Jack Your Testosterone Naturally
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group produced primarily by the Leydig cells in the testes of men and the ovaries in women, with smaller amounts produced in the adrenal glands of both sexes.
Testosterone is generally recognized as the “muscle-building” hormone – by synthesising proteins it rebuilds muscle fiber damaged by resistance training. Natural test levels start fading away at about the age of 30. At that point, generally speaking, test levels will drop at an average of 1% per year or 10 % per decade. Lower amounts of testosterone in the body will begin to limit the rate at which you build muscle, so how can one increase testosterone naturally?
Diet & Testosterone
Your body needs a steady supply of calories to make testosterone, so regularly skipping meals or going for long stretches without eating can cause your testosterone levels to plummet. Research has demonstrated that low calorie diets are associated with lower testosterone levels.
Consume adequate calories and do not miss meals.
If your goal is to gain size and mass while getting lean and cut, drive up your metabolism. Increase your caloric intake, but keep the foods “clean”. This includes choices such as chicken breasts, lean steak, eggs, oatmeal, sweet potato, tuna, broccoli, etc. You should limit or exclude things such as processed foods, most types of sauces, high glycemic foods such as white bread, pasta, sugar, and most commercial cereal brands.
It’s worth noting that muscle tissue is a highly metabolic tissue, which means that as you increase the amount of muscle your metabolism must also increase.
As you train hard, eat clean and increase your muscle mass, your body will become far more efficient at burning fat and utilizing calories.
With increased Testosterone, this combination will result in a leaner more muscular physique.
Consume Adequate Carbohydrates
Research suggests that eating a high protein, low carb diet can lower your testosterone levels. Many suggest to eat 2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight per day, keeping your carbs to protein ratio around 2:1, which may be ideal for elevating testosterone levels.
When strictly following a testosterone diet, it is suggested to avoid higher fiber foods which tend to lower testosterone, however, you still need some fiber for many health reasons, so include whole-wheat bread, fruit and vegetables in your nutrition plan. However, eating a healthy bodybuilding diet should give you enough fiber to stay healthy.
Get enough protein, but not too much! Some research suggests that consuming more protein than carbs may lower testosterone levels. High amounts of dietary protein in your blood can eventually lower the amount of testosterone produced in your testes. Make sure your protein comes from animal sources such as meat, fish, chicken and whey protein, or high protein dairy products. Vegetarian diets have been associated with lower testosterone levels in males.
Get Some Fat in There & Increase EFA Consumption
Your body needs dietary fat to produce testosterone. Research suggests that when total fat, saturated fat and monounsaturated fat intakes increase, so does testosterone. Studies found that men who ate diets rich in monounsaturated fat – the kind found in peanuts – had the highest levels of testosterone. Therefore, eat a diet of 30% fat, but don’t overload on polyunsaturated fats, instead concentrate on choosing monounsaturated fats like those found in nuts, olives, olive oil and avocadoes, and saturated fats from red meat and egg yolks.
Some Do’s and Dont’s
Do Have a Post-Workout Protein Shake
Consuming a protein shake, such as ISOFLEX, after you train has been found to increase the amount of testosterone taken up by muscle cells. This will also ensure that you are consuming enough calories throughout the day.
Don’t Consume Alcohol
Although alcohol does have its health benefits, alcohol has been shown to have a dramatic effect on testosterone levels. Try to limit your “binge drinking” nights and keep your alcohol consumption in moderation.
Reduce Your Soy Intake
Soy protein raises the body’s levels of estrogen (the main female hormone) and this can have a direct negative effect on your testosterone levels.
Foods You Should Eat More Of
Oysters are a perfect testosterone enhancing food to add to your diet, because they contain high levels of zinc. Zinc plays a key role in muscle growth and testosterone levels.
Lean Red Meat
Beef offers the added benefit of high protein and zinc – two nutrients that are key to optimizing testosterone and your muscle-building potential. Although, you do not want to get too much saturated fat, for obvious health reasons, your require some to produce testosterone. Additional sources of red meat include wild game, beef ribs, veal, lamb and pork chops.
Beans & Nuts
Beans and nuts are ideal foods for helping to increase testosterone through your diet because of their high zinc content.
Eggs, aside from their protein content, also supply cholesterol, which is used to synthesize testosterone. Foods containing cholesterol are a good source of building blocks for testosterone. It’s also valuable to know that research shows that the cholesterol in egg yolks does not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, turnips, cabbage, bok choy, spinach, watercress, arugula, kale, and rutabaga, all contain phytochemicals that can lower bad estrogens and potentially lessen their negative impact on testosterone production, thereby raising testosterone levels.
Foods You Should Avoid
The following foods should be avoided as they are not testosterone friendly:
- Fried foods, pizza, lasagna, pancakes, whole milk, ice cream, cookies, hamburgers, most Mexican food and most Chinese food – you have to be really careful of what you’re putting in your body when you eat out.
- Deli meats – aside from the sugar and starch these meats generally contain, they’re also high in sodium and various preserving agents which are just plain bad for you.
- White breads, bagels, pita, baguettes – skip the white breads, always choose a whole/multi grain bread.
- Foods high in sugar – granola bars, cookies, flavoured yogurt, sports drinks, fruit juice are the most common offenders.
- Fatty meats – if you decide to eat meat to bulk up, avoid fatty red meat, pork and lamb which are loaded with high levels of saturated fat and instead choose fish, poultry or leaner cuts of beef.
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