Testosterone in the key anabolic and sex orienting hormone in the body, in charge of libido, muscle hypertrophy, bone density, and growth of hair. Men produce 10 times the amount of testosterone than women- females though are much more sensitive to its characteristics. Testosterone being mainly responsible for masculine traits- dominance, strength, virility, and beards- both male and female need it for a healthy sex drive and physical development. Primarily men produce it from their testicles and women from their ovaries- a small amount secretes from the adrenal glands in both.
The various roles and stages of testosterone in the body
Prenatally: Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone- a more androgenic hormone, aids is the formation of the genitalia.
Early Infancy: Male’s testosterone spikes, close to levels during puberty, then lower back down at 4-6 months. Although there is no definite answer of what testosterone is doing during this time, so researchers believe testosterone is masculinizing the brain.
Immediately before puberty: Testosterone elevates in males and females. At this point child hood fades away at the appearance of pubic hair, bodily odor, spurts of growth, acne, and peach fuzz that boys claim as a mustache. Bones are increasing in density – facial features mature.
Puberty: Testosterone elevates to a new high. Most men can recall all of the awkward yet exciting new changes that began to happen. The body finds a new outlook on the opposite sex, erections begin to form- sometimes inconveniently, and muscle begins to grow more quickly.
Adulthood: Testosterone has largely impacted growth and fixed a stable development. Sex drive is maintained for both men and women, sustained erections and frequentness are controlled by testosterone. Anti-catabolism- the resistance of muscle atrophy is preserved by testosterone.
Testosterone’s Antagonist and the male arch nemesis
Cortisol: A fight or flight hormone signaled by stress. This hormone helps us in near death situations, allowing us to react properly and stay alive. When cortisol hormones are high- usually in those who are sleep deprived and have chronic stress- testosterone levels plummets. Cortisol is very catabolic, testosterone being anabolic. Over time, cortisol will create an insulin resistance, excess fat storage, muscle atrophy, while testosterone creates an environment of muscle hypertrophy, and lean muscle. Cortisol is a key factor is obesity.
Low Testosterone levels are dependently associated with high death rates in men. “Testosterone insufficiency in older men is associated with increased risk of death”, says Endo Journals.
Testosterone aids in the formation of bone structure and maintenance- this is especially important in the elderly. Those with higher testosterone levels are less likely to have bone fractures.
Testosterone increase protein synthesis, aiding muscle fiber creation by use of amino acids. It allows preservation of muscle mass.
In 1889, Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard a Harvard University Professor injected himself with what he called a “rejuvenating elixir”. This elixir was filled with extracts from dog and guinea pig testes. Charles believed it increased his vigor and feeling of well-being. Ancient Chinese herbalists would prescribe preserved tiger’s penis for impotency, Greek Olympian athletes ate lamb and goat testes to increase endurance and athletic strength. Long before Testosterone was identified and studied, people understood is involvement in strength, endurance and masculinity.
Will eating lion testicles help increase testosterone levels?
No. The testicles aren’t a reserve for testosterone, releasing amounts as needed. Rather they are more like a generator, producing testosterone and immediately releasing into the body- none is stored. If you eat an animal testicle, the fluid inside isn’t pure testosterone- it doesn’t work that way. Testosterone in the body can only increase by being produced naturally or taken in an exogenous form- typically injection.
For those who want to change the amount of testosterone in the body the is free available, you must alter it the same as other hormones, like GH or insulin. You adjust your exercise, diet and daily needs to it.
Lift heavier to boost testosterone levels
Strength training is an important stimulus of testosterone production; therefore, adding a heavy compound movement may help your serum levels. Within strength training, there are further factors that can alter testosterone even more. According to a study by the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Kurdistan, differentiating rest times can signal different hormonal responses. Resting 90 seconds between bench presses and squats sets elevated post workout testosterone levels the highest, followed by 120 sec rests. Rest periods of 60seconds elevated GH the most and testosterone levels the least of the two.
Sprinting helps to boost testosterone levels
In a study by Physiology and Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Physical Education, University of Balamand, young men sprinted short sex-second bouts, which increased total testosterone levels. These serum levels remained elevated during recovery. Hill sprints is a great exercise for fat loss as well, which will continue to aid in a correct balance in testosterone to estrogen balance.
Avoid Too Much Cortisol
Stress releases cortisol, which reduces free testosterone levels. Avoiding possible stress can help recover test levels and for some may be crucial. Getting a quality night’s rest of at least 8 hours can help increase testosterone levels. Evaluate your routine to avoid overtraining, typically overtraining is done by chronic cardio. Overtraining can quickly reduce testosterone levels and suppress the immune system. If you feel you may be overtraining, take some time off to relax.
Get out in the sun or take vitamin D
Vitamin D is known to increase bone and muscular strength, is found to increase androgen levels in men. Workout supplements are now adding Vitamin D as a new hot “test booster”.
Eat Pastured Products
Dioxins are toxic substances that have been found to interfere with male reproduction and testosterone production. Most dietary dioxins are consumed from conventionally raised animal products. These toxins accumulate in the fats and dairy. When reaching for fatty meats or milk at the store, go for the pasteurized or grass fed animal products to reduce toxin consumption. Long term changes in your diet can be the difference in obtaining a low-testosterone medical problem such as low libido and still having those titanium erections.
Saturated and Monounsaturated Fat
A diet low in fat, high in fiber decreases total and free testosterone levels in middle aged men according to Department of Medicine and Pediatrics and the General Clinical Research Center, Harbor-University of California. When testing athletes it was found that at intake of saturated, monounsaturated fat, and cholesterol increasing testosterone production. Good sources of monounsaturated fat are: peanuts, avocados, olives, sunflower oil, hazelnuts, and almonds.
Avoid Glucose Spikes to increase your test levels
New studies conclude that 75 grams of glucose is enough to reduce testosterone levels as much as 25%, whether the man in diabetic or not. This reduction continued until two hours after consumption. This trend can create small windows of hypogonadism for some men. These long term changes in serum levels can drastically change a man’s health over time. Take into account how much glucose is digested through pastas, bread, cereal and other food every day.
Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine finds that inadequate amounts of zinc can lead to a decrease in testosterone. Although, large doses will not increase test beyond normal, it will sustain it to a healthy serum level.
In Conclusion, Testosterone is a vital hormone for sustained health, longevity, energy- not only in men, but for women too. Living a life free from unnecessary stress, topped with sensible nutrition of vitamin D and good fats, intense workouts, should help bring back healthy amount of testosterone in your body. Although it seems simple, a continues change in lifestyle can make big changes in the long run.