18 Testosterone-Killers to Look Out For

Right now, your testosterone is tanking.

mars-symbolThis is partly because in today’s world, men face testosterone-draining toxins & stressors more and more every day — including a disturbing number of hidden T-Killers that you’d never see coming.

At worst, these T-Killers combine and multiply in strength, driving T levels so low you sprout man-boobs. Literally.

But at best, you can identify hidden T-Killers, avoid them, and vault your test levels higher than they’ve ever been before.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 18 T-Killers (in no particular order) to commit to memory. Size ’em up and proceed as you see fit, Bro.

18 T-Killers to Keep on Your Radar…

1. Booze


Dammit, booze. Dammit. Image by m01229 licensed under CC by 2.0.

Boozin’ it up (“excessive drinking” if you want to get technical) can severely disrupt normal T-levels.

In one study, University of Granada researchers found that, in contrast to females, “Serum testosterone levels were very significantly decreased in our AAI [Acute Alcohol Intoxication, a.k.a. shitfaced] men…”

The researchers further suggested that the drunkenness-induced testosterone drop might be due to the fact that alcohol impairs the neural pathways between the brain and the testes. Well, that would explain a lot.

2. Inadequate Sleep

Your body manufactures testosterone while you sleep. So it makes sense that sufficient shuteye will help boost T. Good evidence supports this belief, with researchers reporting that peak testosterone production occurs during a man’s first three hours of uninterrupted sleep (including REM sleep). The same researchers also noted that disrupting a man’s normal sleep cycle seems to actively block testosterone synthesis and release.

3. Stress

Ever feel your manliness drain away under extreme stress, leaving you weak, fatigued and impotent? The stress-low-T link is well-documented by research, with one article from the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences concluding that “Males who were classified as high psychological stress had significantly lower testosterone levels than did their low stress counterparts.” The lesson? Chill, Bro. It’s good for your T.

4. Frequent Ejaculation

There's a good reason why hot Asian girls are known as "Chi Thieves." Image by Kim Boek from Seoul, South Korea [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a good reason why hot Asian girls are known as “Chi Thieves.” Image by Kim Boek from Seoul, South Korea [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Nooooooooooo…. but yes. Science says it’s true. Deep in your ‘nads, you know it’s true. Whether your girlfriend is a nympho or you’re a bachelor with unrestricted porn access, shooting too many loads drains your T.

One possible reason behind this problem? Each time you ejaculate, you lose up to 5 mg of Zinc… which is, oh, just the second best testosterone-boosting nutrient in the UNIVERSE.

Chinese researchers reported that study subjects who abstained from blowing their wads for two to five days showed no changes in their testosterone levels.

But their big discovery: “On the 7th day of abstinence, however, a clear peak of serum testosterone appeared, reaching 145.7% of the baseline.”

In other words… Lo, on the Seventh Day of abstaining from busting a nut, there will be a massive spike in T.

Nofap, gentlemen. Nofap.

5. Aging

Among the most notorious T-Killers is the simple act of getting older–with some evidence showing that this natural decline may begin as early as age 30.

In one especially depressing study on the topic, researchers said the evidence “strongly supports the concept of an effect of aging to lower both total and bioavailable circulating testosterone levels at a relatively constant rate.”

There’s no Fountain of Youth, but there’s good news, too: Some of today’s most advanced testosterone supplements are designed for men over age 30 to counter age-related test decline.

6. Marriage

There may be some literal truth in the phrase “his wife has his balls in a sling“: Some research says marriage itself is a T-Killer. In one study, researchers found testosterone levels to be lower in married men when compared to single and divorced men.

The same researchers discovered that “Testosterone is relatively high during the years surrounding a divorce, and testosterone level falls during the years surrounding marriage.” Who knew that getting divorced could benefit testosterone?

7. Marijuana

Well, maybe I could deal with a LITTLE drop in my T-levels... Image by Dank Depot licensed under CC by 2.0.

