Testosterone supplementation is expensive and may cause unwanted side effects. Nutritional intake may have an impact on hormone levels, prompting some to speculate on the potential of boosting testosterone levels through diet rather than supplementation. As testosterone can amplify muscle growth and fat loss, these dietary changes may help to improve physique.
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Attempting to alter hormones can be dangerous, always discuss any plans to increase testosterone with a medical professional.
Research suggests that consumption of onions, or at least onion juice, may be beneficial for increasing testosterone. According to a study from the February 2009 issue of the research journal "Folia Morphologica," 20 days of onion juice supplementation significantly increased testosterone levels and concentrations of luteinizing hormone, which spurs production of testosterone. The increases in luteinizing hormone only appeared in the groups receiving the highest concentrations of onion juice. While this is promising, research was performed on rats, not humans, and therefore is inconclusive.
The nutrition resource, "World's Healthiest Foods" notes that one serving of calf's liver provides 72 percent of your daily recommended allowance for zinc, making it one of the most zinc-rich foods available. Zinc may help increase testosterone, according to a February 2006 study from the journal "Neuro Endocrinology Letters," which found zinc to be effective in increasing testosterone levels in athletes. In addition, calf's liver contains protein, which is important for muscle growth.
Steak may increase testosterone levels because of its nutritional make-up. Steak is high in protein and fat and contains no carbohydrates, which according to research from the January 1997 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology, makes steak a perfect candidate for increasing testosterone levels. The study investigated how hormones could be manipulated by diet and exercise, and found that there was a correlation between protein and testosterone, as well as fat and testosterone. Researchers did not find similar evidence to suggest that high carbohydrate intake would increase testosterone levels.
Despite the Popeye associations, spinach is not a food traditionally associated with testosterone increase; however, its high levels of the mineral magnesium are notable. According to research from the March 2010 issue of the journal "Biological Trace Element Research," magnesium supplementation can significantly increase testosterone in sedentary individuals and athletes.