Testosterone and muscle mass
Testosterone – the male hormone that is responsible for, amongst other things, muscle growth – should be a priority for every male to maintain.
Keeping testosterone production at peak levels is obviously essential for those wanting to increase muscle mass and improve physical performance.
The bad news is production of this hormone peaks during your late 20’s or early 30’s and then rapidly begins to decline. At the same time, the stress hormone cortisol also increases and this basically impairs testosterone production even further.
Foods that increase testosterone
No matter what age you are, you can help your body help itself and keep testosterone at peak levels by including more testosterone-producing foods in your everyday nutritional intake.
Include these foods that increase testosterone to both assist your testosterone production and also help stop cortisol and oestrogen from robbing you of any potential muscle gains.
#1 – Eggs
The cholesterol found in egg yolks is the precursor for testosterone production. As the fears of cholesterol in eggs raising your own cholesterol levels have now been found to be pretty much false, feel free to get some good quality egg yolks down your neck and raise your muscle building potential.
They are also rich in vitamin D which also supports testosterone production.
#2 – Honey
Honey contains a mineral called ‘Boron’, which is directly linked to higher testosterone. One study took 8 heathy males who ingested 10mg of boron per day for 7 days. After this period, they had raised their free testosterone levels by a massive 28%. 
#3 – Shrimp
These little crustaceans are another great source of vitamin D and studies have shown that vitamin D has a strong link to ‘T’ production. Men who were tested and found to have higher levels of Vitamin D also had higher levels of Testosterone .
#4 – Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc and zinc is a key mineral involved in testosterone production. Similarly to the study above, men diagnosed with low testosterone were found to have very low zinc intake .
#5 – Guavas
This fruit has literally masses of Vitamin C (228mg per 100g). Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and as such will help control cortisol  – cortisol kills testosterone, so the more you can do to control it, the better. Any fruit high in vitamin C will of course help, but Guavas are the daddy!
#6 – Bananas
Staying on the fruit theme, bananas contain the enzyme ‘Bromelain’, which some studies have suggested boost the male libido. They are also packed with B vitamins like riboflavin, essential for the manufacture of testosterone.
#7 – Broccoli
A study has shown that increasing the intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, helps rid the body of oestrogen. By reducing the levels of this female hormone in your body, testosterone is automatically increased. Vegetables such as these also help with weight control, which is also another great natural way of increasing your testosterone levels.
#8 – Brazil nuts
The key ingredient here is magnesium and Brazil nuts have an abundance of this testosterone producing mineral. A recent study found that athletes who took 750mg of magnesium every day for four weeks increased their testosterone levels by 26%.
#9 – Garlic
Garlic contains the chemical ‘Diallyl disulphide’, which stimulates the body to release a hormone that triggers the production of testosterone. Furthermore, a Japanese study found that, when combined with a high protein diet for a month, there was a considerable boost to testosterone production.
As a bonus, garlic also offers some anti-inflammatory benefits, which in turn can decrease cortisol levels quite nicely.
#10 – Raw dark chocolate
As the ‘wild card’ of this group, dark chocolate (85% cocoa and above) does have some good properties to help your testosterone levels. Although refined sugar blocks testosterone production, so should normally be avoided, dark chocolate is normally low in sugars, but very high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants of course fight oxidative damage and stress within the body, which in theory will lead to significant reductions in cortisol production.
So there you have it…include as many of these types of food in your weekly meal plans to ensure that you keep your testosterone levels at maximum and all without the need for supplementing with expensive testosterone supplements.
To read more about Justin Conway, visit his Expert Profile.
 Naghii MR, Mofed M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour MS. (2011) Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines.
 Nimptsch,K., Platz, E., Willett, W., & Giovannucci, E. (2012). Association between plasma 25-OH vitamin D and Testosterone levels in men.
 Prasad, A., Mantzoroz, C., Beck, F., Hess, J.,& Brewer, G (1996). Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults.
 Peters, E., Anderson, R., Nieman, D., Fickl, H., & Jogessar,V. (2001). Vitamin C supplementation attenuates the increase in circulating cortisol, Adrenaline and Anti-Inflammatory polypeptides following ultramarathon running. International journal of sports medicine.