It seems REALLY attractive to try and take a magic pill. We all try it at one time in our life. From supplements, to “secret russian training programs” even to trying things like steroids because we find that we don’t get the results our hard work entitle us to.
BUT the Really sucky thing is that if you’re like most guys, you work hard on your nutrition, crush it in the gym, but completely miss out on this aspect of training.
Without this missing ingredient, you’re getting screwed out of better testosterone levels, improved strength, more fat loss, more energy, better sex, and more muscle.
If you are a red blooded male, I hope at least one of those peaked your attention. Because if you told all those to me, I would pay you ALL the monies to get all those things. It sounds too good to be true that you can improve all those things at once, with no negative benefits, AND it’s free.
Don’t worry. You don’ need to give your left testicle, and no injecting giant needles into your backside.
It’s been hiding under your nose this whole time. Something that you can easily do.
What is that one thing that you can do?
Sleep is the most underrated, potent, and easily accessible testosterone booster that we have at our disposal. Especially with the onset of technology and being fully connected with our cell phones at all times, sleep is the one time where we can disconnect and allow our brain and body to fully recover.
And as potent as it is, sleep is at an all time low.
Research shows that the average guy sleeps for a mere 6 and a half hours a night. While that might not seem like much difference between your recommended 7-8 hours of sleep/night, you’re body sure notices.
You wake up exhausted.
It takes twice as much energy
You’re in a committed relationship with the coffee maker at work, needing a pot or two just to drag your ass through the morning.
You don’t have the drive to workout like you normally do. You don’t have the drive for the rest of your life like you should.
When you take control of your sleep, overnight you’ll feel more energized, stronger, leaner, and have better resistance against the onslaught of temptations like craft beer and donuts.
If you want to transform your life, you’re going to do it through sleep.
It’s time to revolutionize your sleep.
Want to learn more about how to naturally increase your testosterone levels? Get a FREE Copy of Chad’s new book, the Man Diet here
Here’s a few giant aspects of our sleep that we often forget.
Sleep has an impact not only on our alertness and our brain, but it can have an even bigger effect on our hormones. These hormones will affect how we build muscle, our motivation, and even how full we feel.
By skipping out on sleep, you:
- Decrease your natural testosterone by around 15%. If you like great sex with your wife and motivation to crush your workouts, this is important.
- You decrease your natural Growth hormone, All of a sudden your body doesn’t build muscle and strength like it should… regardless of your age.
- You’ll decrease your leptin, which is essential for helping you feel full. If you have any dreams of being lean, this is a hormone that helps you feel full longer.
- You INCREASE the hormone Ghrelin, which means you’re going to be extra hungry. Especially as you pass by McDonald’s on your way to work.
Even if you don’t care about what those hormones are called, you should know when those hormones are out of whack, they’ve got your fitness in a chokehold, squeezing all the life out of your poor, zombie-like body.
SO it’s time to take back your sleep. Before you complain about how you can’t get 8 hours of sleep, Let’s just reevaluate how much time you spend watching netflix, surfing instagram, and other useless crap. If you’re willing to admit you can watch less of that junk, then you’ll be able to slowly increase your sleep time from 5-6 hrs to a more human 7-8 hrs. But as much as it’s about time you spend in bed, if you’re having a terrible sleep, and your body can’t relax, you won’t be getting the necessary sleep to improve your fitness.
So this is what you should do to improve not just the quantity of sleep but the quality of sleep too.
DECREASE THE TEMPERATURE OF YOUR ROOM.
The optimal temperature to sleep in is around 19-20 degrees. Your body is able to relax easier in that temperature, so you’ll sleep easier.
Summer is just around the corner, and if you don’t live somewhere that has air conditioning or in a cool climate, the second best way to regulate body temperature is to have a cold shower before you go to sleep. It will mimic the effects of sleeping in a cooler room by decreasing your body temperature.
Don’t overdo it. Even 1-2 minutes can decrease your body temperature enough to sleep like a rock. (read: how to increase testosterone through diet)
MAKE YOUR ROOM PITCH BLACK.
Research has shown sleeping in a modern environment (lights from streetlights, neighbors), can wreak havoc on your sleep. Your body will start to think that it’s morning and start the mental process to get you ready for the morning including elevating your cortisol level and decreasing your seratonin levels. Cortisol is essential for getting us out of bed, as it naturally peaks from 7:00- 8:00 am, in conjunction with the sun rising.
If you have a low level light in your room, it’s going to elevate your cortisol in the middle of the night, making you feel more tired and reaching for that second coffee as soon as you’re done the first.
Your best option is to use blackout curtains to eliminate all the light from your room. Your next best option if that can’t happen is to grab yourself an eye mask you see people travel with. As goofy as it looks, you won’t look goofy when you’re crushing new weights in the gym.
