Before we go into the actual foods that boost your testosterone levels, let us go through what testosterone actually is, where it is produced in the body and what does it do. Now testosterone is a hormone which is responsible for sexual and reproductive development. It is regarded as the most important male hormone. Although it is found in females. its levels are quite a bit lower.
In men, testosterone is produced mainly in the testes, with a small amount made in the adrenal glands. The brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland control testosterone production. The hypothalamus instructs the pituitary gland on how much testosterone to produce, and the pituitary gland passes the message on to the testes. These communications happen through chemicals and hormones in the bloodstream.
In women, the ovaries and adrenal glands produce testosterone. Women’s total testosterone levels are about a tenth to a twentieth of men’s levels. Testosterone is involved in the development of male sex organs before birth, and the development of secondary sex characteristics at puberty, such as voice deepening, and growth of facial and body hair among other things. The hormone also plays a role in sex drive, sperm production and red cell production.
Testosterone For Bodybuilding
I hope this didn’t turn into a chemistry lecture, but I felt that it would be easier to explain why certain foods work and some don’t with a basic understanding of testosterone.
Now for the “fun” part. Why is testosterone important in bodybuilding and which foods naturally increase its production? In addition to all its functions I stated in the previous paragraph, testosterone is also responsible for fat distribution as well as maintenance of muscle strength, mass and growth. You can see clearly why this would be important for bodybuilding.
Why do you need to know which foods aid in the production of testosterone you might ask? Well, as men age, the levels of testosterone naturally drop.
“Wait a minute, I am a stud in me twenties and my sex drive is through the roof. What do I care for some old fart’s test levels?”.
Well, kind reader, you should care because sooner or later you will age as well, and your levels will drop, and you will start losing all those sweet gains you have been making. Doesn’t sound fun, does it?
Testosterone Boosting Foods
Now we all know that a nice sleep cycle and regular resistance training will aid in your testosterone levels. Bu there are also certain foods that stimulate the production of this hormone.
It’s rich in vitamin D, which has been linked to longer life and testosterone production. It’s also a heart-healthy, protein-rich food that’s low in calories. Whether you choose canned or fresh, eating this fish can be a natural way of boosting testosterone.
A serving of tuna fulfills your daily vitamin D needs. If you aren’t a tuna fan, you may consider other fishy sources of vitamin D, such as salmon or sardines. Remember that moderation is key. Consuming too many omega-3 fatty acids from fish and other food sources, may increase your risk for prostate cancer.
Another good one. Eat a bunch of red grapes daily to give your own low-hanging fruit a boost. The skins contains resveratrol, which makes for hardier sperm.
Chinese researchers found that roughly the amount in 5-10g of grape skins was enough to raise your testo levels and improve epididymal motility (your sperm’s ability to swim).
There is also a study that shows that grapes are able to lower the risk of clogged arteries. It is widely believe that grapes are one of the most healthiest foods out there. One thing is for sure, they are full of vitamins.
Some say it was the Biblical forbidden fruit, and old Adam could have done a lot worse. The International Journal of Impotence Research reports that 47% of impotent men found their condition improved after a daily glass of antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice.
It is widely believed among bodybuilders, that pomegranate is a great source of natural phenols as well as tons of vitamins and other “healthy chemicals”.
It is also believed that pomegranate is great for getting your juices going and transporting nutrients to your muscles. This is important for bodybuilding because this way your muscles will always have enough “food” to support a longer and a harder workout.
A good meat for bodybuilders, although hard to find, but is a good source of lean protein. A study in The University of Utah found out that too much saturated fat from beef and lamb can also contribute to lower testosterone levels. They claim the middle ground is venison.
Venison is much preferred over chicken by some bodybuilders. It’s a great bodybuilding food and with it you can build a nice lean looking body.
If you have not tried bodybuilding with venison, you must. The meat is delicious and full of good stuff.
Honey for better blood flow
An all-around good food for athletes and non-exercising individuals is honey. It contains the mineral boron, linked to high testosterone. Honey is also rich in nitric oxide, which is key in opening up blood vessels for more intense and effective workouts. Four teaspoons of honey can boost nitric oxide levels by 50%, making it a great pre-workout food.
Honey contains a number of nutrients that are proven to increase testosterone. However, these nutrients are not enough to deliver an impact. We include it here for its interesting combination of bodybuilding benefits. Adding a spoon of honey before workout will get your juices running.
Milk and Eggs
I am putting them together, because they help with pretty much the same thing: hormone production. The amino acids found in milk boosts production of anabolic hormones, which in turn build muscle and trim fat. While The yolk’s cholesterol is the precursor for testosterone. Already I can see the comments for the cholesterol levels in result of eating yolks, but you don’t have to worry. Because the University of Connecticut study found that study subjects could eat three eggs a day without affecting cholesterol levels. However, don’t assume that eggs and milk will build you supersized muscles.
The big no-no foods
I also want lo list some foods to avoid when looking to make your testosterone levels as high as a silver back gorilla’s.
Like flax seed products which contain compounds called lignans (their functions is beyond the scope of this particular article). All you need to know about them is that they work by increasing the levels of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). Which binds into free-testosterone molecules and renders them “inactive” for the direct use of the androgen receptors.
Another common one is alcohol, it is strongly correlated with lower production of testosterone, however it should be noted that it is the dose that makes the poison. So if you keep your alcohol consumption on the lower side (a glass of wine here and there you will be fine). Not to mention that there is a lot of fat in most alcohols, making it a huge NO for bodybuilders.
The last one I want to talk about is: high PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty-acid) vegetable oils, they are also found to reduce testosterone levels. Nearly all vegetable oils are loaded with PUFAs (with the exceptions of coconut oil, palm oil, avocado oil, and olive oil).
I wanted to bring those up because by reducing their consumption you inherently increase T levels.
Those are only a handful of the foods that help with testosterone production on some way or another. Including them in your diet clearly will be a benefit to you now, but also will help with the natural diminishing of testosterone on the future.