Carbohydrates and Testosterone: This Is Why Carbs Are Essential For T Production
It’s trendy right now to omit from certain macro nutrients. Some years ago it was the low-fat craze, and not a big surprise, people got sicker than ever because of it. The mass media always needs something to demonize, and currently carbohydrates are considered to be the “root of all evil”.
You may have read the “10 Ways to Boost Testosterone” and such lists from other websites, which often claim that you should avoid carbs to boost testosterone, but that just goes completely against the current scientific evidence.
To be honest, carbs are not bad, carbohydrates are pretty fucking important for testosterone optimization if you ask me.
Let’s take a closer look:
Carbs and Testosterone Production
People often claim that low-carb diets are superior to anything else, simply because they would be better for losing weight.
Fortunately the above is a load of bullshit, because weight loss is all about energy balance. If you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you consume less calories than you burn, you lose weight. There’s a mounting pile of scientific evidence to prove this fact, and anyone who tells you that you could bend this law of physics by tricking around with macro nutrients, is a nutcracker.
Heck, Professor Mark Kraub lost 27 pounds by eating only Twinkies, little Debbie snacks, Oreos, sugary cereals, and Doritos chips. Why? Because he simply ate less calories than what his body used. You simply cannot escape the laws of physic with fad diets.
The only time when you could actually benefit from low-carb diets, is if you have some serious issues with insulin-resistance, or leptin-resistance, or if you’re prepping up for a bodybuilding show. If you don’t, then there’s really no need to omit from carbohydrates.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the meaty part of this article…
…Here’s why carbohydrates are essentially important for testosterone production:
a) In this study, the researchers divided their subjects into 2 groups. The other group ate a high-carb low-protein diet, whereas the other group ate a high-protein low-carb diet. Fat intake and calories were identical. Ten days into the study, the results showed that the high-carb group had significantly higher free testosterone levels (+36%), lower SHBG levels, and lower cortisol levels when compared to the high-protein low-carb group.
b) In this study, the researchers found out that in exercising men, the stress hormone cortisol increases rapidly when they’re put on low-carb diets. Needless to say that this is pretty bad thing for testosterone production.
c) Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which is the hormone that basically starts the whole cascade of events that eventually leads to testosterone synthesis, adjusts its pulsation rate according to the glucose levels of the body. When there’s high amount of glucose present, the hypothalamus inside our brains releases more GnRH, and thus your body synthesizes more testosterone. And when there’s low amounts of glucose present in the body, the brain releases less GnRH, which slows down testosterone synthesis (study).
As glucose is mainly generated from carbohydrates, it’s quite obvious that low-carb diets also mean lowered blood, muscle, and brain glucose levels, leading to slower release of GnRH, and therefore also lower testosterone.
d) In this study, the researchers had 2 groups of men who performed three consecutive days of intensive training, the only thing different between these groups was the carbohydrate consumption. The other group ate 60% of their daily calories from carbs, whereas the other group ate only 30% (note that this isn’t even low-carb anymore). The final post-study measurements which were taken in the third day, showed that the group which got the lower amount of carbs, had significantly lower free testosterone levels, and higher cortisol levels (this is one of the reasons why I recommend more carbs on training days). Similar results were observed in this study too.
“See? That’s why I don’t recommend low-carb diets”.
But are all carbs created equal? Should you just slam your face with spaghetti, sugar, and hamburger buns?
Answer: There’s differences between carbs, and when it comes to boosting testosterone, I usually divide them into 2 groups.
1. Starchy tubers and veggies: potatoes, yam, pumpkins, batates, beets, carrots, turnips, squash, etc.
2. Grains: wheat, rice, cereals, pasta, corn, bread, etc.
If your goal is to eat the testosterone boosting carbs, you should eat most of your carbs from the group 1, and less from the group 2.
It doesn’t kill you or wipe away your testosterone tank if you have bread or pasta once in a while, but eating mostly from the group 1 is a good staple to follow if you want to increase your natural testosterone production.
Personally I like to eat a lot of potatoes, I consider them to be the god-tier when it comes to carbs, and if I have some grains, I try to have some that contains no gluten and preferably has some androgenic effects (read: sorghum).
Carbohydrates are essential for testosterone, and they’re not unhealthy at all. Just stop believing the mass media craze, they’ll always need some food group to demonize, and currently it’s carbohydrates.
Be aware of this especially if you exercise a lot.
Thanks for reading!
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