GET YOUR PHONE OUT OF YOUR ROOM.
Dude. I know you’re super popular on instagram, and you can’t wait to see who DM’s you next, but your sleep quality is suffering because of it. If you sleep with your phone right beside you, your phone is still keeping your brain alert. So even if you can’t hear it because you’re asleep, your brain will still sense there is something important to note. So your body will be jolted out of deep sleep to respond to the “crisis”.
It’s probably you just getting another text, but your brain will think it’s a crisis.
Your phone’s blue light also blunts the production of your melatonin. So bye-bye relaxation hormone.
Moral of the story: Sleep with your phone outside of your room. You’re important enough to sleep with it away from you, and your strength, leanness, and health is worth it.
Oh, you’re using it as an alarm? Time to get an old school digital alarm from Wal-Mart. Your sleep deserves it.
Taking exogenous steroids without doctor supervision might seem fun in the short run, but long run may harm your health.
But when you can see similar health benefits with no side effects JUST by sleeping more.
So do it. Cool down your room, make it darker, and go old school with an analog clock for your fitness to skyrocket.
Want to learn more about how to naturally increase your testosterone levels? Get a FREE Copy of Chad’s new book, the Man Diet here
About the Author
Linden is a coffee aficionado, personal trainer and online coach out of Calgary, Canada helping guys in their 30’s get in better shape than they were in college.
Is there an active attack on your testosterone levels and on your manhood? There most definitely is one socially, as men are taught from a young age to be soft, emotional, more passive, less aggressive, and less dangerous by a soft, extremely feminine and left-leaning education system.
There’s also the rise of identity politics, where victimhood is prized and applauded and the honorable virtues of manhood, competition, aggression, dominance, self-reliance, and winning, are condemned.
But is there an attack on our hormones, those building blocks of manhood that make men, men? The main hormone is testosterone, it’s responsible for our increased muscle mass in comparison to our wonderful female counterparts, as well as our body hair, aptitude to take more risk, and even aggression, you know, the things that serve us well when we’re standing at the city gates or our doorstep keeping those who are inside safe and ignorant of the battles being waged on the periphery.
Something is making men produce lower testosterone levels, and it doesn’t appear to be an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, though it’s a factor, that can explain the massive decline found in a Massachusetts Male Aging Study where they found an age-independent decrease in male testosterone levels of about 1.3% each year, with the total testosterone levels of an average male independent of his age in 2004 were found to be 17% lower than those of an average man who was the same age in 1987.
This steep decline in manhood, in the hormone that makes men, men, is absolutely shocking and has to be seen as an epidemic, though it’s not being given nearly enough attention.
Why You Need High Testosterone Levels
From a young age young men, otherwise known as boys, display very different ways of entertaining themselves. We like battle. We like guns. We like danger and adventure.
Boys don’t like tea or talking on the phone about emotional issues, we prefer to be outside always nearly injuring ourselves in the pursuit of something that feeds our soul, makes us feel alive, and makes us feel like men.
Testosterone both helps us be better at being men, and it acts as a reward system for being better at being a man.
You get a boost in testosterone when you compete, another increase when you win. You get increases in the short term and in the long term from working out with heavy weights. You get an increase in testosterone from having sex. You also see in increase in testosterone when you make money.
High testosterone also helps you burn more fat by recruiting more fat as a fuel source, repair muscle tissue, helping you build more muscle, and it greatly impacts your libido and sex drive. High testosterone also reduces your likelihood of experiencing depression, certain cancers, and heart disease.
Men are better when their testosterone levels are high. Society is better when our men have high testosterone levels.
Yet, this important hormone is on the decline in men. In this article we’ll look at the society-wide factors, not just the individual ones like poor diet, inactivity, incorrect training that we’ve already covered at length on this website.
FACT: Your Grandfather’s Testosterone Levels Were Double Yours
At the aforementioned 1.3% decline in testosterone, my grandfather’s testosterone levels at my age would be 74% higher than mine.
What has led to this? What are the factors in our society that have dramatically degraded male testosterone levels across society and age?
We’ll go through them, from a real desire to effeminate men, to innovations that are having a negative effect on our hormones.
If you look at the two main culprits (your laptop and cell phones, but mainly cell phones), our testosterone levels have nearly halved since they became popular.
From a correlational standpoint, this deserves a ton of attention. Cell phones become popular, testosterone levels in men plummet.
But is it causational or is the cause, the increasingly sedentary life we live as a result of technology more the culprit of this decline, or something else all together?
There is evidence that testosterone levels plummet when exposed to radiation, and that sperm count does the same.
