If you are the type who loves to work out, stay in shape and get those six-pack abs, then maybe you are reading the right article! Those who are bodybuilding freaks or love the gym must have heard numerous times how protein is essential for building muscles. The easiest route is protein shakes. This notion has been captured well by the bodybuilding and supplement industry who can't stop advertising their benefits! It has almost become like a chanting mantra.
Instead of supplements, adopt a more natural method to raise T- levels.
So although protein does play a vital role in the human body, excessive intake of it, has its own set of detriments, one of which is, it may lower your testosterone levels. Even if you are flaunting those big muscles, it doesn't help if you feel a lack of libido (low sex drive) or experience erectile dysfunction (the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough for penetration) in the bedroom! So, to understand the relationship between protein and testosterone levels, let us first understand what protein is.
Protein is a macro-nutrient required for structure, function, and regulation of the body's tissues and organs. It makes up around 15% of a person's total body weight. It does play an essential role in building muscles as well. But for that, you need an adequate amount of protein which most of the time can be available from the food you are eating itself. Problems start cropping up when one tends to consume too much of it, in the hope to build body mass, sooner and faster.
As per a study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, 2007, high protein diets linked to a dip in testosterone levels. So why and how does this happen? Well, here are four possible ways:
When you eat a diet rich in protein, it's most likely that you will be eating less of carbohydrates and fats. Fats, especially in their monounsaturated variety, help to increase testosterone levels.
Too much protein can lead to a spike in an insulin-like growth factor, which affects testosterone production.
Excessive protein intake increases cortisol levels. Cortisol is also known as a stress hormone, and too much of it can wreak havoc in your body, including lowering testosterone levels.
Excessive protein increases Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). When SHBG levels rise, they tend to lock testosterone, thereby keeping your body from being free to use it.
Apart from the factors mentioned above, excess protein can also affect kidneys. When consuming a diet too high in protein, your kidneys work overtime to shuttle extra nitrogen waste out of the body. This overworking of kidneys might lead to chronic dehydration, proving worse in case you are already suffering from some kidney disease.
So, all these raises a fundamental question, that how much protein is too high? As per conventional guidelines, 80 to 85 gm of protein is the daily requirement for a sedentary man.
For men who work out, many are advised 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per kg body weight. But as per experts, a diet that consists of protein, carbohydrates, and fats giving you around 2500 to 3000 calories every day, is recommended. In short, eating a healthy, balanced diet works better for your body, rather than focusing on one particular nutrient.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP