You probably already know a lot about the many different ways you can boost your testosterone (if not, don’t worry, I’ll highlight some of them below as well).
But there’s more to maintaining healthy t levels than just boosting them. Did you know there are also testosterone killing foods that lower testosterone?
Today, I’ll show you exactly what foods decrease testosterone and what foods to avoid AT ALL TIMES. And as a bonus, I’ll give you some top tips on how to increase low testosterone as well. Let’s go!
Testosterone and food
Testosterone is crucial in making you the man you are. Without it, you would literally be a whole different person!
So what’s the science behind all this? Why is it that we need the big T so badly?
I’ll answer all those questions and more, and show you just how it is all linked to your diet. When it comes to your body, you really are what you eat.
After shortly explaining how it works I’ll give you that list of 5 testosterone killing foods; plus a little extra at the end…
T is for Testosterone
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It’s not only found in all humans, but in several other animal species, mostly vertebrates, as well.
In men, the hormone is primarily produced by the testicles, while for women testosterone production mostly happens in the ovaries.
The testicles produce much more testosterone than the ovaries, and it’s testosterone which gives men those manly features;
- Bigger muscle mass
- More body hair
- Stronger bones
- Super sex drive
This is why we often see testosterone as a specifically male hormone. And this is why so many guys are desperate to boost their testosterone levels; and why they want to know the foods that reduce testosterone!
But before I get to that list of testosterone killing foods, let’s find out more about how your body actually regulates hormones like testosterone, and how it’s linked to what you eat every day…
Hormonal imbalance – and how it affects you…
Your hormones define who you are. They are your body’s messengers. They go through your bloodstream and tell your organs and tissues what to do. This internal messaging system is called the endocrine system.
Now the actual effects of them on your body is enormous. From controlling your metabolism to your mood; your hormones define you. So when the amount of a certain hormone in your body changes, it can have a big impact…
When this happens we call it a hormonal imbalance. An example is the combination of lower testosterone and higher estrogen in a man, causing weight gain, muscle weakness, and all sorts of related symptoms, as discussed in multiple studies.
Many factors can cause a hormonal imbalance, and your diet is one of them. Know exactly how it affects you and you can help control that balance by eating the right things, and knowing what foods to avoid at all times!
Let’s find out more…
Foods and testosterone
Diet is just one of the factors that can cause your testosterone levels to decrease. The most common factors are:
- Age; you lose testosterone as you get older
- Chronic illness; such as Hemochromatosis or HIV
- Medication; certain pain medications and steroids can affect the pituitary gland, which can impair the normal release of hormones
- Obesity; too much body fat is linked to hormone production
There are many more factors on the list, but these – together with the foods you eat – are the top ones.
Some of these you can’t control (like age or chronic illness), but your diet you CAN control. You just need to know what to pay attention to…
When talking about foods and testosterone it’s not just about eating less (fat), it’s about what your food contains and what bodily processes it might affect.
You see, food can affect hormonal balance. Some foods, for example, actually contain hormones or nutrients that act like hormones (such as phytoestrogens, which you’ll see in the list of testosterone killing foods below).
Studies have suggested that such foods can negatively affect your hormonal balance.
Likewise, there are also good nutrients to boost your testosterone, such as Vitamin D and Zinc.
In the end it all works together and affects each other. So what you eat is incredibly important for your testosterone levels.
Now you know a bit about how it works let’s move on to that list of foods that kill testosterone. Think again next time you’re grocery shopping…
Top 5 testosterone killing foods
Bear in mind that you can still eat the foods on this list as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
As always with your diet it comes down to balance and moderation. Just having the foods on this list every now and then won’t instantly sink your t levels.
However, they may reduce testosterone levels when eaten too much.
Know them, know what they do with your body, and adjust your diet where necessary.
1 – Soy products
There’s a good chance you’ve heard it before; some big-muscle guy cursing at how vegetarians/vegans all grow moobs because of all the soy they eat and drink…
How exaggerated that might be, there IS a truth to it, studies suggest…
Soy contains those phytoestrogens I mentioned earlier, and it’s those that may boost your estrogen levels and lower your testosterone levels.
As such, soy foods like tofu, edamame, soy milk and soy protein isolates may alter your hormonal balance. This makes soy one of the foods that increase estrogen in males.
Note: currently studies are divided and more research on the topic is still needed. For now though, I’d advise you just don’t eat TOO much soy.
2 – Licorice root
Before you think “I don’t eat licorice so this doesn’t affect me”; think again!
Licorice root (or liquorice if you’re British) is actually often used in drinks or to sweeten candies, so there’s a good chance you might accidentally eat some licorice root every now and then. And funnily enough, licorice candy actually often DOESN’T contain licorice root!
Now as with everything, a bit of it doesn’t matter. In large quantities, however, studies have shown that licorice consumption might have an influence on hormone levels, decreasing your testosterone.
