It is a steroid hormone from the androgen group; it is the main male hormone. It is considered the hormone for strength, energy, and endurance.
It is naturally produced by the body from cholesterol stored in the liver and is secreted by the gonads (testes for men), and to a lesser extent, by the adrenal glands. Testosterone is also secreted by the ovaries in women but to a low degree (7 to 8 times less than in men).
This hormone plays a key role in the health and well-being of humans. Its effects on the whole organism are multiple: it is notably known for its powerful action in terms of physical and sexual energy. It contributes to energy production, promotes alertness, and increases the production of blood cells; it participates in the development of the male sexual organs; it acts on libido, erection, and overall growth and reduces lack of sexual desire and hormonal problems.
The latter significantly improves nervous balance in humans: it helps fight fatigue and insomnia by promoting quality and restful sleep. It also allows for better management of stress and anxiety.
Testosterone positively influences several factors in women. Indeed, it provides a powerful action in women even if it is present in small doses. Women need it less and are therefore more sensitive to testosterone when it is present in small amounts. This hormone improves ovarian quality and fertility while reducing period pains and menopausal symptoms such as headaches.
In men, the testosterone peak is between 20 and 30 years old, then decreases in stages with age. Other factors will also negatively affect testosterone levels: stress, low-fat diet, intense training.
A low level of testosterone can have many consequences for the body:
- Fatigue and discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Weak immune system
- Negative effects on protein synthesis and therefore on muscle building
- The weakening of bone density
- Loss of sexual desire
Testosterone As Part Of Bodybuilding
Testosterone is an anabolic hormone, like growth hormone and insulin. They are involved in particular in the process of gaining muscle mass by allowing muscle hypertrophy (thickening of the muscle fibers), giving more volume and strength to the muscles.
Testosterone naturally facilitates muscle mass gain and strengthens muscles. By strengthening the bones and skeleton, it accelerates the speed of remission of an athlete following an injury, for example. This hormone acts on the physical and on the mental of the sportsman: it is, therefore, the hormone of predilection in order to support the great sportsmen subjected to intense efforts: endurance, intense competitions, bodybuilders …
- It promotes the construction of muscle mass;
- It inhibits the formation of fat mass (useful in the dry phase);
- It stimulates the mind, allowing for more intense and longer workouts.
Strength training is a sport that puts a strain on muscle tissue: physical effort is important, and training is long and intense. During a bodybuilding session, the adrenal glands will release testosterone to support the production of red blood cells to allow better oxygenation and therefore better performance, in particular thanks to optimal use of glucose.
A high level of testosterone makes it possible to:
- Better handle the difficulty;
- Less feeling tired;
- Develop more strength;
- Better development of muscle tissue;
- Better muscle recovery and repair after exercise.
How To Naturally Boost Your Testosterone Levels?
To naturally boost your testosterone levels, the essential trio is quality sleep, healthy eating, and an adapted training program.
Food is the key
Nutrition is at the heart of testosterone secretion. Here are the essential elements to integrate into your diet to naturally boost your testosterone levels:
- Calorie intake: you must eat enough calories to meet the needs of your body, between 40 and 44 calories per kilogram.
- Proteins: if you are not vegetarian or vegan, consume animal proteins which further promote the secretion of testosterone. Eat so-called “lean” meats such as poultry. Do not neglect red meat either! The presence of saturated fatty acid and zinc helps optimize testosterone levels. Fish also promotes the production of this hormone.
- Fatty acids: testosterone being produced by the body from cholesterol, it is essential to increase your intake of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Consume vegetable oils (olive, coconut, rapeseed, sunflower), oilseeds (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts), avocados, eggs (especially the yolk in which “good cholesterol is present), fatty fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines).
- Cruciferous vegetables: they boost testosterone levels thanks to the phytonutrients they contain, which minimize estrogens (female hormones). Eat broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage …
- Carbohydrates: they are your body’s source of energy. In addition, a ratio of 2 doses of carbohydrates to one dose of protein positively affects the level of testosterone. Generally, consume about 4.4 grams of carbohydrates per pound.
