Today I would like to discuss a very important topic that seems to be overlooked by most amateur steroid users, post cycle therapy nutrition. Having been a nutritionist on steroid forums for almost a decade I can tell you that there isn’t a gold standard knowledge as to how one should approach their post cycle therapy. Everyone knows the basic ancillary drugs that they have to take to help natty testosterone recovery and function like Clomid and Nolva, but no one pays attention to nutrition.
Imagine you want to build a house. You’ve bought your necessary tools like a nail gun, saw, and such. You went out and bought concrete, nails, plumbing, electrical wiring but never got around to buying wood. How could you ever properly build a home without the frame? Makes sense right? This is the equivalent of what people are doing in post cycle therapy.
Yes, Clomid and Nolva will affect the pituitary gland and increase LH and FSH production (LH is the hormone that tells the testes to produce testosterone, FSH for sperm production). When on cycle your HPTA negative feedback loop tells your pituitary to stop sending signals for LH and FSH production, effectively ceasing your body’s natural testosterone production. Clomid and Nolva do a great job of reversing that problem (1). But no one thinks about what it actually takes to build testosterone?
Let’s go back to the home building example. Your clomid and nolva are your building tools, they provide whats necessary to get the job done. But what about your building materials? I know the question beckons, what exactly is natty testosterone comprised of? More specifically, what materials (nutrition) does your body need to produce natural testosterone? Let’s cover that.
The main ingredients for the production of testosterone, as is with other steroid hormones like glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, androgens, estrogens, and progestogens is cholesterol and Zinc (only in the case of testosterone and spermatogenesis). That’s right folks, do you remember that bacon you ate for breakfast this morning? Its saturating your leydig cells in your testes and waiting to be converted into glorious natty testosterone! Testosterone is not packaged, but synthesized and immediately released. Cholesterol itself has a negative feedback loop. In normal situations, high cholesterol will actually inhibit the production of natural testosterone. But, given that we are in pct, giving the body what it needs would be proper. The most important thing to remember is that the body likes to use low density lipids for the production of testosterone. The leydig cells use about 50% LDL for testosterone production (2). This means that the best type of fat that you can take in is actually saturated fats.
The synthesis of all steroid hormones is regulated by the Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory Protein (StAR) (3). The process is a bit complex, but ill try to give it in layman’s terms. Cholesterol enters the leydig cell and interacts with StAR which then causes a complex chain reaction turning the cholesterol to prognenolone followed by progesterone, followed by androstenedione, and finally testosterone. There are complex enzymes for each conversion that I will not get into since it’s not relevant to our discussion.
PCT Specific Nutrition
Ok, now that we have that covered, lets talk diet. Whether you have been cutting or bulking on cycle, the goal in pct is to maintain or gain a very moderate amount of weight. This means that if you were cutting, you should take your calories up to maintenance level. If you were bulking, you should increase your calories over what your calories were when you ended your cycle.
What is the best way to get a steady stream of saturated fats in the body without causing an overload, one might ask? Nothing works better than beef! Beef is naturally high in saturated fats while having a digestive process that can take anywhere between 14-18 hours. So lets simplify this;
Any time you go into PCT you should follow these rules of thumb.
- If cutting, raise calories to maintenance level
- If bulking, raise calories past cycle ending calories
- Carb intake should be high, unless you were on keto on cycle
- Make 3 meals a day (assuming youre eating 5-6 meals a day) 9-10oz of beef
- 90/10 Ground Beef
- Ribeye (in moderation)
- Supplement your diet with 50mg zinc twice a day
- Follow the PCT specific diet 3-4 weeks past the end of PCT and take labs at the 6 week mark to guarantee full recovery.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on pct and the importance of nutrition.
If interested in becoming a client for nutritional/training coaching please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clomiphene increases free testosterone levels in men with both secondary hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction: who does and does not benefit?
- Kalat JW (2009). “Reproductive behaviors”. Biological psychology. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. p. 321. ISBN 0-495-60300-7.
3. Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory Protein
Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, Texas 79430