The Top Five Ways To Lower Testosterone
By Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS
Nutrition Director, Poliquin Performance Center
Years ago, I read an interesting article on fat loss in a nationally known, health-oriented magazine. The reporter had the unique idea that it would be really cool to follow around someone who was a complete expert at gaining fat. Then, all you’d do was watch what they did and do the opposite. Voila – a prescription for fat loss!
So, they followed around some Sumo wrestlers.
Sure enough, these guys knew how to pack on pounds. For one thing, they’d skip breakfast. Then they’d train, eat a huge meal and take a nap. Finally, after the evening workout, they’d completely pig out on McDonald’s then go to sleep. They were strong as oxen but they needed assistants to wash their backs cause they couldn’t reach around their own 400-pound girth.
This got me thinking. If you want to lower testosterone, look at the things we know that are guaranteed to raise it, then do the opposite.
For all of you who want to bring down your testosterone levels, here’s the prescription. Follow it, and before you know it you’ll find yourself talking knowledgeably about who Jessica Simpson is dating this week.
The Rules for Lower Testosterone
Number One: Eat a really low-fat diet. Studies show that limiting fat to 10 percent or less of total calories will take your testosterone levels right to the basement. You’ll especially want to avoid monounsaturated fats, omega-3’s and all those other pesky fats that keep your heart healthy and reduce inflammation. Who needs ‘em?
Number Two: Don’t eat protein. A study of 1,522 men ages 40-70 following low-protein diets had decreased testosterone and lower sex drives. Research also shows that athletes have higher testosterone levels when eating meat-based protein, so make sure to stay away from that. Remember, Tibetan monks live quite nicely on exclusively vegan diets. Of course, they also don’t reproduce, but who cares?
Number Three: Don’t lift weights. Who needs ‘em? They only make you muscle-bound. Plus, they increase T-levels. According to William Kraemer, a well-known kinesiology researcher at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory, weight lifting sets the stage for testosterone to act as a muscle builder. Who are the worst offenders? Big compound exercises that train several large muscle groups at once (squats, dead lifts). If you must lift weights, stick to the little “beauty bells”, keep the weight to less than six pounds, and try to listen to the Carpenters Greatest Hits while pumping out sets of 20.
Number four: Try not to sleep too much. Testosterone, not to mention growth hormone, is produced during deep, restful sleep known as REM sleep. If you can just manage to wake up every few hours, or make sure you toss and turn a lot, or better yet, just sleep a couple hours a night, you’ll be sure not to be raising either hormone.
Number Five: Drink up! Alcohol can definitely inhibit production of testosterone, not to mention what it can do to performance. Think: “I don’t know, honey, this has never happened before. Must be the booze”. ‘Nuff said?