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Does a High-Protein Diet Increase Testosterone?

author image Matthew Lee
Matthew Lee has been writing professionally since 2007. Past and current research projects have explored the effect of a diagnosis of breast cancer on lifestyle and mental health and adherence to lifestyle-based (i.e. nutrition and exercise) and drug therapy treatment programs. He holds a Master of Arts in psychology from Carleton University and is working toward his doctorate in health psychology.
Does a High-Protein Diet Increase Testosterone?
A man is slicing a piece of steak. Photo Credit warrengoldswain/iStock/Getty Images

Two factors vital to your attempts to build muscle and achieve the gains you want in the gym are protein intake and testosterone levels. Despite these working together to help you to build muscle, increasing your protein intake will not boost your testosterone levels. In fact, if you don't regularly perform resistance exercise, a high-protein diet might actually lead to a drop in your testosterone levels.

Protein Intake and Testosterone

According to a study published in 2008 in the "Journal of Applied Physiology," your testosterone levels tend to drop when you perform extreme exercise and burn more calories than you consume. Contrary to the researchers' expectations, eating a high-protein diet did not help to prevent this drop in testosterone. However, as long as you consume enough calories, regularly performing resistance exercise can actually help to boost your testosterone levels.

Decreased Testosterone

Preliminary findings from a study published in 2007 in the "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology" indicate that eating a high-protein diet might actually lower your testosterone levels. This is because high-protein diets cause an increase in insulinlike growth factor, which can interfere with testosterone production. Although these findings are not conclusive, it seems unlikely that a high-protein diet can boost your testosterone levels.

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