Things to avoid that negatively impact your testosterone:
- Too high a calorie intake: if you eat too much compared to your needs, you risk gaining fat, which lowers testosterone.
- Eat too much protein: if the ratio of proteins absorbed is higher than the consumption of carbohydrates, your body will have a harder time absorbing them. The kidneys will then work more to eliminate them, which will cause a loss of testosterone by the urinary tract.
- Excessive consumption of fibers and lipids (beyond 30% of your caloric intake), may decrease the concentration of testosterone.
The essential vitamins and minerals
- Vitamin D: helps to increase the level of testosterone. It is also called “sunshine vitamin” because it is through exposure to the sun’s rays that our body synthesizes it. Get into the sun and eat foods rich in Vitamin D.
- Vitamin B6: it boosts testosterone levels in two ways. Directly stimulating the production of androgens, which increases testosterone levels; and indirectly by helping to regulate the secretion of estrogen.
- Zinc: it inhibits aromatase, an enzyme that converts part of testosterone into estradiol, a form of estrogen.
Treat your sleep
Sleep is very important for testosterone production: a lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep will result in a drop in testosterone levels. So make sure you have enough hours of sleep to suit your needs, and maintain quality, restful sleep.
It is possible to boost your testosterone levels by following a short and intense exercise program:
- Exercises that use a maximum of muscles. Recent studies have shown that the more muscles you exercise, the more it stimulates the release of testosterone. Practice poly-articular exercises, which involve several muscle groups at the same time: squat, bench press, deadlift…
- Strength exercises. Working hard can stimulate the secretion of testosterone.
Reduce your stress
Stress increases the level of cortisol, a hormone that is very harmful to testosterone levels. Indeed, the role of cortisol is among other things to curb libido and aggressiveness, unlike testosterone, which affects training. Therefore, try to control your stress level, relax, decompress.
Should We Take Supplements To Stimulate Our Hormones?
Hormone stimulants contain active ingredients that act on hormones, such as testosterone, insulin, or growth hormone. They will act as precursors of these hormones and stimulate their natural production mechanisms (by 30 to 40% more).
It is important not to confuse them with steroids and growth factors which have the opposite effect: they represent external contribution hormones, which will replace the body’s natural production; the organism will then stop its natural production, due to the large quantity received.
Hormonal stimulants made from natural active ingredients (plant extracts, trace elements, vitamins and minerals) are completely safe if you follow the recommendations for use and dosages. They will help give the body a boost by stimulating endogenous hormone production and promoting availability for muscle. Supplementation with testosterone improves physical resistance, increases endurance during exercise by accelerating the oxygenation of cells and therefore accelerates recovery. In addition, taking testosterone-based dietary supplements helps balance the presence of this hormone in the body, in order to improve its sports performance quickly and over time.
1- Tribulus Terrestris: It is a plant whose fruit has been used for millennia in traditional Ayurvedic and Asian medicine to improve fertility and treat sexual dysfunctions. Recent studies have shown that thanks to the saponins, active ingredients of this fruit, it can naturally increase the levels of steroid hormones, including testosterone and DHEA.
2- Monica Pruriens: Also called Peas Muscat, it is a plant whose seeds have been used for a long time in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for its aphrodisiac properties. This extract helps reduce excess prolactin in the body; too high a level of prolactin in the body decreasing the level of testosterone.
3- Fenugreek: It is a legume plant, one of the oldest medicinal plants in history. Its seeds have been used since ancient times for its aphrodisiac properties. This extract stimulates the natural production of testosterone.
For maximum effect, you can combine a hormonal stimulant with other sports nutrition products:
After training, taking BCAA has a positive effect on testosterone levels, in particular L-Leucine (associated with L-Isoleucine and L-Valine). You can take a food supplement rich in BCAA, or whey protein.
- NO boosters
L-Arginine, Citrulline, and AAKG (Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate) help stimulate cellular oxygenation and promote the influx of nutrients to the muscles, thus helping muscle development.
Testosterone is often associated with a hormone that makes you aggressive. However, if it is well proportioned and of good quality, it promotes motivation, self-confidence, determination, ambition, charisma, and the willingness to take risks to move forward with your projects.