How to increase testosterone naturally. The ultimate guide: expanded, revised and free

If you want to know how to increase testosterone naturally, with no steroids, no drugs and no shady “boosters” this is the most comprehensive guide you will ever find on the web. It contains the most thorough research and it’s only based on what science says that works to increase your testosterone.

No miracles, no silver bullets that empty your pockets and don’t do shit for your testosterone.

Introduction

Coming clean is important. This guide is free (and always will be) and you can give it, share it or link it (as long as you keep this information free) to anyone interested. That should be any man, honestly.

If you want, you can check The testosterone book, that goes even beyond this guide, with more tactics and research that will blow your mind and you won’t find anywhere. It’s dirty cheap and you will support this cause, but you don’t need it to start implementing the main tactics that will increase your testosterone. You can do it with the information in this guide.

And this guide exists because I suffered a very bad time with this issue and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Searching for a solution I went deep into the rabbit hole, learning and researching as much as I could. In that journey I discovered things that any man should know and this is my little contribution, because it helped me and it will help you too, I promise.

My life is busy, I work in other things but I wanted to create this web, this guide and this book. In the process, I’ve researched, and self-experimented, with tons of jaw-dropping information and tactics, not because I’m awesome, but because I’m obsessive, bordering the disorder. And yes, some of them failed miserably to increase my testosterone, but I didn’t stop until I reached as deeper as I could. And until I saw results.

So, let’s begin.

Do you want to boost your sexual drive, build muscle, lose fat and have more energy, motivation and concentration?

Dumbest, question, ever.

Of course you want, and testosterone, the “male” hormone, can do that.

A bold promise, I know, you can roll your eyes because I’d do it too, but it’s damn true. I did not know much about all of this until I started researching, but when I did, I wondered how something so important is so widely unknown, especially for men.

Here you will learn how to increase and optimize your testosterone production, 100% naturally and according to science. No magic remedies, no strange pills, no shady supplements with unknown secondary effects that I try to sell for profit.

I don’t want only to say how, but explain why too, because I’m a firm believer that, as Doug McGuff says: “If you know the why, you will embrace the how”.

That way, this guide will make a more profound and lasting impact and probably it will spark your neurons. Some things here will finally make a click and you will want to know more and research for yourself, allowing the most important thing: thinking for yourself.

Probably you got here because you feel something is not right with our beloved testosterone and you are searching for help, if so, hang in there because I was in the same distressful spot and I would have wanted to find something like this.

The basics of testosterone

Testosterone has had a bad rap, being equaled to caveman, aggression and dumbness, and I’m dumb, man, but not because of testosterone. Nothing can be more wrong than that, believe me.

Think about your typical grumpy old man, he has bad temper, armpit trousers and a crappy mood. One of the main reasons for that (trousers even) is his low testosterone.

Because of aging and probably not a healthy lifestyle, testosterone is retreating like the French army and well, testosterone helps to be focused and to control mood1, it’s one of the main keys to the masculine force, the trait that encourages us to achieve things, get the girl, tackle life goals and watch wrestling.

Oh, yeah, and one little thing more,* it’s the key to healthy sex drive and performance**, a.k.a. *“The most important thing in this world”. So, if you don’t feel it like when you were a teenager in that department, you bet your testosterone is playing a role.

Father time is a bastard that enjoys taking things from us: our hair, our muscles… and, yes, our testosterone, and you hear all the time: “it’s a natural process”, “you must accept that”, yadda, yadda, yadda.

What you don’t probably know is that many things in our lifestyle and environment contribute to accelerate that and disrupt our hormones and testosterone, much more than the passing of time. And that’s not cool or “natural”, but do you know what’s even less cool?

That many widespread “healthy” things in our modern life turbocharge that loss.

Yes, we are bombarded by “healthy” advice that’s contributing to the shrinking of our testicles.

And yes, lower testosterone because of aging is natural, but many men have enough levels to be active, and motivated to do a lor of things (sex included) until the very last day of their lives.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of them…

If you want too, or if you want to fix a situation where you know that your testosterone is not what it was, keep reading.

The usual word of caution

You are a grown man, if not, you can leave now because there is nothing very interesting here for you (or maybe you are a woman worried about your man, and you want to help, if so, you are a keeper and please give this to him).

In my humble opinion, personal responsibility should be the banner of a real man.

I’m not a medic and I’m not going to play one like other do. So you should talk to your doctor regarding diet, exercise or supplements, especially if your health is not optimal, you have doubts or you suffer some medical condition.

Nothing here is dangerous, untested or illegal, on the contrary, it will likely improve your overall well-being, but it’s impossible to know everything about everyone that reads this.

And sometimes low testosterone levels come from serious medical conditions, so remember, there are not overnight miracles in anything and you should be smart and talk to doctors.

Because I have a lawyer friend, here comes the warning that tends to be ignored every time, although I know you won’t do that, right?

This information is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is provided on an “as is” basis and the author makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, and he will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this information, including, but not limited, to direct, indirect, incidental punitive and consequential damages.

Reading this means that you are cool with it, if not, stop, I just try to help and share what I’ve learned, because I had a very dark time regarding this issue, I know I’m not alone, and I’m telling you what fixed my situation.

Besides that, there is a golden rule here again: think for yourself.

First of all, if you are like me,you don’t like to be told what to do. Fair enough.

So, I’m not saying you follow what this guide says, no one is forced to do anything. The only thing that I ask from you is to think for yourself, about what says here, your situation and what you have been told (and lied) about this topic.

Challenge what you think, look for the references and studies I give here, know more and THINK, please, think and draw your own conclusions, because many times we are on cruise control and that’s no way of traveling life.

My story (don’t worry, it’s short, but feel free to skip)

The day it all started, I was really hangover in the front seat of a friend’s car, I did not sleep the night before, partying hard with some other friends and finally getting the girl that I liked for some time. It was meant to be a night of champions but it ended being a night of shame. (I don’t usually party very much and I’m not a ladies man, by far, because of that, it made everything more painful).

Truth be told I had so much tequila in my body that Mexico called to make me their favorite son, but the thing is that my sex drive was not there for me that night and I was deeply ashamed.

In the beginning I tried to brush it off because, you know, you can’t ask too much if you have a booze ocean inside, you are not a teenager anymore either, but I’m so obsessive that I worried, and worried, and worried a little more… So I started to join some dots.

Reflecting on the topic, I realized it was not only one night. My sex drive was low since months ago, I did not remember having morning erections, or at least as hard and frequent as before, and when I started keeping count, more often than not they were not there or nothing to brag about. Indeed my testicles did not hang low and seemed shrinked, and not because I am a fan of cold showers.

Something beyond too many shots one night was happening, and I started to measure my performance.

You know, as men we say we are always ready, in fact, many times I only needed an innocent hug from a girl I liked to start feeling something between the legs (yes, I had to do that ridiculous maneuver of moving back my hips a little, but I know you know that).

Now all that was gone, and my hardness (that cost me much more than I remembered) was not going to win any contests. I could perform when needed but I realized that I was far from being Wolverine.

Besides that, I was more apathetic than ever, unmotivated, always in a crappy mood and I could not focus on anything. I blamed my job, but little I knew that was going to dramatically change too when I recovered my sex drive.

My passion, in every sense, was gone, and that’s not the way to live.

I knew that hormones tend to call it quits when you age, but come on, in your mid-thirties and when you are healthy and relatively fit? And so fast? No way that was natural.

And what the hell! Even if it was, I was not going down without a fight! It robbed me a girl that I was pursuing for a long time and, even more important, it was making my life miserable because it felt like a succession of ordinary, gray days. As my mixed martial arts instructor said: “No free shots, if you get hit, make them pay for it”.

It’s a shame that we only wake up when we really hit rock bottom. So in my typical fashion I tried to learn all that I could about this, devouring information, reading really bizarre scientific studies that, believe me, bore me to tears most of the time.

But I discovered some facts that gave me millions (and millions) of “a-ha” moments.

Many times I thought: *“Everybody (or at least every man) should know this, how can it be so important and so unknown?”.*

And because of that, you are reading this.

Hormones 101

Ok, every study and text I’ve researched about this is boring and dry as hell, but, as I’ll try in every page, I’ll explain this in layman terms, even if it means sacrificing a little bit of academic accuracy.

Hormones are crucial for our well-being, but they are total unknowns to the general public.

We talk about calories, cholesterol and the like, but hormones don’t get much publicity, which is a shame because they are much more important for critical issues than other things we worry about constantly (thanks, TV and hidden economic agendas, we know you have our well being in your heart).