From faradays.co — a company that’s created a boxer that limits radiation exposure to the testicals (just bought my first pair) — this image shows the correlation between an increase in both cell phone use and the power of the airwaves used to transmit data, and the decline of both sperm count and testosterone levels in men.
Again, causation, or mere chance that the two would align so dramatically?
When it comes to sperm count, radiation definitely has an effect.
In this study, cancer patients saw a 35% reduction in testosterone after treatment.
The radiation from cell phones and laptops is particularly concerning. Radiation emitted from laptops can be measured using a device called a gaus meter, with the 0.3 milligauss level being considered safe, and many laptops have readings higher than 200 milligauss level.
Don’t rest your laptop on your nuts, where the majority of your testosterone levels are produced and all of your sperm resides.
In this study 32 healthy men with normal semen levels gave a sperm sample that was then divided into two equal portions (A and B).
“Portions A of all involved men were placed for 5 hours in a thermostat, and portions B were placed into a second thermostat for the same period of time, where a mobile phone in standby/talk mode was placed. After 5 hours of incubation the sperm samples from both thermostats were re–evaluated regarding basic motility parameters. The presence of DNA fragmentation in both A and B portions of each sample was determined each hour using a standard sperm chromatin dispersion test.
The number of spermatozoa with progressive movement in the group, influenced by electromagnetic radiation, is statistically lower than the number of spermatozoa with progressive movement in the group under no effect of the mobile phone. The number of non–progressive movement spermatozoa was significantly higher in the group, which was influenced by cell phone radiation. The DNA fragmentation was also significantly higher in this group.”
“A study from Zhejiang University compared 77 men who work at a power plant that generates electricity with 77 controls with low occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields.
The power-plant workers, compared to the controls, had statistically significantly lower levels of testosterone (β = −0.3 nmol/L; p = 0.015), testosterone-to-estradiol ratio (β = −15.6; p = 0.037), and NF-κB (β = −20.8 ng/L; p = 0.045).
From this article on MDMag.com: “The researchers then analyzed how each of the power plant workers used electronic devices in private life, and they found still more evidence of the effects of electromagnetic fields. Higher mobile phone fees, more years of mobile phone usage, and higher home electric bills were all found to have significant effects on testosterone levels and testosterone-to-estradiol ratios.”
The thing that hasn’t been studied is the effects of radiation in general, as it increasingly surrounds us on a daily basis. I’m on my desktop as I write this, with my cell phone a few feet away, and a couple more feed away from that, my wireless modem or whatever they call those things.
As the technology gets stronger and our use increases is this decline in both testosterone levels in men and overall sperm counts going to continue to fall?
Is removing ourselves from technology all-together going to be the solution that will bring back our manhood?
While radiation and electromagnetic fields are a concern, chemicals seem to be an even greater concern as many of the chemicals we use, touch, clothe ourselves, lather ourselves with, and even consume on a daily basis have been conclusively shown to increase estrogen in men, which is one of testosterone’s arch enemies.
The Biggest Culprit is Likely Chemicals
We’ve become not only dependent on, but surrounded by and filled up with chemicals that lower testosterone and increase estrogen in men.
These chemicals that increase estrogen levels in men are found everywhere, including:
- In the pesticides used on fruits and vegetables
- Cleaning products
- And plastics.
We have plastics in our clothing, we brush our teeth with plastic bristles and brushes, with toothpaste filled with chemicals that increase estrogen. We lather ourselves with deodorants so we don’t stink, and shampoos, and soap.
The good news is that for most things there’s now a natural alternative – thanks to capitalism doing its thing. The problem is that most people don’t know what to look out for.
Being that these chemical estrogens are everywhere, in our food, on our food, genetically integrated into our food, and so on, it’s tough to rid them completely from our lives, but we can come relatively close.
A few steps to take:
- Never carry or heat food in plastic, always use glass or metal.
- Buy your produce from a farmer you know, a farmer’s market that actually doesn’t use pesticides, or buy organic. The problem, not all ‘organic’ is actually organic and devoid of chemical estrogens, and the fastest growing sector in organic produce is coming from the shady land of China. If you can grow your own, with good seeds, do it, otherwise, just do your best and don’t worry about this too much.
- Buy good clothing that’s made out of cotton or real materials, not polyester (common in workout clothing).
- Buy natural deodorant, shampoo, soap, and toothpaste. There are options for all of this very readily available today.
- Filter your water with a carbon filter.
For the full list of chemicals that increase estrogen levels in men, check out this article.
The more you can move away from the chemicals that we’ve adopted more and more, and from the radiation that’s a relatively new addition and coincides with this decline in testosterone we’re seeing across all ages in men in the West, especially, the greater chance you have to create the high testosterone levels you need to live at your best.
There are other factors, of course.
