Intermittent fasting has been a popular topic over the past few years.
If you are doing intermittent fasting and love it, look and feel great – then please continue to do it. There are many health benefits to fasting.
But if you are concerned about libido and testosterone levels, you should reconsider it.
Intermittent Fasting And Hormones
There are studies showing how intermittent fasting does increase various hormones. However, a lot of this doesn’t translate into real-world results as far as body composition.
- it’s based on a very short time span.
- testosterone has a short time rise, but long-term it was the opposite
- cortisol also shot up
- weight loss is mainly from eating LESS/fewer calories
There are also studies that also show a big drop in total & free testosterone levels in both men and women.
There tends to be an increase in stress hormones such as cortisol with long-term intermittent fasting.
There’s also a drop in IGF-1 levels, which is a very powerful and anabolic hormone.
Intermittent fasting people will say there’s a big increase in GH levels. But, GH isn’t nearly as important or as powerful as IGF-1 – it is more of a “pre-cursor” hormone. The important and true value of GH is the ability for it to convert to IGF-1.
And for that to happen, you need optimal thyroid, insulin, and testosterone levels – all of which tend to drop with long-term intermittent fasting.
The truth is that the higher GH response is due to higher stress and cortisol production.
What Happens In Real-Life?
I’ve seen lots of blood tests over the years of intermittent fasters, that clearly show a significant drop in these powerful youth hormones. And the longer the fast, the bigger the problem.
These people also start to lose muscle mass and gain body fat, even if they lost body weight. They start to look skinny-fat.
Remember, losing body WEIGHT is different than body FAT.
Based on all the years of feedback from people who do intermittent fasting… young and old, male and female… I’ve realized that long-term intermittent fasting tends to have a negative effect on youthful hormones – such as testosterone and IGF-1 levels.
Over time, it can also cause a negative change in body composition.
And this all has to do with negative changes in your hormones over the long term.
What Should You Do?
If your goal is gaining muscle weight, and losing body fat… And to have a higher sex drive and libido, you might reconsider doing intermittent fasting.
Or, cycle it.
Make sure you continue to lift weights.
And try to eat your meals and calories around your workouts – thus, before and after. This will at least feed the nutrients towards muscle growth when they need it the most.