Androgen receptors are crucial for the proper action and function of androgens, such as testosterone and DHT.
A study in 2018 found that it’s the androgen receptor density that correlates with muscle hypertrophy and not the hormone levels themselves (R).
In this article, I’ll be laying out the foods, which are most effective at increasing androgen receptor density to maximize androgenicity and anabolism.
Eggs are a source of several hormones, such as testosterone, 5α-dihydrotestosterone, androstenedione, progesterone and several thyroid hormones, all of which can increase androgen receptors (R).
The effect might be small because the amount of steroids in eggs is relatively small, since once the liver has dealt with the steroids, there won’t be much left for the rest of the body to have a meaningful impact.
Regardless, eggs are choke full of other nutrients, such as choline, cholesterol, and various other vitamins and minerals that will help to increase androgen receptors and build muscle.
A minimum of 1-2 eggs daily should be enough to offer good benefits, but don’t have to consume eggs if you don’t like them.
Just be sure to get high-quality free-range, organic eggs which chickens have not been fed with GMO, mold and pesticide-laden grains.
#2 Eggshell calcium
Estrogen antagonizes testosterone and increases serotonin and inflammation as well as prolactin. Estrogen reduces androgen receptor sensitivity (R).
The mineral calcium possesses aromatase inhibiting properties. Estradiol and aromatase increase on a low calcium diet. People who eat a high calcium diet end up with lower aromatase activity and estrogen levels (R).
Dairy is a good source of calcium, but a lot of people cannot consume it. Eggshell calcium is a great alternative that’s very high in calcium and low in phosphorous. Other good alternatives for calcium are oyster shell calcium, coral calcium, and leafy greens.
I aim to get a greater amount of calcium than phosphorous in my diet.
#3 Cocoa powder
Cocoa contains some potent anti-stress and anti-inflammatory properties. Oxidative stress extinguishes the anti-inflammatory effect of cortisol, leading to cortisol resistance, whereas the cocoa flavanol (-)-epicatechin reduces intracellular oxidative stress as well as the development of cortisol resistance (R). Cortisol is catabolic and in excess or when unopposed by androgens can degrade the androgen receptors.
Not only is cocoa anti-inflammatory, but it also reduces the amount of cortisol produced and prevents the negative effect of cortisol on the metabolism and gut (R). Just 40g of dark chocolate (yielding 15-30mg of epicatechin) daily is enough for this benefit. Cocoa also helps to lower cortisol after a stressful task (R). Now you know why you might crave chocolate when you are stressed.
#4 Cocoa butter
Saturated fats on the other hand increase androgen receptors and enhance androgen binding strength (R).
Good sources of fat with a high saturated fat to PUFA ratio include beef, lamb, goat and bison fat, butter, coconut oil, nutmeg butter, cocoa butter, dairy fat, etc.
More than 90% of serotonin is created in the gut, which can then enter the body and cause havoc. Serotonin causes vasoconstriction and inflammation, increases estrogen, opposes dopamine and degrades the androgen receptors (R, R).
Bacteria in the gut can increase the production of serotonin and also irritate the gut lining, which enhances the absorption of serotonin. Germ free mice have approximately 3-fold lower levels of plasma serotonin compared to conventional mice with gut bacteria (R).
An excess of gut bacteria can lead to an excess of gut serotonin. So it would be logical to reduce gut bacteria to lower serotonin levels.
Cinnamon has potent antibacterial, antifungal, anti-termitic, larvicidal, nematicidal, and insecticidal properties (R). You can either take a bunch of cinnamon powder daily or try the essential oil, which is much more potent.
I’d combine cinnamon essential oil with activated charcoal, so that the activated charcoal can bind to it and prevent its absorption in the gut, which then helps it to travel further down the intestine to exert its anti-bacterial and serotonin lowering effects.
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Capsaicin, the hot component of chili peppers, increases androgen receptor expression (R). My wife and I like to dazzle some habanero Tabasco sauce over our food.
But if you’re not a chili lover, then you really don’t have to eat it just for the sake of boosting androgen receptors.
Quinoa is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is a potent calcium antagonist by removing intracellular calcium. Too much intracellular calcium, induced by inflammation, excitatory amino acids, EMF, radiation, shock, stress, low CO2, excess nitric oxide and carbon monoxide, etc., degrades the androgen receptors.
#8 Fish heads
Fish heads contain the thyroid and thyroid hormones, specifically T3, which up-regulate androgen receptors, and down-regulate estrogen receptors (R).
If this grosses you out, chicken neck (with the thyroid still intact) is a good alternative, else a good desiccated thyroid (such as TyroMax) would suffice.
Drinking coffee promotes mental effectiveness, well-being, increases testosterone, DHT, inhibits the aromatase and increases androgen receptors.
Oysters are very high in zinc. A zinc deficiency significantly increases estrogen receptors and decreases androgen receptors (R). Oysters also contain many other minerals needed for proper health. You don’t have to buy raw-shelled oysters, just as long as the oysters aren’t soaked in a high PUFA/vegetable oil. Brine or olive oil would be a much better option.
If youre not getting enough zinc in your diet, then even 50g of oysters would give you 50% of your of your daily requirements.
#11 Beef kidney
Selenium boosts thyroid hormone conversion, which increases androgen receptors.
Beef kidney is very rich in selenium, even richer than seafood. Just 100g beef kidney has 140% of your daily requirements to selenium.
Brazil nuts are considered to be the richest source of selenium, but the selenium is only found in the skin of the nut and the amounts vary quite a lot. I’d personally just avoid the nut in general because it’s so high in PUFAs, unless you only want to eat the skins.
Other good source of selenium include red meat, oysters and shrimp.
#12 Bone broth
Glycine is a component of androgen receptors. The need for glycine increases during periods of metabolic demand, such as with exercise, recovery, and stress.
The body cannot keep up with the required demand, and by ingesting glycine, will spare essential amino acids for muscle protein synthesis and growth, rather than synthesizing glycine.
I like to make bone broth for my glycine, but a few tbsp of gelatin daily can also work great.