You’ve heard the stories about cooking foods that raise testosterone levels. The ones that stick with you include bone broth, sushi, orange juice, beet juice, marinades, beer, red wine, roasted meat, and chicken. You’ve also heard about foods that bring it down, such as fried foods, coffee, tea, artificial sweeteners, cinnamon, chocolate, ice cream, tofu, and packaged foods.
The consensus seems to be that if the food is naturally high in glutamine (as opposed to chemically manufactured substances) and natural fats, it has positive effects on testosterone levels, whereas if the food contains refined sugar or other refined substances, it has negative effects on testosterone levels. Some scientists have even claimed that men with testosterone levels below 5–6 ng/ml are destined to become pedophiles.
Given these concerns, it would be easier to make a living by selling lottery tickets than in trying to convince a nutritionist or food scientist of the veracity of the claims about raising testosterone levels by eating certain foods. In fact, it would be less risky for nutritionists and food scientists to try to manipulate food to increase testosterone levels than to assume they do not exist.
I’ve heard a few nutritionists claim that red wine increases testosterone levels by raising blood sugar. One nutritionist I spoke with claimed that drinking red wine increased testosterone by 10–15%. But then I’ve heard that the exact opposite occurs when red wine is consumed. In addition, I’ve heard it from several personal nutritionists that red wine, green tea, and orange juice all lower testosterone levels. I’ve also heard that marinating foods increases testosterone levels, and consuming roasted meats and puffed foods raises testosterone levels.
However, some of these findings are indirect, and the studies on these findings tend to be small. And perhaps red wine, green tea, and puffed foods are more of a health food trend. If you are a healthy nutritionist or a personal nutritionist, you are more likely to see an increase in testosterone levels when people eat vegetables or try a natural remedy for hypothyroidism or an autoimmune disease than when they consume foods such as baked potatoes and red wine. If you work for a pharmaceutical company, you would be more likely to find a correlation between red wine and testosterone levels than a change. It would be easier for a pharmaceutical company to identify the changes in blood glucose or insulin levels and testosterone levels than to find out if the men in the study increased their testosterone levels by eating salad, marinated meats, fish, or red wine.
One personal nutritionist claims to have seen a change in testosterone levels in a person who was taking a hormone replacement medication and was consuming red wine. Another personal nutritionist claimed to have seen a change in testosterone levels in a man who ate fermented foods such as fermented vegetables, cheese, and whole-grain bread.