Ultimiate Guide to Testosterone on a Ketogenic Diet

minute read | Last update: Nov 30th2022

This article is backed by studies and reviewed by a certified dietician.

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Testosterone plays a crucial role in every man's life. Be it controlling their body mass, physical features, mood, sexual drive, and energy levels, these essential male hormones decide their overall personality.

So, does a keto diet affect testosterone levels? Well, yes, it does, to an extent. According to a study, a ketogenic diet, apart from shedding extra weight, may also help in increasing testosterone levels. Moreover, it has shown positive results in heightening testosterone count in obese men as it cuts down on calories.

However, how effective is it?

Here we will walk you through everything you need to know about testosterone levels and how a keto diet may or may not affect them in the longer run.

Why Is Testosterone Important For Men?

Testosterone is a vital hormone that controls the human body. Though testosterones are male-specific hormones, women also produce them in small amounts. While many associate it with fertility and sperm production, testosterone levels also control men's muscle mass and bone density.

Well, it does not stop there. Testosterone levels usually rise during puberty in men and scale higher when they are around 20. It is here when they witness changes in their body, voice, and hair growth. Relatable, much?

Most men have enough testosterone for their bodies to function normally. However, few are born with a lower count, leading to a condition known as hypogonadism. Men who have a lower T cell can opt for hormonal therapy and prescriptions for regularizing the count.

So, what are the different roles of testosterone in a man's body, apart from reproduction and sexual drives?

  • Builds bone density: Testosterone helps in increasing the bone density and generates higher levels of red blood cells through the bone marrow. Extreme lower levels of T cells can easily cause fracture and injuries in the body.
  • Check on the body fat: Testosterone assists in the development of muscles and builds body strength. It is also responsible for burning extra fat in the body. Obese men typically have a lower testosterone level due to this reason.
  • Controls mood and temperament: Testosterone levels have a significant impact on the behavioral pattern in men. It includes aggression, competitiveness, etc., hence eventually heightening your self-esteem. Lower levels can affect your concentration, cause sleep disturbances and reduced energy levels.
  • Fertility: Testosterone is responsible for the formation of male genitals and the production of sperms. Lower levels can affect sperm production and significantly affect the reproductive system in men.
  • Sex drive and libido: Testosterone levels affect sexual drives in men, and lower levels can cause erectile dysfunction.

However, testosterone levels start diminishing with age. Generally, the levels begin to exhaust after 30 years in most men. Additionally, an array of factors like stress, underlying medical issues can also impact its count.

Hence, sustaining a healthy level of testosterone is vital for a high quality of life. Lower levels can affect your self-confidence, mood swings, body mass, etc.

Does Diet Affect The Testosterone Levels?

Yes, diet and food intake can have a significant impact on your testosterone levels. This means the food that you eat is connected to the T levels in your body. Two factors to keep in mind in your diet are:

  • amount of food intake
  • macronutrient intake (protein, fat, carbs)

According to a study, high levels of sugar intake can gravely alter testosterone levels. It can drop the T levels up to 25% as high levels of insulin harm the hormones.

Hence, food that is high in sugar should be dodged at all costs. Also, a dip in testosterone is linked with underlying health factors such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.

Additionally, it would help not to restrict your calorie consumption as long-term restrictions can cause low T levels and reduced bone density. In a quest to reduce some extra kilos, you may have to monitor the adequate amount of calories in your daily food diet.

However, reduced calorie intake for a temporary phase can offer you some positive results, like weight loss and increased testosterone levels. Here are a few food options that are culprits for lowering your T levels, which you don't look forward to at any cost:

Soy-Based Products

Though not wholly proven, consuming soy or soy products can reduce testosterone levels in men. Since soy products are high in phytoestrogens, they affect hormonal levels and diminish testosterone.


Specifically, spearmint and peppermint have a direct impact on testosterone levels in men. Even though these herbs are known for their medicinal properties, various studies have proven their negative impact on hormonal levels.

However, better studies on both and men and women are required to prove this theory accurate.


Flaxseeds are known to reduce the T levels in men. This highly nutritious food is loaded with lignans and can work against your hormonal balance.

Hence, if you want to keep a higher testosterone level in your body, you may want to avoid these in your diet.


This delightful and sweet food contains Glycyrrhizic acid, which has a negative effect on testosterone levels. These are easy to avoid and hence can be replaced with a keto-friendly substitute.

How Does Keto Diet Affect The Testosterone Levels?

The Keto diet has gained much traction in both men and women today due to its significant results on weight loss. Keto dieters have shown a boost in their metabolic rate along with changes in their hormones.

In a ketogenic diet, a dieter's goal is to consume around 75% of calories from fat and rest from protein. With the lower consumption of carbs and high dietary fats, the body has enough energy to generate hormones.

Early research and studies have shown that following this diet can help boost testosterone levels. Keto diet promotes a more significant and healthier T level and helps maintain healthy body weight.

