I’ve talked about the many factors that affect your testosterone levels on the B.Rad podcast before: whether it’s a somewhat healthy diet that still needs a bit of cleaning up, adhering to the mainstream approach to fitness, engaging in an endless cycle of toxic relationship dynamics, or struggling with a chronic lack of sleep, there are multiple things at play in your environment and in your habitual behavior that are either helping or harming your hormone levels.
Now, we can add a few other compelling items to the list of factors that can alter testosterone levels, and at least one of them may surprise you…
I recently came across this study that links testosterone levels to music preferences, and learned that researchers discovered that men who like rock and soft rock music actually have higher testosterone levels than those who prefer jazz and classical music. Interesting…
The effects lifestyle habits and preferences have on hormone levels are clearly evident in other studies: vegetarian men actually have 26% lower testosterone than their meat-eating counterparts (check out this video with Dr. Paul Saladino to hear more info). Dr. Paul also has a great podcast episode with Dr. Anthony Jay about the connection between man boobs and low testosterone where they talk about all the elements in our environment that can have a major negative impact on hormonal health (something I have also discussed in detail in this episode).
I also found additional research focused on the ways a low-fat diet affects male testosterone levels. Unsurprisingly, the study found that low-fat diets decrease testosterone levels and testicular testosterone production in men. We know by now that fat is definitely not something to avoid, so if you need any reminders, this should be it!
Also, never forget that endurance training kills testosterone. When you look at what happens to people who incorporate variety and an appropriate amount of high-intensity exercise into their workout routines versus long distance endurance athletes, the answer is clear: one of the most dangerous parts about endurance training is that it causes a steady reduction in testosterone levels, along with a corresponding increase of the stress hormone, cortisol. This is double trouble, as stress will absolutely tank your testosterone levels—dysregulated stress levels are associated with suppressed testosterone function. Dr. John Jacquish (X3 Bar creator and B.Rad podcast guest) talks about this frequently, as it is a major factor to be mindful of when exercising (read my article about the best ways to workout to optimize testosterone for more details).
Lastly, another factor I’ve discovered is ancestry. Research shows that North American men and men with European ancestry may experience a greater decrease in testosterone (specifically in response to a low-fat diet). If you’re curious, consider looking into your family history and doing some of your own research to see if there are any links between your hormone levels and your own heritage.
If you’re interested in learning all the ways you can naturally increase testosterone (as well as the many environmental and lifestyle factors that decrease it), check out my four-part show, Lifestyle Tips to Increase Testosterone Naturally (part 1, 2, 3, and 4) for more information.