Refuel Your Fertility: Eat Better, Exercise Specifically

Most people know that men’s sperm counts drop with age. But they don’t know that men’s sperm counts are 35% lower than they were just 25 years ago!

About 20% of infertility is because men don’t do their share. If you’re trying to get pregnant, or recently had a baby, you know how hard it is to find reliable information on nutrition. And expensive: one go at IVF can be $20,000, and may not be covered by insurance.

Here is a primer on male infertility: and not surprisingly, guys who are obese have lower testosterone counts and sperm counts than guys of normal weight. We can reverse that when those guys Refuel.

Ditto guys who have diabetes, who do extreme sports, who smoke and who use steroids or drugs.

By the way, taking testosterone is not the answer: it doesn’t raise sperm counts. But making testosterone yourself? By converting less of it to estrogen? That does help.

It’s not just too much food and crummy lifestyle choices that change male sperm–it’s severity of exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors or xenobiotics. These are the gender-bending chemicals that turn male frogs into female ones, and cripple sperm production.

And finally, some male infertiity is from testicular or pituitary problems (genetic or acquired).

How do you know? In addition to a sperm and semen analysis, men who may be infertile should have hormone screening: FSH, LH, Testosterone and SHBG.

Men can clean up their diet: a powerful antioxidant treatment (folic acid, vitamin E, zinc, selenium) can improve semen quality. Eat more fish (especially cod, halibut, salmon and tuna). I suggest a sustainable fishery: try Vital Choice for first quality products.

And drop the cold cuts and hot dogs: they don’t help sperm quality or heart disease risk, for that matter.

Men can also lift: getting about an hour a day of exercise may lead to higher sperm counts and reduce infertility, according to a recent Harvard study. How much? Six hours per week means sperm concentrations that are 48% higher than those of men who are couch potatoes.

High intensity interval training and body weight training are increasingly popular, and now doing pushups, planks, jumping jacks, burpees, squats and lunges can mean not just more muscle mass, but more testosterone and better fertility.

We found great videos to teach guys the proper form for each.

Tell me a story: what did you do to get your partner healthy for having a baby? What worked, and what didn’t?

Published on: January 09, 2014
About the Author
Photo of John La Puma

John La Puma MD is a best selling author, practicing physician, board-certified in internal medicine, and writes recipes on prescription slips, too. His latest book is REFUEL™ - Dr La Puma's 24-Day Eating Plan to Shed Fat, Boost Testosterone and Pump Up Strength and Stamina.

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