You need to cut body fat, get in shape, eat the right foods, and lower your stress levels (bad stress, not the stress of improvement and achievement), all of which is covered in my book, The Man Diet, you can get a FREE copy delivered to you here.
The Fall of Manhood
From the journal Human Reproduction Update:
“Researchers – from Israel, the US, Denmark, Brazil and Spain – said total sperm count had fallen by 59.3 per cent between 1971 and 2011 in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Sperm concentration fell by 52.4 per cent.”
“Sperm count and other semen parameters have been plausibly associated with multiple environmental influences, including endocrine disrupting chemicals, pesticides, heat and lifestyle factors, including diet, stress, smoking and body-mass index… Therefore, sperm count may sensitively reflect the impacts of the modern environment on male health throughout the life course.”
Researchers all over the world are waking up to the fact that sperm count and testosterone levels are declining, yet they’re not fully certain as to what the cause of the decline is. It’s likely a number of factors.
That is, modern life is detrimental to male sperm counts. That is, modern society is detrimental to male sperm counts. Thus, men have to de-modernize, we have to do the non-modern.
What’s ‘modern’? Being surrounded by plastics and chemicals that lower our testosterone levels. Sitting inside all day. Watching TV. Worrying about things that don’t need to be worried about. Whining and complaining. Spending more time on our butt than on our feet. Spending more time inside, with central heating and the ease that is modern life.
The fall of manhood, this decline is sperm count, in testosterone, in the manly virtues that made western nations so great, so free for everyone, so powerful, and so opportunistic, are failing and falling because we’re living in a way that is not human.
Live Like a Man
To ask an alpha male chimpanzee to not aim to be the alpha is asking him to be something that is not in his nature. To live a sedated, easy life, is to ask men to do something that is not in their nature.
Being fat is not a natural state for a human, especially a human male. You just didn’t get fat 10,000 years ago. It was impossible. Other men wouldn’t go out and hunt so you could sit there gorging yourself. To eat, as a man, you had to hunt.
The chemicals, the pesticides, the cleaning products, the radiation, all of this goes against our nature. To not compete, to not adventure, to not dare, goes against the masculine soul, and our bodies, our societies suffer by us not living manfully.
So, get off your ass.
Lift heavy things, push your body.
Surround yourself with natural things as best you can.
Eat animals, lots of them. Saturated fats are vital for testosterone levels, as are the non-pesticide latent fruits, potatoes, and carbs that help you lower cortisol.
Let’s reclaim our manhood even while our modern society aims to crush it.
When you’re trying to naturally boost your testosterone levels, having a list of testosterone boosting meal ideas helps. A testosterone diet will have certain foods that help you naturally increase your testosterone levels, but it will also avoid foods that increase estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels.
For instance, you want to have a healthy amount of dietary fat in your testosterone diet, but you want those fats to be in the 25-35% of your daily calories area. You also want monounsaturated fats and saturated fats, while avoiding polyunsaturated and trans fats, as the former help you naturally increase your testosterone levels, while the latter reduces testosterone levels in men. (read: A List of Chemicals That Increases Estrogen and Lowers Testosterone in Men)
You also want your carbs to be around the 35% mark, with most of them coming from fruits, vegetables, and potatoes. Oats are fine, but avoid bread and processed grains.
Protein is important, but primarily to help maintain a healthy body composition. Keep your protein intake at around 30% of your daily calories, or 1 gram per pound of lean mass. (read: How to Boost Testosterone Levels in Men by Sleeping Better)
Your caloric intake is also important. If you’re under 15% body fat, that’s good. You should be at a caloric maintenance. If you’re at or above 15% body fat you need to cut fat, which calls for a caloric deficit. Everyone’s different in size, weight, and goals. So the meals below will differ depending on what your goals are.
Pay attention to the contents, then figure out how much you should be consuming.
To figure out how many calories you should be consuming, check out this article: How to Create Your Own Testosterone Diet Meal Plan
If you want me to do the work for you, pick up a meal plan that fits your goals, weight, and will help you naturally increase testosterone here.
With that in mind, here are some solid meal ideas for a testosterone diet.
Keep in mind, options are great, but too many result in not taking action, so I’ve included two options for each meal. If you want more, check out my book, the Man Diet, you can get a free copy here.
- 2-4 whole eggs (eggs are one of the best testosterone boosting foods on the planet, filled with good fats, cholesterol, and nutrients that help increase testosterone in men)
- Oatmeal (measurement depends on your daily caloric intake, also has properties that block estrogen)
- Blueberries (great antioxidant profile that helps protect the health of the cell)
- Honey (a good source of boron, a very potent testosterone-boosting nutrient)
- Boar bacon (great source of saturated fats and protein)
- Fruit bowl (darker berries, pineapple, orange – citrus fruits help block aromatase)
- 1-2 whole eggs
- Chicken drumsticks
- Homemade french fries
- Ground grass fed beef
- Sauteed peppers, onions
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Steak (prepare with butter + salt and pepper)
- Potatoes (boil)
- Assorted vegetables (broccoli, peppers, onions, garlic)
- Venison sausage (with mustard for added taste)
- Potatoes (fried with light amount of butter)
- Assorted vegetables
I like to fast, so I’ll have the majority of my calories in two meals and a shake.