There are lots of hormones, but testosterone, insulin, cortisol, and estrogens are the main ones we are going to talk about here. They have a role in our bodies and the thing is: when a healthy balance between them is altered they wreak havoc.

Our bodies generate hormones for every reason under the sun: you need to put up with your asshole boss and his shenanigans, so your body generates cortisol. You have just eaten that ice cream, so insulin is needed to take care of sugar in your blood… You finally will have sex with that gorgeous girl because you impressed her doing two things at once… well, pray that your body has enough testosterone.

The thing is, our body is an amazing machine that adapts very well, and can sustain much of the abuse we put it through because we were fans of Jackass. But our habits, age, some environmental conditions and our lifestyle heavily condition our hormone production.

And this is one of the keys: in general, if our body needs to create one kind of hormone it tends to “sacrifice” another.

Imagine a factory with limited resources, if you need to create lots of hormones of one kind, you tend to shut down another because our body is amazing but not almighty. And some hormones tend to share their building blocks, so if you need more of something, there won’t be enough raw material for other hormones.

And, for what interest us, testosterone gets shut down or counteracted if we release too much of the other hormones we will talk about (cortisol being the usual suspect, since pregnenolone is a building block of cortisol and testosterone. If you empty the pregnenolone reserves creating too much cortisol in order to cope with stress, good luck making testosterone without the needed bricks).

And because you are smart, you start to see that if you want more testosterone, you will have to check your cortisol, insulin, estrogen levels…

But before we get to that, and in order to optimize our testosterone production, it’s necessary to explain a little bit how testosterone is created and what is it.

How testosterone is created

We need testosterone because we are men and we need to do our manly things, like throwing rocks at each other, pillaging villages or whatever.

So our hypothalamus (that’s a part of our brain, not the funny animal in the documentaries) releases a substance to the pituitary gland called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH from now on, I’ll abbreviate things like this because I’m lazy and science can not name one thing with a normal term to save its life).

This hormone causes the gland to produce two other hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), also known as gonadotropins (hell yeah, see why the abbreviations?).

Our LH buddy travels to our testicles to remember them that they have to do something more that hang in there, so it triggers the production of testosterone (about 95% of testosterone is made there, the other 5% in adrenal glands).

Our testicles look at each other and because they can not make our beloved testosterone from thin air, they need to create it from something, the first primal building block.

That something is cholesterol.

“Woah, Woah, wait a moment, what?”

Are you implying that the “public enemy number one” is what we need to make testosterone?

I’m not implying anything, I’m totally saying it.

And not only that, cholesterol is a so important substance that is needed for almost everything, but for the scope of this ramblings, we need it for testosterone.

If this process continues and testosterone levels become too high, the pituitary gland slows the release of LH so production slows down. FSH (the other hormone released by the pituitary gland) is similarly involved in the increase and decrease in sperm production.

So it’s a brain thing, it starts in our upper brain, it finishes in our lower brains and now my life is complete because I finally dropped that awful joke.

The different kinds of testosterone

If you get tested and you get a high number of total testosterone don’t deliver high fives and show the paper to the ladies yet, that tends to be good, but it’s not the most important number.

In our bodies we have something called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) that binds to testosterone, leaving less “free testosterone”. The free kind of testosterone is what is available for “androgenic use” (i.e. our manly things).

What this means is that high total testosterone is important, but not the main amount that interests us, free testosterone is, because it’s what we can really use for our purposes.

Using another fancy word to seem smarter than I am, that’s the bioavailable testosterone (free testosterone plus albumine-bound testosterone that can be easily reverted and freed).

Average levels of testosterone

Ok, how much testosterone is “normal” in a man?

As you age testosterone varies a lot, in fact, as the day goes by testosterone varies a lot. In the morning the number is higher (there you have your morning erections, testosterone plays a role), so it’s important that, if you are going to get tested (basic recommendation if you are worried about this), doing it at similar times of the day.

Testosterone tends to be measured in ng/dl, that means “nanograms per decilitre”, a nanogram being 1/1,000,000,000 grams.

Between 250 ng/dl and 850 ng/dl can be considered “normal”, but according to Vermeulen2, that made a study of the average testosterone and free testosterone in men, your average numbers can be like this:

25-34 years: 617 ng/dl total. 12.3 free testosterone.

35-44 years: 668 ng/dl total. 10.3 free testosterone.

45-54 years: 606 ng/dl total. 9.1 free testosterone.

55-64 years: 562 ng/dl total. 8.3 free testosterone.

55-74 years: 524 ng/dl total. 6.9 free testosterone.

75-84 years: 471 ng/dl total. 6.0 free testosterone.

85-100 years: 376 ng/dl total. 5.4 free testosterone.

The deviation being between 170 and 213 more or less.

What destroys your testosterone

Life is good, you start with a precious hormone balance and your healthy levels of testosterone, you are a teenager and your body releases more testosterone that you can handle, but you know that, sooner or later, when you finally become a grown man, something has to come and screw everything like that drunken brother-in-law in Christmas.

Basically, everything that damages the circuit involved in testosterone creation (which I previously explained while you were snoring) can trigger deficiencies.

For example, damage involving the pituitary gland, hypothalamus (remember these two terms, you will know why at the end of this guide), or testes (bad surgery can do it or that awful kick in the balls that everyone found so funny), glandular malformations, infections, tumors, chemotherapy or radiation therapy…

Those are the most extreme causes, but there are others more common:

We know aging is a cause, but obesity3 too, and diabetes4 or hypertension5 can play an important role (and obviously, not a good one). Those studies referenced below are just a sample, there are many more.

As you can see, our low testosterone can be a product of our lifestyle, but wait, there are more threats (yeah, the fun never ends).

One of them is xenoestrogens, another fancy word to describe estrogens (“female” hormones) that are external (not produced by our bodies) and have estrogenic effects in us. Those xenoestrogens come from industrially made compounds that we use for many things in our daily lives, because it seems that we can not make one thing right without one hundred adverse effects.

From deodorants to insecticides to plastics… we are bombarding ourselves with strange xenoestrogens that come to the party like uninvited aliens and, little by little, alter our precious hormonal balance.

We don’t know yet all the consequences or its extent, because it’s mostly uncharted territory, but you bet it’s not going to be pretty, and every minute we are less men (and more swampy mutants) than our ancestors.

Another really critical factor is diet. As we will see, diet plays a key role, not only because unbalanced diets can provoke the obesity, hypertension, etc, leading to lower testosterone, but because it has a profound direct effect in hormones too.

In fact, as we will see, many “healthy” recommendations hinder our testosterone production and boost our estrogens, which is not very good when your plan is still being a male in the next years.

I’m going to stop now because I don’t want to stress you. You know, stress can put a stranglehold to your testosterone too, and I don’t want that. It’s not my goal to instill more fear because I want you to sleep well tonight, main reason being that lack of good sleep will decimate your testosterone too and… oh damn, those were two more reasons right?

Yeah, testosterone is surrounded by enemies and circling the wagons…

But you can fight back, this is how

Hitting from every angle

Because many things can influence our testosterone, and many times we can not even point fingers because it’s a sum of subtle causes, our counterattack has to be global.

It has to be a way of life, so the results are sustainable in the long term, without artificial crutches.

In order to optimize the results we must hit back on many levels (physical and mental) because we don’t want just to push back the bully, we want a carpet bombing and a couple of nukes.

At least that’s what (supposedly) high testosterone males would do, right?

We can not control everything, but there are two things that we surely can:

  • Diet.
  • Lifestyle.

Diet is really a component of our lifestyle, but it’s so important by itself that it deserves special attention. Diet has profound effects on hormones, as it has been demonstrated countless times. So that will be our main weapon.

We are going to introduce changes in those components and we will outline in easy steps what worked best for me (and for others according to the scientific studies we are going to see).

What you can expect

This is not an overnight miracle and I can not guarantee anything, I’d love to, but I can’t, in fact, if someone tries to, please run (in the opposite direction, please).

Personally I started to see the best results (and I mean the BEST) in about two months, maybe a little less, I think probably because that’s when the influence of the unexpected factor (narrated in the “a shocking turn of events” chapter of this guide) started to wind down because I discovered it and I acted on it. Before that, I saw good results in a few weeks.

The thing is, if you want to track tangible results, please get tested before and after, there is no other way.

Maybe you are lazy or maybe you won’t get the tests for any reason, it’s okay, you can feel for yourself if it’s working when your morning glories are back with a vengeance, your hustle returns and you feel motivated and strong in front of things that seemed impossible before.

If so, it’s working, and if you think it may be because some placebo effect (you will never be sure if you don’t test yourself) my point is: “So what?”

If it’s working “so what?” That’s one of the main cornerstones of my philosophy.

