Are there foods that lower testosterone?
Absolutely! Which is why we put this guide together. To give you all the information you need to avoid these low-T foods.
The truth is, your diet has a huge impact on your overall testosterone levels. There are some foods, like seafood, grass-fed meat and free-range eggs which have been proven to raise men’s testosterone levels. Of course, the opposite is also true: there are foods that decrease your testosterone levels almost instantly when you eat them.
If you want to maximize your body’s natural testosterone production, then you MUST avoid these testosterone lowering foods.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is one of most important hormones in the human body. It plays a critical role in muscle mass and strength, bone density, cardiovascular health, sexual performance and even your mental health.
Men produce much higher amounts of testosterone in their bodies than women. However, women also produce some testosterone, and it plays a critical role in their overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, men’s testosterone levels have been slowly declining for decades. In fact, researchers estimate that men have been producing 1% less testosterone per year sense the 1950s.
Researchers say that addressing the growing trend of hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels, in older and younger men will be one of the biggest challenges of the healthcare in the 21st century . There are many reasons why men’s testosterone levels have been declining, including lack of exercise, poor sleeping habits, poor diet, increased stress levels and environmental toxins.
For men suffering from hypogonadism, or clinically low testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy can be a valid treatment option. Testosterone replacement therapy is a treatment option where you supplement your body’s natural testosterone production with a prescription testosterone medication .
Research has shown that testosterone replacement therapy is a safe and effective way to raise men’s testosterone levels to a normal, healthy level. It is also associated with many positive health outcomes .
Why Testosterone Levels Matter?
Maintaining healthy testosterone levels is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and well-being. This is especially true if you are a man, as testosterone plays an especially important role in men’s health.
Research has shown that men with low testosterone levels suffer from many negative health conditions. For example, research has shown that low testosterone levels increase your risk for many different metabolic diseases such as obesity, sarcopenia, osteoporosis and metabolic syndrome [4, 5, 6]. In other words, men with low testosterone levels are predisposed to being overweight with low muscle mass and weak, frail bones.
Low testosterone levels also impact men’s reproductive health in a negative way. Multiple meta-analyses have shown that men with low testosterone levels are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction, infertility and a host of other reproductive problems. Low testosterone levels also negatively impact your overall sexual performance [7, 8, 9]. If that weren’t enough, low testosterone levels also increase your risk for various diseases.
Men who have a family history of heart disease will want to pay attention to this: low testosterone levels massively increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, such as heart attacks and strokes [10, 11, 12]. On the other hand, it also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes [13, 14, 15].
It’s no wonder medical professionals are paying so much attention to testosterone – this hormone plays a role in almost every aspect of your overall health.
21 Testosterone Lowering Foods
Enough of the fluff! Here are the 15 foods that you MUST avoid if your goal is to naturally raise your testosterone levels.
1. Alcohol (16-17)
If your goal is to maximize your testosterone levels, then you must avoid excessive amounts of alcohol. Research shows that your short-term testosterone levels can drop as much as 6.8% after just one drink .
Of course, not all alcoholic beverages are created equal. Beer is known to lower testosterone and raise estrogen in men. However, other drinks like red wine have been shown to raise testosterone levels in men . The key might be to be responsible with your drinking habits, and to make smarter choices when possible, like choosing red wine over beer.
Soy is another food that most men should probably avoid. Most studies show that doesn’t lower testosterone levels in men . However, soy contains phytoestrogens which bind to the estrogen receptors in men. They also have the potential to increase the activity of the aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone into estrogen.
There is also plenty of real-world data showing men who consume large amounts of soy have lower testosterone and higher estrogen than the average man. Just think of the average “soy boy” buying a soy latte at your local Starbucks!
Sugar is one of the worst foods that men can eat. Research studies show that men’s testosterone levels drop almost immediately after consuming a sugar-filled drink .
