Foods to avoid

As you might have read, in order to raise Testosterone naturally, I have been suggesting multivitamins, zinc, avocado, oatmeal, honey, bananas, watermelon (often called the natural Viagra because it opens up blood vessels and improves flow), green leafy vegetables (clean blood and open capillaries), carrots (if the shape is not a giveaway, LOL, well, remember that they have a lot of vitamin E), figs, omega 3 fatty acids, L-arginine, selenium, walnuts, and pumpkin/sunflower seeds, though, the best improvement you will get is not from some libido diet but from weight lifting and strength training.  I have concluded that if you are looking for a shortcut to being a real man again, it ain't some superfood that you can eat; you will have to do the hard work at the gym.

But are there any foods that I should avoid?  Well, after a bodybuilder friend of mine convinced me, I have cut back my alcohol to a point that I might drink just a bit during the weekend.  I now treat alcohol as a treat and not something that should accompany my meal.  For me, being able to have good sex is a higher priority than enjoying my meal.  And just as a healthy habit, while I rarely drank any carbonated beverages, I have banned them completely from my diet.  Apparently, I have recently learned that even drinking diet versions (that is what I always drank anyway) is harmful because they make the body constitution more acidic causing all sorts of health problems.  In addition, you should also cut back or eliminate following foods:

  • Chocolate; apparently despite its romantic image, it is not something for us dudes; leave it to the ladies to enjoy it.
  • Meats, particularly those that have high fat content.  Since I am practically a vegetarian, I need not worry about my occasional indulgences with sushi or grilled salmon, but if you are a regular meat eater, get rid of bacon, sausage, etc.
  • Dairy.  This is a tricky one for me as someone who rarely consumes animal proteins, but assuming that you are consuming excess milk or cheeses, time to cut back.
  • Processed foods.  This is a hard one to give up, though, you should make an effort to cut back as much as possible.  My wife and I work from home in our own business and cook our meals from scratch but there are times that we are just lazy or busy or need some variety in our meals.  So even we might consume frozen foods occasionally, but what we try to do is to choose the item by reading the label carefully, trying to pick organic options, without trans fats, low sodium, and with minimal additives.
  • Soy products.  Because I am practically a vegetarian, when I need to satisfy my Thai food cravings, I end up picking tofu, but since I do it only once or twice a month, it is okay.  Anything more, then, you need to cut back.

Why do men abandon TRT?

Apparently it is as easy to dump testosterone replacement therapy as it is to get a prescription for it.  A shocking study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine points out that at the end of 6 months about 33% of guys were continuing it and by the end of one year only 15 per cent were.  Why would the rate drop off so rapidly?  Aren't the TRT sellers always saying that once you start you have to do it your whole life and have packages that allow you to make one monthly payment for blood tests, physician consultation, and gels/shots?

I am assuming that money is an issue (only the Cadillac healthcare plans cover TRT and knowing how awful insurance companies in America are, I wouldn't be surprised that even when a man needs it, the crooks who run these companies will deny it).  It is probably fair to assume that no one wants to behave like Charlie Sheen who went nuts after applying Testosterone gel for too long.  And as I have been repeatedly pointing out, TRT has serious side effects.

Do low-T men have extramarital affairs?

In numerous discussions with my readers I have been researching an interesting theory that might explain why so many middle aged men with declining Testosterone might not only have a mid-life crisis but also have an extra-marital relationship.  How does that work?  It intrigued me as well because I was under the impression that a single guy unsure about his ability to satisfy a woman in bed might not even want to date but my readers tell me that when a man with low libido finds no support from his wife in turning him on by trying harder, he gets interested in much younger women who are not only more attractive they are more inclined to try harder to seduce a man who can buy them more expensive gifts or grant other favors.  When a man experiences this enormous sense of power over a woman who is doing everything to please him, it is a huge boost to his ego, self esteem, and as a result, to his Testosterone.