Testosterone Diet 1: bye bye sugar

Ok, let’s start the practical actions with the most important thing: diet. It has tremendous effects on our hormones, and the first step to an optimal testosterone diet is:

Kick sugar to the curb.

In fact the thing is: cut the carbohydrates you are ingesting.

That means pasta, pizza, bread, cereals, sweets, desserts… (yeah, I know, life is a bitch but don’t worry, you will have your revenge, because there are other foods you like that will turbocharge your manliness).

If you live in a relatively modern society, chances are you are taking too many carbohydrates, especially industrially made food loaded with tons (and tons) of sugar.

When we ingest sugar, or some kinds of carbohydrates, our insulin rises. More sugar = more insulin and if insulin is high, testosterone lowers6, and that happens even when you are a twenty-something.

In the 91st Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society in Washington, D.C. they presented results that concluded that, no matter how healthy you are, ingesting sugar decrease testosterone… hard. We are talking about 25%, that’s worse than adding 20 years to your age…

How is that possible?

Remember that when our bodies need one of the hormones we are talking about, they tend to shut down the others?

Well, when you eat that “Chocolate Triple Threat” dessert there is a ton of sugar running around and your body needs to cope with it before you become blind or something, so the pancreas releases insulin to manage that and it becomes a priority.

If you are a professional athlete and you just completed your couple of hours of strenuous training your body will use the sugar to restore glycogen in the muscles (and liver), in every other situation (99% of the situations for us, mere mortals) your reservoirs of glycogen are full (because, let’s face it, not much energy has been burnt playing videogames) so our body can’t process all that sugar and the command is “ok, let’s store it as fat”.

Yes, sugar is stored as fat, so join the dots, you can eat those silly “low fat” foods that taste like cardboard, or eat only “diet” products (that are mainly carbohydrates, but hey, 0% fat!) and you store fat in a worse way that if you ate some pork ribs, because, basically, when you trigger insulin your body enters in a kind of “store fat” phase, so you won’t burn those love handles.

Icing the cake, the hormones that burn fat are insulin sensitive so when there is insulin wandering the streets our “burn fat” allies are not active.

And yes, they don’t tell you that part when they sell you that awful “low fat” food.

But regarding the main topic here, the thing is that if your body needs to release tons of insulin, constantly, testosterone fades into the background.

But, if you keep your insulin in check, not indulging all the time in sweets and carbs, your testosterone (and your fat loss efforts) won’t suffer that much.

If we take a look at how we are eating nowadays this is a bigger problem than we think, because, in time, with too much sugar you can develop insulin resistance, a condition where so much insulin has been released that it become useless. It can not do its job anymore, in the same way that when you use anything too much their effects disappear in time. As you can imagine insulin resistance is related to low testosterone7.

The next step can be diabetes, and we saw in the beginning how bad it is for testosterone and for life in general.

Not much to laugh here, I know, especially when we have been bombarded a lot with messages about how “healthy diet” means eating carbs and cutting fat… looking at how obesity and diabetes run rampant today something is really wrong here… and we become castrated in the process.

Very important: Don’t be a carb hater and don’t go very low carb, please

Cutting sugar (which is likely addictive8) and other carbs can be hard, especially if they are the cornerstone of your diet, and I’m not saying that you become necessarily a “carb hater”, but some foods should be banned right now, like every industrial snack or cake, and everything made with refined flour.

The first rule of thumb is that if it comes in a bag or a box is a usual suspect.

Goodbye Doritos, donuts, chips, cakes, sugar loaded cereals, chocolates, snacks, cupcakes… Those foods create insulin spikes that will tear one hole in your roof and other in your pants.

The thing is, when we discover something that clicks, we tend to overcompensate and go to the other extreme. Sugar is not bad, excessive comsumption is. The dumbest thing you can do is extremist reasoning. If too much sugar is bad, zero sugar must be good.

Vitamin A is good for you, that does not mean that lots of vitamin A are good. In fact, they are really, really bad.

Carbs are a necessary element in the testosterone equation: if you delete them, you won’t be optimizing your testosterone.

Now, low carb diets don’t seem to perform better than other decent diets regarding the issue of increasing testosterone, or at least, there is not enough evidence in one way or another. So no, don’t go low carb. If you are one of those that thrive in ketosis, fine, have it your way. I tried the diet, and it was not pretty long term. Having said that, everybody is different.

Problem is, nowadays, our western diets are made of sugar and unhealthy fats. We lose a lot of micro and even macronutrients in the process (many times, our daily protein is quite low), so we must restablish the balance and, above all, avoid some processed foods like the plague.

If carbs are your problem, maybe you will want to know more and restrict grains, bread, pasta, etc. But that’s up to you if you want to go deeper into the rabbit hole, for now, insulin spikes are perfectly normal, just don’t spike your insulin all the fucking time, please.

Every food has what’s called Glycemic Index (GI), a high Glycemic index means that when we eat that food our insulin will come to the dance floor, (elbowing testosterone and other fat burning hormones in the process). A value of 100 is assigned to sugar, and other foods are classified accordingly.

You can search the GI of foods on the Internet and try to keep them low in the diet, GI it’s not the be all and end all, but it’s a good starting point in our testosterone driven efforts.

Testosterone Diet 2: sweep estrogens

We will see here two very simple moves that can bring good results in our diet efforts to optimize testosterone.

Estrogens are the “female” hormone, and we, males, have them too. In fact they are necessary to some of our brain functions (yeah I know, the brain, who needs it, right? But it is what it is), so males create estrogens from the testosterone by the enzyme aromatase.

But we create only a little bit, so the ratio testosterone / estrogens is about 50:1, if we have a lower ratio we don’t “feel that good”.

Ok, get this again, estrogens are not the bad guys, almost nothing here (but some substances that we will see) is bad “per se”, everything has a role. What we want is a good balance, so we are going to make sure that we keep that balance and check our estrogen levels. We must have the minimum needed (but no more) and they must be the nice kind of estrogens.

Our two weapons for that are going to be broccoli and zinc.

WHAT? You are a grown man, in fact you became an adult only to escape from broccoli and I’m telling you to go back to it?

Yep, if you want to keep being that grown man.

Or you can try cabbage, brussels sprouts or cauliflower, in my opinion they smell even worse when cooked…

The thing is that cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli) are rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytochemical known to turn “bad” estrogens (which shut down our beloved testosterone production) into good ones, so eating them helps to restore it’s production, improving the hormone balance9.

“Bad estrogens” were cut in half when seven healthy men took 500 milligrams of I3C a day for a week, so if we are estrogen and xenoestrogen surrounded we can fight back and swing for the fences with a broccoli in our hand. Not the most epic image but it works.

Cruciferous vegetables are so ridiculously healthy that you know life has a sarcastic sense of humor, because it puts the better things next to the worse tastes (and vice-versa). Oh, and they are rich in zinc too (the other anti-estrogen weapon), so we kill two birds with a stone.

You can take a look to every cruciferous vegetable in Internet, my main choice is Arugula or Rocket (as the British say), it’s a very common vegetable where I live (Mediterranean Sea, baby) and it’s used a lot in salads (olive oil, cherry tomatoes or even strawberries with balsamic vinegar and it tastes like heaven). I consume broccoli too (i never did when I was a child, cauliflower was the main torture), especially raw, sliced into tiny pieces and mixed with scrambled eggs for example, it’s not that bad.

Choose the cruciferous vegetables that you like and start buying them again (and eat them too, they do nothing staring at the milk in the fridge until they rot), try to mix them if you can not stand them.

The other ally we have in this battle is zinc.

Zinc inhibits aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogens, so a rich zinc diet will keep estrogens in check, while a zinc deficient diet can plummet your testosterone levels10.

Zinc is a “manly” component, so we must get plenty of it in our diet, that means meat, oysters, seafood, peanuts and dark chocolate (yes, at the end, chocolate, but take it as dark and pure as you can, not diluted with sugar, milk and trans-fats…).

You can take Zinc in supplements too, because many diets can be zinc deficient, fortunately zinc is cheap and it’s substance that we need but, and it’s a very big but, don’t overdose. As always balance is key, so don’t eat zinc pills as candy because it can mess with your blood lipid ratios, and always follow medical guidance when taking some supplement.

Diet 3: eradicate trans-fats

In the next section we will start with the more “controversial” point (controversial only because we have been brainwashed so much about a certain issue that probably we will freak out) but in the meantime another diet change we must adopt is to eliminate, completely, trans-fats, also known as partially hydrogenated fats.

Do you remember when I said that almost nothing here is bad “per se”? Well, trans-fats are, they are pure evil, so 0% is the recommended dosage.

