Many of us understand how important our testosterone levels are in the first place, since this crucial hormone is linked with your sex drive, overall wellbeing and even your energy levels.
In fitness circles, whey protein and testosterone are frequently discussed. However, not often in the form of how one affects the other.
We take a closer look at the relationship between whey protein and testosterone, seeking the answer to the common question: Does whey protein increase testosterone?
Whey protein and testosterone
If you’re asking, ‘does whey protein boost testosterone?’ you’ve come to the right place. But first, let’s take a look at the relationship between whey protein and testosterone.
Every day we’re told to eat well and exercise regularly. For those keen to stay fit, build muscle and eat well – protein is a big factor. But is all that protein good (or bad!) for your testosterone levels?
Well, I think it’s fair to say there’s plenty of room for further research. During high-intensity exercise, your T levels can be temporarily increased – however, studies have shown that that increase may be stunted by the consumption of protein pre-workout or even after.
But… Not always.
So, what’s the deal? Should you be cramming as much protein into your diet as possible?
Just to add further confusion to the mix, studies have shown that high protein diets have the potential to lower resting levels of circulating testosterone. Meanwhile, others studies have shown that protein can increase this testosterone availability.
Previously, the potential for protein to decrease testosterone has been a big concern for many men. However, newer research has begun to paint a different picture.
Does protein increase testosterone?
What you eat can have a huge impact on your testosterone (and other hormones!) levels. Paying close attention to your calorie intake in the long term can affect your overall health, as well as your T levels.
Whether it’s constant dieting or over-indulging, both can cause havoc with your body’s natural testosterone production. In a roundabout way, eating enough protein can help your body to maintain healthy T levels.
If you’re at the heavier end of the scales, a healthy diet with a steady protein intake can aid weight loss – which in turn, can help increase your testosterone.
Does whey protein boost testosterone?
As mentioned previously, there is definitely room for further research. However, whey protein and testosterone have been linked in a positive way.
If you’re wondering, does whey protein increase testosterone, the answer is that whey protein can increase the uptake of testosterone. This means that your all-important T can be carried faster from your blood towards exercised muscles. This increase in testosterone concentrations could stimulate the production of more androgen receptors.
So, does whey protein increase testosterone? Well, over time, this increase in androgen receptors could be beneficial. In the long term, your muscles could become more sensitive to the presence of androgens, therefore requiring less protein – all while your body utilises every ounce of free T.
The problem is, there is no guaranteed result when it comes to whey protein and testosterone. While maintaining healthy testosterone levels is important, specific types of protein could potentially increase total testosterone while lowering circulating levels of T.
But what does that really mean?
Well, the protein itself isn’t reducing production, however, it is nudging that circulating testosterone to be removed from the bloodstream and enter all-important cells. So, really, it’s doing a great job in moving your T to places it is required.
Also Read: T-level Boosting Midday Smoothie
But let’s go back to research. A study on rodents founds that whey protein and testosterone go hand in hand, after exercise. After receiving 500 milligrams of whey protein, researchers found a 90.5% increase in the intracellular concentration of testosterone within the muscle exercised. That’s huge!
The rodents during this study were also given 54 milligrams of leucine – with researchers finding that leucine alone caused a non-significant decrease in intracellular testosterone.
Whey protein side effects for men
Whey protein and testosterone can be a tricky area to look into yourself if you’re seeking ways to increase your T levels – or up your game in the gym. Many of us use whey protein for supporting weight loss, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and even for asthmas.
But, like anything, what about whey protein side effects for men?
While in moderate doses you’re unlikely to have any side effects (unless, of course, you’re allergic to whey), in very high doses you may experience the following:
- Feeling fatigued
- Stomach pains and cramps
- Decrease in appetite
If you decide to use consistently high doses of whey protein, you may also break out in acne. For your own knowledge, there are three primary types of whey protein.
- Whey protein concentrate – This concentrated form contains low levels of fat and carbohydrates. The lower end of this form can have around 30% protein, up to 90%
- Whey protein isolate – This type of whey protein is processed further to remove all fat and lactose
- Whey protein hydrolysate – Considered the “predigested” form, as it doesn’t require as much digestion as the above forms
Whey protein and estrogen
A common question regarding whey protein is actually less about whey protein and testosterone and more about whey protein and estrogen.
Since whey protein is made from cow’s milk, it’s not uncommon for a small amount of estrogen to be found since it is naturally found in cow’s milk. Whey protein and estrogen are closely linked due to this, however, levels of estrogen are very low. In other powders, such as soy, estrogen is a lot higher.
While testosterone is considered ‘the male hormone’ and estrogen, ‘the female hormone’, both are found in men and women. Of course, T levels are a lot lower in women, and the same for estrogen in men.
Studies suggest that whey protein may lower estrogen production, however, the small quantities of estrogen found in whey protein (combined with whey’s effects on digestion) could potentially have a negative impact on estrogen. Point of note: The study was conduction with men.
In terms of whey protein’s impact on the digestive system, it could potentially contribute towards high estrogen levels due to heavy metal and BPA found in some commercial protein powders.
The trouble digesting whey protein could also lead to disruption in your body’s ability to regulate estrogen production and inflammation in the gut.
Whey protein and testosterone: Should you skip shakes?
While there’s plenty of space for further investigation, whey protein and testosterone raises some interesting potential!
If you’re a fan of whey protein shakes, we don’t see any reason why you should skip it for fear of lowering your testosterone. When in fact, protein could be increasing your T levels!
Following an active lifestyle, a high protein diet and adding plenty of strength training into your regime can increase your testosterone levels – so get stuck in!
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