Does Meat Increase Testosterone?

Humans have consumed meat for eons. Cave and rock paintings going back thousands of years prove it. As do archeological finds from ancient civilizations in different corners of the earth. Meat is an umbrella term for flesh that could be derived from countless animals depending on where in the world you are. To narrow our focus of this article, I’ll mainly be referring to the three most widely consumed meats — poultry, pork and beef. I’ll be looking at if and how consumption of these meats can increase your testosterone levels.

Key findings

  • Meat, particularly lean and unprocessed types, is rich in nutrients like protein, zinc, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats, which can support testosterone production and overall health.

  • Overconsumption or intake of processed meats may be detrimental to male sexual health, including testosterone levels and sperm count.
  • While meat can contribute to testosterone levels, it is not the sole solution - a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep, or even testosterone boosters and therapies, can also play significant roles.

Meat’s Nutrient Composition

  • Selenium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Sodium
  • Manganese

Meat’s Main Health Benefits

There was a time that meat (especially red meats like beef and pork) was the bogeyman of diets. In recent years, this view has considerably dissipated as scientists increasingly found meat mostly does a lot of good for health as long as it’s taken in moderation. Some of the major health gains derived from eating meat include the following.

  • Improved immunity
  • Muscle growth
  • Bone density
  • Cognitive function and overall brain health
  • Healthier skin
  • Prevents iron deficiency anemia
  • Reduced inflammation

Meat and Testosterone

In many societies, meat eating was viewed (and still is in some places) as the manly thing to do. In fact, certain cultures reserved specific parts of an animal carcass for the men. Our ancestors may not have had the scientific evidence showing a link between meat-eating and masculinity but it seems they were onto something. 

Meat is mostly good for testosterone and I’m about to show you why.  Remember the section where I listed the major nutrients found in meat? That’s where the proof lies. As far as testosterone goes, it is not about the meat but what is in the meat. Take a look at these nutrients.


Meat is an excellent source of protein. Protein taken in the right quantities can be a means of regulating or reducing weight gain. It does so by reducing appetite (increasing satiety), increasing metabolism and influencing weight-related hormones.) Weight gain is a risk factor for low testosterone. All this means that meat protein can lower your risk of  low testosterone.


Zinc is a trace mineral that has long been known to have a positive effect on sexual health. In recent years, studies have found zinc supplementation can increase blood testosterone levels. That result is even more pronounced when zinc is combined with selenium. Meat is one of the best dietary sources of zinc and selenium.


As a macromineral, your body needs magnesium for a lot of things. Testosterone production is one of those. Check out this article where I cover the subject in detail.

Polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats play an important function in the regulation of testosterone production. Research shows a correlation between greater consumption of polyunsaturated fats and increased free testosterone.

Note that there is such a thing as too much meat. Experts recommend taking no more than 70g per day.  Also, the benefits I refer to here are more likely to occur when taking unprocessed, lean meat — high intake of processed meats is detrimental to male sexual health including sperm count.

Other Ways You Can Raise Testosterone Levels

In case you are on a vegan/vegetarian diet or would otherwise prefer a different way to increase your testosterone levels, you do have options. Testosterone boosters are natural supplements made from vitamins, minerals, amino acids and plant extracts. They work by stimulating your body’s own testosterone production and typically have few to no side effects. Testosterone boosters could get the job done if you combine them with regular exercise, balanced diet and sufficient sleep.  

If you have moderately to severely low testosterone, your doctor will likely want to put you on something more potent than testosterone boosters — that is, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT introduces synthetic androgenic anabolic steroids directly into your body and thus lifts your testosterone levels much quicker than either meat, testosterone boosters or a healthy lifestyle can. On the downside, TRT is expensive and has serious health risks.


Meat is packed full of compounds and minerals that are mostly good for your health. It is only logical that meat consumption can increase your testosterone levels. Unfortunately, relying on meat alone means waiting for months or years before you can get your testosterone where it needs to be. Further, meat contains significant quantities of saturated fat and taking too much of it can raise your bad cholesterol. 

You may be better off going for a reputable testosterone booster. It could take just weeks or a couple of months before you start to see tangible changes.

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About the Author

Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

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