Testosterone is the most important hormone in the male body. The strength of character, the ability of a man to be a leader, achieve goals and overcome obstacles depend on him. Men with high testosterone levels are inclined to take risks, make quick decisions, think clearly, and quickly absorb information.
The leadership qualities and sexual attraction of a man depend on testosterone. Still, the hormone is also responsible for forming muscle and bone tissue and the normal functioning of the body as a whole. However, not all representatives of the stronger sex have been rewarded by nature with a high level of male hormone. Are there any proven and safe ways to increase testosterone?
What is testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the group of androgens (male sex hormones). The main amount of testosterone in the male body is produced by the sex glands – the testes. Testosterone secretion is a very complex physiological process that is regulated by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Adequate testosterone levels are essential for a male’s sexual, physical, and psychological health. Violations of testosterone production threaten serious disorders and the development of several pathologies.
The main male hormone has important functions:
- forms secondary sexual characteristics;
- responsible for sexual desire;
- affects reproductive function and sperm production;
- increases skeletal muscle volume;
- participates in metabolic processes;
- gives resistance to physical and psychological stress;
- makes the body hardy, capable of hard physical labor;
- affects character traits;
- responsible for stress resistance;
- awakens healthy ambition.
The hormone level directly depends on a man’s age, lifestyle, physical activity and mobility, diet, and medications. The production of male hormone is depressingly affected by the intake of atropine, antiulcer drugs, antipsychotics, diuretics, and cardiac glycosides.
The rate of testosterone in men
The amount of the sex hormone begins to increase in adolescence, due to which, by the age of 16-18, a male body type is formed in adolescents. The secretion of testosterone steadily increases until about 25-30 years old, and after 50, it decreases significantly. Testosterone can also fluctuate depending on the time of day. As a rule, the highest rates are recorded at 4-8 in the morning and the lowest at 16-20 hours.
The norm of testosterone in men depending on age
|1-7 years old||0.1-1.12 nmol / l|
|8-13 years old||0.1-2.37 nmol / l|
|14-18 years old||0.98-38.5 nmol / l|
|18-50 years old||8.64-29 nmol / l|
|Over 50 years old||6.68-25.7 nmol / l|
If a man has low testosterone, the following symptoms may indicate this:
- low libido, difficulty achieving an erection;
- hair loss on the head and body;
- decrease in semen volume during ejaculation;
- increased fragility of bones (tendency to fracture);
- replacement of muscle tissue with fat mass;
- depression, irritability, a tendency to whine and rapid mood swings.
A deviation from the norm is not only low but also too high levels of the hormone. With an elevated testosterone level, severe forms of acne, liver and kidney disease, acute or chronic prostatitis may occur, and the likelihood of prostate cancer increases significantly.
Impact of testosterone levels for the athlete
It is no coincidence that testosterone is called the winning hormone. This hormone is key in sports since athletic performance directly depends on it. Thanks to high testosterone, athletes gain muscle mass, improve physical performance, develop psychological stamina, and set records.
Physiologists claim that testosterone increases endurance during strength training and also promotes muscle relaxation after exercise. The combination of tension and relaxation allows the professional athlete to train longer and harder without fear of overtraining. For the hormone to be synthesized in the body, athletes practice very active and long enough workouts.
Thanks to excellent athletic training, professional athletes tend to have consistently high testosterone levels. This is especially true for young 20-30-year-old athletes. If necessary, the hormone level in them easily rises, which cannot be said about people who are not used to heavy loads.
List of products to increase testosterone
For the production of testosterone, fats are needed and vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc. To stimulate the secretion of the hormone, you should focus on foods that are rich in these components.
Diet to boost testosterone includes:
- green leafy vegetables;
- fatty fish;
- buckwheat grain;
- natural oils (olive, argan);
- dairy products;
- beef meat;
- fresh fruit (especially pomegranates)
It would be best if you did not go on a low-calorie diet (of course, in the absence of extra pounds). A low-fat diet lowers testosterone levels as the hormone is synthesized from cholesterol. When fat is no longer available in the diet, the body lacks the material to secrete testosterone. But experts do not recommend leaning on butter and fatty pork – it is better to prefer vegetable fats to animal fats.
