Top 5 Worst Foods That Kill Testosterone Levels

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Top 5 Worst Foods That Kill Testosterone Levels
Top 5 Worst Foods That Kill Testosterone Levels. Graphic © Photos – Pixabay (PD)

Can a breakfast item such as bread lower the levels of testosterone in your body? How about a mint before a romantic date? You’d be surprised to know that these common practices might be wreaking havoc to one of your main sex hormones. Read on to find more of the top 5 worst foods that kill testosterone, and hinder masculine development.

Alcohol: The first culprit against masculine development is a product that’s actually associated with ‘manliness’ – quite ironic, huh? When you learn the truth, you realize that the association of alcohol with machismo is in fact pure marketing – and alcohol’s real effect on manliness is in fact the opposite! According to a study [1] appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine, alcohol is associated with various adverse health implications, including decrease testosterone production. As you contemplate cutting down on your evening dose of booze, consider other reasons for low testosterone levels below.

Mint (Spearmint / Peppermint): Your preparing for a date with the love of your life. You apply some refreshing cologne and pop a mint in anticipation of an eventful evening. Unknowingly, you’ve just consumed a substance that’s counterproductive to your intentions. 😉 Findings [2] by a team of Turkish scientists suggest that spearmint and peppermint lower testosterone levels by 51% and 23%, respectively. So unless you want to obliterate half of your testosterone levels, you should opt for an alternative breath freshener / tea ingredient.

Soy Products: If you love tofu, soy yogurt, soy milk, and miso soup, we have some bad news. Sure, soy is one of best sources of plant protein, but that’s not all; soy products have high levels of phytoestrogens. For some “reproductive health 101,” estrogen is one of the main female sex hormones. And according to an American study [3] published in the Journal of Endocrinology, the consumption of products high in phytoestrogens is, somewhat unsurprisingly, “feminizing” – decreasing testosterone levels.

Dairy Products: Another surprising entry in our list of the top 5 worst foods that kill testosterone levels is dairy products. In particular, milk and meat from animals that have been subjected to antibiotics and hormone treatments are potent testosterone killers. Trans-fats, sugars, sodium in the processed meats, and rearing conditions of the animals may trigger hormonal imbalances. Studies [4] show that consumption of these dairy products may decrease sperm count by 37% and lower testosterone levels by 15%.

Refined Sugars And Carbohydrates: Cakes, rice, pasta, and white bread – these are all categorized as refined carbohydrates. Unfortunately, they are not as sweet to your testosterone levels as they are to your taste buds. These products are known to increase body fat, decrease muscle, and lower testosterone levels – all pillars of masculine development. A 2018 study [5] on Taiwanese men showed that testosterone levels were lower in subjects who consumed a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars.

Tip to Restore and Maintain Healthy Levels of Testosterone: While avoid the above foods may help restore your testosterone levels, it wouldn’t hurt to give your body a boost. Some of the science-backed practices to boost testosterone levels include getting some sun [6] (Vitamin D), eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep [7], regular exercise [8], and minimizing stress. [9]


[1] Gordon, G. G., Altman, K., Southren, A. L., Rubin, E., & Lieber, C. S. (1976). Effect of alcohol (ethanol) administration on sex-hormone metabolism in normal men. New England Journal of Medicine, 295(15), 793-797.

[2] Akdogan, M., Ozguner, M., Kocak, A., Oncu, M., & Cicek, E. (2004). Effects of peppermint teas on plasma testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels and testicular tissue in rats. Urology, 64(2), 394-398.

[3] Weber, K. S., Setchell, K. D. R., Stocco, D. M., & Lephart, E. D. (2001). Dietary soy-phytoestrogens decrease testosterone levels and prostate weight without altering LH, prostate 5alpha-reductase or testicular steroidogenic acute regulatory peptide levels in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Journal of Endocrinology, 170(3), 591-599

[4] Chavarro, J. E., M’nguez-Alarcón, L., Mendiola, J., Cutillas-Tol’n, A., López-Esp’n, J. J., & Torres-Cantero, A. M. (2014). Trans fatty acid intake is inversely related to total sperm count in young healthy men. Human reproduction, 29(3), 429-440.

[5] Hu, T. Y., Chen, Y., Lin, P., Shih, C. K., Bai, C. H., Yuan, K. C., … & Chang, J. S. (2018). Testosterone-Associated Dietary Pattern Predicts Low Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadism. Nutrients, 10(11), 1786.

[6] Pilz, S., Frisch, S., Koertke, H., Kuhn, J., Dreier, J., Obermayer-Pietsch, B., … & Zittermann, A. (2011). Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Hormone and Metabolic Research, 43(03), 223-225.

[7] Granata, A. R., Rochira, V., LERCHL, A., Marrama, P., & Carani, C. (1997). Relationship between sleep‐related erections and testosterone levels in men. Journal of andrology, 18(5), 522-527.

[8] Kumagai, H., Zempo-Miyaki, A., Yoshikawa, T., Tsujimoto, T., Tanaka, K., & Maeda, S. (2016). Increased physical activity has a greater effect than reduced energy intake on lifestyle modification-induced increases in testosterone. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 58(1), 84-89.

[9] McEwen, B. S. (1998). Stress, adaptation, and disease: Allostasis and allostatic load. Annals of the New York academy of sciences, 840(1), 33-44.

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