Sugar Effect on Testosterone

Sugar Effect on Testosterone

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


Sugar is a common ingredient in many foods and drinks, but did you know that it can have a negative impact on your testosterone levels?

Testosterone is an important hormone for both men and women, and consuming too much sugar can disrupt its production and function.

In this article, we'll explore the connection between sugar and testosterone and what you can do to maintain healthy hormone levels.

Understanding the role of testosterone in the body

Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of male physical characteristics, such as muscle mass, bone density, and body hair.

However, it also plays a role in women's health, including maintaining bone density and muscle mass.

Testosterone levels naturally decline with age, but certain lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, can also impact hormone levels.

It's important to maintain healthy testosterone levels to support overall health and well-being.

How sugar affects testosterone levels

Consuming too much sugar can negatively impact testosterone levels in both men and women.

When you consume sugar, your body releases insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels.

However, high levels of insulin can lead to a decrease in testosterone production.

A 2018 study found a strong association between sugary beverages and low testosterone amongst men from the USA.

Additionally, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which can also negatively impact testosterone levels.

It's important to limit your sugar intake and maintain a healthy diet to support healthy hormone levels.

The link between sugar consumption and obesity

Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for obesity. Obesity is associated with a number of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

Sugars are an energy source for your body, found naturally or added. Consumption of too many sweetened beverages and highly processed foods may lead to weight gain and may increase your risk for obesity and other health problems.

Studies demonstrate the correlation between sugar consumption and obesity. Your body burns sugar as fuel, with any leftover calories being stored as fat reserves if they're not used immediately.

Increased sugar intake has contributed significantly to the rise in obesity epidemic as well as an increase in metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes rates.

In addition to negatively impacting testosterone levels, consuming too much sugar can have a number of negative effects on overall health. It's important to limit your sugar intake and maintain a healthy diet to support overall health and well-being.

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Obesity and Low Testosterone

Obesity has become a global health crisis affecting over 1.5 billion people, resulting in metabolic and cardiovascular comorbidities as well as hypogonadic conditions characterized by decreased testosterone production or enhanced aromatase degradation of testosterone.

With both factors acting to modulate many aspects of metabolic and neural functioning - including central nervous system function.

Testosterone is converted to estrogens by aromatase and has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects both in fat tissue and the brain.

A deficiency is also thought to contribute to impairment of specific aspects of cognition during normal aging due to effects of testosterone on hormones that regulate behavioral responses and synapses formation, potentially reflecting testosterone's anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions in both areas.

Studies indicate that obesity is associated with decreased testosterone, increased aromatase activity and secretion alterations of LH and FSH hormones.

Decreased circulating testosterone and elevated SHBG levels can result in obese men's delay in seeking medical help for prostate cancer or other health concerns; thus leading to lower testosterone production overall.

Additionally, obese men tend to report more frequently being diagnosed with low testosterone due to delayed medical attention for these issues.

Experiments conducted here demonstrate that diet-induced obesity and testosterone deficiency, combined with testosterone deficiency treatment, exacerbate the detrimental effects on metabolic (blood glucose, insulin) and proinflammatory (cytokine expression) responses in adipose tissue.

Furthermore, low testosterone treatment increases peripheral nerve damage measured using paw-withdrawal assays, myelin sheath protein expression levels, and Na +,K +-ATPase activity of sciatic nerve

Tips for reducing sugar intake and improving testosterone levels

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that added sugars comprise less than 10% of your total daily caloric intake.

To meet this goal, choose low- or no-sugar-added foods and beverages that offer positive nutrient contributions.

When dining out or preparing your own meals; be mindful when reviewing ingredient lists to avoid refined sugars such as granulated sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar or molasses.

Note however, natural occurring sugars found in fruit vegetables and dairy products will likely accompanying fiber, vitamins and minerals which will help fill you up faster!

Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, and avoid processed foods that are high in added sugars.

Incorporating strength training and regular exercise into your routine can also help boost testosterone levels.

Remember, small changes can make a big difference in improving your overall health and well-being.

Other lifestyle factors that can impact testosterone levels

In addition to sugar consumption, there are several other lifestyle factors that can impact testosterone levels.

Lack of sleep, stress, and sedentary behavior can all contribute to lower testosterone levels.

On the other hand, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep can help boost testosterone levels.

It’s important to take a holistic approach to your health and well-being in order to maintain healthy testosterone levels.


Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and acts as a natural anabolic steroid in the body, helping promote muscle growth and development, healthy sperm production, lean body fat reduction, optimal cognitive performance and strong bones.

Furthermore, testosterone influences metabolism by regulating blood sugar.

Men who consistently have low testosterone levels may suffer from obesity, erectile dysfunction, diabetes as well as fatigue, motivation loss and memory loss resulting in chronically low testosterone levels and consequently having to endure an obesity crisis due to chronically low testosterone levels regulating metabolic control of blood sugar regulating metabolism by controlling blood sugar levels and metabolic regulation by insulin.

Diabetes and elevated blood sugar levels have an adverse effect on testosterone production levels for both men and women, as diabetes causes pituitary gland to produce reduced levels of luteinising hormone which regulates and triggers ovulation, regulates menstruation cycles and stimulates testicular testosterone production.

Luteinising hormone helps control and trigger ovulation while also regulating menstrual cycles and stimulating production in testicles.

As glucose levels in the blood increase, our bodies release insulin to assist cells in processing it as energy.

Unfortunately, this causes an decrease in sex hormone binding globulin protein levels that normally bind excess estrogen and testosterone within our bodies.

High levels of these substances may then be converted to estrogen through fat cells, leading to further testosterone decline and an increase in insulin, prompting more sex hormone conversion into estrogen by our system.

University of California at San Francisco researchers in the USA recently conducted a groundbreaking study revealing that even young and healthy men with normal blood sugar and BMIs can still have an direct correlation between diet and testosterone levels and testosterone production.

When 74 men drank oral glucose they experienced an abrupt drop in testosterone regardless of whether they were diabetic, pre-diabetic or had normal blood sugar.

Furthermore, eating foods high in sugar and fructose can turn off genes responsible for producing sex hormone-binding globulin thus decreasing testosterone. For optimal results it's recommended getting tested fasted so you receive accurate results.

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