Vitamins and Supplements to Boost Testosterone
Testosterone-boosting supplements can quickly raise your hormone levels. However, the result will be brighter if the intake of vitamins is supplemented with workouts and special sports supplements (creatine, protein, vitamin, and mineral complexes).
Testosterone Boosting Supplements
The most pronounced effect is possessed by:
- creeping tribulus (tribulus terrestris) is a herbal preparation that improves the functioning of the gonads and stimulates sexual function;
- Peruvian maca is a plant source of testosterone, due to which it is called a natural libido stimulant;
- vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) – a fat-soluble vitamin that significantly increases the secretion of testosterone;
- fenugreek is a plant-based supplement that prevents the conversion of testosterone to estrogen and, thereby, increases the concentration of the male hormone;
- ZMA – supplement with zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 useful for those who, exercising hard, lose testosterone as a result of strong sweating;
- D-aspartic acid – activates the synthesis of testosterone, stimulating the function of the pituitary gland;
- DHEA, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) – a hormone produced by the adrenal glands; testosterone is one of the products of its metabolism.
While taking these drugs, it is recommended not to exceed the dosage and avoid taking too long. Otherwise, the body will get used to the stimulation and stop synthesizing the hormone on its own.
What negatively affects testosterone levels
They have a detrimental effect on the production of the male sex hormone:
- Excess weight. Scientists have found that young men who are overweight have about 50% less testosterone compared to their peers who do not have extra pounds. The normal size of a man’s waist should not exceed 92-94 centimeters.
- Improper nutrition. Anyone looking to boost testosterone is advised to give up sausage, refined products, sweets, beer and spirits, caffeine and soy. Trans fats, which are abundant in store sweets and fast food products, negatively affect the production of testosterone.
- Lack of sleep. The lion’s share of total testosterone is produced during sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation significantly reduces the level of the hormone, since the body simply does not have time to synthesize it.
- Stress. Long-term stressful situations increase the hormone cortisol, one of the main enemies of testosterone. Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely get rid of stressful situations. However, you can learn to minimize their effects through meditation or breathing practices.
- Products stored for a long time in plastic containers. Plastic contains bisphenol, a chemical that can inhibit the production of sex hormones.
Workouts to increase testosterone
Physical activity always stimulates testosterone synthesis. The amount of the hormone increases after intense physical activity and remains for about the next day. However, certain types of exercise will be most effective. These include HIT and strength training.
HIT (High-Intensity Training) is a training system during which the athlete alternates short-term stress at maximum intensity with rest and recovery periods. If long exhausting workouts for wear and tear lead to a drop in testosterone, then HIT raises testosterone well with much less time. The method burns fat accumulations, trains the cardiovascular system, and speeds up metabolic processes several times.
Strength training is the proven and most effective method for raising testosterone. However, for it to work, there are a few rules to keep in mind:
- the volume of training is directly proportional to the growth of testosterone – the more approaches you complete, the more testosterone will increase;
- perfectly build muscle and increase testosterone secretion basic multi-joint movements – bent-over barbell rows, bench press and standing press, barbell squats, etc.;
- Exercising a few reps increases testosterone levels better than doing each exercise to muscle failure.
At the same time, it is essential to observe the main rule – not to overtrain. Thanks to a large volume of training, testosterone really increases, but the body must have time to cope with stress. Otherwise, there will be “overtraining” with a feeling of chronic fatigue, insomnia, weak immunity, and the extinction of sexual function.
Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men. A decrease in this hormone in the body causes erectile dysfunction, irritability, obesity, the fragility of bone tissue, and nervous disorders. The main enemies of testosterone are a sedentary lifestyle, stress, an unhealthy diet with excess sugar, trans fats, preservatives, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages.
Proven and safe ways to increase testosterone are physical activity, proper training, healthy foods in the diet, and healthy sleep for at least 7-8 hours a day. Special supplements will also increase the synthesis of testosterone based on herbal extracts or vitamin and mineral complexes that are useful for men’s health.