If you want to see increased muscle mass, better energy, more efficient weight loss and better overall performance, then you absolutely need to make sure you have a nutritious and balanced diet.
In other words, getting vitamins and minerals is absolutely essential for your recovery as well as your gains. You’ve probably read a lot of articles about how magnesium, zinc, coQ10, omega 3 fatty acid, vitamin C, calcium, nitric oxide, creatine… and the rest are great for your body. You may have decided then that you needed to add around 100 pills to your morning regimen.
But guess what: You can get all these things through your food at all the right rates. You just need to eat more of all the good things your mom used to make you eat before you could leave the table.
A great example of this is vitamin A – which is not really a single compound, but multiple molecules including retinal, retinol, retinoic acids, β-carotene, lutein, lycopene and more.
It has recently been discovered that lutein is excellent for providing more energy and disposition, and for increasing weight loss. But what vitamin A also does is increase the level of testosterone.
How Vitamin A and Testosterone are Related
Man with strong triceps
Vitamin A is found in retinal testicular Sertoli cells and can be converted to retinoic acid (which is more biologically active) as needed. When there is no vitamin A in the testicles, the testosterone level drops rapidly (according to studies in rats and mice). Consecutively, this increases the level of estrogen.
At the same time, if you have a vitamin A deficiency, you will not be able to properly utilize the fats in your diet. Now we have already talked about the key role of fats in testosterone production multiple times. But to recap: Fat is crucial to testosterone level because the body uses the good cholesterol (found in these fats) to create steroid hormones.
That’s why ‘GOMAD’ is such a popular technique for hardgainers. It involves drinking a ‘Gallon Of Milk A Day’ and has been compared to steroid use in terms of efficiency! Why? Because milk contains a lot of protein (that’s where casein and whey come from), but also because it increases testosterone by increasing fat (you should drink whole milk).
But you can drink all the milk you want; If you are not getting vitamin A, you will not be able to absorb that fat and you will not see the benefits. In addition, vitamin A is used to synthesize a substance called transferrin, which is used to transport cholesterol for use.
The link between vitamin A and testosterone is neither straightforward nor fully understood. However, it helps to modulate testosterone level in a range of different ways, and multiple studies show that undoubtedly low vitamin A results in low testosterone.