Increased Testosterone levels in athletes
In athletes with higher levels of calcium in their bodies, the amount of free testosterone is more concentrated after training. At Selcuk University in Turkey, sports scientists discovered this and will be soon publishing their data in Biological Trace Research.
The study was on thirty athletes divided into three groups of ten. Group 1 consumed Calcium Gluconate daily, but did no training for four weeks. Group 2 consumed Calcium Gluconate and also trained. Athletes in group 2 trained an hour and a half, five days a week. Group 3 trained without any supplementation.
Before the experiment started the researchers measured the athletes’ testosterone level at rest. [RBS] The researchers measured this again at the end of the experiment. [RAS] And at the start of the experiment the researchers got all the athletes to train, after which they also measured the testosterone concentration. [EBS] They then did the same at the end of the four-week period. [EAS] There was no effect on the total testosterone from supplementing Calcium gluconate.
Although after researchers examined the free testosterone they noticed a change. Group 2 had more free test in their blood after training than group 3. Free test is active testosterone that can stimulate muscle growth.
The calcium dose the athletes took was 35 milligrams per kilogram body weight. So an athlete weighing one hundred kilos [easy calculation] would take 3.5 grams of calcium daily. The average Dutchman – no other nationality consumes as much calcium as the Dutch – gets just under one gram of calcium a day. The athletes were taking three times as much, but experienced no side-effects.
How supplementing calcium increases free testosterone production isn’t yet known by researchers. It is suspected that it increases the sensitivity to the messenger hormones such as LH (Luteinizing hormone) and FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone) in the testes.
“Our results suggest that calcium supplementation can be a beneficial addition to any training program by increasing testosterone values that in turn result in increased athletic performance”, the researchers conclude. The same group has also published results of animal and human studies in which zinc supplementation led to an increase in testosterone levels.[Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2006 Apr 29;27(1-2).]