In recent years this has been a widespread recommendation so we won’t have much trouble avoiding them, but many things still have them in their ingredients.

For those who don’t know what the hell trans-fats are, they are made by a chemical process called partial hydrogenation.

Liquid vegetable oil does not look good when added to some foods (imagine your cookies wet and dripping some awful liquid plant oil when you open the box), so the food industry started to pack hydrogen with it, it seemed like a good idea because, in that way, vegetable oils become a solid fat (think of “butter-like” fat), the food manufacturers rejoiced because it can be used as margarine, for example, or in a lot of industrial foods because it’s creamy, it melts at a high point, has smooth texture… That way the damn cookies become again tasty and deliciously greasy without dripping.

For some reason we came to think that vegetable = healthy every time (big mistake, by the way) and there were times where margarine was “healthy” because it came from vegetables (and a nice industrial process involving hydrogen, but that’s only a little detail that seemed insignificant), meanwhile good old butter was “bad” because it came from an animal, but here is the thing, trans-fats are really awful, being related to cancer11, high blood pressure and even some hydrogenated vegetable oils have been found to directly decrease testosterone12. Even if they didn’t do all that, they are not very good for our purpose of becoming fit for the next installment of the 300 movie.

Those fats are a strange modern creation and our bodies are not prepared to deal with them very well, messing around with everything. Research a little bit and you will see.

Rule number one to start avoiding them: eliminate fast food for good. Rule number two: read the labels.

You can find trans fats in pastries and cakes, french fries (depending on the oil), doughnuts, cookies / biscuits, margarine, fried chicken, crackers, potato chips, and lots of industrial food.

If you followed the first recommendation and tossed out what comes in a box or bag you are relatively safe (you will have to be smart when eating out, especially when eating at fast food restaurants), but look for the words hydrogenated, or partial hydrogenated, in the labels. If you see them, slowly leave the product on the shelf and back away calmly without giving the back to the bastard.

In time I suppose they will disappear, but I would not hold my breath.

Diet 4: eat more fat

If we want to optimize testosterone we need a high fat diet.

I know, I know, fat and cholesterol kicked Satan and are now the rulers of Hell and the archenemies of humanity, at least it’s what they tell us every time in the news. Now they are changing the tune, but when I started researching this, it was all over: Fat will make us fat and our arteries will be clogged by cholesterol… two of the most misguided dietary tips, ever.

The discussion can be endless about this, we are so bombarded by cholesterol lowering slogans and low fat products that it’s ridiculous, and if you don’t go with the flow you are officially declared an idiot by society, you will die tomorrow killed by your buddy “the fat” and maybe you will be charged with sedition, if you survive long enough.

But as we know too, obesity and diabetes are king and queen nowadays, even when we try to cut fat like if it’s the lovechild of Hitler and Stalin, so maybe it’s not so clear after all…

This is not a paper about weight loss, so I won’t even try because I’d had to write several volumes, this is about optimizing testosterone and adhering to scientific study after scientific study that confirms that high fat diets correlate with higher levels of testosterone.

I reference only some of them.

In a 2005 study13, 39 healthy men between 50 and 60 years were studied while they were consuming their usual high fat, low fiber diet and after 8 weeks they changed to a low fat, high fiber diet (same calories ingested and a “perfect” diet if you ask many “health” gurus). The results of the dietary change were a reduction in total T and free T and some of the T-precursors (12% consistent lowering of circulating androgens levels without changing the clearance).

Another study14 with 30 healthy male volunteers. They had a diet which supplied 40% of energy as fat (mainly from animal sources) and was replaced, for a 6 weeks period, by a lower fat diet (25% of energy came from fats) with same calories and other environmental factors stabilized. Result? 15% drop in total testosterone with corresponding drops in free T and androstenedione.

One more15, where they studied Testosterone, resistance training (another critical component as we will see) and diet. They concluded not only that diet influences T levels, but Fat and testosterone were positively correlated.

And here comes another16. They put men on a high-fat diet (about 50% of calories from fat) for 2 weeks. After that, they switched to a low-fat diet (more or less 10% percent fat, a heaven for modern health preachers) for 2 weeks too. Their free testosterone (remember, the precious T we want) dropped 21% on the low-fat diet. Whooping achievement…

I’m going to stop because this is getting boring.

The bottom line is: step one: eat a lot of sugar, carbs, fiber and go low fat, step two: wave goodbye to your manliness, energy and youth. Step three: congratulations, you are “healthy” (and yes, that was sarcasm).

I can see you, you are gathering wood in the town square to burn me next to that weird medieval witch, because not only I want you to die from heart attack before your 40th birthday, but you are afraid to grow a big gut and screw your efforts to get fit (a condition that, we saw, is key to testosterone).

Well, remember the golden rule here: think for yourself, if it works for you keep doing it and, above all, do what you want, please. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned, and above all, what I’ve lived, and I can say for certain that after my own experience:

1) I failed miserably in all my goals (testosterone included) when I got into a low fat – eat carbs lifestyle. Not only I was stuck with artificial food that tasted like paper with cotton but I had the lowest energy levels of my life and a less than manly body, I was one of those “skinny fat” guys. I seemed skinny on the outside but my muscles were nothing to write home (even when I trained). If you grabbed my gut you could pinch a good bunch of stubborn fat that refused to leave since I was a teenager.

Seeing how many people eat less, eat low fat, rise a crucifix when they see things like meat or whole milk, and they never get to their desired body… You can see that something does not fit here (especially when their strategy against failure is being even more extremists with fats and the situation becomes worse).

Sounds familiar? If so, maybe it’s time to challenge what we have been told.

2) I had the epiphany that hormones play the key role in getting fat (and depressed, depleted of energy, etc.) or getting ripped (and focused, motivated and with enough energy to light a city).

We will get more results optimizing hormones than counting calories. In fact, hormones rule almost everything, and if you doubt their power think about your girlfriend in “those days”, where hormones are in a Viking party… (we, men, would be worse than our girls in that situation, so don’t laugh, I’m sure of that because look how grumpy and insufferable we become during our andropause in our old age)

But the thing here is: “Eat fat and you will get fat” is one of the most misguided and awful diet advice ever.

Eat only fat with sugar (typical western diet) and you are trapped in your worst nightmare, because your insulin rises and the body follows the “store fat” command, meanwhile your testosterone (a “fat burning – muscle building” hormone) and other fat burning hormones plummet, so the sugar gets stored as fat, the fat gets stored as fat, and previous fat won’t move from its warm place in your love handles because, obviously, it’s not needed.

See how good is the burger (fat) + chips (carbs+awful fat) + soda (worst kind of sugar) combo? You can not get hit harder.

But if insulin release is controlled, lowering the insane amount of carbs we ingest nowadays and testosterone is high, guess what? Our body is in “fat burn – build muscle” mode. If you combine that with an active lifestyle you will burn fat like a champion (the fat you eat and the fat you stored in your previous “sweet” days), packing muscle in the process IF you combine that with resistance training.

I trashed every industrial food loaded with sugar, started to buy and cook real natural food, like fresh meat, fish, tons of veggies, some nuts, etc. lowered my carbs and grains, started to get more energy from fat (to compensate the carbs and calories cut) and my body literally changed.

Not only I could see my abs for the first time in my life (nothing fancy, but I didn’t even try) but an ex-girlfriend of mine that came to visit commented, out of the blue, how my body had “changed” (last time she saw me was a mere month before) and not because I packed a little bit more of muscle (I increased a bit my resistance training, because it’s another necessary piece of the puzzle as we will see), but because my entire physiognomy changed, I weighted the same and I was still thin to the eye, but I seemed “more masculine” in her own words. She could not pinpoint one thing, but I was different.

Oh, and my energy levels? Through the roof.

In my mid thirties I have more than ever and, for example, I can see how I’m climbing the ladder in my mixed martial arts training, where I’m faring better than ever in the “cardio” department, and there are a lot of people in their twenties (of course that’s too because I combine diet AND training).

3) The diet issue is much more complex than this, but if you are interested in knowing more (and possibly ending with your jaw on the floor) I recommend going to the studies referenced here, research for yourself a little bit and challenge what you think.

Now, because you have to kick those white chocolate cakes for good, now you rejoice because it seems you can indulge now in french fries and deep fried chicken.

Sorry, no luck, the fats you will add to your diet are critical for your testosterone well-being.

That starts with this rule of thumb: Nothing fried or (obviously) deep fried, sorry.

They tend to use vegetable oils, which become really bad17 (i.e. Toxic) for us when heated. And take a look at this example: potatoes are a carb source and when you fry them you are getting a trifecta of sugar + fat + toxic substances that will kick testosterone between the legs, and if you bread that fried chicken you are having a similar effect, remember that carbs + fat are a bad combo, better if you don’t add toxicity to the mix with deep frying.

