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Does whey protein affect testosterone level

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Rohit Jadhav Founder - M2PROTEINS

Does Whey Protein Affect Testosterone Level

Male athletes fear about does whey protein affect testosterone level

Anyone who takes any kind of medicine, treatment, or supplement is also worried about any possible side effects or long-term effects. This is usual, when we take any kind of medicine or supplement we also want to know if that particular supplement is going to have any long-term side effects, and if there are any we should be aware of those in advance.  

The male population generally in the age group of 18-40 forms the largest consumer base for whey proteins. It’s the prime age where people want to be healthy, have a nice physique, or have big muscles. Off-course the male population taking whey supplements is worried about its possible effects on testosterone levels.  

We have also discussed most common side effects of whey protein in another article

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced by testicles. It plays important role in the development of sexual characteristics and physical appearance. It also regulates sex drive, bone mass, muscle development, production of red blood cells, and sperms(1). It also controls the distribution of fat in the body.

All in all, it is one of the most important hormones in the body, and changes in its level can have harmful effects.

Here we will discuss if consumption of whey protein affects the levels of testosterone in the body in any way. We will take a look at few important pieces of research which experimented to determine the effects of whey protein on the testosterone level.

    • Whey supplementation did not affect the level of testosterone.

      In a study published in the Journal of medical sciences titled “Impact of Resisted Exercises and Whey Protein on Growth Hormones and Testosterone in Normal Subjects” (2), scientists performed a study on a group of 60 male subjects aged around 18 years.

      The scientists divided the group into two, both groups were subjected to resistance exercise for 6 weeks, one group received whey protein supplement and the other did not.

After 6 weeks subjects were tested for blood hormone levels before and after 6 weeks. The measurements included growth hormones, testosterone levels, and also strength.

The whey protein group consumed 1.2 grams of protein/ per kg of body weight.

Both groups showed a significant increase in the level of testosterone from the before to after levels, but there was no significant difference between the groups, meaning whey protein did not have any effect on the testosterone levels.

The resistance exercise contributes to an increase in the levels of testosterone in the body (3), but adding whey protein to the diet does not have any impact on the levels of testosterone.

    • 2.0 grams of whey protein/ kg/ day for 12 weeks did not affect testosterone levels.

      In another study published in the Journal of sports science and medicine titled “Effects of protein supplementation on muscular performance and resting hormonal changes in college football players”(4) scientists evaluated the effects of whey protein supplementation on total testosterone level among others parameters.

The study was conducted on a group of 21 experienced athletes. The athletes were divided into two groups, both groups performed resistance exercises for 12 weeks, one group received protein supplementation while the other received placebo.

The placebo group still however received about 1.2 grams of protein every day through diet, while the protein group received 2 grams of protein/ kg of body weight/ day through supplements.

Measurements for resting testosterone were taken before, during, and after the experiment.

Lean Tissue Mass

PL- Placebo, PR- Protein
Pre- Before experiment, MID- During experiment, POST- After Experiment
Y-axis- Testosterone Level

As depicted in the above graph researchers did not find any difference between the two groups at any time point for testosterone levels.

The whey protein consumption did not affect the levels of testosterone in the body.

    • Consuming more than the recommended intake of protein did not affect testosterone levels in the body.

      A study published in the Journal of the International society of sports nutrition titled “Effect of Protein Intake on Strength, Body Composition and Endocrine Changes in Strength/Power Athletes” (5) determined the effects of consuming protein below, at, and above recommended levels on the testosterone among other.

This study was conducted on a group of 23 athletes, which were divided into 3 groups and underwent similar resistance exercises for 12 weeks.

All groups were subjected to a well-designed resistance exercise for 12 weeks that targeted all muscle groups.
Each group received either below the recommended level, at the recommended level, and above recommended level protein.

Below level-1.0-1.4 grams
At level- 1.6-1.8 grams
Above level- >2.0 grams

The higher protein levels were achieved through protein supplementation.

The measurements for testosterone levels were taken before and after the experiment.

Researchers did not find any difference between testosterone levels for any groups when measured before and after the experiment.

Conclusion

As discussed above whey protein supplementation did not affect testosterone levels in any studies. Resistance exercise increases the level of testosterone due to stimulation of muscle protein synthesis pathway but whey protein does not contribute to increase.

When protein even when consumed above recommended dose doesn’t affect the level of testosterone in the body.

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