Well, maybe I could deal with a LITTLE drop in my T-levels… Image by Dank Depot licensed under CC by 2.0.

Arnold Schwazenegger probably disagrees, but smoking weed saps your manliness.

Many are already aware that cannabis reduces sperm count in men. And now, evidence shows smoking pot is bad for testosterone, too… which could be related to the sperm decline issue.

In a study of Rhesus monkeys, researchers found that THC reduced testosterone levels by 65%, and that the T-Killing effect lasted one hour. At least the monkeys were enjoying themselves as their testosterone bottomed out.

65% is a BIG drop in T-levels, but the hour duration seems manageable. However, we’d guess that more chronic use of The Chronic has a much longer-lasting negative impact on testosterone.

8. Darkness

Trying to boost testosterone? Sunlight makes you a man… partly because sunshine unleashes peak skin synthesis of one of the best natural T-boosters out there: Vitamin D3. (D3 is also ranked #4 on our Best 5 T-Boosters list).

Many scientific studies have linked sunlight & Vitamin D3 to peak T, including one review of several studies where researchers concluded “25(OH)D [a measure of Vitamin D3 levels] was positively associated with total and free testosterone levels.”

There’s really no excuse for letting darkness drain your testosterone. Get out there into the fresh air and sunshine. It’s free & good for T.

9. Obesity

No surprise here. The fatter you are, the lower your testosterone levels will probably be. Type-2 Diabetes, which is often associated with overweight individuals, might make the test-drop even worse: A 2011 article in Diabetes Researchers journal stated that, “Many men with type 2 diabetes, especially those who are obese, have low serum total testosterone.”

Maintaining manly T-levels is yet another reason to keep your weight healthy. If you need to lose weight and raise T, strength training may be perfect for you: It reduces bodyfat and boosts testosterone at the same time.

10. Low Magnesium & Zinc

Magnesium and Zinc are manly minerals, mainly because they are absolutely critical for robust testosterone production. Despite this fact, many men fail to get enough… and their T-levels may suffer as a result. Low Zinc is especially disturbing for men: If you fail to get enough, you testosterone may tailspin into hypogonadism (literally, shrinking gonads: Your testes).

Don’t panic… but DO supplement. Supplementing with zinc can reverse testosterone decline, as well as reversing the feminizing effects of hypogonadism. Don’t forget about magnesium: With 45% of American adults falling short on this essential mineral, it makes a lot of sense to include in in your supplement regimen for both testosterone and overall health.

11. Soy

Tofu cooked Chinese style, Beijing, China. {{cc-by-sa-2.0}} by Andrew Lih

Tofu cooked Chinese style, Beijing, China. {{cc-by-sa-2.0}} by Andrew Lih

It is widely believed a soy-based diet can decrease testosterone levels in males. That’s why you probably run in the  opposite direction when offered tofu. It’s instinct, man…. instinct.

Australian researchers seem to validate our soy avoidance, concluding in one study that “The lower testosterone:oestradiol after the tofu diet is consistent with our hypothesis that a soyabean diet may result in lower androgen activity…

They’re talking about test-to-estrogen ratio, and suggesting that soy seems to skew this ratio towards the female side. It may even tip the scales enough to decrease levels of androgens: All male sex hormones, including testosterone.

12. Not Enough Strength Training

Exercise might just be the most obvious way to boost T. So why do so many men sit around on their asses all the time?  All men should be aware: Without adequate physical activity, testosterone levels will drop.

A study published in Journal of Applied Physiology tracked 12 men before and after exercise routines. Researchers found that “There was a significant increase in postexercise testosterone compared with preexercise values for both the bench press (7.4%) and jump squat (15.1%) protocols.” For the sake of your T, get moving. Inactivity just can’t be an excuse. While you’re at it, consider taking a T-booster designed specifically for men who are working out & strength-training.