Next time we’ll cover what to have in that shake, when to eat it, and why it will help you naturally boost testosterone as a part of the testosterone diet.
Next: make sure you pick up your FREE copy of my new book, the Man Diet, to learn how to naturally increase your testosterone levels and eat a testosterone diet.
Do you want to boost your testosterone levels? You SHOULD want to boost your testosterone. High testosterone is associated with lower cases of depression, improved libido, increased income and net worth, overall success, a better, stronger physique, and lower body fat. (Read: the Testosterone Diet for Men)
You’re simply better when you boost your testosterone levels. When you have low T (low testosterone), the opposite is true.
You’ll likely have more fat, low libido, you won’t be able to build muscle as easily, you won’t be sleeping as well or living as well as you can be.
High testosterone is vital for the life you want to live, and the life you want to live, as the strong, powerful, successful guy you can be, is the life you must live.
Keep your body fat low.
You want your body fat percentage to be lower that 15% – ideally around 8-12%, which is lean, but not light. Being a scrawny weakling isn’t going to help you boost your testosterone. A few studies have shown that more body fat = lower testosterone, and it makes sense. (Mogri M, Dhindsa S, Quattrin T, Ghanim H, Dandona P. Testosterone concentrations in young pubertal and post-pubertal obese males. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2013;78(4):593-599.)
Estrogen is stored in body fat in men. The more body fat you have – within reason – the more estrogen you will also have. (Cohen P. Aromatase, adiposity, aging and disease. The hypogonadal-metabolic-atherogenic-disease and aging connection. Med Hypotheses. 2001;56(6):702-708.)
You simply cannot have the high testosterone levels you need if you’re fat. Your estrogen levels are going to be too high to allow your testosterone levels to thrive.
Want to get lean? Check out the Testosterone Workout
Get a better sleep.
One study found that every extra hour of sleep up to 8 hours can result in a 15% increase in your testosterone levels. (Goh V, Tong T. Sleep, sex steroid hormones, sexual activities, and aging in Asian men. J Androl. 2010;31(2):131-137.)
Another incredible study found that men who sleep 4 hours a night have testosterone levels at around 200-300 ng/dl while men who sleep 8 hours a night product between 500-700 ng/dl. (Penev P. Association between sleep and morning testosterone levels in older men. Sleep. 2007;30(4):427-432.)
Reducing fat and getting a better sleep are at the top of the list because if you don’t solve these two issues, it’s unlikely that you’re going to reach your hormonal potential.
Take care of these first, then move down the list (some of what follows with definitely help with the first two, in fact, a workout in the morning has been shown to help with sleep and fat loss). (Read: 13 Most Powerful Testosterone Boosters on Planet Earth)
Weight training helps men produce more testosterone during the weight training session, especially with more explosive, heavy, compound lifts. (Neuromuscular and hormonal adaptations in athletes to strength training in two years. Journal of Applied Physiology. http://jap.physiology.org/content/65/6/2406. Accessed February 4, 2017.)
But weight training also helps testosterone production in the long run. One study found that after 4 weeks of weight training, young men who’d never previously trained saw a baseline, resting increase in their testosterone levels of 40% on average, and a reduction in overall cortisol as well. (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00421-006-0319-1)
It’s best to keep the intensity high, using explosive movements as well as heavier compound lifts like you’ll find in the Testosterone Workout
Keep your stress low.
Chronic high stress levels will result in chronically high cortisol levels, which is a hormone that lowers testosterone. While we need some stress, and some cortisol, most suffer from too much stress, and the form that comes from worrying. You need the stress of improvement, not the stress of worrying about things that have not yet happened and may likely never happen. (Read: How to Lower Cortisol and Boost Testosterone)
Get rid of chemical estrogens in your home.
Why are men producing 1.3% LESS testosterone every year independent of age? One of the causes may be an increasing dependence on chemicals.
Much of the chemicals we use in plastics, soaps, shampoo, cleaners and deodorants, and more, can dramatically increase estrogen levels in men.
Watch our for the following chemicals:
- Parabens – used in sun tan lotions, lubricants, shampoo, shaving gels, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizers.
- Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most common chemicals used all over the world as a way to harden plastics. Most plastics contain BPA, which is a good reason to avoid plastics altogether, when possible.