One of the things I’ve discovered in my research is that the type of fat that increase testosterone is a complex issue, these are the main kinds of fat (in one “fatty” food you can find several, or all of them, in different ratios).

Saturated fats are those mainly found in meat, some fish (like salmon) and dairy products, I.e. Animal sources.

Monounsaturated fat is found in vegetables and animals: olive oil, avocado, nuts, some fish…

Polyunsaturated fat is found mainly in vegetable sources: soybean, sunflower, corn and their oils.

The thing is that although several studies had seen a positive correlation between fats and testosterone levels, one of them found that fat ratio can play a role18.

This study concluded that when Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA, the “vegetable” branch) were more abundant that mono and saturated (SFA), there was a negative correlation with Testosterone. I quote (because, remember, I’m lazy).

“Our results showed a nonsignificant correlation between PUFA and T and a significant negative correlation between the PUFA/SFA ratio and T.”

So it seems that best results are accomplished when saturated fats are the main source in the high fat diet.

This means: meat, fish, eggs…

Yes, they are telling us that bacon and ribs are going to make us fat and ultimately kill us, but not only they won’t, they are the main dietary key to testosterone.

And again, please, don’t swing now to the other extreme and be a bacon-only lover.

Testosterone Diet 5: the vitamin connection

Next stop in our testosterone journey are vitamins. They have a powerful role in our testosterone production so if we are deficient in those vitamins our testosterone will suffer, BUT, as it happens with almost everything, an excessive amount will have awful effects too, so, for the benefit of those who don’t listen very much I’ll say it once again, get tested, consult a physician and don’t get overboard.

If you read that vitamin A has a positive testosterone effect don’t load yourself with tons of it because you will mess with the very problem you want to solve, besides other very nasty effects.

Balance is the key in every step, so that being said, these are the vitamins that we must take care of:

Vitamin A

We start here because, you know, it’s the first letter and I’m not very original. scientific studies have shown that if you don’t have enough of this vitamin your testosterone will decrease and, after that, your accessory sex organs will atrophy19. Raise hands if you want that, no one? Good, I thought so.

Another study saw significant correlation between testosterone glucuronide and vitamin A20 (and by the way, the same study saw correlation between fat intake and testosterone, another one that says the same…)

Bottom line. Our diets must secure enough quantity of this vitamin.

What foods have it?

Whole milk, eggs, liver, dairy products like butter… Old school bodybuilders used them as the backbone of their diets, and with good reasons because the vitamins, cholesterol and animal fats made them natural anabolic foods.

Bad news: if you are fully into the low fat nonsense you are cutting lots of vitamin A.

I personally reverted to whole milk and I must confess that I’m addicted to cheese, just not the artificial kind that you see in supermarkets.

Vitamin D

This is the other “big one”.

Did you know that we create vitamin D with sunlight? Our bodies can convert the “dreaded” cholesterol into vitamin D if you put your mug out of the shadows.

And do you know when testosterone levels are higher in men? Summer (that was easy) and not only because there are fewer clothes around, but because vitamin D is higher in the summer too, due to increased exposition to sunlight.

Vitamin D is indeed a hormone, and, for example, it’s responsible for better athletic performance21, besides that it directly affects the Leydig cells, that live in our testicles and are responsible for our testosterone production.

Deficiencies in Vitamin D showed decreased testicular functions, that were improved after 1 month when normal levels of vitamin D were reached again, but get this: too much vitamin D showed testicular disfunction too22, a remembering of the need of balance.

Vitamin D is almost a super substance, but for our humble purpose here, take a look at the studies and you will see that, when you have enough vitamin D you will have higher levels of testosterone than those with deficiencies23.

I’m lucky to live in a country where the sun is shining most of the time, but again we humans are so efficient screwing good things that you know what happens with the sun, that is our new enemy (mainly because we are messing with the protective capabilities of our atmosphere) and, in general, our lifestyle lock us in cubicles from dawn until dusk, so the thing is, if you see that spring sun run outside and rejoice (but beware of burning yourself or abusing, Jersey Shore showed us the ill effects of too much).

Bad news here, regarding diet very few foods contain naturally vitamin D: fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and fish liver oils are the best sources. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.

With few sunlight and few foods we are normally screwed with our friend D, but if you start to get your diet right you are on the correct track, besides that we have a powerful cheap thing that will help us.

Cod liver oil.

That has so high vitamin A and D levels that is ridiculous. The taste is so horrible that you will find it in gel capsules so you can take it.

One of those capsules (415mg of cod liver oil) gives you 47% of daily recommended intake of vitamin A and 68% of vitamin D. Personally I take a couple daily, but remember, get tested, don’t go overboard, etc. I’m not you. Of course those fats in the cod liver oil help our cause too.

Vitamin K

This a is an almost unknown letter when talking about vitamins, but when you are bleeding and you need to stop it, your bones are not what they used to, or your skin starts to turn inelastic and old, vitamin K is playing a role there, or better said, depletion of vitamin K is playing the role, mainly because of aging, that finds thousands of annoying ways to mess with us.

The thing is that when vitamin K leaves the station, our dear testosterone loves her so much that she runs after the train and you can’t find her until normal levels of vitamin K are restored24.

We can’t make vitamin K, so we must take it from food. What food? Don’t worry you won’t grow a biblical grocery list nor you will have to remember a lot of strange names, the good thing is that if you work the basics in your diet you will have the main points covered.

Green leafy vegetables are the main sources, and you should have them as a cornerstone of your testosterone diet, so you are covered, especially if you took seriously the cruciferous vegetables part (a.k.a freaking broccoli attacks again).

Kale, brussels sprouts, spinach, collards, turnips, lettuce… if you see something really green chances are vitamin K is present.

Parsley (über present in Mediterranean cuisine) is so loaded with vitamin K that two tablespoons contain 153% of the recommended daily intake… and it will help with our bad breath too, that is probably our real reason (and not testosterone) of not getting chicks.

Garlic

What? Now garlic is a vitamine? Are you drunk again even when you are going to talk next about alcohol and testosterone?

Nope and almost nope, but this is my guide, I could not find a better section to put it, and I think it fits well with parsley and bad breath (because I like childish humor) and it will highlight more the need of parsley (and brushing teeth).

Garlic has been shown to increase testosterone levels in testicles and decrease cortisol levels25 (two birds with one piece of garlic) at least with a high protein diet, a kind of diet that you will probably have when, along with tons of veggies, you will eat your eggs, meat, fish and dairy.

Garlic is so healthy that there are supplements that contain allicin (its main healthy component), if you can’t stand the taste (i love it when it’s used to cook) or if it’s not easy on your stomach (too much for me is not a good thing) go that route, my philosophy tends to be “eat the damn food instead of the strange pill”, we tend to make simple things very complicated but I believe in freedom, so do what works for you, ok, cod liver oil can be the exception, I tried once to taste it directly and even that wasn’t so bad, it tasted… like fish oil (amazing discovery I know)… but I prefer to swallow the capsule.

Diet 6: alcohol and testosterone

Ok, you were expecting it, and probably it’s going to be painful for you, so I’ll make it as short as I can. If you are a man alcohol probably is one of your best buddies, but our jealous testosterone does not like it as much as we do.

Too much alcohol means low testosterone and elevated cortisol26, that’s a fact so we are not lucky, binge drinking or chronic drinking must be out for good.

But there are some studies that saw an increase of testosterone with LOW doses of alcohol27, I highlighted the low part because we, men, have problems sizing things, low does not mean “only one” bottle of Jack Daniels.

Ok, so maybe you are thinking it’s not so painful, it’s even good, let’s celebrate in a bar, because moderate drinking does not seem so bad, but here is the worst part.

Beer should be out, probably it won’t because it should.

I can see you looking for your gun, but don’t kill the messenger. Hops, the main ingredient in beer, is a highly estrogenic food.

So beer is alcohol, what means sugar, what means insulin, and hops are added to the equation, what means estrogens… not a good combo for us.

Maybe it’s time to change to red wine.

Ok, I said it was going to be brief, as always do what you want.

Testosterone diet in a nutshell

When I started to worry about diet and nutrition years ago I found everything confusing and contradictory (and as I found later, very misleading in some critical issues), luckily the necessary changes to optimize testosterone are easy as pie, so knowing what to eat is not complicated and won’t interfere other dietary goals you can have (like staying fit and healthy), on the contrary.

