Get back to building muscle and burning fat with these 'T'-stimulating sources of nutrition.
Courtney Anaya, C.P.T., for Muscle & Fitness 1 / 7
If your sex drive is low and your progress is stalling in the gym, hormones could be to blame. Testosterone, every guy's best bodybuilding asset, is at its peak during your 20s. After you hit 30, however, it dips about 1.6% per year. Going HAM in the gym is a surefire way of boosting T, but there are other options that can up your levels, too.
So before you run off to the nearest supplement store, try enhancing your testosterone levels with these six foods.
Eggs should be in your diet already—specifically egg yolks. Recommended once more in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, egg yolks contain more nutrients than egg whites. The 'T'-boosting micronutrient in the yolk is vitamin D3, a bioidentical hormone for testosterone because it’s a cholesterol-derived steroid hormone. Total testosterone and free testosterone increased by 400 percent after supplementing with vitamin D3 for over 12 months, according to a study published in Hormone & Metabolic Research.
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower) are anti-estrogenic foods because they release a compound called indole-3 carbinole. This compound gets converted to DIM (di-indollyl methane), which converts estrogen into safer forms — allowing for appropriate levels of free testosterone. Free testosterone easily binds to androgen receptors to increase sex drive, build muscle, reduce fat, and boost your performance in the gym.
An eight-ounce oyster has 18 grams of protein—making gains easy while upping your 'T' levels.
A balanced diet will net you about 10 milligrams of zinc each day, but the body only absorbs 2-3 milligrams of it—putting you at risk for a deficiency. When the body senses drastically low zinc level, the pituitary gland limits the release of the luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones; they are responsible for triggering T production in the testes. In turn, that hormonal change throttles back on the amount of androgen-binding sites and free testosterone in the blood stream.
Oysters are rich in zinc and protein, making them a worthy addition to your diet.
This food won’t just flavor up a meal but also raise your 'T' levels. Garlic contains a compound called diallyl-disulfide, which promotes a hormone that triggers 'T' production. Garlic raises t-levels when combined with a high protein diet, animal studies confirm.
Another reason why Popeye loved spinach: It amped up his t-levels. This green, leafy vegetable is packed with the element magnesium, which plays a vital role in muscle development and reproductive function. Magnesium increases free and total testosterone in athletes and non-active individuals, according to a study published in Biological Trace Element Research.
Pile your plate up with mushrooms if you want to see your testosterone levels surge. Mushrooms help prevent the production of the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgen to estrogen. A diet with plenty of mushrooms helps prevent free testosterone from binding to androgen receptors.