Does Caloric Restriction Affect Testosterone Levels?

Caloric Reduction and Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is a hormone that is primarily produced in the testicles in men and in smaller amounts in the ovaries in women.

It plays a critical role in the development and maintenance of male sexual characteristics and reproductive functions, such as the growth of facial hair, deepening of the voice, and production of sperm.

Testosterone levels in men naturally decrease with age, which can lead to a range of symptoms and health issues, such as decreased muscle mass, decreased bone density, and decreased sex drive.

Exercise and diet can also have a significant impact on testosterone levels. In this post, we will see if caloric restriction can have any impact on testosterone levels.

What is Caloric Restriction?

Caloric restriction is a dietary practice that involves reducing the number of calories consumed in a day while still maintaining adequate levels of nutrients.

The goal of caloric restriction is to reduce overall calorie intake while ensuring that the body receives enough essential nutrients to support healthy bodily function.

Caloric restriction has shown to have a number of potential health benefits including:

  • reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes
  • reducing the risk of heart-related disease
  • increasing lifespan.

Caloric restriction can be followed by eating less, eating healthy or practising intermittent fasting.

Can Caloric Restriction Affect Testosterone Levels?

Caloric restriction can potentially affect testosterone levels in men, although the relationship between caloric restriction and testosterone is complex and can depend on various factors.

A study was conducted to see if caloric restriction could help men who were overweight make more testosterone.

Thirteen overweight men were put on a low-calorie diet for a period of 12 weeks. Various hormone levels including testosterone were measured during this test.

It was found that caloric restriction significantly increased testosterone levels in these men.


It can be concluded that eating fewer calories can increase levels of testosterone in obese men.

As the study did not take healthy men into consideration, it would be difficult to conclude if healthy or under-weight men will show an increase in testosterone with a calorie-restricted diet.





About Mikael Gomez

Mikael is a health nutrition expert and loves mountain biking. Mikael started his health product research journey in 2016 and still loves doing it. Apart from spending time on his study, research & literature, he plays basketball regularly and is a fitness freak. Follow Mikael on Linkedin