And, best of all, you won’t be counting calories or making lists of strange allowed foods. It’s a lifestyle full of rich natural meals and delicious things, once you start you won’t have to worry, and if you learn to cook, it will always be enjoyable.

Let’s sum everything.

1.- Cut sugar and carbs to avoid constant insulin spikes. Refined flours and every industrial snack are out of the table. Remember, if it comes in a bag or a box is not a good sign.

2.- Avoid fast food, anything deep fried and trans fats like the plague until they disappear forever.

3.- Tons of veggies must be present in your shopping cart and in every meal, in order to add substances and vitamins that we need for our goal.

Cruciferous (like broccoli) and green leafy vegetables are a must, so no excuses if you want to see results.

Make salads (with olive oil), steam them, eat them raw… pick your preferred weapon but have veggies every time you eat. This is very important.

You can not go wrong with veggies (soy being the exception, maybe).

They will give you critical vitamins, antioxidants and substances so healthy that you will want to kiss them before you eat them… and they will give you carbs too, but they won’t spike your insulin (their glycemic index is very low) and you can not possibly ingest too many carbs from veggies (if you do please call me, you are some kind of freak and maybe we can make money in fairs next to a bearded woman).

4.- Eat meat, fish and eggs. If you cut carbs you can eat some fatty meats or fish (like yummy smoked salmon) raise your testosterone and get thin in the process, really.

We need energy and if we don’t take it from carbs we will take it from fat, and because high fats will improve testosterone, you will be a “burn-fat-build-muscle” machine, instead of getting fat and depressed because you don’t even eat real food, you crave sugar constantly and your love handles still say good morning every day.

5.- Milk (whole), butter, nuts, other dairy products and olive oil (virgin) will help to our cause of high fats and needed vitamins, but don’t go overboard here, I think common sense is the approach and you won’t eat sticks of butter as you main dish, right?

Right?

Ok. I thought so.

6.- Everything is better when grass-fed (well, fish… I don’t think so), but if not, don’t sweat it too much, you will be better with non grass-fed than with that cake.

7.- Olive oil (virgin) being the exception (and because I’m Mediterranean and yes, maybe I’m biased), better if you don’t use vegetable oils, in order to maintain the Polyunsaturaded / saturated ratio.

Especially don’t fry the oil.

8.- Garlic will help, use it to cook. My brother used to eat it raw years ago when he read something about how much healthy it was. I could smell him from miles away. Pointing my nose in the right direction I knew beforehand when he was coming to visit, I thought I became Daredevil.

9.- Fruit is good, just don’t become fruitarian, never go full retard.

10.- Cod liver oil is good, depending on your situation, maybe you will need to supplement with zinc if necessary.

11.- Alcohol is as out as you can, especially beer, and especially binge drinking. You can cut your veins now.

12.- Cheat once a week or once in a while (but try your best with excessive drinking). You know, life is there to enjoy it, a friend’s mother bakes a chocolate cake that must be what they serve in heaven (without the insulin spike) and it will not kill us, on the contrary. If you are on holidays with your family or it’s your birthday, my opinion is “don’t be that diet fundamentalist” (and a downer).

You will eat healthy most of the time, so you can afford cheating. You deserve it and it won’t mess with you because it will be an exception, not the usual thing. In fact, it can even be very good. But remember, make it an exception.

If you take a look you will see a diet that has it all as the main components, and everything is natural, not coming from a box with a trillion of conservatives. It’s real natural food

Testosterone Lifestyle 1: stress and rest

Do you remember another friend of us called cortisol? Of course you remember, it appeared in the alcohol section.

When we are stressed our body releases that hormone in order to cope with hard times. Cortisol is made in the adrenal glands (where some of the testosterone is made too).

When cortisol rises due to a stressful situation, testosterone lowers, and when the situation returns to normal our hormone levels do the same thing.

Our body is really wise, if we are running from that predator, or getting ready for battle, chances are we are not very worried (for some nanoseconds at least) about sleeping with our neighbor’s daughter.

When we climb the tree and the lion gets bored, or we get back victorious from the field of battle, then cortisol leaves the spotlight and here it comes our beloved testosterone again, our body knows it’s time to return to normalcy because she is impressed by our physical prowess, hiding from the enemy behind every allied warrior we found.

But you know how modern life is, lions don’t interrupt us so frequently anymore when we are sitting on the “throne” every morning… But our jobs suck, our bosses are dumb, other drivers are idiots, we are bombarded (i.e. Brainwashed) by depressing “information”, the economy is a bitch and we live in a hurry.

Constantly.

We are conquering more physical maladies than ever but mental illnesses are our new insufferable roommates.

Everyone is stressed all the time, and what does it mean?

Cortisol levels are way up baby, what means that testosterone levels are down when we are stressed or mentally drained.

So our new task in our lifestyle is lowering cortisol. And it means RELAX.

To do that the first thing we need is sleeping enough, sound and well. Getting enough rest is critical for our testosterone, because it’s mainly made at night, so better we don’t mess with that in order to keep our morning glories.

If you suffer some sleep deprivation the next evening your cortisol levels will rise28, what means other parts of your body will have more problems to do the same. That levels can increase between 37% (partial sleep deprivation) and 45% (total deprivation).

Lowering stress is easier said than done, I know, but practicing a sport we like, having hobbies, a life beyond our job, meditation, yoga or whatever works for you has to be done.

For me it’s physical activity, meditating, making sure I go out and chat with other human beings… those are important things, keep your mind occupied with things that you enjoy, make a list of what’s cool for you and start doing more of that.

And by the way, an information diet is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, I turned off news and TV years ago, I rarely read papers now (if something important happens you will know, believe me) and when I read them it’s because I want to know what movies are playing in theaters…

I know some situations are not easy, personally, I’m a little bit obsessive so when I started to know about this issue (for example) I worried more, but when I knew something could be made, in the end I decided to change my lifestyle and worry was the seed of motivation.

Probably if we are stressed every day maybe it’s time for a change NOW, because I don’t know about you, but last time I checked I had only one life…

Testosterone Lifestyle 2: move!

If we want healthy testosterone levels we must lose weight if we have too much, we have to stay fit and even pack some muscle.

I think this is not a surprise right?

Again if we want to be like fierce warriors-hunters, with healthy testosterone levels, we must look like one, and the best way to look like a warrior is, oh surprise, being like one. (Shocking, I know).

That means adopting his lifestyle. And the lifestyle of a warrior does not include staring at your computer all day with one hand in a bag of Doritos and the other… well, wherever you put it when you are surfing the web.

A warrior has an active life, a warrior stays fit and ready for battle.

If we are too skinny or we can draw the world map in our bellies, chances are our testosterone levels are low29.

Staying in your weight and some types of training and exercise will boost your testosterone as we will see, meanwhile eating the wrong foods and staying trapped in the sofa contributes to our castration, so the first thing we have to know is that we got to get fit, but before you go to the treadmill, keep reading please.

Testosterone Lifestyle 3: the right kind of exercise to optimize testosterone

If we want our testosterone back we got to move, what means exercise, but stop tying your running shoes and hear me a little more, because the exercise you are probably thinking about won’t get your testosterone back, on the contrary.

Running forever will lower your testosterone30, distance runners show significantly lower levels of T… there are more studies regarding the issue31 and I can see a sigh of relief in many of you that, like me, find the treadmill so boring and time consuming that you want to kick it when you see it

We want to lose body fat because, as we know, it hinders our testosterone, well, traditional “cardio” or endless jogging is not the most optimal way32 (I reference only one of the countless studies) for many it will destroy the joints and lower the testosterone before it touches the fat.

If we want to lose fat we must understand that diet and hormonal balance will have much greater effect than exercise and, above all, much greater effect than running or traditional “cardio” (jogging, cycling, etc.)

I mean, for me (about 145 pounds) twenty minutes of jogging can burn about 130 Kcal (yes, I searched that on the Internet), I can recover that eating one single cookie! So if I had to lose fat with “cardio” I should jog until everybody around me speaks chinese.

So what kind of exercise will rise the hormone?

Well, this is not an easy question, studies have shown that weight lifting (resistance training, pumping iron or whatever you want to call it) increases testosterone33, WHEN done in a certain way (acute and heavy) which promotes muscle building, due to the presence of more testosterone. We saw previously how resistance training and high fat meant higher levels of T too.

So we are going to lift heavy (but not too heavy) weights and, above all, we will need long recovery periods, because overtraining is going to cause lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of cortisol (as we saw cortisol is one of the antagonists of testosterone, so resting is critical).

Resistance training, but not often and with long periods of resting, does not sound too bad and it will make wonders for our physical appearance, bone density and aging.

Because many testosterone problems come from aging chances are that many of you reading this are middle-aged men. Resistance training will take away years from your appearance and will improve posture.

