This book is all about boosting your testosterone levels by natural means. One of the best ways of doing this is focusing on what is on your plate. What you eat forms the building blocks of your testosterone. You may take the right supplements, get enough exercise, and try to live the proper lifestyle, but if your diet isn‘t right, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
In this chapter, we will focus on developing nutrition as a way of putting your testosterone production on overdrive. Every man needs to understand how to maintain the right diet as a way to preserve virility and strength even as they age.
The Testosterone Pyramid
This is a pyramid that helps deﬁne what you should be focusing on the most if you want to boost your testosterone levels. The pyramid comprises ﬁve levels, with the base level being the most critical component and the tip being the least. This is the order of priority from the bottom of the pyramid to the top:
1. Energy balance
3. Dietary fat
The ﬁrst thing that you have to do to turbo—charge your testosterone level is to achieve less than 15% body fat. Studies show that men who have less body fat tend to have greater levels of testosterone. The biggest problem with fat, in this case, is that it causes the production of the aromatase enzyme, which is responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen.
If you are an overweight male or a skinny man with more than 15% body fat, then your ﬁrst priority is to cut down on the fat. This will cause a signiﬁcant boost to your testosterone levels as the aromatase won’t be given the opportunity to break down your testosterone. In order to lose fat, you have to recognize the concept of energy balance. This is explained by the equation: Energy Balance = Calories Consumed — Calories burnt
If you want to lose the excess fat, then the goal should be to have a negative energy balance. You should be burning more calories than you consume. It is important to know that this calorie deﬁcit may cause a short-term testosterone drop, but this will quickly go back up when you start consuming more calories.
Micronutrients are the second most important factor in the testosterone pyramid. These include minerals and vitamins that are needed in small quantities. They play a signiﬁcant role in the body’s development, health, and production of testosterone. The majority of people tend to experience deﬁciencies in vitamin A, C, D, and E, as well as calcium and magnesium.
– Vitamin A and C are powerful antioxidants that show a strong positive connection to testosterone levels. Vitamin C protects the testes from oxidative stress.
– Vitamin D is known to strengthen bones and boost your mood. Supplements rich in vitamin D also help boost testosterone.
– Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Men who use these supplements tend to have higher levels of testosterone than those who don’t.
– Calcium improves the health of bones, and one study showed that taking calcium supplements after weightlifting led to a boost in testosterone levels.
– Magnesium plays many key roles, with studies showing that there is a direct positive link between its intake and testosterone production.
You may not be suffering from micronutrient deﬁciency, but if your levels are below the optimum, then you are sure to experience less than optimum testosterone levels. It’s a well-known fact that our modern diet cannot provide us with all the vital micronutrients the body requires. That is why you have to consider taking supplements as part of your regular diet.
We mentioned that testosterone is made from dietary cholesterol. This shows just how important fat is to the production of this hormone. There are two key factors that you have to consider here:
– The total fat content of your diet
– The source of the fat
In the ﬁrst instance, you have to ask yourself how much fat you need to ensure optimal testosterone production. According to nutritional research, it is recommended that you consume 0.3 grams of fat for every pound of lean muscle you have.
VVhen you consider the sources of dietary fat, you have to realize that there are different types of fat and they affect testosterone in different ways. For example:
1. Monounsaturated fats — These are the good kind of fats and can be found in foods such as avocados, red meat, olive oil, and nuts.
2. Saturated fats — These are also good for health and are found in whole milk, egg yolks, pork, lamb, and fatty cuts of beef.
3. Polyunsaturated fats — These should be consumed in moderate quantities. They can be found in fatty ﬁsh, com oil, soybean oil, and sunﬂower oil.
4. Trans fats — These are the type of fats you shouldn’t be messing with at all. They are artiﬁcial fats made through an industrial process. They can be found in potato chips, fried foods, margarine, and baked foods.
It is important to know how to moderate your consumption of these 4 types of fats. Research has shown that saturated and monounsaturated fats have the greatest contribution to high testosterone levels. Consumption of polyunsaturated fats, however, led to a reduction in testosterone.
Studies also show that vegans tend to have lower testosterone than people who consume meat. The reality is that you need fats to increase your testosterone, but you have to consider the source. Contrary to what most people think, cholesterol isn’t bad for your health. Past studies have been proven wrong on the negative effects of cholesterol, and in fact, a diet high in saturated fat does not lead to heart disease as once believed.
The most important fact to remember from all this is that you need to eat a diet rich in saturated and monounsaturated fats if you want to boost your testosterone production. The polyunsaturated fats need to be consumed minimally, but avoid the trans fats at all costs.
If you examine the majority of the diets that are popular right now, you will realize that they recommend a drastic reduction in carbohydrates. This is done to
induce quick weight loss. However, this is often a temporary ﬁx because the weight lost in the initial stages is simply water weight.
As we saw before, what matters most is your energy balance. Carbs are a crucial part of your testosterone-enhancing diet. Study after study has proven that if you engage in regular workouts and consume little carbohydrates, then you will experience a drop in testosterone.
Your body uses carbs as its primary energy source. Failure to get enough energy puts your body in a stressful state, and this obviously means that you will have elevated levels of cortisol. The result is inhibition of testosterone production.
If you go back to the production process of testosterone in chapter 1, the GnRH hormone is the trigger for testosterone production. However, the release of this hormone by the hypothalamus is dependent on the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Low glucose means low testosterone production and vice versa.
Now, one consideration you have to make is differentiating the types of carbs you are consuming. Are you consuming simple carbs or complex carbs?
Simple carbs include foods like white bread, soda, and candy. These tend to cause a rapid spike in energy and insulin levels, which is not good for your testosterone. However, there are times when you do need that quick spike in blood sugar.
For example, after a strenuous workout, your body is crying out for energy. If you eat simple sugars it will be used as an energy source and won’t be stored as fat. If you consume complex carbs, they will take too long to be broken down and your muscles won’t recover as well as they should.
At the end of the day, it is recommended that you consume complex carbs if you want to boost testosterone levels. The only time you should go for simple carbs is right after a hard workout.
Most men love to engorge on food sources that contain a lot of protein, especially if you are lifting weights. The belief is that protein will stimulate muscle growth. The truth is that it’s the weights that spur the growth of muscle, and all the proteins do is help repair the muscle.
When it comes to testosterone production, protein intake is at the top of the pyramid, which means it is the least important. In other words, if you focus on getting most of your calories from protein, you are likely to consume fewer carbs and fats. However, these two macronutrients are more important for testosterone production than proteins.