who followed healthier, whole food rich diets.
If feel that your T levels are low, you might want to consider taking a look at your diet choices. This will help get testosterone production back on track!
But this begs the question, which foods, specifically, are testosterone killing foods?
In this article, we will cover the 11 food types that can kill testosterone levels. This will arm you with the necessary information to make the lifestyle changes required. You’ll have your libido and energy levels back on track in no time. Muscle mass, among other health benefits, can be enjoyed from healthy T levels.
Why is testosterone important?
Testosterone is the major sex hormone present in the male body, and it plays a number of important roles in regulating libido, fat distribution, bone mass, and muscle mass. It also plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells and sperm.
Testosterone levels peak in the male body around the age of 18 or 19, before gradually declining with age. Given that testosterone plays an important role in boosting a man’s sex drive, low libido may be the result of decreased testosterone levels.
Foods that may reduce testosterone production
There are many foodstuffs that contain soy, such as tofu, soy milk, and soy-based meat alternatives. These soy foods contain compounds called phytoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in the body, potentially lowering levels of testosterone.
A study conducted on 35 men found that consuming soy protein isolate for 54 consecutive days resulted in a reduction in testosterone levels.
However, the result of the research conducted thus far is inconclusive, as some studies suggest that the consumption of soy has no impact on testosterone levels. In order to ascertain the effects of soy on testosterone, more research is required.
Those suffering from low T levels may want to consider avoiding dairy products, due to the natural or synthetic hormones present in cow’s milk. Additionally, the cow may have been fed using animal feed containing soy products, which could increase estrogen levels in the cow’s milk.
Also Read: What is bulking and cutting? The Ultimate Guide.
These increased estrogen levels can negatively affect testosterone levels, when cow’s milk is ingested. To reduce the likelihood of consuming testosterone killing foods, avoid milk that comes from cows who have been fed using animal feed containing soy.
While it might freshen your breath, the menthol present in mint products such as peppermint or spearmint tea has been found to reduce testosterone levels.
A study conducted on women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) demonstrated that spearmint tea has antiandrogen – otherwise known as testosterone blockers – properties.
However, most research on the effects of menthol on testosterone levels has been conducted on animals or women, thus further studies are required to better determine the effects of mint consumption on men.
Those concerned about their testosterone levels might want to consider limiting or abstaining from drinking alcohol.
Multiple studies have shown that regular, or heavy drinking, over a sustained period of time causes a decrease in testosterone levels in men, as well as a lower sperm count.
Bread, pastries, and desserts
A study published in 2018 found evidence that suggests a diet high in bread, pastries, and sugar-heavy desserts is linked to low T levels.
Although delicious, cookies and white bread are high in trans fats (trans-unsaturated fatty acids) – which are linked to a decline in testosterone levels in men.
To keep T levels high, it may be best to avoid the baked goods aisle when doing your next food shop.
According to studies, licorice root has been reported to reduce the levels of testosterone in men. Similarly, a study on animals has also shown that licorice extract reduced testosterone levels.
However, a revisit to the licorice and testosterone debate concluded that a moderate intake of licorice is only likely to cause a moderate reduction in testosterone. Therefore, it might not be necessary to wave goodbye to Twizzlers just yet, just make sure they’re consumed in moderation!
According to the American Heart Association, the average American adult consumes around 17 teaspoons of sugar per day, which is almost double the recommended daily allowance. This can cause issues such as weight gain, tooth cavities, and inflammation. Additionally, it can also testosterone levels to drop.
Reducing your sugar intake, by dropping sweets, soda, and chocolate from your diet, can help restore T levels, as well as improve your overall health.
We’ve touched on the detrimental nature of trans fats in an early section, but given that it is one of the testosterone killing foods related to several potential health issues, it’s worth expanding on some more.
Traces of trans fats are naturally present in meat and dairy. However, there’s a huge amount to be found in fried, and processed foods. The dangers of overconsumption of trans fats include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, increased high cholesterol, and decreased fertility.
To keep your T levels, heart, and organs in check, stay away from foods high in trans fats.