I’m not an expert in sports and I’m not a role model, by far, I practice Mixed Martial Arts (amateur and without dreams of fighting in a cage, I’m old, the less violent person you will ever meet and I don’t like violence, paradoxical I know) and I lift weights twice a week (a brief session with compound movements that engage many muscles) but I don’t want to be a bodybuilder and they are complementary exercises to condition myself for my sport, they gave me a much better image when combined with diet, but I’m not a fitness model and I don’t want to be one.

Besides that I do, once a week (maybe two), high intensity interval training, which is (too) very useful for my practice.

If you want to lose waist inches, “traditional cardio” is not the most optimal way, look instead for interval training and intensity (I searched the calories and cookie thing on the Internet, do the same with this). Brief intense exercise (like sprinting) with long recovery times (that will depend on your age, etc.) are the best way.

The shocking turn of events

I changed my diet, I was in the middle of totally changing my lifestyle, getting enough rest most of the time, being smart with exercise, taking it easy with alcohol, etc. and I got good results, really, but not all that I wanted, I wanted all my energy back, I wanted my focus, my motivation, my drive and I wanted some more morning erections that, well, they were kind of returning but not very much, it was getting better but something was missing, something was not entirely right, I could sense I had to push one more button that I had not discovered, yet.

And then it happened, almost by “chance” as many important things in life do, and in about two or three weeks of making that little change, everything turbocharged to the stars.

One problem with this is that, unlike the rest of this report, I’m not saying that this is a scientific truth proven by many studies, unfortunately I can assure you that everything is damn obscure and shady about this issue, which, in my books, it’s a big red warning sign to start.

One day I stumbled into an Internet forum researching about testosterone and some guy talked about his problems in bed and… Aspartame.

Yes, aspartame, the artificial sweetener that substitutes sugar and is present in every diet soda and many other things we buy, like low fat products and other “fake” foods.

“Aspartame? What the hell? Is that thing dangerous? Why they put it on food if it’s so dangerous? It can not be”.

After saying that I remembered all the other things in this report, so I took a magazine, carefully rolled it and proceeded to hit myself in the head for displaying so much idiocy in so few words.

Some more guys got into the conversation and commented about their aspartame experiences too and how it affected their masculinity.

You know, an Internet forum is not exactly the most accurate way to get information (sorry to break the news), but I decided to go deeper, to see if there is some scientific proof to it. I wanted to watch with my own eyes and think for myself, as I did with every point in this material.

And I did it, because I was religiously drinking two cans of diet soda daily for almost two or three years, and I was a compulsive sugar-free chewing-gum eater since I can remember, I always had one in my mouth, those were my guilty pleasures and I thought nothing was wrong with something that was as caloric as water or a simple chewing-gum.

As I researched more another unpronounceable word was added to my dictionary: excitotoxins.

Basically they are toxins that excite our nerve cells so much that they die. Things like glutamate or aspartate (present in, oh surprise, aspartame) do that.

As men we can think that our brain is not a deadly target, if you take a look it’s clear that we don’t tend to use it very much, so we may think that this issue (and zombie outbreaks) are not a serious threat for males, but seriously, it can be a real problem.

If you go to the studies many of them conclude that aspartame is safe, well, better said, aspartame is not safe, is a toxin, we know that, but our “normal” daily dosage seem harmless.

In fact some controversy sparked in the Internet, aspartame was venom and it was regarded as a hoax but so much noise was made that a new study chimed in to stop the controversy and saying that even large dosages of aspartame were safe34.

Well, this was becoming confusing but it seemed that there was no reason to worry (you know even when aspartame is clearly a toxin, but it seems ok to put that in ourselves), then I read this at the end of the press release of the study I’ve just referenced.

*“The study was conducted at MIT’s CRC. Electro-encephalograms were done at the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. This work was supported by a grant from the NutraSweet Co. to the Center for Brain Sciences and Metabolism Charitable Trust.”*

Wait.

What?

Nutrasweet? I’n not American so I did not recognize the name at first, but it didn’t sound very independent, then I saw that Nutrasweet makes aspartame, but you know, you can not question the business ethics of a multimillion dollar company right?

I used again the rolled magazine and I decided to know more.

One of the main points in its defense is that the blood barrier protects our beloved brain from the excess of neurotoxins like aspartate and glutamate, if they pass they can kill certain neurons, allowing too much calcium into the cells if the reach them, but, supposedly, they don’t pass.

So we eat toxins, but our brain is protected. Fair enough, because that’s true (at least to a point), our bodies are wise even when we are idiots, but take a look at this:

Small children don’t have the barrier fully developed (at least they advise against sugar-free stuff and children, in a very little font size, of course), some conditions can damage the barrier (mmmh, not good), some physicians I read said that it does not fully protect against all the glutamate or aspartate (damn, I don’t know if it’s entirely true, but this seems fishy) and, above all, one thing we know for certain is that not every part of our brain is protected by the blood barrier…

What?

What parts?

The Area postrema, a zone made to detect toxins and send the signals that say “vomit, you dumbass, you are taking toxins”. Ok, I get it, it’s logical to leave that out because it has to feel the effects to raise the alarm.

The pineal gland, that needs to secrete and send to the blood the hormones that influence our circadian rhythms (you know, the sleep/wake cycles). Well, I don’t appreciate that much, good sleep is good testosterone.

The Posterior Pituitary Gland, because their hormones must reach the bloodstream too (wait a minute, some things are making a connection, I can hear the rusty gears of my brain moving).

The Median eminence of the hypothalamus, that’s the link between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Again it’s not protected because hormones secreted by the pituitary gland gather there and have some drinks before being secreted into the bloodstream.

You read that and your sleepy neurons sparked like a Christmas tree because they remembered something I said in the beginning… Yes! The hypothalamus is the funny animal that gives the order to create testosterone! Right? And then the order goes to the pituitary gland!

Well, right, it’s not the animal, but damn right, the hypothalamus passes the initial hormones to the pituitary gland to get the cycle of testosterone started. Read again the part of how testosterone is made.

And that very mechanism is not protected by any blood barrier, so it’s quite possible that the bastard messes directly with the commander in chief of our manliness.

I went deeper, and aspartame does very nasty things, like methanol (i.e. Wood alcohol) in the body when taken, that alone is a good reason to kick it, but I wanted to know how it specifically related to testosterone, because it’s real that it’s a neurotoxin (no one denies that) and precious parts of the brain (the ones related to testosterone) are not protected, were my logical suspicions right?.

I came to a study about rats and aspartame, the conclusion was that their pituitary glands and hypothalamus were messed up thanks to the substance, so the testosterone production went very badly because the mechanism responsible of testosterone (the circuit of LH hormones, etc.) went to hell35.

The rats were in a prepuberal stage (they were becoming adult rats) and I quote the study.

*“The degenerative aspects of brain and pituitary observed in Aspartame-treated rats suggests that it is reasonable to assume that the same infant-to-adult relationship would be true for the Aspartame consumption in humans to children in the prepubertal period of development, especially.”*

So there is scientific evidence that support that aspartame is not so harmless to our beloved hormone, and that I was not misguided with my early suspicions about the damn toxin messing up with the testosterone creation mechanism in its very same starting point.

I decided to drop every gram of aspartame just because it’s a toxin, but this added weight to my quest for recovery. So goodbye forever guilty pleasures, it was not nice to know you… bastards.

I tossed completely diet sodas and chewing gum, I was going to be my own study subject, and two or three weeks after dropping aspartame the results turbocharged. I awoke some mornings with a gigantic tent in my sheets (well, you are a man, you know I had to say that at one point or another, and no, it’s not gigantic at all, but it was alive and kicking, again), my penis seem larger and healthy again when resting, instead of shy and retracted, and my mood, my drive, my focus multiplied again fueled by the change of lifestyle and the absence of excitotoxins.

I was consuming a good aspartame daily for years (I even noted other side effects sometimes, like constant sweet sensation in my mouth, that altered how other food tasted, but I never gave it credit for anything, much fewer testosterone problems) and I can feel that I’m not fully recovered yet, but I know one thing, dropping aspartame was a multiplier to all of this.

If you don’t mess with aspartame you have been smarter than me, if so, try for yourself, I don’t especially want to be sued by some sweetener corporation so I just say: “try and you will see”.

And (for the first time in this pages I’m going to ask that) trust me, I know that I’m not the only one that after quitting started recovering his manhood.

My body, turbocharged by what’s in these pages and without that sneaky saboteur, is going at it again, because he is wise even when I’m an idiot.

