When your masculinity is compromised at a hormonal level, finding the culprit often means rallying your support team – physicians, family members, specialists – and diving in, full force into detective mode.
Aside from the libido-enhancer we commonly know it as, testosterone dictates everything from your mental health to the snugness of your shirt sleeves.
While it’s a sad fact of life that hitting the age of 30 marks the beginning of a steady decline in T-levels, omitting certain things from your lifestyle can help maintain the passion in the bedroom and the bulge in your biceps a little longer.
A bit of liquid courage is enough to give some guys the kind of primitive manliness to take on grizzly bears (or go on a first date).
But when the glasses run empty, the result can be a decrease in testosterone levels. According to many health journals, alcohol consumption not only negatively impacts testosterone production, but it can also cause oxidative damage to testosterone molecules already in circulation.
Bad breath may be a turn-off, but the solution could be turning you off. An animal study published in The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology found that spearmint and other varieties of menthol often found in chewing gum can suppress testosterone. Who would have guessed?
Full Fat Soda
Measuring the correlation between sugar intake and testosterone, a study found a 25 percent drop in the levels of men who consumed 75 grams of the sweet stuff a day.
Sure, reaching for the cold can might help see you through a slow afternoon in the office, but it’s also adding a hefty 39g of refined sugar to your daily total, so you’re probably best off with a bottle of water.
Lack Of Sleep
Insufficient shut-eye causes the body to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn blocks the production of testosterone. Men averaging five hours a night saw a 15 percent decrease in T-levels compared with those who snoozed through the recommended eight.
The grass isn’t always greener for those who dodge dairy. Several (albeit heavily contested) studies have associated the legume with the production of an antiandrogen (aka testosterone-blocking) chemical in the gut called equol. So, if full fat’s not your poison; oat, nut or hemp are all worthy stand-ins.
Ooey Gooey Buttery Biscuits, Doughnuts and Croissants
Delicious though they may be, many of these breakfast delights use types of margarine or spread containing trans fats, which can be a sure-fire way to see your testosterone levels plummet.
Bad Body Language
Did you know that physiological changes can come about simply from the power you give off in your body language?
In a recent study, psychologists asked both men and women to hold high or low-power poses (making themselves small or touching their necks) for two minutes, then measured the changes in their testosterone levels. Those in the low-power stance experienced roughly a 10 percent decrease.