Foods That Kill Testosterone

6 Foods That Kill Testosterone

Written By : Rohit Dwivedi, M.D.   ✓ Fact Checked

Your diet affects your workout performance, so get informed about the top six foods that kill testosterone.

(Last Updated on April 11, 2024)

Are you focusing on boosting your testosterone levels?

Well, that is a good step, but the most vital thing is learning and staying away from factors that could be killing your testosterone levels.

It’s no brainer that healthy testosterone levels are essential to every man’s wellbeing.

Thus, boosting testosterone should be your priority.

You have probably heard that testosterone is what literally separates boys from men.

It handles all your masculine characteristics from testicles dropping to a deeper voice to muscle growth.

The good news, it does not stop after puberty; in fact, it becomes more vital into your adulthood.

It boosts protein synthesis, promoting muscle growth, increased energy, better cognition and bone mass.

The most crucial aspect of maintaining healthy T-levels is keeping your diet in check.

As much as certain foods boost testosterone levels, others are potentially risky in killing testosterone.

You should avoid or limit these foods now, don’t wait for tomorrow.

There’s no time like the present!

Here are foods to avoid the next time you shop around.

Read next: 5 Best Testosterone Boosting Supplements

6 Testosterone killing foods



It is time to ditch the booze.

One or two drinks once in a while will do no harm; however, excessive drinking may deplete your testosterone levels.

A study 1 involving middle-aged men and postmenopausal women showed that testosterone levels reduced in men by 6.8 percent following 2 to 3 drinks daily for 3 weeks.

There was no effect on T-levels in women.

When you take alcohol, your body produces beta-endorphins that inhibit testicular testosterone.

In yet another study 2, men with acute alcohol intoxication – evident behavioral symptoms of drunkenness – had low testicular testosterone levels and elevated endorphins.

Heavy drinking over a long period may prevent the production of testosterone in the testes.


Trans fat

Are you a pastries, microwave popcorn and fast foods kinda guy?

You’ve got a real struggle ahead.

Transfats are present in junk food and baked goods such as doughnuts, muffins and pastries.

Besides, most frozen, pre-packaged, and processed foods contain trans fats.

Trans fats are a form of unsaturated fat- hydrogenated oils that are associated with an increased risk of inflammation, heart disease, low testosterone and type 2 diabetes.

Transfats reduce HDL cholesterol, thus lowering the production of testosterone.

HDL cholesterol plays a vital role in testosterone production.

What’s more?

Transfats raise cortisol levels and free radical damage, which are detrimental to testosterone.

It’s time to avoid these foods that have the highest trans fats:

  • Deep-fried foods.
  • Margarine.
  • Processed foods.
  • Cakes and cookies, especially store-bought.
  • Ice cream.
  • Crackers.
  • Waffle/pancake mixes.
  • Vegetable oils.

You may want to think twice the next time you use margarine in your bread or sit down to enjoy Ritz crackers.

Soy-Based Products

Soy Products

Soy contains phytoestrogens – compounds that function like estrogen in the body.

Also, it contains isoflavones which trigger estrogen receptors in the body.

Therefore soy products have been seen to impact hormonal balance in users, especially reducing testosterone levels.

A study 3 done by researchers from Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University shows that phytoestrogen in dietary soy reduces prostate weight and testosterone levels.

However, some studies have found no association between the two.

Therefore, more human research needs to be done to ascertain soy effects.

Keep your nose out of these soy products; soy milk, edamame, miso and tofu.

Other ingredients that may indicate soy include autolyzed yeast, natto, hydrolyzed soy protein, gelatin, and monosodium glutamate.

Refined Sugar


You may take this with a pinch of salt.

But, yes, sugar is one of the greatest enemies of testosterone.

Sadly, it is in almost everything you eat.

On average, an adult consumes practically 19 tablespoons of sugar daily.

A 2013 study 4 involving 74 men who underwent a glucose tolerance test showed that sugar reduces both total and free testosterone.

Sugar causes insulin and leptin resistance.

Leptin is the hormone that signals the brain to stop eating.

Sugar from processed foods, flour, and refined sugar result in high leptin levels.

High leptin levels mean weight gain, reduced energy levels and elevated insulin levels.

Research shows that individuals with elevated leptin and insulin levels have low testosterone.

Besides, high levels of insulin in the blood inhibit the production of growth hormone.

Growth hormone stimulates the production of testosterone in Leydig cells in the testes.

Do you still want to enjoy your soda, late in the afternoon?

Think twice.

Licorice Root

Licorice Root

Licorice is used as a beverage and candy sweetener.

It is also famous in Chinese medicine for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral properties.

Besides, it has been seen to affect hormone levels in the body, particularly T-levels.

Research 5 shows that licorice root lowered total testosterone by 26 percent after one-week supplementation.

Also, elevated levels of the luteinizing hormone were reported.

It has been seen to reduce testosterone in both males and females.



Peppermint is one of the holistic herbs that lower stress.

But, it is one of the silent testosterone killers that you wouldn’t even think of.

Researchers from Suleyman Demirel University Medical School, Turkey found out that peppermint reduced testosterone levels, and increased luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones in male rats.

What other habits kill testosterone?


Boosting testosterone is a matter of lifestyle.

Ditching only binge drinking will not do the trick.

You need to check your diet as well as other daily habits.

Here are some habits that could be tanking your testosterone.

Lack of enough sleep

Testosterone levels increase during sleep and start to decline as you wake up.

Research shows that men who were sleep-deprived for a week had reduced testosterone levels.


High levels of anxiety take the body into a ‘fight or flight mode,’ and sexual stamina is not considered a priority.

High levels of cortisol hormone-the stress hormone are linked to low testosterone levels.

Being overweight

Excess body fat heightens the risk of low testosterone levels.

Body fat has aromatase, an adrenal enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen.

Also, testosterone is fat-soluble and may be stored in fat tissues lowering free testosterone.


You may focus your energy on finding ways to boost testosterone; however, your efforts may not be worthwhile if you do not stop eating foods that kill testosterone.

You may be consuming one of these foods daily without even realizing it, especially soy products.

Be careful during your next visit to the grocery store.

You could check out the best testosterone boosting foods guide!

Read next: Does Saw Palmetto Affect Testosterone?

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