Sugar also increases your risk of obesity, and when you have extra body fat, you have more aromatase enzymes which are literally converting the testosterone in your body into estrogen. Sugar should be avoided at all costs if you are trying to significantly raise your testosterone levels.
Soda is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Almost every country in the world sells Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other soda drinks. Unfortunately, soda is filled with sugar that negatively impacts your testosterone levels.
A recent meta-analysis showed that men aged 20-39 years old who regularly consumed soda had significantly lower testosterone levels than men who did not .
5. Refined Grains
Whole grain foods are not necessarily a bad food. However, refined grains should be avoided by most men. Research shows that refined gains, like white bread, impact your blood sugar the same way that regular sugar does! In other words, if you eat 50 grams of carbs from white bread or other highly refined grains, you might as well be eating 50 grams of pure sugar!
Refined grains also don’t have the minerals and other nutrients that whole grain foods have. The bottom line is whole grains are probably ok for most people, but refined grains are as bad as sugar for your testosterone levels.
6. Vegetable Oils
If you want to raise your testosterone levels, then vegetable oils like canola oil should be avoided at all costs. Despite what some people say, vegetable oils are horrible for human health. Vegetable oils are filled with omega-6 fatty acids – the kind that raise inflammation in the body. Increased inflammation is associated with chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and even hypogonadism – or low testosterone levels. In fact, there is extensive research showing canola oil negatively impacts the human reproductive system [21, 22].
If you are trying to raise your testosterone levels, then vegetable oils should be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, fruit-based oils like olive oil and avocado oil are great choices, as research shows they actually raise testosterone levels.
Margarine is one of the words foods that you can eat for your overall health. Margarine is loaded with trans fats, a man-made fat that has been shown to lower testosteorne levels in men. In fact, research shows that trans fats negatively affect testicular function in men .
One serving of margarine has a whopping 15 grams of trans fats – for this reason margarine should be avoided at all costs. Keep in mind that all fats are not bad – we just think you should avoid margarine. Other fat sources like olive oil, eggs and nuts are great choices.
8. Trans fats
Trans fats aren’t just found in margarine! The truth is trans fats are in many of the foods that most people eat every day. For example, trans fats are used to make doughnuts, pastries and other baked goods. There is extensive research showing that trans fats dramatically lower testosterone levels in men and increase the risk for many chronic diseases [24–25].
The challenge with avoiding trans fats is they are in almost all baked, processed and packaged foods. If you are serious about raising your testosterone levels then you may want to focus more on “whole foods” such as meats, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
9. Fast Food
There are many reasons people eat fast food – it’s cheap, it’s convenient, and it often tastes great. However, one of the problems with fast food is it has been shown to lower testosterone levels almost immediately.
Studies show that men’s testosterone levels can drop by as much as 25% in an hour after eating fast food, and that chronic fast food consumption is associated with reduced long-term testosterone levels [26, 27]. There is also a lot of anecdotal evidence that fast food is not the way to go for overall health. For example, the movie “Supersize Me” highlighted some of the negative consequences of long-term fast food consumption.
10. Processed Meat
The quality of the meat that you eat has a huge impact on your testosterone levels. Foods like wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef and free-range eggs have a postitive impact on your hormones. However, processed meat has the opposite effect. In fact, studies have shown that processed meat consumption is associated with lower sperm counts in men .
For this reason, it may be a good idea to stay away from lunch meats, bacon and other highly processed meats. These foods have higher levels of nitrates and other testosterone-lowering chemicals.
Pork is another meat that you should probably avoid. This includes bacon, sausages and other forms of pork that you can find in your local grocery store. The problem with pork is it is loaded with estrogens that can lower your testosterone levels. According to Ori Hofmekler, the author of The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, pork is loaded with environmental toxins that bind to the estrogen receptors of your body.
This increases your body’s estrogen load and actually tells your body to produce less total testosterone over time. If you are used to eating pork, then consider swapping it out for other testosterone-raising protein sources like beef, salmon or eggs.