The more sex he has with this young girl the better he feels about himself.  This raises his Testosterone naturally and he starts to see his new partner as a breath of fresh air who does not bother him with grades of kids who are failing in high school or the paint that is peeling off the bathroom walls or the upcoming wedding of a niece that would necessitate an expenditure of a thousand bucks.  As convoluted as the logic is, I can see how it might work in the case of many men that they might do something like this.  So I guess that women who worry that their men might leave them if his Testosterone level jumps too high might need to even be aware that a guy can leave even if his level is headed south.

How can wives of men with low-T help them?

When I hear from my female readers, they often wonder if they should simply leave their men if they are experiencing erectile dysfunction or reduced libido, and my answer often is that if the man is making a sincere effort, then, it is immoral for them them to not wait.  Isn't there some kind of vow that people of almost all faiths take that they will be together in good and bad times?  I also point out that if despite a guy's best efforts, he is unable to make love to them, they can still please each other by using a combination of toys and other parts of the body.  I have also been discussing with some couples that they do not have too end their marriage because of the outdated concept that man's ability to penetrate is the only thing that matters.  I have been discussing the matter with couples in which women occasionally sleep with a lover, sometimes in the company of their husband, and in other cases, with the consent of the husband but in a private setting.

But what about women who are in loving relationships with their husbands and would not want to ever leave them just because of this?  You see hormones in both men and women are very complex and each one of us has our unique hormonal issues.  However, there is one thing that sets men and women apart.  Women learn to deal with the impact of hormones in their bodies from early age.  Around the time they go through puberty, they know the swings in their bodies and mind that hormones can produce because with each monthly menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and then as they approach menopause, the hormonal changes are so remarkable that they know first hand what it means.  On the other hand, for most men (only a very small number of men will experience low-T in youth or at other untimely moments), their hormones are extremely stable.  A large number of men do not even experience lower levels of Testosterone in their 40s and 50s because by nature they are just aggressive or religiously engage in strength training or eat a diet that keeps their Testosterone high.  However, those of us who did were totally caught by surprise and did not know what was going on.  For me, the feeling was similar to having difficulty reading in my early forties.  I started to wonder if my room was too dry or I was not sleeping enough or the light in my home office was poor but when no solution worked and I managed to figure out that I should see an eye doctor, stupid me, figured out that having difficulty reading in your 40s was a common age related issue and can be easily fixed with just a pair of cheap reading glasses.  Because I had never used glasses and always had excellent vision, I had wrongly assumed that I would die without ever wearing them.  That is what I assumed about my Testosterone as well; to be honest, actually, before I started to really deal with my low-T, while I had heard about it being a male hormone, I knew nothing more.  The conclusion is that it is important for women in our lives to understand where guys are coming from.

How else can women help guys struggling with libido?  Ladies, be patient, especially if we are trying.  The other thing that women have to realize is that as we get older and the hormone levels decline, it takes a lot longer to be ready.  I remember the days as a teen or a man in my 20s, as the stereotype goes, the thought of grabbing anything that wore a skirt came every 20 seconds.  As we get older and have had our share of women and sexual experiences, it takes a lot more time to get into the mood.  So while it might sound offensive to some ladies, you might need to spice things up a bit.  How can you do it?  Well, discuss this with your man because each man have a different preference, but whether it is lingerie or videos or something else, figure that out. 

Night owls have higher Testosterone

It is well documented that in order to have normal level of Testosterone in the body, a man needs to get somewhere between 6-8 hours of good sleep (the actual duration varies by each individual and you will know when you feel great and how long you slept to feel that way).  In fact, if you have not been getting enough sleep and start to sleep enough, you will see a huge improvement in your libido.

A study conducted on German men found that men who are more active in the night (night owls, or guys who are up late in the night, party at nightclubs, or even get things done at night, like studying) tend to have higher Testosterone levels.  They also have more sexual partners and a more active social life and these factors partly explain the phenomenon.  But more importantly, men who are more active during the night are more adventurers, risk takers, and literally, wife thieves.  These are the dudes making your sex-deprived wife happy while you are snoring in your bed.

