Every bodybuilder wants to be bigger, stronger, more ripped, more determined and more powerful in the gym. That’s kind of the point of being a bodybuilder in the first place. But lifting weights isn’t the only way to achieve this – what’s just as important is to pay attention to your diet and to your internal body chemistry.
In particular, this means focusing on your levels of testosterone, which will are directly responsible for your body’s ‘anabolism’ – it’s tendency to burn calories and fat and to build and repair muscle tissue. More testosterone = more fat burning and more hypertrophy.
The secret to getting the most from your training and diet then is not just to eat lots of protein, but to look out for those T-boosting food items as well. Here we will look at 20 things you should look for in your diet that will act like powerful supplements and enhance your testosterone levels.
1 Whole Milk
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Whole milk is one of the very best foods out there for boosting testosterone and for bodybuilding in general. Not only is whole milk very high in protein (it’s where whey and casein come from) as well as calcium, but it also supplies us with lots of healthy fats – which the body uses to create the steroid hormones.
Whole milk before bed is ideal for improving your testosterone production.
Asparagus is often considered a natural aphrodisiac which is owed to its ability to increase testosterone production. It does this through its high content of folic acid, potassium and vitamin E – all important ingredients used by the body to create testosterone.
3 Fortified Cereals
Vitamin D is actually also very important for testosterone levels, and for improving sleep! That’s why it’s important to spend lots of time outside. Still, getting enough sun is difficult sometimes and most of the population are vitamin D deficient. Instead then, why not get your vitamin D from a fortified cereal?
Pineapple was a popular snack for bodybuilders in the golden age thanks to its content of bromelain. This helps boost testosterone and also aids in the digestion of protein!
5 Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts really are superfoods and are high in just about everything (which is just as well, because they sure don’t taste that great!). In terms of testosterone production they work by combating aromatase enzyme, which is a threat to testosterone levels as it converts them into estrogen. This is thanks to a substance called ‘indole 3-carbinol’ (DIM).
Another great source of DIM is cauliflower. Diets high in DIM can lower oestrogen by up to 50%!
7 Raw Chocolate
Raw chocolate is high in zinc and magnesium, which are two highly critical minerals for the creation of testosterone. Some athletes actually take these minerals as a supplement called ‘ZMA’ for that very reason!
8 Olive Oil
As we mentioned, cholesterol is important for testosterone. Olive oil is very effective in helping the Leydig cells absorb more cholesterol, which in turn results in greater testosterone production.
9 Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been found in studies to be even more effective than olive oil in increasing testosterone levels. This time though it is down mainly to the saturated fat. Stop treating fat as the enemy!
Citrus fruits have never been particularly big friends of bodybuilders or dieters, but they do have one thing going for them, which is a high amount of vitamin C. In turn, this vitamin C will reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which will increase your testosterone levels!
A spoonful of honey before bedtime may help you considerably when it comes to getting to sleep. That’s because it provides your brain with energy throughout the night and helps you to avoid a disturbed rest due to low blood sugar. As you produce testosterone when you sleep, this can help a great deal.
Not only do eggs once again contain all the right types of fat, but they are also one of the few complete amino acid sources meaning they’ll supply you with all the amino acids you need resulting in better testosterone production.
13 Red Meat
Steak has always been thought of as a brilliant source of testosterone, which is due to its perfect storm of ingredients: cholesterol, protein, saturated fat and zinc.
Tuna is not just a brilliant source of lean protein packed with amino acids, but it is also a great source of omega 3 fatty acid. This has been shown to correlate to high testosterone production and is another of your ‘healthy’ fats.
15 Cod Liver Oil
Another great source of omega 3’s is cod liver oil.
16 Grass-Fed Cow Butter
Butter is full of good saturated fats, as well as vitamins and CLA. Grass fed is by far the healthiest type, so seek it out. You can also try it in coffee!
Avocados are another source of many of the things that are essential for testosterone production, including vitamins A, B, C, omega 3 fatty acids, potassium, cholesterol and folic acid. Need I say more?
18 Brazil Nuts
As well as once again having lots of omega 3 fatty acids, Brazil nuts are also brilliant for their zinc and selenium content. It takes just one Brazil nut to get your full RDA of selenium!
Bananas contain more of the same bromelain enzyme found in pineapple and are also high in potassium. On top of this, they’re also a great source of energy before a workout.
Garlic should be hailed by any bodybuilder as one of the best foods out there. This will boost testosterone by combating cortisol, and on top of that, it’s also a vasodilator (like NO2), helping you to get more blood to your muscles for enhanced anabolic effect.
So there you go, 20 foods to add to your diet right away that will act like powerful supplements! Combine these foods with an actual testosterone supplement and you’ll see your T levels go through the roof!
21. Testosterone Supplements
Last, but not the least, testosterone supplements are hugely popular among bodybuilders. Testosterone supplements are a perfect mix of natural ingredients that stimulate testosterone production in your body. Such supplements not only increase muscle growth and size but also help boost libido or sex drive. They can also help you get harder erections.
Though there are a couple of good testosterone boosters on the market, one that I would recommend is Testo Max from Crazy Bulk.