A man curls dumbbells in a blue shirt.

We Asked ChatGPT How to Boost Testosterone. We’re Not Impressed

The AI definitely does not have an M.D.

Since its launch in November, medical experts have raised alarm bells that ChatGPT—an AI chatbot—could be a new, highly efficient generator of health misinformation. 

For good reason. While the AI’s ability to maintain a conversational tone could help guys break down complicated health questions, some of its advice is notoriously bad, like giving users fake cancer data. Plus, the quick info it spits out isn’t usually as comprehensive as it should be.

We wanted to try this for ourselves. So we asked the AI to tell us how men can boost their testosterone levels. What we found:  the information it spit out was wildly oversimplified, missed critical context and nuance, and in one instance, was outright wrong.

Here’s what it got right, and where it missed the mark.

Exercise Regularly

Chat GPT: “One of the most effective ways to boost testosterone levels is through regular exercise. Resistance training, in particular, has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men. Aim for at least three to four sessions of strength training per week, focusing on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.”

The bot is somewhat correct. Regular exercise boosts T levels by supporting healthy weight and muscle growth. And resistance workouts are particularly effective at raising testosterone, says The Edge’s Fitness and Nutrition Editor Sydney Bueckert, NASM CPT, CES, FNS, GPT. 

But it’s not the only way. HIIT workouts have also been found to be particularly effective at boosting T. In one study, middle-aged men who participated in three sessions a week of one hour of high-intensity intervals and strength training saw their T levels increase by nearly 38% (1).

To optimize the T-increasing effects of exercise, Bueckert recommends metabolic resistance workouts, like burpees, mountain climbers, and kettlebell swings, which combine resistance training and HIIT.

Get Enough Sleep

Chat GPT: “Sleep is critical for overall health and well-being, and it also plays a role in testosterone production. Studies have shown that men who get less than seven hours of sleep per night tend to have lower testosterone levels. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and try to establish a regular sleep schedule.”

Testosterone does rise as a natural part of your sleep cycle—and not getting enough good quality Zs can throw off your levels (2). 

“Sleep deprivation can cause testosterone levels to drop,” Jenna Gress Smith, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, and sleep medicine specialist previously told The Edge. 

What the bot got wrong: Clocking seven or eight hours a night may not be enough. One study (3) found that men who slept less than 5 hours a night for one week had significantly lower levels of testosterone than when they had a full night’s rest— a 10 to 15 percent decrease in testosterone production on average. 

If you’re struggling to fall or stay asleep, start by reducing alcohol (especially before bed), limiting your blue light exposure, and lowering the temp in your bedroom. And If you think you could be struggling with a more serious sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. 

Eat a Healthy Diet

Chat GPT: “Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates can help boost testosterone levels. Foods that are particularly beneficial for testosterone production include oysters, red meat, eggs, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.”

ChatGPT is on the right track, but again, missed some important details. Protein can limit the production of  SHBG—a protein that binds to and transports total testosterone (4), which is “biologically inactive.” Less SHBG may leave you with more  free testosterone, the type of T that keeps your body functioning and feeling how it should.

But eating too much protein may lower T, according to a study by the University of Worcester (5). Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet and keep your protein intake under 35% to avoid this problem.

And, we can cosign the benefits of oysters, red meat, and eggs (particularly yolks). ChatGPT is on the right track by recommending cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, but leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard are better at boosting T because of their high magnesium and boron levels. 

But don’t forget other T boosting foods like ginger, extra virgin olive oil, bananas and fatty fish.

Reduce Stress

Chat GPT: “Chronic stress can lead to decreased testosterone levels in men. Finding ways to reduce stress, such as through meditation, deep breathing, or yoga, can help increase testosterone production.”

True. Chronic stress can inhibit testosterone synthesis (6). In fact, stress disorders like PTSD are the culprit of staggering low T levels in combat veterans.

We like ChatGPT’s stress management techniques (and recommend this five-minute breathing exercise) but it’s important to a therapist if your stress levels are getting out of control or if you suspect that you’re  dealing with a mental disorder like anxiety. 