12. Pasteurized Milk
Is milk good or bad for you? The truth is pasteurized milk should be avoided by anyone trying to raise their testosterone levels. A study performed in 2010 shows that the consumption of pasteurized milk is associated with decreased testosterone production in men, as well as decreased luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone .
Another study performed in 2013 found that young men who drank more pasteurized milk had lower sperm counts than other young men . Other dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt may be ok. However, pasteurized milk should probably be avoided.
Spearmint may seem like a strange choice for our list of the 15 testosterone-lowering foods that you should avoid. However, there is an abundance of research showing that spearmint lowers men’s testosterone levels.
For example, spearmint tea has been shown in numerous studies to have a negative impact on hormone levels [30, 31]. This probably won’t be a big deal for most people. After all, giving up spearmint is probably easier to do than giving up sugar, pork or some of the other foods on our list.
14. Licorice root
Licorice may be delicious, but it makes our list as one of the biggest testosterone-lowering foods. Multiple studies have shown that licorice root has a negative impact on men’s and women’s testosterone levels [32, 33].
If your goal is to be a “soy boy” then adding some licorice to your diet would be a great idea. However, anyone looking to optimize their testosterone levels should probably avoid it.
Flaxseed is often touted as a heart-healthy food that should be included in people’s diets. We admit that flaxseed is not the worst food in the world, and it is not nearly as bad as some of the other foods on our list, such as trans fats and refined grains.
However, flaxseed does have a negative impact on men’s testosterone levels. Several studies have shown that flaxseed can negatively impact the reproductive health of men and women when taken in large quantities [34–35]. There are simply better foods to eat than flaxseed.
Free Testosterone Levels Vs Total Testosterone
There are two ways to measure testosterone levels in the human body: total testosterone and free testosterone. Total testosterone measures the total amount of testosterone that is floating around in your bloodstream. When you go to the doctor and measure your testosterone levels, most of the time they are measuring your total testosterone.
Most men will have a testosterone reading anywhere from 300 – 1200 ng / dl. If your goal is to optimize your testosterone levels then you will want to aim for the middle or high end of this range. Men who have total testosterone levels below 300 ng / dl often experience symptoms of low-T including sexual dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, increased body fat and low energy.
Total testosterone is a useful reading. However, it doesn’t tell the whole story. The truth is free testosterone might be a more accurate way to measure your testosterone levels. Around 98% the testosterone floating around in your bloodstream is actually inactive, as it is bound to sex hormone binding globulin or albumin.
The other 2% of the testosterone in your bloodstream is considered “active,” as it is able to bind to cells and exert effects on your body. This active form of testosterone is called your “free testosterone.”
The free testosterone test is probably a better way to measure your testosterone levels because it meausres the amount of testosterone that is actually working for you at any given time. Some people have normal total testosterone levels, but extremely low free testosterone levels. If this describes you, then you may have symptoms of low-T, even if your total testosterone levels are in the 300 – 1200 ng / dl range.
Here are normal free testosterone levels for men of different ages: [36, 37, 38]
- Teenage males: 5.25 – 20.7 ng / dL
- Men in their 20s: 5.25 – 20.7 ng / dL
- Men in their 30s: 4.65 – 19.0 ng / dL
- Men in their 40s: 4.26 – 17.1 ng / dL
- Men in their 50s: 3.87 – 15.6 ng / dL
- Men in their 60s: 3.47 – 13.9 ng / dL
- Men in their 70s: 3.08 – 12.2 ng / dL
The truth is the scientific literature shows there is a huge correlation between low free testosterone levels and negative health conditions.
Several recent meta-analyses have shown that low free testosterone levels are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes [39, 40, 41].
How To Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally
There are many natural strategies that you can use to raise your testosterone levels. Here are some of the most popular methods:
- Vitamin D
Many studies show that people who engage in sexual activity have higher testosterone levels. This isn’t just a coincidence, though – researchers have found that increasing your sexual activity directly raises your testosterone levels .
