Does The Keto Diet Affect Sperm?

There aren’t many things more frustrating than trying to conceive and failing time after time. Visiting a fertility doctor will allow you many options, one of which is a change in diet.

Does keto affect sperm? A ketogenic diet that contains plenty of fish, healthy fats, seeds, and nuts have been proven to have a positive impact on sperm count and fertility.

Are you and your partner having baby fever? If you’re hoping for a little bundle of joy in the not-so-distant future, keep reading to learn how a ketogenic diet fits into your plans.

The Effect Of A Traditional Diet On Sperm

It’s no secret that sugar isn’t good for us. This fact was drilled into our brains when we were children, and it’s even more critical now that we’re adults. Sugar provides zero to our bodies in the way of nutrition. We were also told that to avoid sugar, all you have to do is not eat it. Easy, right?

Not so fast! A label doesn’t have to say sugar for you to consume it. All those carbs you eat daily? They get broken down into your body and turned into glucose, which is another word for sugar.

That sandwich you had for lunch? It turns into sugar. Those hash browns you ate at breakfast? It’s inside your body right now as sugar. As you can see, even if you’re actively trying to avoid sugar, it’s easy to consume. Whether you mean to eat it or not, sugar leads to lasting effects in the body, none of which are good.

The more sugar you consume, the crazier your blood sugar levels are going to be. Do you know that mid-afternoon crash that happens nearly every day? That’s a direct result of these wildly varying blood sugar levels.

The biggest problems occur when your cells attempt to break the sugar down so they can turn it into energy. When this happens, significant hormonal imbalances take place.

According to Progyny, there are two big imbalances that occur.

  • Your cells become resistant to insulin and stop being able to metabolize the sugar that you’ve consumed.
  • Your body sends signals for more inflammation.

When these imbalances are taking place within your body, your reproductive system is thrown for a loop, causing your sperm count to lower and not function the way they’re supposed to.

The Effect Of Keto On Sperm

A ketogenic diet has been found to improve sperm issues in men, explicitly increasing their sperm count. According to Dr. Jeffrey Russell of the Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine, about half of infertility cases involve a problem with sperm count.

By consuming a diet that lowers inflammation, such as a ketogenic diet, is one of the best things you can do to improve an active sperm count. If you’re having trouble conceiving because of nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances, allergies, or weight issues, eating a keto diet can help you beat the odds.

The Four Markers Of Healthy Sperm

Your sperm count has a direct correlation with your sperm health. Your count isn’t what you’re looking to improve. Instead, you should look to improve your overall sperm health, which in turn, should improve sperm count.

To do so, it’s crucial that you know what the four markers of sperm health are so you’ll be better prepared to improve them. The markers are:

  • Sperm count – When there’s a problem with the sperm, this is the first thing you probably think of. Your sperm count is the number of sperm cells released in each ejaculation.
  • Sperm motility – This marker refers to the actual movement of the sperm. Your sperm needs to be able to move appropriately to be able to swim to the egg and fertilize it.
  • Sperm morphology – Morphology refers to the size and shape of the sperm found in a sample. When your doctor refers to this marker, he or she is often referring to the ideal average size and shape of the sperm.
  • Sperm volume – The volume is the amount of semen released in a sample. For the sperm to make it through the egg, a minimum amount is required. On average, a male with a healthy sperm count will have a volume between 2 and 5ml per ejaculation.

Keto Foods For Healthy Sperm

Now that we have an idea of what healthy sperm consists of, here’s a list of the ketogenic foods you should be eating:

  • Oysters – Thanks to being a great source of zinc, oysters are one of the best foods you can eat to improve your sperm count. If you’re trying to conceive, this would be a good time to mention that oysters are also a natural aphrodisiac—wink wink.
    • Other sources of zinc include mussels, pumpkin seeds, lobster, and turkey.
  • Walnuts – Another great option that helps increase your sperm count. The omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts promote blood flow, especially to the genital area. They’re tasty and portable, so you can grab a handful and enjoy it.
    • Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chicken, pumpkin seeds, salmon, and crab.
  • Dark chocolate – Do you love chocolate? Well, now you have an excuse to enjoy some. Of course, you should enjoy it in moderation, but you should enjoy it nonetheless. Dark chocolate contains amino acids that have been shown to increase the volume of your sperm by up to double. Dark chocolate also has the added benefit of being loaded with antioxidants, which fights free radicals. These toxins are also a threat to male fertility.
  • Asparagus – Speaking of free radicals, add asparagus to your diet to help fight them off. This delicious vegetable is loaded with vitamin C, which is great for your sperm volume. Asparagus will also improve motility, so not only will you have more sperm, but they’ll move faster as well.
  • Garlic – If you’re a vampire, you’re not going to like this one. For everyone else, garlic makes a great booster for your semen. It has selenium, which is an antioxidant that improves motility. It also has allicin, which is known to increase blood flow. Be sure to go with real cloves or minced garlic. The powder version isn’t going to have the same benefits.
  • Broccoli – Vitamin A is vital for healthy sperm, and broccoli just happens to contain a ton of it. If you aren’t getting enough of this essential vitamin, your sperm will be sluggish and won’t want to swim.
    • Other sources of vitamin A include apricots, spinach, and red peppers.

What Else Can You Do To Improve Sperm Health?

If you want the best chance of the healthiest sperm possible, there are some things you can do in addition to a ketogenic diet.

  1. Wear loose-fitting boxer shorts – Plenty of airflow is necessary for your scrotum to keep your sperm at their optimal temperature. Loose-fitting boxer shorts prevent your scrotum from being too restricted. Boxer shorts not your thing? Choose underwear made of cotton.
  2. Get plenty of exercise – Your sperm count benefits from living an active lifestyle. A study published by the National Institutes of Health showed that the best types of activities for healthy sperm were weightlifting and aerobic exercises such as running and walking. If you are overweight, exercising can help you slim down, which also helps your sperm health.
  3. Avoid unhealthy substances – Bad food options aren’t the only harmful substances you can put into your body. Low sperm counts have been linked to people who drink large amounts of alcohol, do illegal, illicit drugs, or smoke tobacco of any kind. If you have any of these habits, you might want to give them up.

Related Questions

Will the keto diet reduce your breast size? When losing weight with keto, there’s a good chance that your breasts may get smaller. This is thanks to the fact that you can’t choose where your fat loss comes from.

What is keto rash? Keto rash is an itchy rash that appears on both sides of your body. It is most commonly seen on the neck, chest, armpits, or back.


Derek Masters

Derek Masters is an Amazon best-selling author. After much research, he began keto at 381 pounds in the middle of 2019. Losing 60 pounds and counting, he wants to share what he's learned with others who wish to learn about the ketogenic lifestyle

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