What Is a Testosterone Diet?

Anna B. Smith

A testosterone diet is a change in eating habits that increases the body's production of testosterone. Higher levels of testosterone typically help build bigger muscles and provide maximum performance while exercising. This type of diet is preferred by bodybuilders for its ability to increase muscle mass in a shortened span of time. Increasing testosterone is typically undertaken by men, though women can also follow this type of diet to a lesser degree to improve their workout experience. This hormone may be increased through a modified meal plan, diet supplements, and through over the counter medications.

Testosterone diets can build muscle mass in a short amount of time.
Testosterone diets can build muscle mass in a short amount of time.

The first step to improving the body's amount of this hormone is to eliminate foods that can negatively affect its levels. Alcohol and foods high in certain types of fat should be strictly avoided while on the testosterone diet. Fats that are monounsaturated and saturated have the ability to raise testosterone levels, while polyunsaturated fats generally lower it. These types of fats can be found in animal sources, like meat and eggs, and in many forms of nuts and oils.

The testosterone diet advocates smaller portions, as large meals can make the dieter tired or lethargic.
The testosterone diet advocates smaller portions, as large meals can make the dieter tired or lethargic.

A high protein, high cholesterol, low fiber meal plan is often the base food group of most versions of a testosterone diet. This provides energy during body building sessions, and allows the muscles to form long and lean. Carbohydrates should be eaten in small amounts or avoided completely when first beginning the diet to eliminate fat stores around the midsection. Once an exercise regimen has been established and muscle groups are visible and well-defined, they may be added back in gradually to boost the amount of energy available during a workout.

Bodybuilders often go on the testosterone diet when they need to build muscle mass.
Bodybuilders often go on the testosterone diet when they need to build muscle mass.

The testosterone diet does require that participants reduce the amount of food they eat in one sitting. Large meals, though filling, often have the unintended side effect of rendering an individual too tired or full to exercise effectively. The number of meals eaten in one day may be increased to four or six while the size of the portions grows smaller. Individuals should attempt to maintain similar calorie levels to what they were consuming prior to beginning the diet. Calorie restriction by more than 15% of what was previously being eaten can lower the amount of testosterone produced by the body.

Men with low testosterone levels may need to make dietary changes, including boosting their intake of vegetables and whole grains.
Men with low testosterone levels may need to make dietary changes, including boosting their intake of vegetables and whole grains.

Men eating a testosterone diet should also drink plenty of water and take vitamin supplements as well. Water helps flush the blood and avoid the water retention that can be a side effect of some testosterone boosting supplements. Vitamins can also improve the body's ability to recover after intense workouts.

Essential fatty acids, such as those found in canola oil, can help increase testosterone levels.
Essential fatty acids, such as those found in canola oil, can help increase testosterone levels.
Naturally found in the body, testosterone in men is mainly produced in the testicles.
Naturally found in the body, testosterone in men is mainly produced in the testicles.

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