There are a lot of reasons that men are looking to increase their testosterone levels. One of the main reasons that people want to increase testosterone is because it can help enhance their sex drive and libido.
There are lots of ways that you can increase your testosterone, but unfortunately, some of them carry with them some risks. Things like testosterone replacement therapy or supplementation can seriously mess up your hormone levels and lead to unwanted side effects.
If you don’t want to take sex pills, you can seek alternative options, such as intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting has received a great deal of popularity in the last few years. Intermittent fasting – which involves restricting yourself from eating for a certain time period every day – has been proven to be useful for helping with weight loss and general well-being. Now, some people are saying that intermittent fasting benefits can include enhanced testosterone and sex drive.
How could changing your eating habits have an influence on your sex drive? What are the other intermittent fasting results? And what exactly is intermittent fasting, and how does it affect your body? These are the questions that we’ll answer for you in this article.
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What is Intermittent fasting
The whole concept of intermittent fasting might seem strange to someone who was raised in a first-world culture, where most people eat three meals a day. Most people eat more than this, actually, tending to snack in between meals.
To many other people in the world, our eating habits would seem strange. Research is beginning to recognize that the body tends to function a bit better when we’re not constantly filling it with food. And, regardless of what the research says, there’s absolutely no doubt that in many first-world countries (especially America) there are significant problems with overeating.
Intermittent fasting is a diet plan which involves, basically, restricted eating. In many places in the world, intermittent fasting isn’t even a diet plan – it’s just the way that people normally eat. However, in first world countries, intermittent fasting is generally acknowledged as a diet plan in which people regularly refrain from eating for periods of between 12 to 48 hours.
In between these ‘fasting cycles,’ people can eat whatever they want. In that sense, intermittent fasting isn’t so much a diet plan as a restriction on when you eat. If you wanted to, you could do your intermittent fasting and eat junk food in between your fasting cycles (but why would you want to do that?)
One of the most common intermittent fasting cycles is known as the 16/8 cycle. During this cycle, people refrain from eating for 16 hours out of the day. Then, during the next 8 hours, they can eat whatever they want. One of the easiest ways to do this is by simply skipping two meals out of the day.
When you’re fasting, you shouldn’t be consuming any calories or any solid foods that your body has to work to digest. Depending on your preferences, you may include non-caloric drinks like tea or coffee – however, the caffeine in these beverages is known to affect metabolism and you would do well to avoid them.
Intermittent fasting testosterone benefits – does it really work?
Intermittent fasting and working out are understood to work well together, but how does the diet practice also affect testosterone levels? The Joe Rogan intermittent fasting talk shed some light on the issue, but it has left us with a number of questions.
One of the only ways to really understand the intermittent fasting testosterone link is to look at the research. Tons of people can say that intermittent fasting improves their testosterone levels, but if they’re not getting tested frequently for their T levels then it’s hard to say whether or not this is true.
Fortunately, there have been a number of controlled studies done in regards to intermittent fasting and testosterone. The results, however, have been mixed.
One study, which was done on rats, revealed that intermittent fasting did actually increase testosterone levels. However, animal studies don’t always transfer over to humans (although rat studies are generally used as the benchmark before human studies are done).
There has also been evidence that showed the opposite and suggested that intermittent fasting is only useful for boosting testosterone in the very short-term. In fact, one of these studies showed that after 3 days of intermittent fasting, men started to see a decrease in their T levels.
Yet another study showed that men who fasted for as long as 84 hours showed a decrease in their production of luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is the precursor for testosterone, so if you stop producing this then your body will produce less T and your levels will drop.
The one thing that we can be clear on is that we need more research in the area. It can also help to have a more in-depth understanding of why fasting even affects your T levels in the first place.
How intermittent fasting can improve testosterone levels?
There are a few reasons that intermittent fasting can have an impact on testosterone levels. While science hasn’t been able to determine exactly why some people experience an improvement in T levels and others experience a decrease, what we know is that intermittent fasting certainly affects T.
Here’s the good side of the research.
Intermittent Fasting Can Increase Luteinizing Hormone
One study revealed that intermittent fasting can actually increase the amount of LH that the body produces. As mentioned before, LH is a precursor to testosterone – the body uses it to create T. In this particular study, the 67% increase in luteinizing hormone led to an impressive 180% boost of overall T levels.
The results of that study were done over the short-term. Long-term results were not determined. It might be that doing short-term fasts once every week or so would be the best way to increase your T levels. While the boost of T would not be permanent, you would be able to reliably spike your T once or twice a week which could improve your sex life and libido.
Intermittent Fasting Affects Insulin Sensitivity
Many intermittent fasters prefer to simply skip breakfast. One of the reasons that this is good for the body is because of the way our body works shortly after awakening.
Early in the morning – for whatever reason, likely something to do with our ancestry – our body is primed to burn fat as fuel. In preparation for this, the body reduces insulin levels while elevating cortisol and growth hormone.
