Testosterone is the most important hormone for men. Produced in the testicles, it’s what makes men manly.
Testosterone’s functions include regulation of sex drive, development of the secondary male characteristics, such as facial hair and a deeper voice, and increased muscularity and fat burning.
Levels of testosterone tend to peak in the mid-20s, and then gradually decline thereafter, and some men naturally produce more testosterone than others.
Testosterone is such a critical hormone that athletes use synthetic testosterone (anabolic steroids) to boost their sporting performance and some mean undergo testosterone replacement therapy when their levels get too low.
There is also a growing interest in testosterone-boosting supplements, both for muscle building and increased sex drive. However, there are several other ways you may be able to raise your testosterone levels that are natural and safe.
Certain foods and herbs have long been used to boost testosterone, and even very cold showers and regular exposure to sunshine can increase testosterone production. Garlic is another promising T-booster.
Garlic offers a wide range of health benefits (including protection against vampires!) and is a traditional remedy for low libido. So, does garlic increase testosterone, or is it just another tasty but inert ingredient to add to your meals?
Keep reading to find out if garlic can help get you out of your low-T slump.
Does Garlic Increase Testosterone?
What is Garlic?
Garlic (allium sativum) is a popular ingredient that can be found in a wide range of dishes. It also has a long list of health benefits and is a powerful antioxidant.
As well as being a food, there is a long history of using garlic to treat numerous medical conditions, including the common cold.
Garlic is closely related to onions, and first grew in ancient Egypt.
Evidence suggests that Egyptians were using garlic 5,000 years ago for medicinal and culinary purposes. It grows on vines and each head of garlic is made up of 10-12 individual sections called cloves.
Each clove is roughly equal to half a teaspoon of garlic. The cloves are separated by and surrounded in a thin skin which is usually removed before use.
While garlic can be eaten raw, it’s more commonly used in cooking. It’s got a pungent flavor and strong, long-lasting aroma. Garlic oil supplements are often flavor and odor-free, making them much more pleasant to use.
How Does Garlic Raise Testosterone?
Firstly, garlic does not directly increase testosterone. However, that doesn’t mean that garlic won’t help raise your T-levels. Instead, garlic has an indirect effect on testosterone production.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which is best thought of as an adaptogen. Adaptogens help make your body less susceptible to the effects of stress, and stress can interfere with testosterone production.
Allicin reduces cortisol production, and cortisol is the main stress hormone. High levels of cortisol are invariably linked to lowered levels of testosterone. Limiting cortisol takes the brakes off testosterone production, so levels can rise naturally.
So, while garlic itself won’t increase testosterone, by lowering cortisol levels, your T-levels are more likely to rise.
How Much Garlic Should I Take for Testosterone?
While it’s widely accepted that garlic is good for your health, there are no official recommendations for how much you should take per day. However, some studies suggest consuming 1-2 cloves (3-6 grams) per day may be beneficial.
To get the most from garlic, it’s best chopped or crushed, and then left for ten minutes to release the greatest possible amount of allicin, which is the active compound in garlic.
You can add garlic to most savory meals and it’s also available as a supplement. Dried, powdered garlic is not as good as fresh garlic, and is only really useful for flavoring. It has far fewer health benefits because it’s much lower in allicin.
Is Too Much Garlic Bad for You?
While garlic is undeniably healthy, and could in directly increase testosterone production, too much could be harmful. Consuming the equivalent of four cloves/12 grams or more per day could cause several negative side effects.
Eating too much garlic may result in:
- An increased risk of bleeding – garlic has anti-clotting properties
- Chronic heartburn
- Stomach upsets
Long-term garlic overdosing is unlikely, especially if you consume just a couple of cloves per day. But, if you eat a lot of garlic and use a garlic supplement, you could end up consuming too much.
Additional Benefits of Garlic
As well as indirectly raising testosterone, consuming garlic has several additional benefits, including:
Improved blood flow – garlic increases levels of nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator that helps open up the blood vessels for better blood flow. This is good for both cardiovascular and sexual health. In this way, garlic acts a lot like Viagra, the anti-impotence drug.
Improved fertility – while garlic doesn’t appear to directly increase testosterone, studies suggest that it may lead to improved fertility by improving sperm quality and motility.
Antioxidant properties – garlic contains the antioxidant S-allyl cysteine. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful compounds called free radicals.
Free radicals can damage cells and DNA, leading to a host of chronic diseases. Consuming garlic could reduce the risk of many diseases, including cancer.
Lower blood pressure and cholesterol – high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol are closely linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
The antioxidant compounds in garlic have been shown to lower both blood pressure and improve lipid profiles, leading to a reduced risk of heart disease, which is the most common cause of death in the western world.
Increased immunity – garlic is often touted as a cure for the flu and common cold. While it won’t cure these diseases, it may help your body fight them off more quickly by increasing the efficiency of your immune system.
What Other Foods Can Increase Natural Testosterone?
While garlic won’t directly increase your T-levels, there are several other foods that might. Consumed in conjunction or in place of garlic, good T-boosting foods include:
- Porridge oats
- Raw honey
Garlic doesn’t directly increase testosterone production – sorry about that!
However, by lowering cortisol levels, it takes the brakes off normal testosterone production, so that your levels are free to rise naturally. Plus, garlic has loads of additional benefits, several of which will improve sexual and reproductive health.
You can add a clove or two of garlic to your evening meal or take a garlic oil supplement, many of which are odor and tasteless, so no more garlic burps!
But, because garlic is so cheap, easy to use, and tasty, the best way to enjoy all the benefits of this vegetable (yes – garlic is a technically vegetable, and not a herb or spice) is simply to chop or crush it, leave it for ten minutes, and then cook it.
All you need is 1-2 cloves per day. Visit the fitnessequipment.reviews for more expert advice and information.