Obese men who suffer hypogonadism react better towards the keto diet. Since weight loss impacts the T levels, the exact mechanism in the rise of hormones is still a bit unclear. Whether weight loss is the very reason for the increase in T levels is still not definite.

Intake of a few healthy dietary fats has shown a massive rise in the T levels. These nutritional fats help in improving testosterone levels naturally. So, if you are on a keto diet or planning to jump into one, here are a few keto-friendly food options you can add to your diet:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil and olive
  • Avocados
  • Nuts (almonds, macadamia)

In essence, a keto diet high in healthy fats- 20% protein, 5% carbs, 75% healthy fats, is rich in good cholesterol. This scenario is compatible with the T levels. This, in turn, helps build bones, increases red blood cells, burns fat, and more.

study conducted on 15 men who consumed four different meals with different quantities of fat and protein showed insightful results. The group that consumed low-fat meat meals exhibited lower levels of testosterone levels. This showcases the advantage of fats in your diet for hormonal balance.

Besides the keto diet, other factors such as regular sleep patterns, exercise, and stress, should also be administered. A wholesome diet with a healthy lifestyle is the key to your body's hormonal balance and an adequate T level.

How Can You Test Your Testosterone Levels?

Have doubts about your levels of T? A blood test can help you determine the exact numbers. The test must be carried out in the morning when the levels of T are the highest. At times, you may have to cut down on your prescriptions to get accurate testosterone results.

Few pieces of research suggest that oral testing provides an accurate result and should be considered over blood samples. However, there is still a debate over this.

If you need to get tested at the comfort of your home, then a few brands offer testosterone home test kits. They collect your blood or saliva samples to test your T levels. Few of these tests can be priced as low as $-49 and can go up to $-100 depending on the brand.

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Testosterone Levels?

Testosterone levels in men depend upon a number of factors. A section of men struggles with low testosterone levels that impact their mental health, weight, energy levels, and sexual drive.

Low testosterone levels in men can gravely affect the quality of their life. Hence, it is vital to understand the symptoms and treatments involved to overcome this condition.

According to studies, a range of 300-1,000 ng/dL is considered normal testosterone levels in men. As men grow older, they tend to have lower levels of testosterone that can interfere with their regular lifestyle and health.

So, what are the main symptoms related to lower T levels?

  • Muscle Mass Loss: T levels are crucial for building muscles mass. With a drop in its count, men can witness a reduction in muscle mass over the years.
  • Body Fat: Lower T levels cause increased body fat in men, such as enlarged breasts. It usually occurs due to an imbalance between the T and estrogen.
  • Fatigue: Lower testosterone also reduces energy levels in men to a greater extent. If you experience lethargy and zero motivation to exercise, then you may be experiencing low T levels.
  • Reduced Bone Mass: With a drop in T levels, men face weakening of their bones. This generally occurs in older men, who have lower bone mass and reduced strength.
  • Fluctuation in Mood: Apart from controlling different physical aspects of your body, testosterone also influences your mood. Men with lower T often experience extreme mood swings, depression, lack of focus, and more.
  • Lower Sex Drive: T cells in men are a primary factor in controlling the libido. You may experience a drastic drop or change in your regular sexual drive with a lower T level. It can hamper your confidence and even affect your everyday lifestyle.

What Are The Other Factors That Affect Testosterone Levels?

Apart from an unhealthy diet, other factors can hamper your T levels too. A man's testosterone levels generally decline on an average of about 1% a year after they hit 40. However, the majority of the older men have a T level at the normal, with 10-25% reporting low levels.

Hence, what other factors should you be aware of that can dramatically lower your T levels over the years?

Prescription Medications

Drugs and medications can lower your testosterone levels remarkably. A few drugs that can cause your T levels to fall are- statins for cholesterol, opioids, anti-anxiety medicines and antidepressants, and glucocorticosteroids for inflammation.

If you experience your testosterone falling due to these prescription medicines, then you may have to consult an expert.


Alcohol is as it is harmful to your health and well-being. But did you know that it affected your hypothalamic pituitary gonadal (HPG), which regulates the reproductive system and testosterone production?

According to research, heavy drinkers tend to have low-normal or low testosterone levels compared to healthy men. Hence, substance abuse and alcoholism are proven to be cardinal causes of hypogonadism in men.

Sleep Pattern

If you cut back on sleep, it can severely affect your testosterone levels. Yes, you heard that correctly. Low duration of sleep and poor sleep quality have resulted in low T levels even in younger men.

So, if you compromise your sleep due to hectic work schedules and an erratic lifestyle, you may be at risk of hypogonadism.

Injuries and Accidents

Physical injuries to the testicles can affect testosterone levels in men. Injuries can cause interrupted blood supply or even infections that hamper the expected levels of T.

Trauma caused by cycling or riding a bike can also impact your testicles and later hamper your T levels.

Genetical Conditions

Though no solid evidence is available, genetic makeup can have an impact on your testosterone levels. Men born with Klinefelter syndrome are likely to have one or more X chromosomes extra. Due to this condition, they tend to have smaller testicles and hence a lower sperm count.


