Medically Reviewed by Babar Shahzad, DR
Worryingly, men’s testosterone levels are now lower than ever and have been declining for years. Specifically, a 2007 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism highlighted that the average testosterone level has been dropping by as much as one percent per year!
A 65-year-old man in 1987 had about 17% more testosterone than a 65-year-old man in 2004! Also, nearly 40% of men are diagnosed with hypogonadism – a medical condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone – by the time they reach 45 years old.
And as you’ll find out in this article, low testosterone levels consistently lead to poor health outcomes. Thankfully, there’s an easy and natural way to boost testosterone levels: intermittent fasting! Read on to find out about intermittent fasting’s testosterone benefits.
Wait, what is testosterone?
Testosterone is an androgen – a type of hormone – responsible for many of the ‘male’ sex characteristics you observe, such as enhanced muscularity and hairiness. While it’s produced primarily in the testicles, it’s critical to note that women typically produce testosterone in small amounts as well in the ovaries.
In men, testosterone plays several crucial roles, such as:
- Development of the penis and testes
- Deepening of the voice during puberty
- Muscle size and strength
- Bone growth and strength
- Sex drive (libido)
- Sperm production
- Possible maintenance of normal mood
Low levels of testosterone
Why do low testosterone levels matter?
Why should men worry about low testosterone levels?
You see: late onset of hypogonadism can cause increased body fat, mood disturbances, loss of muscle tone, inadequate erections leading to unhappiness in the bedroom, osteoporosis, difficulty with concentration, sleep problems, and even memory loss.
And worse, it seems that low testosterone levels in men have been linked to metabolic syndrome – a chronic cluster of health conditions that occur concurrently and lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes!
Symptoms of low testosterone
Men are diagnosed with low testosterone (low T) when the androgen levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL); if you think you’re at risk of hypogonadism, you can check your symptoms against those mentioned below (in addition to the ones listed above):
- Low sex drive – Due to testosterone’s key role in maintaining sex drive in men, a man suffering from low T will likely experience a massive drop in his desire to have sex.
- Low semen volume – Testosterone is critical in the production of semen; males with low T will often notice a significant decrease in the amount of their semen (the milky male reproductive fluid that helps sperms’ motility).
- Hair loss – You might not know it, but testosterone plays a role in hair production as well; men with low T are at more significant risk for loss of body and facial hair.
- Fatigue – Men with low T frequently report being tired all the time and face a significant decrease in energy levels despite having gotten enough sleep the previous night.
- Low blood counts – According to a research article in the Journal of the America Medical Association, low testosterone levels are linked to an increased risk of anemia (a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues).
Don’t go for testosterone therapy just yet
Afraid that you might be suffering from low T? Or, perhaps, you’re just reading this article to find out how you can raise your testosterone levels when you need to, further down the road?
If the first solution that you’ve thought of for your (potential) low T is testosterone therapy, well, you should probably know that it carries various risks. For example, male hormonal treatment may:
- Contribute to sleep apnea (breathing difficulties when asleep)
- Cause acne or other skin reactions
- Stimulate noncancerous growth of the prostate and growth of existing prostate cancer
- Enlarge breasts
- Increase the risk of heart disease
How to increase testosterone: intermittent fasting
If you’ve been put off by the risks of testosterone therapy, don’t despair just yet – you’re not destined to poor performance in the bedroom until you’ve tried natural ways to boost your testosterone.
Also, don’t worry; we’re not going to ask you to eat any strange herbs or apply unknown oils on yourself. All we’re asking you to do is to change your eating pattern. Yes – you guessed it, we’re asking you to adopt intermittent fasting to optimize your testosterone levels naturally!
So – what is intermittent fasting?
Don’t fret if you’re not familiar with the concept of intermittent fasting; it’s not complicated at all! All intermittent fasting is, is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting – not eating – and eating.
Intermittent fasting’s effects on testosterone
So – the top questions you have in your mind right now should be: “What does intermittent fasting do to testosterone? How does intermittent fasting raise testosterone?”
Well, read on to find out what intermittent fasting’s effects on testosterone are, exactly.
1. Increases luteinizing hormone
Luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulates the production of testosterone in the cells of the testes; as you can imagine, if you could increase the levels of this testosterone precursor hormone, you’d be able to raise your androgen levels.
And you don’t have to jump through hoops to increase your levels of LH either – luckily for you, short periods of fasting are adequate. Specifically, in non-obese men, a study showed that intermittent fasting increased LH by as much as 67%!
That’s not all either. Seemingly due to the increase in LH, overall testosterone levels were boosted by a whopping 180%! Talk about a simple but effective way for a testosterone stimulation.
2. Increases growth hormone
Testosterone and growth hormone (GH) are both potent anabolic (muscle-building) hormones, and they have been shown to correlate with each other. Excitingly, research has shown that you can enhance your GH levels naturally by as much as 2000% with just a 24-hour fast!
Just imagine what that means for your testosterone levels.
3. Increases insulin sensitivity
Studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between low levels of testosterone and insulin resistance: therefore, current scientific literature suggests that the more sensitive to insulin you are, the higher your testosterone levels will be.
So – is there a fast and easy way for you to raise your insulin sensitivity levels? If you’ve been paying attention, you’d know the recurring theme: intermittent fasting!
According to research, intermittent fasting demonstrates significant benefits for insulin resistance. Following the same line of reasoning, you can, therefore, make use of intermittent fasting to raise the body’s sensitivity to insulin and raise your testosterone!
4. Decreases fat mass
You might not know this, but the more body fat you hold onto, the less testosterone your body will be able to produce. If you’re currently on the heavier side of the scale, don’t fret. Weight loss usually brings your body’s testosterone production levels right back up.
Studies of obese and overweight people have consistently shown that the higher the amount of weight loss, the greater the testosterone increase. And you don’t have to lose 50 pounds either – just 5% loss in weight can bump up testosterone levels quite a fair bit.
Understandably, weight loss can be challenging for many; if you’re finding it challenging to keep the pounds off to boost testosterone levels, you should try intermittent fasting. A 2014 review of intermittent fasting demonstrated that this pattern of eating could cause weight loss of up to 8% over 24 weeks! Exciting, right?
5. Decreases leptin levels
Leptin is a hormone that’s primarily produced by your fat cells that helps to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger. Now – you may be wondering, “Isn’t that good – leptin is asking me to eat less, right?”
Not exactly. We can draw parallels between how your body responds to leptin with how you react to your alarm clocks at 5 AM. If you hit the snooze button day after day and go back to sleep, the alarm clock is doing nothing to get you up.
Similarly, when you overeat, you’re hitting the ‘snooze’ button on leptin; you’re telling your body to ignore the “I’m full” messages to your brain. You then find it incredibly challenging to feel full.
As a result, you’ll put on more fat mass than intended. As mentioned earlier, testosterone production decreases when fat mass increases. Thankfully, intermittent fasting can reset your leptin sensitivity so you’ll learn to control your portions again.
Once your calories decrease, you’ll undoubtedly lose fat mass, and your testosterone levels will steadily increase once again.
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Here’s a quick question to test if you’ve been paying attention: does intermittent fasting lower testosterone?
Hopefully, you got it right;
intermittent fasting boosts testosterone levels, instead of lowering them! Ultimately, if you suspect that you’re suffering from symptoms of low T, you could give intermittent fasting a go before seeing your doctor about hormonal therapy. It’s simple, easy to implement, and carries minimal risk of side effects.
No time to waste – click here, take a QUIZ and get your personalized intermittent fasting plan Today!