5 Surprising Foods That Could Be Decreasing Your Testosterone
Most people associate testosterone with bodybuilding and strength exercise, but did you know that diet can influence it too? Testosterone plays an essential role in many of the body’s different systems. It’s a male sex hormone that helps to develop muscle mass and controls the storage of fat too. So, it’s crucial to maintain healthy levels if you want to have a lean physique and avoid weight gain.
The foods you eat can have a huge impact on hormone production, especially with regard to testosterone. Different foods can provide the building blocks of hormones so that your body is able to manufacture them. Or they can inhibit your natural production processes so that you’re unable to make as much as you’d like. When it comes to testosterone, your eating habits can be hugely influential, so it pays to know what to avoid. In this article, we look at 5 foods that can diminish your testosterone levels without you realizing it. We also provide you ways to increase your testosterone naturally.
#1 – Soy and products made from it
Soy can be problematic for your hormones so it’s best to avoid it whenever possible. This can be tough since it’s in so many food products, and not all of them are obvious. Soy is found in protein powder, yogurt, cheese, milk, cold cuts of meat, and even burgers. Whichever form it comes in, soy will mess with your hormone levels and cause issues with testosterone.
The reason soy can cause issues is due to the fact that it contains isoflavones. These are similar to the female sex hormone, estrogen, and can mimic its behavior. This means that eating soy can effectively increase your estrogen levels, which then sends testosterone plummeting in the other direction.
Your best approach is to avoid soy consumption in all its forms. This will prevent sabotaging your testosterone levels and keep your hormones in check. If you really have to have some, then steer clear of GMOs and keep intake to an absolute minimum. Go for organic and avoid processed forms at all costs. Tempeh, tofu, and edamame are the best options.
#2 – Flax seeds
Flax seeds are touted as an incredibly healthy super-food, but they’re not beneficial to your testosterone levels. Unfortunately, just because something is healthy, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to be right for everyone (the same goes for soy).
The tiny gold and brown flax seeds are a good source of fiber, essential fatty acids, and protein. However, they also cause a significant increase in your estrogen levels which then suppresses your testosterone in turn. It doesn’t matter what form the seeds are in, they’ll affect your hormones whether they’re whole, milled, or even compressed into an oil. So, if you’re a fan of flax seeds, it may be worth replacing them with chia, sesame, or hemp seeds.
#3 – Alcohol
When most people think about their diet, they often disregard alcohol. After all, it’s a drink rather than a food, so it’s easy not to consider it as a major nutrient contributor. But alcohol can have a profound effect on your testosterone levels so it’s important to understand its impact.
Alcohol has a negative effect on your testosterone for several reasons. Firstly, it has a high calorie-content which leads to weight gain. The excess calories are stored as body fat which then produces compounds that affect hormone levels. So, by having more fat on your body you’ll ultimately have less testosterone as a result. Plus, alcohol creates a by-product called acetate which causes your metabolism to slow down. When combined with the additional calories, this is a sure-fire recipe for gaining weight.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also directly slow the rate at which testosterone is released. So, drinking too much can result in decreased levels which can lead to you getting both weaker and fatter. This is why it’s important to limit your intake to a minimum if you want to keep your testosterone levels at their best.
#4 – Processed carbohydrates
Carbohydrates come in all shapes and sizes, but some are definitely better than others. Processed carbs can be found in cakes, cookies, chips, pastries, and almost anything that comes in plastic packaging. These types of carbs are definitely one to avoid if you want to keep testosterone levels at their peak.
Processed carbs have a simple form which means the body breaks them down quickly and easily. This causes blood sugar levels to spike suddenly instead of rising and falling steadily, as well as causing additional weight gain. When your body fat increases, your testosterone levels decrease, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. Instead, choose complex carbs that take longer to break down and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
#5 – Excessive food consumption
You may have noticed a theme running through several of these foods. Anything that causes excess calories and increased fat storage can have a negative effect on your testosterone levels. So, it won’t come as a surprise that over-consuming any kind of food is going to mess with your hormones. Overeating anything, whether it’s considered healthy or junk, will lead to excess calories that aren’t being burned.
This is particularly true for people who gain weight around the mid-section as it’s even more detrimental to your health. But wherever your body stores fat, it’s going to mess with your testosterone. So, watch your portion sizes and ensure you eat a varied diet to keep everything on track.
By making these small tweaks to your diet, you can ensure that your testosterone remains at its natural level. Avoiding soy products, flax seed, alcohol, complex carbs, and general overeating will help to minimize estrogen and fat storage.
If you’re keen to maintain your testosterone but can’t face cutting out these food groups, then it may be worth taking a natural testosterone booster. Supplements like this can help to fill the gap caused by damaging foods and allow you to keep your hormones in check. If developing and maintaining lean muscle mass is a goal, then preserving healthy testosterone levels should be a high priority.