Another great way to improve your hormonal profile is to improve your sleeping habits. Research shows that just one night of poor sleep can dramatically lower your testosterone levels . The reverse is also true: improving the quality and quantity of your sleep can improve the production of many different hormones including testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1.
Another simple strategy that you can use is getting more vitamin D. Research shows that there is a very strong correlation between your overall vitamin D levels and your testosterone production . The two main ways of getting more vitamin D include spending more time in the sun, and taking a vitamin D supplement once per day.
Finally, there are some natural testosterone-boosting supplements that you can take. One of the most popular products on the market today is called “ecdysterone.” This natural substance is found in plants like spinach and quinoa. It is taking the fitness world by storm because it has been shown to improve muscle mass and strength faster than many anabolic steroids – but without any of their harmful side effects [45, 46].
How To Increase Testosterone Levels With TRT
There are many ways to naturally boost your testosterone levels, including getting plenty of exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of vitamin D. However, there are also medical interventions that can be used to raise testosterone levels. One of the most popular and effective treatment options is called testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, is designed to help a patient raise their testosterone levels up to a healthy, normal level. Patients undergoing testosterone replacement therapy will use a prescription testosterone medication to raise their hormone levels.
Many men prefer to use testosterone gels that they rub onto their skin once per day. However, testosterone injections are still a viable option. The latest research shows that TRT is an extremely safe treatment option [47, 48, 49]. It is rare for a patient to experience side effects from this treatment, especially if they are working with a qualified medical professional.
TRT is also very effective at raising men’s testosterone levels up to the higher end of the normal range [50, 51, 52]. If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, then talking to your doctor about TRT may be one of the most important things that you can do.
The BEST Online TRT Clinic
Using an online TRT clinic is a great way to get started on testosterone replacement therapy. The main advantage of an online clinic is you don’t have to set up an appointment and drive to a physical location. Instead, you can talk to your doctor about your low-T symptoms right from the comfort of your own home.
Today doctors can communicate with their patients using zoom, skype and other internet-based technologies. This is called “telehealth medicine” and it is one of the fastest growing fields in healthcare. During your call you will be able to tell your doctor about the signs and symptoms that you are experiencing.
If your doctor that you may be suffering from low testosterone, then he or she will help you schedule an appointment with a local lab testing company. The company will perform a blood test to measure your exact testosterone levels, including your total testosterone and your free testosterone. Then your doctor will go over the results of the test with you online.
If your doctor diagnoses you with hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels, then he or she will prescribe you a testosterone medication, which will be delivered directly to your door. Here are some of the big advantages of online TRT clinics:
- You can talk to your doctor without leaving your own home
- Lab tests are performed with trusted third-party companies
- Your doctor will discuss the results of your lab test with you
- Your prescription medication will be delivered directly to your home
- Your doctor will show you step-by-step how to use your prescription medication
As you can see, there are many advantages of using an online TRT clinic. There are many great online TRT providers that you can use.
However, our favorite one is Fountain TRT.
Fountain TRT was co-founded by a board-certified urologist with decades of experience helping men with low testosterone. One of the things that we really like about this provider is they use a testosterone cream with all of their patients.
This means you don’t have to worry about the hassle of using insulin needles to use your testosterone medication. Here is where you can learn more:
Get hormone therapy today with Fountain TRT...
Testosterone and Food | Overall
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the male body. It plays a critical role in men’s overall health and well-being. The truth is there are many testosterone lowering foods that should be avoided. Some foods, like sugar, fast-food, and soy are widely known for lowering testosterone levels.
However, you may have been surprised by some of the other foods on our list like margarine, refined grains and pork. If your are trying to optimize your testosterone levels then you should avoid all of the foods on this list. The truth is diet plays a huge role in men’s testosterone levels. This is especially true for overweight individuals.
If you are suffering from symptoms of low-T then eliminating these testosterone-lowering foods from your diet is one of the first things you should do.