Do you want to know how to increase testosterone levels? If your testosterone levels are already maxed out, maybe you do not. On another hand, keeping your testosterone levels in top shape is an ongoing struggle, so knowing how to increase testosterone levels could come handy at any time.
When it comes to “playing” with testosterone, some people may start thinking along the lines of illegal steroids, prohormones, testosterone creams, patches or a testosterone replacement therapy, but it does not have to be that way.
Knowing how to increase testosterone levels, or how to keep them optimized, comes down comes to making specific food choices. That is right – testosterone travels in the blood to muscle cells, so your diet can influence the amount of active testosterone.
And this is where The Testosterone Diet comes in. This diet, which was recently published in Muscle and Fitness – although a little controversial – is based on scientific studies. Here is how it looks like in a slightly condensed form.
The Testosterone Diet explains that while many anabolic hormones in the body influence muscle growth – growth hormone and insulin come to mind – testosterone is the hands-down most important.
Not only does it drive muscle growth, but testosterone also keeps you lean, since it elevates metabolism and increases the release of fat from fat cells and inhibits its storage in the body.
The Testosterone Diet uses a 180-pound individual. It is designed to maximize testosterone levels, and it recommends the following:
Eat enough. The amount of calories you consume each day should be enough to maintain your bodyweight. Lower-calorie diets are associated with lower testosterone levels. Consume around 18-20 calories for every pound of bodyweight.
Eat animal protein. Studies show that vegetarian diets lead to lower blood testosterone levels and higher amounts of “inactive” testosterone even when protein intake is the same. Be sure to consume poultry, beef, fish and pork.
Red meat is particularly good due to its higher levels of saturated fat and zinc, a mineral associated with higher testosterone levels.
Eat some fat. Research suggests that when total fat, saturated fat and monounsaturated fat intakes increase, so does testosterone. Choose foods high in monounsaturated fats, like avocadoes, nuts, seeds, olives and olive oil. Red meat and dairy products (not the fat-free varieties) are also good sources of protein and saturated fat.
Worried about your heart health? Research states that most saturated fat found in beef, chicken and pork does not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Eat some dietary cholesterol. Studies show that those who train while on a higher-cholesterol diet gain more muscle mass and strength than those who eat less cholesterol. Foods like egg yolks and red meat are good sources. What is more, research shows the cholesterol in egg yolks does not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Drink a protein and carb shake after working out. Consuming proteins and carbs after training has been shown to increase the amount of testosterone that enters muscle cells, where it can increase muscle growth. Take 20-40 grams of whey protein and 40-100 grams of simple carbohydrates post-workout.
Eat cruciferous veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage yields compounds called indoles that help lower certain estrogens, which in turn can help reduce estrogen’s inhibitory effects on testosterone production.
Eat plenty of carbs. A higher ratio of carbs-to-protein – somewhere around 2:1 is best – results in higher testosterone levels. Shoot for at least 2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight.
Do not eat too much. Taking in too many calories can lead to gains in bodyfat, which can ultimately lead to lower testosterone levels via increased levels of estrogen.
Do not eat too much protein. Consuming more protein than carbs 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.
Do not eat too much fat. Spread out your fat consumption throughout the day and avoid high-fat meals, which can actually decrease testosterone levels momentarily. Keep fat consumption at 30% of your total caloric intake. Do not get in too many polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in fish and vegetable oil. Sure, they are healthy, but they can also cause testosterone levels to drop.
Do not hit the bottle too hard. Drinking alcohol can lead to lower testosterone levels by increasing the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Keep alcohol consumption at a few gasses per week or less.
Do not eat too much fiber. Eating a healthy diet should give you enough fiber to stay healthy. Get roughly 35 grams of fiber per day when trying to keep testosterone levels maxed. Excessively high-fiber diets can lead to lower testosterone levels.
The Testosterone Diet plan, while relatively healthy does not recommend avoiding low-glycemic, unrefined carbs and polyunsaturated fats for too long; they offer too many health benefits to shun for an extended period.
The Testosterone Diet is designed to be cycled every six weeks or so and it suggests the following sample menu:
Breakfast: 4 large whole eggs, 1 packet cream of wheat (instant), 1/2 avocado
Morning Snack: 8 oz. container low-fat fruit yogurt, 1 banana, 1 oz. mixed nuts
Lunch: 4 oz. turkey deli meat, 2 slices whole-wheat bread, 1/2 avocado
Pre-workout Snack: 1 scoop whey protein (in water), 2 slices white bread, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
Post-workout Snack: 1 scoop whey protein (in water), 1/3 cup dextrose or sugar
Dinner: 6 oz. top sirloin steak, 1 cup cooked white rice, 1 cup cooked cauliflower
Evening Snack: 8 oz. cottage cheese, 1 packet cream of wheat (instant), 1 oz. mixed nuts
Totals: 3,369 calories, 197 g protein, 398 g carbs, 111 g fat. [via]