Scientific Studies Referenced

  1. University of Zurich (2009, December 9). Testosterone does not induce aggression, study shows.Eisenegger et al. Prejudice and truth about the effect of testosterone on human bargaining behaviour. Nature, 2009.
  2. Vermeulen, A. (1996). Declining Androgens with Age: An Overview. In Vermeulen, A. & Oddens, & B. J. (Eds.), Androgens and the Aging Male (pp. 3-14). New York: Parthenon Publishing.
  3. S. Dhindsa, M. G. Miller, C. L McWhirter, D. E. Mager, H. Ghanim, A. Chaudhuri, P. Dandona. Testosterone concentrations in diabetic and non-diabetic obese men. Diabetes Care, 2010; DOI: 10.2337/dc09-1649
  4. Dhindsa, S. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, November 2004; vol 89: pp 5462-5468.
  5. 3 Zoppi, F. R., et. al. (2002). Sexual activity and plasma testosterone levels in hypertensive males. American Journal of Hypertension, 15(3), 217-221.
  6. Interrelation between plasma testosterone and plasma insulin in healthy adult men: the Telecom StudyD. Simon, P. Preziosi, E. Barrett-Connor, M. Roger, M. Saint-Paul, K. Nahoul and L. Papoz
  7. Increasing Insulin Resistance Is Associated with a Decrease in Leydig Cell Testosterone Secretion in MenNelly Pitteloud, Megan Hardin, Andrew A. Dwyer, Elena Valassi, Maria Yialamas, Dariush Elahi and Frances J. Hayes
  8. Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. Volume 32, Issue 1, 2008, Pages 20-39. Nicole M. Avenaa, Pedro Radaa and Bartley G. Hoebel. Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton.
  9. Induction of Estradiol Metabolism by Dietary Indole-3-carbinol in Humans, JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (1990) 82 (11): 947-949. doi: 10.1093/jnci/82.11.947Jon J. Michnovicz and H. Leon Bradlow
  10. Effects of dietary zinc depletion on seminal volume and zinc loss, serum testosterone concentrations, and sperm morphology in young men. CD Hunt, PE Johnson, J Herbel and LK Mullen. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, ND 58202.
  11. Lisa C. Vinikoor, Jane C. Schroeder, Robert C. Millikan, Jessie A. Satia, Christopher F. Martin, Joseph Ibrahim, Joseph A. Galanko, and Robert S. SandlerConsumption of trans-Fatty Acid and Its Association with Colorectal Adenomas. Am. J. Epidemiol. (2008) 168(3): 289-297 doi:10.1093/aje/kwn13
  12. J Toxicol Sci. 2010;35(5):743-7. Testosterone-lowering activity of canola and hydrogenated soybean oil in the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat. Okuyama H, Ohara N, Tatematsu K, Fuma S, Nonogaki T, Yamada K, Ichikawa Y, Miyazawa D, Yasui Y, Honma S.
  13. Wang C, Catlin DH, Starcevic B, Heber D, Ambler C, Berman N, Lucas G, Leung A, Schramm K, Lee PW, Hull L, Swerdloff RS. “Low Fat High Fiber Diet Decreased Serum and Urine Androgens in Men.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Mar 1. PMID: 15741266.
  14. Hamalainen E, Adlercreutz H, Puska P, Pietinen P. “Diet and serum sex hormones in healthy men.” J Steroid Biochem. 1984 Jan;20(1):459-64. PMID: 6538617.
  15. Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exerciseJEFF S. VOLEK,1,2 WILLIAM J. KRAEMER,1,2,3,4 JILL A. BUSH,1,2 THOMAS INCLEDON,1,2 AND MARK BOETES1,2
  16. Schuler, Lou. The Testosterone Advantage Plan. Rodale: USA, 2002.
  17. University Of Minnesota (2005, May 2). Food Fried In Vegetable Oil May Contain Toxic Compound. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 26, 2011, from [http://www.sciencedaily.com]
  18. Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exerciseJeff S. Volek1,2, William J. Kraemer1,2,3,4, Jill A. Bush1,2, Thomas Incledon1,2, and Mark Boetes1,2
  19. Regulation and perturbation of testicular functions by vitamin A. G Livera, V Rouiller-Fabre, C Pairault, C Levacher, and R Habert. Society for Reproduction and Fertility
  20. Bishop, D. T., Meikle, A. W., Slattery, M. L., Stringham, J. D., Ford, M. H., West, D. W., Borecki, I. B. and Rao, D. C. (1988), The effect of nutritional factors on sex hormone levels in male twins. Genetic Epidemiology, 5: 43–59. doi: 10.1002/gepi.1370050105
  21. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 May;41(5):1102-10. Athletic performance and vitamin D. Cannell JJ, Hollis BW, Sorenson MB, Taft TN, Anderson JJ
  22. Effect of vitamin D repletion on testicular function in vitamin D-deficient rats. Sood S, Reghunandanan R, Reghunandanan V, Marya RK, Singh PI.
  23. Association of Vitamin D Status with Serum Androgen Levels in Men. E. Wehr; S. Pilz; B. O. Boehm; W. März; B. Obermayer-Pietsch. Posted: 09/17/2010; Clin Endocrinol. 2010;73(4):243-248. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing
  24. Vitamin K deficiency reduces testosterone production in the testis through down-regulation of the Cyp11a a cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme in rats. Hitoshi Shirakawaa, Yusuke Ohsakia, 1, Yoshihiko Minegishia, Naofumi Takumia, Kousaku Ohinataa, Yuji Furukawaa, Takeo Mizutanib and Michio Komaia
  25. Garlic Supplementation Increases Testicular Testosterone and Decreases Plasma Corticosterone in Rats Fed a High Protein Diet. Yuriko Oi1, Mika Imafuku, Chiaki Shishido, Yutaka Kominato, Syoji Nishimura and Kazuo Iwai. Laboratory of Nutrition Chemistry, Faculty of Home Economics, Kobe Women’s University, Suma-ku, Kobe 654-8585, Japan and; * ; Riken Chemical Industry Limited Company, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto 612-8404, Japan
  26. EFFECTS OF ACUTE ALCOHOL INTOXICATION ON PITUITARY-GONADAL AXIS HORMONES, PITUITARY-ADRENAL AXIS HORMONES, {beta}-ENDORPHIN AND PROLACTIN IN HUMAN ADULTS OF BOTH SEXES – Frias et al. 37 (2): 169 – Alcohol and Alcoholism. Alcalc.oxfordjournals.org. doi:10.1093/alcalc/37.2.169. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  27. Testosterone Increases in Men After a Low Dose of Alcohol. Taisto Sarkola, C. J. Peter Eriksson
  28. Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening. Leproult, Rachel; Copinschi, Georges; Buxton, Orfeu; Van Cauter, Eve. Sleep: Journal of Sleep Research & Sleep Medicine, Vol 20(10), Oct 1997, 865-870.
  29. Mood changes, body mass index and bioavailable testosterone in healthy men: results of the Androx Vienna Municipality Study. Kratzik CW, Schatzl G, Lackner JE, Lunglmayr G, Brandstätter N, Rücklinger E, Huber J.
  30. Reduced Serum Testosterone and Prolactin Levels in Male Distance Runners. Garry D. Wheeler, MS; Stephen R. Wall, MA; Angelo N. Belcastro, PhD;David C. Cumming, MB, ChB
  31. Testosterone Is Significantly Reduced in Endurance Athletes without Impact on Bone Mineral DensityL. Maïmouna,b, S. Lumbrosoc, J. Manettad, F. Parisc, J.L. Lerouxe, C. Sultanc
  32. King, J., Panton, L., Broeder, C., Browder, K., Quindry, J., & Rhea, L. (2001). A comparison of high intensity vs. low intensity exercise on body composition in overweight women. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, 33, A2421
  33. Loebel, C.C., and W.J. Kraemer. A brief review: Testosterone and resistance training in men. J.Strength and Cond.Res. 12(1):57-63. 1998
  34. Aspartame: neuropsychologic and neurophysiologic evaluation of acute and chronic effects. PA Spiers, L Sabounjian, A Reiner, DK Myers, J Wurtman and DL Schomer
  35. ULTRASTRUCTURAL ASPECTS CONCERNING THE HYPOTHALAMUS-PITUITARY COMPLEX REACTIVITY FOLLOWING CHRONIC ADMINISTRATION OF ASPARTAME IN JUVENILE RATS. Constantin PUICĂ, Constantin CRĂCIUN, Mircea RUSU, Mihai CRISTESCU, Maria BORSA, Ioana ROMANBiological Research Institute, Cluj-Napoca. Babes-Bolyai University, Electron Microscopy Center, Cluj-Napoca. University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca[↩]