13. Too Much Long-Distance Running

Repeated long-distance running may be good for cardiovascular fitness, but may have a negative impact on testosterone levels. This was explored in part by researchers at the University of British Columbia, who in one research study suggested that, “Chronic high mileage training in some studies has resulted in lower levels of circulating testosterone than in sedentary or less active men.”

14. Licorice

The problem with licorice is “glycyrrhetinic acid,” which has been shown to drain the testosterone levels of healthy males. In one study, researchers reported the T-drain of glycyrrhetinic acid “was far more potent than that of glycyrrhizin, causing about 90% inhibition at 10μg/ml.” Besides turning you into a girl, licorice is a flavor abomination that should be killed with fire, forever. Blechhhhh.

15. Some Types of Tea

By Victuallers (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Victuallers (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Drinking an Arnold Palmer? Carry on.

It’s not all types of tea that kill T, but spearmint & green tea seem to have anti-androgen properties. London researchers have linked spearmint tea to:

  • Significant decreases in free testosterone levels
  • Increases in luteinizing hormone (LH, a T-killer)
  • Increases in Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH, a girly hormone)
  • Increases in estradiol, which is tied to estrogen (so damn girly)

In regards to green tea, the same article went on to state that green tea’s epigallocatechins may inhibit the 5-alpha-reductase conversion of normal testosterone into DHT.

We’eve never actually seen a man drinking spearmint tea, ever… but still, just in case, watch your back. Don’t let this sneaky T-killing mint spear you in the balls.

16. Reishi Mushroom

In the very same tea-draining-T article above, researchers stated that, “In a research study exploring the anti-androgenic effects of 20 species of mushrooms, reishi mushrooms had the strongest action in inhibiting testosterone.” This just goes to show that even though a plant may have tons of health benefits, it may also have negative aspects that are easy to overlook.

17. Opioids (Painkillers)

Opiate-based prescription drugs are skyrocketing in popularity, but also have some horrible side effects — including the potential to drain male testosterone.

In 2010, the British Medical Journal stated that:“Opioids are occasionally reported to increase prolactin [a girly hormone] levels, thereby reducing testosterone secretion.” The researchers went on to report that:

  • Testosterone concentrations seem to drop more than 50% within a few hours of taking an opioid
  • Testosterone levels returned to baseline within 24-72 hours after withdrawal from the drug
  • Depending on the opioid dose used, it could take up to a month (!) for testosterone levels to recover

There’s a lot of reasons to steer clear of painkillers, but this one pushes it over the top: Opioids’ potent T-killing activity is a real kick in the nuts.

Note: Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, and Diazepams (tranquilizers and muscle relaxers) are other classes of pharmaceutical drugs that seem to drive down male testosterone levels as a side effect.

18. Phthalates

Plastics = Phthalates. Image by David Monniaux via [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr], via Wikimedia Commons

According to the CDC, over 80,000 synthetic chemicals are present in retail products that consumers buy, touch and use every day. One class of these synthetics — Phthalates — appears to be particularly nasty for testosterone.

Commonly found in deodorant, shampoo, water bottles and other plastics that you use every damn day, phthalates were found in a 2014 study to be associated with significantly lower testosterone levels in men aged 40-60.

To us, the 40-60 age range seems to support the idea that T-Killing synthetics build up in the body and exert a greater toxic load on testosterone over time. No matter how you slice it, phthalates are everywhere… and should definitely be avoided when possible.


You’ve probably noticed men and society-at-large are getting softer around the middle, both literally and figuratively. The ever-growing toxic load of these T-Killers may be a big reason why.

The disturbing part: Even with 18 T-Killers identified, we know our list only scratches the surface. There’s a lot more hidden T-Killers out there.

What can you do? It’s a good strategy to actively boost your testosterone (Take a good T-booster supplement, do strength training, etc.) while actively avoiding T-Killers (starting with the 18 above). This synergy and “addition by subtraction” take you directly to huge test-gains territory.

Did we miss any obvious T-Killers? It’s cool, Bro. Let us know in the comments below.

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