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Chat GPT: “Men who are overweight or obese tend to have lower testosterone levels. Losing weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise can help boost testosterone levels.”

In one study, overweight men between the ages of 14 and 20 were found to have up to 50 percent less testosterone than those who were not overweight, even when they’re in their hormonal prime (7).

However, this is a chicken-or-the-egg situation. 

Having low testosterone levels can reduce your lean muscle mass, which increases your risk of obesity. On the other hand, having a high body fat percentage can increase your risk for low testosterone. This is because fat cells contain high levels of aromatase—an enzyme that converts your T into estrogen, which can throw your hormone levels off (8).

Get Plenty of Vitamin D

Chat GPT: “Vitamin D plays a crucial role in testosterone production. Spending time outdoors and getting enough sunlight is one way to boost your vitamin D levels. You can also get vitamin D from foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods.”

Nope. It’s true low T and low vitamin D levels are linked (9) but the evidence on whether or not increasing your vitamin D intake can boost T is mixed.  

A 2021 study found no correlation between taking vitamin D and increasing T in already healthy guys (10).

And doctors warn that taking too much vitamin D can put your health in jeopardy. Three percent of American adults self-report taking more than the upper 4000IU per day limit of vitamin D (11), which puts them at risk for toxicity symptoms like nausea and kidney stones.

Consider Natural Supplements

Chat GPT: “There are several natural supplements that may help boost testosterone levels, such as ashwagandha, fenugreek, and DHEA. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe and effective for you.”

Well, sort of. Some research suggests that ashwagandha and fenugreek may increase  testosterone levels—but experts say that more research is needed. 

Ashwagandha and fenugreek appear to increase DHEA-S, a steroid hormone that converts estrogen into testosterone (12, 13). In a meta-analysis published in Advances in Nutrition, three out of four studies showed that men who took ashwagandha root or leaf extract for at least eight weeks raised testosterone levels more effectively than the placebo—but one study found it to be ineffective (14).

Experts also say that these supplements’ benefits usually aren’t enough to remedy low testosterone completely. And it goes without saying that you should clear any pills—including supplements—with your physician before taking them.

If you’re concerned about your T levels, consult with a physician and take a blood test. If your testosterone is out of the normal threshold, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help you stave off debilitating symptoms like fatigue, muscle loss, and low sex drive.

Hone’s testosterone assessment is the simplest way to uncover whether your levels are low. It’s fast, simple, and you can do it from home. And if low T is the problem, Hone can help you get you back on top of your game.

  1. Ambrozy, et al (2021). The Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training Periods on Morning Serum Testosterone and Cortisol Levels and Physical Fitness in Men Aged 35–40 Years.
  2. Su, et al (2021). Effect of partial and total sleep deprivation on serum testosterone in healthy males: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
  3. Leproult, et al (2011). Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men.
  4. Longcope, et al (2000). Diet and sex hormone-binding globulin.
  5. Whittaker, et al (2022). Low-carbohydrate diets and men’s cortisol and testosterone: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
  6. Xiong, et al (2021). Chronic stress inhibits testosterone synthesis in Leydig cells through mitochondrial damage via Atp5a1.
  7. Mogri, et al (2012). Testosterone concentrations in young pubertal and post-pubertal obese males.
  8. Mair, et al (2020). Obesity, estrogens and adipose tissue dysfunction – implications for pulmonary arterial hypertension.
  9. Chen, et al (2019). Causal Link Between Vitamin D and Total Testosterone in Men: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis.
  10. Ksiazek, et al (2021). Correlative studies on vitamin D and total, free bioavailable testosterone levels in young, healthy men.
  11. Rooney, et al (2017). Trends in Use of High-Dose Vitamin D Supplements Exceeding 1000 or 4000 International Units Daily, 1999-2014.
  12. Lopresti, et al (2019). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males.
  13. Mansoori, et al (2020). Effect of fenugreek extract supplement on testosterone levels in male: A meta-analysis of clinical trials.
  14. Smith, et al (2021). Examining the Effects of Herbs on Testosterone Concentrations in Men: A Systematic Review.