3 – Alcohol
We all know how bad alcohol is, but did you know it also affects your testosterone levels?
A study published in 2017 reviewed the effects of alcohol on your body, including your testosterone levels. Their conclusion was that excessive alcohol consumption effectively lowers your testosterone levels.
First and foremost, it’s high in calories, so it causes weight gain. Not just any weight gain, though. Predominantly fat gain. Additionally, it causes a substrate to form in your system called acetate, which slows down your metabolism.
High calories plus slow metabolism equals weight gain in a split second.
Finally, and worst of all, excessive alcohol intake slows down your body’s release of testosterone. So you run the risk of getting fatter, weaker, and less defined in one fell swoop by partaking in regular drinking fests.
If you want to avoid this, keep away from the bubbly – or at least cut your intake way down and keep it low.
4 – Processed foods
Those cheap ready meals and pre-packed snacks are not great for your health anyway, we know that, but aside from containing way too much sugar, salt, and calories they actually also decrease testosterone.
Processed foods often contain trans fats, which have been linked to loads of health complications, including lower T. Not only that, this study also suggests it reduces your sperm count!
You might want to cook your own food from now on…
5 – Mint
I really didn’t expect this one… Who knew having a lovely spearmint tea could actually lower your T?!
For example, a study done in 2004 looked at the effects of mint herbal teas on plasma total testosterone in rats. Results showed that testosterone levels actually decreased.
Several more studies have been conducted showing that same link between mint and decreased testosterone. However, most of these studies were performed on animals, so more extensive research on humans is still needed to draw proper conclusions.
… But the list doesn’t end here…
That’s right; it doesn’t end with these 5 testosterone killing foods.
Maybe you already knew the foods above, or maybe they didn’t come as a surprise. However, did you know there are also some true t-killers in disguise out there…?
So, as a bonus, I’ve added 2 testosterone killing foods that you probably NEVER expected to be on the list. You might want to avoid these!
6 – Flaxseeds
It’s sad to say, but you’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that some otherwise healthy foods are not the best choices when it comes to testosterone. You’ve already seen that with soy and now you’re seeing it with flax.
These golden and brown little seeds have for many years been hailed for all their health benefits. And it’s true that they’re high in fiber, have a decent amount of protein, and contain essential fats.
But, much like soy, they also ramp up your estrogen levels, thus suppressing testosterone. This study, for example, tested supplementing women with flaxseed to try and lower their testosterone levels; and it worked…
Regardless if they’re whole seeds, milled seeds, meal, or oil, it’s in your best interests to skip the flax altogether. Replace it with a seed that you know is safe like chia, hemp, or sesame.
7 – Nuts
Last but not least, nuts!
“Wait, aren’t nuts supposed to be good for me?!”
Yes, and also no…
Nuts in general are great sources of stuff like fiber, magnesium and folic acid. They are packed with power and they are definitely good to add to a well-balanced diet.
But there is a catch when it comes to testosterone… So if you’re low on T you might want to avoid some of them.
You see, a study found that walnuts and almonds increased sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels in women. This SHBG binds to testosterone, potentially decreasing your free testosterone levels.
But note that this doesn’t apply to all nuts out there. Take for example Brazil nuts, which actually INCREASE your testosterone levels!
Suggested read: Brazil nuts and Testosterone
So there you have it, my full list of testosterone killing foods to avoid! You might want to leave these off your shopping list in the future.
Aside from avoiding these foods there are also things you can do to actively boost your testosterone levels.
So, as promised, I’ll give you some extra tips below on how to increase your testosterone levels…
Extra tips on how to increase testosterone
I’ll keep this bit short and snappy for you. However, if you do feel like reading more about these ways to boost your T just have a look around the TestoGen blog. You’ll find loads of tips and tricks on how to naturally increase your t.
I’ve mentioned earlier on how obesity is one of the main causes for lower testosterone levels. It won’t come as a surprise then that weight loss is one of the best ways to increase your T levels.
Combine a nutritious diet with healthy weight management and you will see your testosterone levels rise in no time!
How does one lose weight? Exactly, by exercising!
But there’s more to it than that. Not only does exercise help you lose weight, it also effectively improves your cardiovascular system. This, in turn, will result in more testosterone production.
Need more power for your exercises? Want to naturally and safely boost your testosterone levels and build that muscle? Try TestoGen, the number 1 natural testosterone booster!
We don’t just need sleep to be less cranky in the morning. Our bodies actually need it to properly function. One important aspect is the maintenance of healthy testosterone levels.
So make sure you get your 8 hours per night and boost that T!
And there you have it, your full guide on testosterone killing foods that lower testosterone.
Like I said you don’t have to cut these foods out of your diet completely. But if you already suffer from low testosterone you’d better avoid these foods.
That way, you won’t reduce testosterone levels even further and you’ll keep those estrogen levels from going up!