So can you become a night owl?  I am sure realizing the exciting lives of these guys, you are tempted, but it does not work like that.  As far as I can remember I have always been a lark (the opposite of night owl).  I am sleepy by 10 and can barely manage past 11 PM.  I don't care if there is a party going on somewhere and chicks there are desperate to get laid, or if I have the most important examination of my academic career, I need to be in bed.  This personality trait is determined by the 24-hour body clock and by a gene called Period-3.  So while you can embrace some of the habits of night owls like being more social or partying or competing to find women to mate with, it will be hard to become a night owl.  In any case, night owls have other bad habits like eating at odd hours, overeating, smoking/drinking too much, they have poor memory, suffer from pains, and can be easily depressed.

Testosterone spike in non-competitive activities

Since a lot of men write to me asking about what food they can eat to raise their Testosterone (I am assuming that those men who are looking for a shortcut simply show up for a doctor's appointment to get their Testosterone gel without ever bothering to research online if other options are available and if there are guys like me out there who are trying other natural means) and I always tell them most likely their Testosterone fell because they were eating too much.  Yes, there are foods like oatmeal, bananas, avocado, honey, walnuts, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, etc. that provide some of the ingredients that boost production of Testosterone naturally, my research and personal experience shows that the fastest way to boost your Testosterone level is to engage in intense physical activity like strength training and weight lifting.  Unfortunately, a lot of men who became victims of low-T because of never really working out rarely want to hear my advice that they should.

So, while it has a lot less of an impact, the next best thing to actually engaging in strenuous exercise is to watch other men doing it.  I hope that while you are doing so, you are also not gorging on nachos and beer because that will eventually kill you. 

University of California at Santa Barbara anthropologists Ben Trumble and Michael Gurven have published a paper in the medical journal Evolution & Human Behavior based on their research on indigenous Tsimane people of Bolivia and they have found that men saw a huge spike in their Testosterone even when they engaged in a non-competitive, but physically demanding, activity like chopping a tree.  They chop these trees mostly alone to collect firewood.  The jump in Testosterone after playing one hour of soccer was 30% while that after chopping trees was as much as 47%.  This speaks volumes about the importance of intense physical exercise in raising Testosterone.

The researchers also found something else that caught my eyes.  Unlike us middle aged Americans who are lucky enough to be in a rich country with much more predictable futures, and many of us are fortunate enough to have savings in the bank, retirement accounts, IRA, 401(K), home equity, etc. and often tend to start taking it easy as we get older (meaning more vacations, eating out more often, enjoying finer meals, relaxing, etc.), these guys have to provide for their families pretty much their whole life.  They don't have savings or retirement accounts and need to chop trees or hunt animals or fish in the oceans in order to put food on their dining table (assuming they have one).  Trumble and Gurven found that while the Testosterone levels start to decline for us starting in our 20s and more rapidly in our 40s, for Tsimane men, the levels remain flat throughout their lives.  This simply means that their bodies know (and these men keep reminding their bodies every day) that they need to keep producing Testosterone in order for survival.

I can totally understand why you need not worry about survival but thankfully we can create some of the intensity of living without security by pushing our bodies to the limit and that can be done in the gym or in outdoor activities that demand complete focus and high level of energy.

Omega-3 fatty acids and Testosterone

For reasons similar to why L-arginine boosts Testosterone, the so-called Omega3 fatty acids are also needed.  This is why:
  1. Dissolves plaque from the walls of blood vessels allowing blood to flow smoothly, not only lowering blood pressure but also bringing enough blood to the penis for a strong erection
  2. Providing cholesterol for production of Testosterone by the body
  3. Helps in absorption of L Arginine amino acids
  4. Assist in production of dopamine, the feel-good hormone which is also instrumental in thinking about and desiring sex

Since I am almost a vegetarian and do not enough fish, I take a Omega-3 supplement (they come in both versions: vegetarian and animal source) made from flaxseeds, but I also like to make sure that I include walnuts (that I like to munch on as a snack), almonds (which I soak overnight and then add them to my oatmeal each morning), and sunflower (these are excellent source of protein and are in low in fat compared to walnuts, and a lot cheaper, plus, Trader Joe's has a very delicious slightly salted version that I am tempted to eat but often end up buying the non-salted version because of my reluctance to consume excess salt) or pumpkin seeds.