Stress and anxiety daily can affect our physical and mental health majorly. Did you know that it can impact regular hormonal activity too? With lower testosterone levels, you may experience even greater levels of stress and depression, and the cycle goes on.

If you feel stressed, then naturally, you would feel demotivated to exercise and work out. It would ultimately lead to weight gain and lower T levels. Managing stress with a better diet, exercise, enough sleep can help you get back your T levels to usual.

What Are The Different Ways You Can Boost Your Testosterone Levels?

Besides adding keto-friendly dietary fats to your meal, you can follow various recommended methods to boost your T levels. 

Curious to know what are these?

Reduce Carbs

Just because you cut down on a few desserts doesn't mean you are consuming less sugar. Carbs are responsible for spiking not only your blood sugar levels but also insulin production.

High levels of insulin in your blood can lower your T levels. Following a ketogenic diet can positively help manage your insulin and weight, ultimately increasing your testosterone levels.

Lower Sugar Intake

According to a study, a 75g sugar intake in a day can cause a 25% drop in the T levels. For a keto dieter, 75 grams of sugar is already a lot to take in! On average, people consume more than 80 grams of sugar daily.

Hence, to get your testosterone back on track, it is time to shun desserts and sweet treats from your diet. It would balance the levels of glucose in your blood and help you manage your hormones.

Low-Carb & Keto Diet

With a low-carb diet like Keto, you can easily stimulate and boost your T levels. Apart from cutting down on carbs from other food products, it is vital to monitor the carb levels in veggies.

Instead of shunning the consumption of veggies altogether, pick a few low-carb and high fiber options for your meal. These include broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cucumbers, and spinach.

Check on Stress Levels

Increased levels of stress can lead to high levels of cortisol in your body. It restricts the usage of testosterone and hence affects its production. It could lead to low levels of sex drive in men.

So how can you keep a check on your increasing stress levels? Try going for walks, working out regularly, yoga, therapy, and more. It would help in regularising your T levels and keeping you motivated over time.

Indulge in Exercises and Workouts

Regular exercise and workout sessions have positive effects on your body without a doubt. However, to boost your testosterone levels, you need to be extra cautious. Even while on a ketogenic diet, you need to avoid high-intensity and prolonged cardio sessions.

Vigorous training can have an adverse impact on testosterone levels and is generally seen in athletes. To avoid all these, try out a few high-intensity short exercises that involve weights, squats, step-ups, pull-ups, deadlifts, among others.

To Sum Up

Even if you are following a keto diet or not, including healthy veggies and restricting saturated fat can help you shed those extra kilos. If you face low T levels, then a keto diet can go a long way in regulating your hormones due to its healthy fats. Limiting your carbs level between 20-50 grams a day will monitor your testosterone levels and help you attain healthy body weight.

Regardless of Keto's multitude of benefits on your T levels, you must ensure to develop a wholesome lifestyle and reach out to an expert for assistance on planning a proper dietary chart.


Does the keto diet lower testosterone?

No, the keto diet doesn't affect testosterone levels negatively. In fact, this low-carb diet can effectively help in raising it.

As per certain studies, Keto has shown positive results in boosting total testosterone levels in men.

Following a keto diet, you can even enjoy a balanced bodyweight since overweight and obesity lead to lower levels of T.

Though Keto can help to a great extent to maintain your testosterone levels, you should also practice healthier lifestyle habits like better sleep, workouts, yoga, etc.

What is the best diet for testosterone?

Following a high fat, low carb, and calorie-controlled diet is recommended to maintain an ideal T level. This means that you can follow a keto diet that offers health benefits like weight loss and lower heart disease and diabetes risks. These would, in turn, help in stabilizing your hormonal levels.

Can ketosis cause erectile dysfunction?

Well, not exactly. People on a ketogenic diet experience a dip in the libido in the initial stages. However, later, many dieters experienced a spike in the levels of their T an improvement in their l

Can your diet affect your testosterone levels?

Yes, diet plays a crucial role in maintaining good overall health and keeps your hormones at the required level. Few food options such as dairy, soy, sugar, and fats may reduce testosterone levels.

Even processed and packaged should be avoided in your diet with higher amounts of trans fats and can cause weight gain and low T levels.

Does the keto diet affect male fertility?

According to specific reports and cases, the keto diet has helped obese men enhance their sperm count. Losing weight through Keto has gradually shown significant improvement in sperm quality and count in men.

Will keto fix my hormones?

Yes, to an extent keto diet can help you get your hormones back on track. It helps in improving insulin performance and, in turn, keeps your hormones in control.

Few keto-friendly low-carb foods like citrus fruits, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, flaxseeds can help rebuild the hormones in your body.

About the author

The Authentic Keto Team is here to bring you health tips that help you with losing weight fast. We focus on a clean keto diet for beginners because we believe that is the easiest and most simple way to healthy eating. Our keto weight loss tips will not only bring you into ketosis fast but will also help you to improve your mental health, sleep problems, and wellness.

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