- Phthalates make plastics more flexible – again, avoid plastics and keep your eye out for this chemical.
- Benzophenones are most commonly found in sunscreen.
- Triclosan and Triclocarban are antibacterial agents found in many antibacterial soaps, lotions, and hand sanitizers.
Compete and Win (and make more money)
Making more money is simply one aspect of winning in life, and men need to win. Money also – if used properly – allows us to have more freedom and to make a bigger impact. In one study done on traders, however, found that after going on a 6-day win streak, they had 78% higher testosterone levels. (Coates J, Herbert J. Endogenous steroids and financial risk taking on a London trading floor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105(16):6167-6172.)
The benefits of victory, however, aren’t relegated to making money. Any form of competition and victory will help you increase your testosterone levels. Of course, you’ll see a reduction in testosterone if you lose. (Bernhardt P, Dabbs J, Fielden J, Lutter C. Testosterone changes during vicarious experiences of winning and losing among fans at sporting events. Physiol Behav. 1998;65(1):59-62.)
Other studies showed that men increase their testosterone levels when the team they cheer for wins. Of course, actually winning and competing in life is better than watching others do it, but it shows the power of testosterone as a reward system.
The better you are, the more testosterone you should have flowing through your veins, which will make you even better. It’s a cyclical effect, much the same with fat loss. The more fat you lose, the higher your testosterone levels will be, which in turn makes it even easier to burn fat.
Put Down the Beer
Alcohol in general is estrogenic, but beer is by far the more estrogenic of the alcoholic beverages. Enjoy one every now and then (I do). Just don’t get hammered on a daily basis and don’t be a daily drinker of beer.
Eat More Fat
There are a number of studies that show how increasing dietary fat intake can increase testosterone levels.(Bélanger A, Locong A, Noel C, et al. Influence of diet on plasma steroids and sex hormone-binding globulin levels in adult men. J Steroid Biochem. 1989;32(6):829-833.)
The kind of fat, however, matters. Polyunsaturated fats and trans fats lower testosterone in men, while saturated and monounsaturated fats increase testosterone levels in men.
You need fat in your diet to be able to produce testosterone at all. Saturdated is best, which is why a diet with a good amount of meat is a good diet.
Don’t, however, go too far. Too much fat isn’t the best either. You’re going to consume too many calories, and gain too much body fat, and you need carbs (as we’ll see below) as well.
If you want a diet specifically for boosting testosterone, cutting fat, and gaining muscle, check out the Man Diet (get a free copy here).
Eat More Carbs
A couple studies have found that when fat and caloric intake are controlled, a diet high in carbs and low in protein leads to higher testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels when compared to low carb/high protein diets.
I don’t think you should cut out protein, but definitely have a healthy amount of carbs throughout your day coming from sources like fruits, vegetables, and potatoes. (Anderson K, Rosner W, Khan M, et al. Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man. Life Sci. 1987;40(18):1761-1768.) (Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. http://jap.physiology.org/content/82/1/49. Accessed February 4, 2017.)
Why should you opt for a natural testosterone booster? Is there even such thing as a natural testosterone booster? Or, if your testosterone levels aren’t thriving or through the roof, why wouldn’t you just get hormone replacement therapy? It’s a simple, easy way to get and maintain high testosterone levels for the rest of your life.
That’s the problem: it’s easy.
It’s also insanely expensive, it makes you dependent on monthly injections to produce testosterone for the rest of your life, and it stops your body from producing testosterone altogether.
If you just can’t produce testosterone at all, then have at it. If you’re in your 50’s and 60’s and so forth, then maybe it’s a good thing.
First, however, you should cut body fat down below 15% as estrogen is stored in body fat, if you don’t give it a place to reside it will dramatically increase your testosterone levels and lower your estrogen levels. You should also focus on sleep. Getting 7-8 hours a night of quality REM sleep will improve your testosterone levels. You produce the vast majority if your testosterone at night. If you’re not sleeping properly you’re not giving your body a chance to actually produce the hormone.
You should be active, workout, eat right, obviously follow the Man Diet, take these natural testosterone boosters below in supplement form or the natural options I give you, and you will see your testosterone levels rise.
- Vitamin D3 supplementation at 3332IU/day for year raises testosterone by 25.2% (I recommend up to 8,000 IU, especially in winter months).
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because we get a lot of it from the sun. However, vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin, but a hormone that regulates bodily functions including growth, hormone secretion, sexual function, and fertility.
This study found that healthy males who take 3332 IU’s of D daily for a year end up having an incredible 25.2% more testosterone compared to the placebo group.
This study found that men who have sufficient vitamin D levels have higher testosterone levels and lower SHBG. That’s doubly important as vitamin d ‘free’s up’ your testosterone by unbinding it from protein, allowing it to flow throughout your body and do what testosterone does.