L-arginine to boost Testosterone

For those of you not familiar with it, L-arginine is a naturally occurring amino acid (base material for proteins).  Among other things this compound boosts the level of nitric oxide in the blood (always remember that NO2 is essential for guys in so many ways as far as their reproductive health is concerned).  Basically, what NO2 does is to relax the muscles of the blood vessels so that more blood flows through, and if you have even a basic idea of what helps with an erection, you would know that it is blood flow.  The more blood you can get to your organ, the stronger and longer the erection.

So how to get L-arginine?  I am sure that you can pop a supplement (I am not taking one specifically for this), but if you include fish, walnuts, dark chocolate, oatmeal, and figs in your diet, you will get enough naturally.

Low-T with normal libido and good erections

You see I had no idea about low-T until I started to have erection problems in bed and my libido declined.  It also turned out that I was in a unique situation: the low-T advertising kicked in only during last year or two and that was also the period in which I noticed the symptoms.  Five years ago, the max I knew was that there was a hormone called Testosterone that guys had in their bodies.

So could you have low levels of Testosterone hormone in your body even if you have average sex drive and have no problem getting an erection, maintaining it, and being able to make love without a hitch?  The answer is that by the time you start to experience visible symptoms of low-T like erectile dysfunction or reduced sexual desire, your Testosterone has not already dropped quite a bit, it has been at that level for quite some time.  Maybe even years.


You see Testosterone starts to decline fairly steadily in our 40s and unless you are like the new me (working out and strength training five days a week, eating a healthy diet rich in Testosterone boosting foods like avocado, walnuts, zinc, boron, and oats, give up alcohol, and having regular sex), you will have low-T.  It is not always low enough that you should start any prescription medication (I am not a big fan of Testosterone Replacement Therapy or TRT as the first line of attack), but you should definitely start to watch what you eat and workout more aggressively.  The tell-tale signs of falling Testosterone levels are weight gain on waist (which we all tend to take for granted during middle age), depression, and loss of competitive spirit.  When these symptoms appeared in me in during my early 40s (I can only say this in retrospect because at that time I did not notice anything), I merely told myself that I was finally becoming more spiritual, wiser, calmer, philosophical, and gaining weight because I had been laid off and had started working in my own business from home (hence I sat in my chair all day and despite my daily workout, I did not have an active lifestyle that many people have who go to work in an office).

The message here is that whether or not your wife is whining about your inability to satisfy her in bed, if you notice any of the signs mentioned above, you need to respond.  And unless you are a superman, no matter what, your Testosterone will fall naturally.  While it may not sound very encouraging, but what I have learned is that in order to keep the hormone level at a point that you can still make a woman smile after sex, the older you get, the harder you will need to work in the gym.

Pump iron to pump in bed

I am learning that some things in life require a lot of hard work and staying young and energetic in middle age is one of them.  You see when you are in your 20s or 30s, and unless you are on medication or morbidly obese, the body naturally produces so much Testosterone that your unhealthy lifestyle will not hurt your sex life.  Come the 40s and everything is different.  What you learn the hard way is that just a mild workout like walking, running or jogging is not going to cut it.  Granted something is better than nothing, but in order to be the lover in the bedroom that you once were, it is all about pumping iron.

Weights in the gym


The other learning that I have had is that from my mission to naturally raise my Testosterone (and I have documented my journey in the book The Testosterone Challenge) is that while eating foods that raise your Testosterone (zinc, avocado, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, oatmeal, honey, bananas, etc.) are a great idea and you should, but in order to get a more rapid boost that also lasts, it is only through strength training.


Wife in bra and panty with hubby in bedroom

How to get the motivation to lift weights?  You see for me the biggest motivator is having sex with my wife and that is why I gave up alcohol and I drag myself to the gym five days a week (I am lying actually; you will notice that after a while once you start to experience the endorphins released from a workout, you will start to look forward to it).  You have to find something that keeps you motivated, be it finding a new relationship or enhancing the one you already have which might decline rapidly without sex.  I am also very conscious of the fact that if I cannot please my wife, as loving as she is, I would not blame her if she chooses to find gratification elsewhere.  Now, that sure keeps me going.