Vegetable oils aren’t just limited to those we used for frying such as sunflower the generically labelled “vegetable oil”. Commercial vegetable oils can include a combination canola, palm, peanut, and olive oil, in addition to others. These oils are often included in processed foods to improve the texture, taste, and shelf-life. Unfortunately, they’re high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which must be consumed in moderation. Given their ubiquitous nature, it’s all too easy to over-consume PUFAs.
Also Read: Explosive chest and tricep workout.
One study found that polyunsaturated fatty acids decreased the levels of testosterone in overweight men. Therefore, laying off foods containing high levels of PUFAs may be the key to boosting your T levels.
Nuts can be detrimental to hormone levels, despite being widely known for containing healthy fats.
For example, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and pecans are high in PUFAs, which we know can lower testosterone levels.
If you’re a fan of snacking on nuts, opt for brazil nuts, chestnuts, or macadamia nuts, as these are higher in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are better for your cholesterol, heart, and T levels.
While flaxseed offers many benefits such as better digestive health, reduced blood pressure, and improved cholesterol levels, too much of it can lead to low testosterone levels.
A study conducted on 25 men with prostate cancer, who supplemented their diets with flaxseed, experienced a significant decrease in T levels.
What else can affect testosterone levels?
Food alone isn’t the only factor that affects testosterone levels. Other factors include:
- An inactive lifestyle
- High drug, tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use
How to naturally boost testosterone levels
There are ways that individuals can adjust their lifestyles in order to boost testosterone levels naturally. These include:
- Focusing on eating a balanced diet consisting of fresh, whole foods
- Avoid binge eating and overeating
- Avoiding excessive weight gain
- Regularly exercising
- Getting plenty of sleep each night
Foods that may boost testosterone
We’ve covered 11 foods that kill testosterone, but what about the foods that boost testosterone levels? There are many food types that won’t negatively affect T levels, yet seem to have a bad rap when it comes to testosterone levels. From bananas to coffee – we’re going to uncover the truth behind their relation to testosterone.
Bananas – Do bananas lower testosterone?
Quite the contrary, bananas are an example of one of many testosterone boosting foods. An enzyme called bromelain (found in bananas) is known to help maintain testosterone concentration. While they’re not nutrient-dense enough to act as a standalone meal, they’re a healthy addition to any balanced diet. Plus, they certainly won’t send your libido south, nor lower your muscle mass.
Rice – Does it lower testosterone levels?
Whether or not rice causes low testosterone levels depends on the type of rice you’re eating. Hormone levels can be impacted by refined white rice, since it is digested quickly, prompting a fast release of sugar.
Looking to avoid testosterone killing foods? Opt for brown rice instead.
There are many studies debating the multiple health issues related to caffeine intake and the stimulation of the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Issues include including increased anxiety, heartburn, and an increase in blood pressure. Low testosterone, however, is not a problem related to the consumption of coffee.
Also Read: 5 Nutrition supplements you should be using for bodybuilding.
A study conducted published in the Nutritional Journal documented a non-significant link between caffeine intake and low testosterone levels.
If you do feel like you’re suffering from symptoms of low testosterone levels, such as decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, or erectile dysfunction, consider asking your doctor to conduct a blood test called a serum testosterone test, which can determine your testosterone levels. Once you have determined if you are suffering from decreased testosterone production, you can work on taking action to boost testosterone levels.
There are many ways to boost testosterone naturally, without having to opt for medication. Cutting out the aforementioned testosterone killing foods is a great start. Adopting a low fat diet, by avoiding eating trans fats, is another one of the many ways testosterone levels can be boosted, which will also bring about many other health benefits.
Ready to boost your testosterone levels?
Sure, avoiding these testosterone killing foods can help… But is that enough to fight low T levels? We’re not so sure.
Testogen has been carefully formulated for complete testosterone support. This max strength formula safely and naturally increases your T, boosting:
- Energy levels
- Testosterone levels
- Muscle growth
- Male wellness and overall health
With 11 all-natural ingredients, you can safely take Testogen long term. Looking for an even bigger boost? Try pairing Testogen capsules with our instant T-boosting drops.
Don’t suffer from low testosterone in silence, it’s time to get your life back!