Free testosterone is believed to be more important than overall testosterone, and because vitamin d ‘unbinds’ your testosterone while also increasing your free T, it’s as good a natural testosterone booster as there is.
Natural Sources: Fish and Eggs.
Read: How to Lower Estrogen in Men
- Magnesium reduces SHBG which in turn raises free-testosterone by 24%.
In this study, a gram of magnesium was able to increase free testosterone by 24%.
As a note: magnesium evaporates out of the body through sweat. The more you sweat, the more you need. It’s also estimated that around 70% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium will only help you increase testosterone if you’re deficient, but that’s likely the case, especially if you’re active.
If you’re supplementing, take around 1-2 grams a day, as the daily recommended values seem to be low.
Natural sources: Raw cacao, Himalayan pink salt, meat (eat animals!)
Read: A List of Chemicals That Increase Estrogen In Men
- 6-10mg/day of Boron increases free-testosterone by ~28%/lowers SHBG.
Boron is one of the most impressive and inexpensive testosterone boosters on the planet. Yet, it exists very rarely in vitamins and is especially rare in ‘testosterone boosters’.
In this study, for example, researchers gave eight male subjects 10mg of boron every morning for 7 straight days. After one week of supplementation the subjects had their blood tests compared from day 1 to day 7 and this is the incredible result of that comparison:
- 28% increase in free testosterone
- 39% decrease in free estrogen levels
- 10% increase in DHT
That is absolutely incredible. If you’re not supplementing with boron, you don’t necessarily have to start. There are effective ways to get this rare mineral through natural sources (check below).Natural sources: Brazil nuts, honey, raisins.
Follow the Man Diet!
13 Most PowerfulTestosterone Booster Foods on Planet Earth
Testosterone Diet for Men (How to Create Your Own Meal Plan)
In the world of naturally boosting testosterone, most of the attention is falsely given to magical supplements that promise 400% increases in testosterone levels but can’t deliver. If you’re trying to naturally increase your testosterone levels, the focus should be your body fat (get under 15%) and your sleep (get at least 7 hours of good sleep), but there are testosterone booster foods that should get more attention than those expensive supplements.
What follows is a list of testosterone booster foods that should be a staple of your diet. None of them are expensive. All of them are available at your local grocery store, but most men aren’t aware of the fact that they are testosterone booster foods by either helping us produce more testosterone naturally, lower cortisol which is necessary for testosterone production, or block aromatase which is a precursor to estrogen, also a testosterone inhibitor.
Add these testosterone booster foods to your pantry or fridge and make sure you’re consuming each of them daily.
Coffee is an interesting one because it also increases cortisol levels. Cortisol, of course, opposes testosterone, so you don’t want high cortisol levels. That said, coffee has been shown in numerous studies to naturally increase testosterone levels in men, especially before a workout.
To add to that, a cortisol rise in the morning isn’t necessarily a bad that, as your body will counteract the cortisol level at night, helping you produce more melatonin and get a better sleep.
For example, this study showed that 4 mg/kg of caffeine taken an hour before exercise increased testosterone levels by 12% in comparison the placebo.
How does coffee increase testosterone if it also increases cortisol? The theory – or a possible explanation – is that coffee inhibits the PDE-4 enzyme, which breaks down cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a messenger between cells and hormones, thus, higher cAMP levels in cells may increase testosterone levels.
Much in the same way zinc blocks aromatase, preventing the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, coffee may prevent the breakdown of cAMP, which may be the reason studies show increases in testosterone even alongside increases in cortisol due to coffee intake.
On a side note, drink more coffee, not tea, especially green tea, as it increases estrogen levels in men.
I was on the low carb side for years, always seeing the benefits of fats for testosterone (though at a certain point those benefits stop yielding returns, which is why you want to cap your daily fat intake at around 30-40% of your daily calories coming from dietary fat), while seeing carbohydrates as bad, as being responsible for people being fat.
The truth is that both carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, are all necessary for testosterone production.
The right carbohydrates are great testosterone booster foods because of how they suppress cortisol. Forget about the caffeine example above, if your cortisol levels are high, your testosterone levels are low or at the very least, impeded.
One of the ways we measure testosterone is in relation to cortisol. Carbs suppress cortisol levels, allowing your testosterone levels to thrive. If you’ve ever eaten a bunch of them, you’ll experience fatigue and sleepiness afterward as well, which makes potatoes a great addition to your dinner.
Lower cortisol, don’t contain gluten, packed with minerals that help T production.
- Nuts (Brazil and Macadamia only)
Saturated and monounsaturated (MUFAs) fats are ideal for testosterone production, while polyunsaturated (PUFAs) and trans fats aren’t. Most nuts are comprised primarily of PUFAs, but the make up of both Brazil and Macadamia nuts, with their high saturated fat content, make them perfect testosterone booster snacks.