Cortisol and decreased insulin levels are good. However, when we eat food, our insulin levels tend to spike in order to process the glucose and carbs that we’re digesting. This leads to a sharp decrease in blood sugar levels and can lead to chronic overeating.
While this benefit is more useful for people who are hoping to lose weight, it can also help to regulate energy levels which, in turn, can improve your sexual ability.
Intermittent Fasting Helps Your Body Increase T Levels by Burning Body Fat
In the morning, your body increases cortisol because it’s supposed to be burning excess body fat in the morning.
This means that when you eat breakfast, you actually prevent your body from burning off the fat that it has stored from the day before. Why does this matter for anyone hoping to raise their T levels?
Well, one reason is because of the relationship between testosterone and body fat. There is an inverse relationship between testosterone and body fat – meaning that people with higher levels of body fat tend to have lower levels of testosterone. On the flip side, if you’re able to reduce your overall levels of body fat, you’ll stand a good chance of being able to increase T levels.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to skip breakfast and let your body do its things. The elevated cortisol and low insulin levels will encourage your body to burn excess body fat which will clear up space for more testosterone.
Intermittent Fasting Boosts Levels of Growth Hormone
The growth hormone is a substance that is closely related to testosterone. Both of these hormones function similarly – they are both androgens, and they are both involved in helping the body produce muscle, regulate libido, and encourage male health.
Some studies have shown that people can experience drastic improvements to their growth hormone levels by fasting for as little as one day.
Other intermittent fasting benefits
If you’re already pumped on the testosterone-boosting benefits of intermittent fasting, just wait – there are even more benefits that you’ll be able to enjoy if you choose to start fasting.
Intermittent Fasting Boosts Levels of Adiponectin
Adiponectin is a hormone that helps increase the body’s insulin sensitivity. This plays in closely to the way that intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast can be useful for priming metabolism and reducing overall body fat levels.
Intermittent Fasting Leads to Less Calorie Intake
At least, this is usually the case. Since you’re allowed to eat whatever you want when you’re not fasting, you could theoretically jam-pack a day’s worth of calories into that short window of period. But generally, most people aren’t going to do that.
This means that you’re probably going to end up eating fewer calories, which will lead to weight loss. You’ll also have lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels, and more adrenaline which can lead to elevated energy levels and can improve your sex life.
Intermittent Fasting Reduces Risk of Diabetes
Because of the way that intermittent fasting works on your insulin levels, it can help to fight diabetes. People develop type 2 diabetes when their bodies become resistant to the insulin that they produce.
This leads to difficulties in processing blood sugar. Increasing insulin sensitivity – such as you do when you’re intermittent fasting – means that you’re less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent Fasting Fights Inflammation and Oxidation
In short, intermittent fasting can actually work as an antioxidant. Fancy that!
Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals, which are basically unstable molecules that can wreak havoc in your body. Intermittent fasting makes your body much more resistant to these dangerous molecules and can reduce the chances of developing oxidation-related diseases.
Intermittent fasting can also help fight inflammation. Sometimes, inflammation is a good thing. It occurs when your body needs to direct your immune system to a certain area to help fight an infection or eliminate an invader. However, chronic inflammation can lead to diseases. By fighting inflammation, intermittent fasting can reduce the chances of getting an inflammatory disease.
Intermittent Fasting Improves Heart Health
Heart health is a serious problem in the world. People with different risk factors for heart disease are more likely to develop heart problems, and intermittent fasting has been shown to help reduce these risk factors.
Intermittent fasting can help to regulate blood pressure, manage cholesterol levels, and fight inflammation – all things which can contribute to heart disease.
Intermittent Fasting Repairs Your Cells
When you’re not eating, the cells in your body go through a process known as autophagy. During autophagy, your cells are basically eliminating waste and toxins that can build up and lead to health problems.
Increasing the rate of autophagy means that your cells can become healthier. This can reduce the risk of all sorts of diseases and can improve your overall longevity.
Effective methods of intermittent fasting
There are different ways that you can start an intermittent fasting routine. Here are some of the most popular.
- The 16/8 method. This is probably the most popular way to do intermittent fasting. You don’t eat for 16 hours. Then, during the next 8 hours, you can eat whatever you want. This method is pretty easy for most people to work with.
- The 5/2 method. This is a more intensive method. For 5 days out of the week, you will eat normally, and for 2 days you will eat nothing. You can split the 2 fasting days up or have them consecutively.
- The Warrior Diet. The warrior diet generally just asks that people stick to foods that they feel their instincts drive them towards. However, many people have adopted this diet plan to involve fasting for most of the day and eating one large meal during the evening time.
No matter what intermittent fasting plan you’re following, you’re going to want to make sure the food that you eat is healthy and full of nutrients. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, high-quality proteins, grains, and legumes.
Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular in the last few years. It has been proven to help enhance weight loss, improve overall health, and can even help increase testosterone levels and sexual health.
There are many different ways that you can begin an intermittent fasting plan. Hopefully, this article has helped you decide which plan is best for you.