How your diet can affect your testosterone levels
A frequent question asked by a lot of persons is how to increase your testosterone levels with a diet. One thing is clear while searching the specialty literature, that between testosterone and a diet there is a complicated relationship. For example, macronutrients have different effects on testosterone, in the short term, there is an effect and the same nutrient has another effect on the long term.
During research when healthy men with normal testosterone levels took a drink with glucose they had an instant decrease of testosterone levels that last two hours. From this experiment, the researchers set the conclusion that the simple carbohydrates consumption increases the levels of glucose in the blood and are bad for the testosterone levels. But we know that for the long term, the carbohydrates contribution supports the testosterone levels. Poor carbohydrates diet reduces the testosterone, that is the reason why we should eat complex carbohydrates from integral sources.
In this article, we will discuss the correlation between diet, hormones and physical appearance.
Instant and frequent increase in glucose leads to reduced testosterone levels.
Not all carbohydrates are the same. The body responds in a different manner to the complex carbohydrates as well as to those from the vegetables, fruits or whole grains, towards simple carbohydrates like white bread or pasta. Dietary fibers from the complex carbohydrates lead to slow digestion and a temperate increase of the glucose and insulin in the blood. Simple carbohydrates are digested very fast, the thing that leads to a rapid increase of the glucose in the blood, and a bigger quantity of insulin is released in the blood. The hormones work as a fall and the increase of the insulin levels leads to the interruption of the normal cycle and cause the decrease of other anabolic hormones such as human growth hormone. So it is recommended to avoid simple and refined carbohydrates.
The low ratio between carbohydrates and proteins leads to the testosterone decrease.
Low carbohydrates diets tend to decrease testosterone levels. During an experiment where young persons followed low carbohydrates diet and rich in proteins, had low testosterone levels and high levels of cortisol, as against a group of persons that followed a diet rich in carbohydrates and with a low protein level. The calories and fat quantity were the same in both cases.
A reason may be that glucose is necessary for the release of the hormone that releases the gonadotropin - a precursor hormone of the testosterone. When the glucose levels are high, is the gonadotropin alert to the Leydig cells things that lead to low testosterone production. Probably is an evolutionary adaption so that the reproductive system could react to the energetic balance in order to prevent reproduction during the hunger period.
In order to have high testosterone levels, you need to eat carbohydrates. It is recommended to consume vegetables, fruits, and steamed grains.
Carbohydrates contribution influence physical performance and the relation between testosterone and cortisol.
An advantage of a good contribution of whole and unprocessed carbohydrates is the decrease of the cortisol level, a process that helps to recover and avoid an overtraining. The researchers wanted to find out how diet composition would influence the relation between free testosterone and cortisol, a stress indicator caused by workouts. Researchers have shown that when men trained hard three days along, those that had a poor carbohydrate diet had an increase of the cortisol and a decrease in the testosterone level. A rich carbohydrate diet did not change the ratio of testosterone and cortisol. So the diets rich in carbohydrates are very good for the physical performances and optimal recovery after the effort.
If the main purpose is to lose weight or muscle building, then the carbohydrates are reduced, because in this case, the physical performances should not be to the maximum. As well as there should be used only complex and integral carbohydrates, necessary healthy proteins and fats. Carbohydrates should be eaten in the afternoon or late in the evening around your training.
The fats are necessary for testosterone production.
Testosterone and other androgenic hormones are produced from the cholesterol that is taken from the diet fats. The researches show that the fat decrease from 40% to 20% causes a significant testosterone decrease. As well, the vegetarians that have a low contribution of fats have a low testosterone level.
If you need to reduce your fats contribution to the diet, it is possible to reduce the testosterone impact by increasing the contribution of the saturated fat towards other fats. The researchers have shown that replacing the polyunsaturated with saturated fats the testosterone will be higher with 10-20%. It is recommended that saturated fats come from meat, eggs, coconut oil and red palm oil (both unrefined oils).
The calorie restriction leads to the anabolic hormones and muscle mass decrease.
Another factor that negatively affects the testosterone level is the calorie deficit. A survey made of women with a normal weight who choose to lose 1 kg per week has recorded a 30% testosterone decrease towards a group that reduced the calories in order to lose 0.5 kg per week.
Other studies have shown that the same mechanism works in men, a fact that suggests that when a serious caloric deficiency exists the testosterone levels are reduced indifferently of the contribution of the fat. Usually, the muscle mass is lost because of the catabolic medium favored by the cortisol increase and calorie deficiency. When a weight loss diet is followed it is good to be eaten caloric meals from time to time in order to prevent the muscle mass loss. Avoid to drastically reduce calories. As lower is the calorie contribution as much muscle mass is lost and the levels of the hormone are lower.