Boosting testosterone naturally can be decisive for increased performance, faster muscle gains, and your optimum physique as an athlete. Testosterone is the most powerful anabolic hormone in your body. So, increasing it is essential for getting the maximum from your workouts and improving your overall performance.
On the following pages, I will show you why you benefit from an increased testosterone level and how you can increase it naturally with the help of certain foods and proven techniques.
The benefits of testosterone
Testosterone is the male sex hormone that affects more than just the sex drive. It is crucial for
- muscle building,
- fat burning,
- bone strength,
- cardiovascular health,
- and overall vitality.
It further enhances mood and sleep. Increasing it means improving all these aspects. And that’s, for sure, what every athlete can benefit from.
Although women produce less testosterone than men, they can also benefit from an increase in testosterone level.
Foods that increase testosterone naturally
And now without further ado, here are the foods that increase testosterone naturally. They are rich in nutrients that are essential for testosterone production and, thus, should be on every meal plan during your training.
Great news: You may already eat lots of eggs for protein consumption. Well, they are among the foods that increase testosterone. The yolk’s HDL (good) cholesterol is the precursor of testosterone. Having eggs for breakfast is, thus, a fantastic way to improve your T-levels and having a delicious start of the day as well.
Eating tuna will supply your body with Omega 3 essential fatty acids and Vitamin D. Both will increase your testosterone, besides having a few further positive effects you can find in my post about supplements for muscle gain and weight loss.
Restrict tuna to 2 or 3 servings a week to minimize your intake of mercury, which is, unfortunately, found in seafood nowadays.
Salmon contains high amounts of Vitamin D, protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, and magnesium, which are all proven to support healthy testosterone levels.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts are a great way to increase your testosterone levels by blocking estrogen with a compound called indole-3-carbinol. Men who suffer from low testosterone levels, often show abnormal levels of estrogen. By blocking estrogen with cruciferous vegetables, you can effectively increase testosterone.
Besides the estrogen-blocking effect, these vegetables also contain magnesium and zinc and are rich in Vitamin A, C, E, and K. That’s why I absolutely recommend increasing the amount of cruciferous vegetables in your diet.
Taking a shot of coconut oil or cooking with it is another great way of boosting T-levels. Your body requires healthy saturated fats to produce most hormones. Testosterone is amongst them. If you can’t find coconut oil in your supermarket, you will definitely find it online on stores like Amazon.
Extra virgin olive oil is a powerful testosterone booster. In a study, participants who consumed olive oil daily for 3 weeks experienced an increase in T-levels between 17.4 and 19.9%. This oil also has an excellent anti-inflammatory effect and protects cells from free radical damage. So make sure, to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your salads.
Although a lot of people think that butter is unhealthy, it is not. Margarine with its high levels of oxidized Omega 6 vegetable oils is what you should dump instead.
Your body can use the healthy saturated fats of butter to build up steroid hormones such as testosterone. And you will get Vitamin A, D, E, and K2 by consuming butter. Look out for real butter made from grass-fed animals.
Asparagus is an incredibly nutritionally dense food. Besides containing folic acid, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc, it is also rich in Vitamin A, B6, K, and E. All these elements make asparagus a potent candidate for boosting testosterone. Vitamin E also shows strong antioxidant properties, meaning it reduces tissue damage induced by free radicals. This, in turn, prevents lowered testosterone levels.
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Spinach is surprisingly effective in increasing testosterone. It is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and magnesium. All these elements are essential for producing testosterone in your body.
Beans are loaded with more protein than any other plant-based food and contain lots of zinc. All these nutrients support testosterone production.
Garlic contains allicin and quercetin, elements that reduce the levels of “stress hormone” cortisol. Cortisol is like the antagonist of testosterone in the context of muscle building. By reducing cortisol, testosterone in your body will be more effective. Use garlic uncooked. It’s more potent this way.
Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C, which helps to lower the “stress hormone” cortisol and, thereby, increases testosterone.
Pomegranate is a real grenade when it comes to increasing testosterone. Its juice boosts salivary testosterone levels significantly (24% in average) in addition to improving mood and reducing blood pressure.
Red grapes contain resveratrol, a proven inhibitor of aromatase. Aromatase is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Thus, consuming red grapes supports testosterone levels.
Bananas are a great source of bromelain, an enzyme that helps your body to digest protein and to increase serum testosterone levels. Bananas also contain high amounts of B-Vitamins, which improve zinc absorption and thereby increase testosterone as well.
Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fats, which are essential for producing testosterone. Plus, avocados are also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, B2, B5, B6, C, K2, zinc, copper, and magnesium. So, be sure, to have avocados in your diet.
Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of zinc, which is a natural testosterone booster. Besides that, they also have high amounts of magnesium, which further helps to optimize testosterone levels in your body. Just add them to your salads, and you are good to go.
Nuts contain a lot of monosaturated fats, zinc, Omege 3 fatty acids, and protein. All these elements promote testosterone production. So, use nuts as a snack between meals, put them in your yogurt or oatmeal when making breakfast, or sprinkle them over your salad. Excellent testosterone boosters are Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, and macadamia nuts.
Well, depending on where you are living and your access to the sea, oysters may be an expensive testosterone booster. But when it comes to increasing testosterone naturally, oysters are almost kind of a superfood. They contain lots of zinc and Vitamin D, which help to increase testosterone.
More ways to naturally boosting testosterone
Eating the right food is an incredibly effective way of improving your testosterone levels. But it’s only one of several possible ways. So, don’t stop there. Check out the following strategies!
Losing unnecessary body fat seems reasonable when training for a competition. So you may already have done it, or it’s on your todo list. Well, shedding these extra pounds will naturally increase testosterone. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Another way, but one that you surely can tick off this list, is exercising. Studies have shown that exercise leads to an increase in plasma testosterone concentration. In a study where participants performed an exercise at about 60% of their maximum aerobic power, the concentration increased about 25% on average.
Most effective exercises for boosting testosterone are heavy weight training and HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training).
Improve zinc and Vitamin D levels
Zinc and Vitamin D are vital contributors to testosterone production. Besides optimizing these elements with the proper nutrition, you can also use supplements. If you are going to supplement zinc, stay below a dosage of less than 40 mg a day. Too much zinc can diminish your body’s ability to absorb other minerals such as copper and can lead to nausea as a negative side effect.
Regarding Vitamin D, there is another great way of increasing its levels. Go out and get some natural sun exposure. At least, 15 minutes each day. This will help to keep your Vitamin D levels balanced.
Eat more fat in general
Now that you know what foods are good for testosterone production, I want to go one step further and tell you to eat more fat in general. In the past, fat has been associated with “destroying” the physique, but it is actually one of the most crucial elements for optimizing testosterone production.
In a study, men who switched from a high-fat diet (30% calories as fat) to a low-fat diet (15% calories as fat) experienced significantly lower serum T-levels.
But, be aware that it’s not just the amount of fat, but also the type of fat. Your intake should consist of quality monounsaturated fats such as
- olive oil,
- or avocados
and quality saturated fats like
- egg yolks,
- coconut oil,
- red meat,
- or dark chocolate.
Try intermittent fasting
One of the biggest benefits of intermittent fasting is boosting testosterone. Intermittent fasting means eating only within a daily window of 8h. You don’t need to skip a meal; you only eat your meals closer together. When you have breakfast at 9 a.m., this means having your last meal at 5 p.m.
Intermittent fasting allows your organs, especially your liver, to rest for a few hours. As a healthy liver is crucial for balancing hormones, including testosterone, eating like this is a fantastic way to support testosterone production.
When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol. This may be helpful when your life depends on it. But when it gets chronic, cortisol reduces the effectiveness of testosterone in your body and will compromise your overall performance and health.
If you are often stressed, use some stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, autogenic training, laughter, a balanced lifestyle, or exercise. Whatever works best for you.
Get enough sleep
Your testosterone levels in the morning relate to the amount of sleep you get. A lack of sleep or reduced sleep quality can drastically lower the testosterone production. This, in turn, reduces muscle growth and fat burning.
So, make sure to get enough quality sleep. I recommend sleeping between 7 and 9 hours per night for optimum testosterone production.
You need healthy levels of testosterone if you want to boost your muscle gains and improve your physique and performance. You can achieve that naturally by eating anabolic foods that boost testosterone production, having enough sleep, and, well, exercising.
Follow all testosterone boosting techniques as discussed in this article, if you aren’t doing already, and you will soon see and feel all the benefits of improved T-levels!
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 Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.
 Effect of argan and olive oil consumption on the hormonal profile of androgens among healthy adult Moroccan men.
 Garlic supplementation increases testicular testosterone and decreases plasma corticosterone in rats fed a high protein diet.
 Vitamin C supplementation attenuates the increases in circulating cortisol, adrenaline and anti-inflammatory polypeptides following ultramarathon running.
 Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and women.
 The effect of exercise on the production and clearance of testosterone in well trained young men.
 Low-fat high-fiber diet decreased serum and urine androgens in men.
 The relationship between sleep disorders and testosterone in men.