There's a lot of questions around low testosterone specifically when it comes to body composition. After all, for years mass media has told us guys that more testosterone made us more manly and muscular. While testosterone clearly has muscle building and athletic benefits, what happens to the body in a low testosterone state?
Does low testosterone cause weight gain? Yes and No.
Multiple studies have shown that in a low testosterone state, body fat is increased. This is because as testosterone dips, estrogen increases and expedites the rate that our body stores fat. (1,2)
Yet I'm not convinced that the estrogen increases by itself is the largest reason why low testosterone is linked to weight gain.
My argument is that your weight gain during the years leading up to your low testosterone diagnosis is the bigger issue.
Let's face it, if you're eating enough to consistently and constantly gain bodyfat then you'll likely have other habits that lead to weight gain and contribute to low testosterone including poor sleep habits, less than optimal exercise and high stress levels.
As a result, these factors contribute to rapid spikes and drops in various hormones. All that "steals" testosterone day by day. In fact just 75 grams of sugar leads to a 25 percent drop in testosterone levels for two hours post consumption. This can be a "cheat" meal or from a post workout shake, anything with sugar.(3)
Testosterone is very fickle and through the years of high calories, increased sugar and low activity, low testosterone is going to be more of the normal.
Make sure to check out our other testosterone articles