A ketogenic diet or keto is a popular low-carb diet, which aims at burning the fat in the body instead of carbohydrates. It has gained name and fame because of its potential benefits such as weight loss and better health performance. However, it is not a solution for all your health problems. Many people believe in the ability of ketogenic diet to boost testosterone levels in them. If you are one of them, read ahead and see for yourself the merit of such a claim.
What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
Before we get into its pros and cons, know more about the diet. It was used primarily to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. It is a high-fat, low- carbohydrate diet. It was found that this kind of diet helped reduce the amount of seizures patients suffered. As we mentioned, the diet forces the body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates.
Keto is, in fact, short for ketosis. A ketogenic diet turns your body into a metabolic state of “ketosis.” It occurs when most of the body’s energy comes from ketone bodies in the blood, rather than from glucose. This is in contrast to the normal working pattern of your body. When you follow usual eating patterns, blood glucose (sugar) provides the required fuel or energy for your body.
Now, there are different variants of a keto diet. Atkins diet, also known as the Atkins nutritional approach, is one such low-carbohydrate diet. The diet promotes eating as much protein and fat as you want while avoiding foods high in carbs. This diet also helps you fight weight gain.
Weight loss is, in fact, one of the main benefits of these diets. By burning stored fat, it helps you shed those extra pounds. It can also address various other health problems. It may reduce risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, especially in those who are suffering from obesity.
Keto And Testosterone Levels
Well, here you go. The ketogenic diet does not lead to elevated testosterone levels. In fact, there are studies suggesting that low-carb eating pattern may even lower testosterone levels. It is believed that ketosis has a direct correlation with the low level of steroid hormones.
The dietary nutrients are found to have a positive effect on testosterone. Among the nutrients, carbohydrate intake is extremely important for your hormonal health. When compared with a low-carb diet, high-carb diets boost this hormone. Thus, severe dietary carbohydrate-restriction will have a disastrous consequence. A carb-depleted diet will slow down your metabolism and your stress hormones increase. And decreased testosterone will be the result. It is found that when you reduce carbs to 30% of total energy intake, testosterone is significantly reduced and also its ratio to the stress hormone, cortisol, is changed.1 An animal study published in “Epilepsy & Behavior,” also supports the finding that original ketogenic diet reduces the blood levels of steroid hormones, such as testosterone.
Rely on a healthy lifestyle to boost your testosterone level. Embrace a healthy and balanced diet. Do not hesitate to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Regular physical activity, in turn, promotes better sleep. This is crucial because lack of sleep may negatively affect a young man’s testosterone levels. You also need to address untreated medical conditions. Low testosterone levels may result in decreased sex drive, fragile bones, erectile dysfunction, and other medical conditions. If you suspect you have low testosterone, don’t shy away from consulting your doctor. That should be the first step you should make rather than depending on any diet.
|↑1||Lane, Amy R., Joseph W. Duke, and Anthony C. Hackney. “Influence of dietary carbohydrate intake on the free testosterone: cortisol ratio responses to short-term intensive exercise training.” European journal of applied physiology 108, no. 6 (2010): 1125-1131.|