On top of the saturated fat content, Brazil nuts also are very high in selenium, which has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men, as well as zync and boron, both of which have been shown to increase testosterone in men.
Avoid most other nuts.
Eggs contain almost a perfect breakdown of amino acids for human consumption. They’re one of the best foods and protein sources you can possibly consume. Their fat make up is also pretty close to ideal with 38% saturated fats, 44% monounsaturated fats, and only 18% polyunsaturated fats.
Eat eggs. They’re also filled with vitamins and nutrients making them one of the most perfect foods you can consume as a human.
For those worried about cholesterol, read this article that will put your mind at ease – second, cholesterol is THE building block of testosterone, so don’t listen to people that tell men to stop eating so much cholesterol.
Truth about cholesterol (article)
Raw cacao is rich in antioxidants, that protect cells and hormones, as well as minerals like iron and magnesium. Not only is cacao good for your testosterone levels, acting like a natural mineral vitamin, it’s great for clarity, focus, and energy.
- Animals (beef, bison, elk, venison)
Red meat, along with eggs, is probably the most complete and beneficial food source for humans. Numerous studies have shown that saturated fats are idea for testosterone production (1). You also need protein to maintain a good body composition, lean and muscular, as fat holds estrogen in men.
This makes meat ideal, but there’s more to meat than the proteins and fats. Meat can also contain high amounts of bioavailable zinc (lamb and veal), and carnitine.
Carnitine is important for the brain, but also possibly for your testosterone levels as it increases the density of androgen receptors that help your body actually use the hormones it produces more effectively.
- Olive oil (raw shot)
Cooked heated olive oil and room temperature, raw olive oil are two different animals. Don’t actually cook your food with olive oil, but by all means take a shot of it in the morning and at night for a very reliable boost in testosterone.
In one Moroccan study men had extra virgin olive oil as their main source of fat leading to testosterone increases of 19.9% and 17.4%. Not bad. It’s likely due to the fact that olive oil is an anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants, and has a great fat ratio for testosterone production of 73% MUFAs, 14% SFAs, 13% PUFAs.
Again, take it as a shot, use coconut or avocado oil or butter as your cooking fat.
Like olive oil, avocados have almost a perfect fat ratio for testosterone production with 71% monounsaturated fats, 16% saturated fats, and only 13% polyunsaturated fats.
Having an avocado helps you quickly get to the 30%-40% of your calories coming from the right kinds of fats for testosterone production.
- White button mushrooms
Polysaccharides, which have been found to block aromatase, which is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen, are abundant in white button mushrooms.
At the beginning of the article I mentioned that testosterone booster foods either help with testosterone production through their fat content, lower cortisol, or block the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. White button mushrooms is high on the list for estrogen-blocking foods that you should eat a lot of.
Raisins are very high in both resveratrol and boron, both of which have been shown to increase testosterone levels in men in multiple studies.
I don’t even like raisins, but I include them in a fruit and yogurt bowl that I have every second day along with blueberries (which are also on this list next).
Antioxidants protect cells, reduce inflammation and oxidative damage that takes place in your body. While blueberries aren’t a typical ‘testosterone booster food’ in the sense that they’re not packed with the right fats and they don’t block estrogen, the insanely high antioxidant content in blueberries should result in increased testosterone production along with the protection of the testosterone molecule.
Let’s not forget, they’re also a great carbohydrate, which lowers cortisol. A cup or two of blueberries per day with any meal, or in a shake, is highly recommended for your testosterone levels, but also your overall health.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil is very high in saturated fats – which are, again, ideal for testosterone production, so brush off any claim that you shouldn’t eat saturated fats – and has also been shown to boost testosterone (study).
Finally, oysters, which are essentially a natural multivitamin as they’re packed with magnesium, zinc, selenium, vitamin d (which free’s up testosterone from being bound to a protein so it can do what testosterone does), and copper, all minerals that have been shown to increase testosterone levels in men.
On top of that, oysters have high quality protein and amino acid content.
They’ve been known as an aphrodisiac throughout history, and we’re now seeing why. They’re one of the most potent testosterone booster foods you can find.
What to Do Next
If you want a full list of foods that are testosterone boosters, but also a diet to help you naturally increase your testosterone levels, training tips and best practices, how to clean out your house of chemical estrogens, and a fool-proof plan to optimize your testosterone levels in 3 weeks, pick up a FREE copy of my new book, the Man Diet (grab your copy here).
Non Linked Studies:
Volek J, Kramer W. Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. http://jap.physiology.org/content/82/1/49. Accessed February 12, 2017.