Sex hormones (mainly androgens) are considered the most anabolic hormones there are because they are able to create new muscle tissue. These sex hormones have a very strong impact on the human body: They define our gender, body composition, virility, fertility …
Surely the words testosterone and estrogen sound pretty since they are the best known among the population. In spite of that, there is much confusion with the functions that both testosterone and estrogen play. To begin, we must be clear that the secretion of both is reduced with age causing muscle loss, less bone density and greater body fat accumulation since our metabolism slows down and we do not burn so many calories at rest.
Men and women produce both hormones. Testosterone, the male hormone, plays a fundamental role in the body of women and the same thing happens with estrogen in men. These hormones can be converted from one to the other. It is of special importance the conversion of testosterone to estrogen since this process is quite harmful to men causing greater retention of body fat, loss of muscle mass and decrease or even suppression of your sexual appetite. But for women, this process also has devastating effects such as hormonal disorders, weight gain and can even cause the formation of tumours. As you can see, it is not a dish of good taste for anyone, regardless of your gender.
If we want to take advantage of the anabolic properties of testosterone, the first thing we should do is understand how it works in our body. Testosteronerd helps you to gain more testosterone levels.
In the human body, hormones act as messengers so that our body reacts in one way or another to different stimuli. In the case of testosterone, “the package is sent from the hypothalamus”.
The hypothalamus secretes a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland, which in turn releases luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Both are directed to the testes, where spermatogenesis begins and where LH regulates and stimulates the biosynthesis of testosterone from cholesterol.
Importance of testosterone
Testosterone has a very powerful capacity since it is capable of creating muscle mass and influences protein synthesis. That’s why it’s not surprising that testosterone is one of the components most used by competitors (and not so competitors) of bodybuilding to get those amazing results that are seen on Instagram. In fact, certain studies (1, 2,3 ) show how the anabolic effects of testosterone are present even without training. This would be the dream of any telemarketing company “Create muscle while lying on the couch.”
Before you start looking in Google “by testosterone” you should know that not everything is as beautiful as it seems and also, the use of testosterone is totally prohibited for recreational use. Come on, that at the pharmacy they will not give it to you. And much more importantly, the use of any anabolic steroid such as testosterone affects your health, which in the end, is what really matters.
A high level of androgens in your body causes the LH to be inhibited, while low levels of androgens raise the GnRH and therefore, the LH rises. Then, an abnormal increase in androgens by means of exogenous testosterone or other “magic pills” that promise to increase your testosterone levels (aka prohormones) can very negatively affect your natural testosterone production, even going to stop occurring naturally. Think that consuming these substances is like giving holidays to the hypothalamus, if you are giving them the necessary androgens to function, the hypothalamus is unconcerned and does not start the process of testosterone production because it does not need it (you are already giving it to you), but when you stop doing it, your natural production will suffer (post-holiday depression).
Also, in my personal opinion, it seems ridiculous to trust prohormones because I think that our endocrine system is too complex to think that a simple pill will fix any problem or will have unreasonable benefits in terms of building muscle mass.
However, I do not blame these companies in the industry for wanting to sell these products because the truth is that in these times, having low testosterone is more than usual. The sedentary lifestyle and the bad habits of food and lifestyle have a good reason for this. Therefore, it makes sense to think that if bad habits are somehow responsible for that decrease in our testosterone, fixing those bad habits can positively affect your testosterone production. Of course, it is much easier to take a pill of Tribulus Terrestris every day than to modify our lifestyle habits. Companies live from that, from our vagrancy.
Tips to increase testosterone
Keep your body fat neither too low nor too high
In overweight people, it has been seen that exercise helps increase the secretion of testosterone ( study ), but an extremely low percentage of fat, will not do anything good for your testosterone.
When you reach a point where you do not eat enough to maintain your metabolic activities (bodybuilding competitors do it in the last moments before the competition), the body must abandon or slow down some of these functions and since your reproductive system it is not essential for your survival, the body somehow “deactivates” it. That’s why, among other things, there is no bodybuilder who can hold his peak during the year as it is not a state in a sustainable way over time.
In general, for your testosterone production to be optimal, you should stay in the range of 10 to 15% body fat.
Eat quality food
Some chemical substances that we are exposed to cause a process called aromatization that is nothing more than the conversion of testosterone to estrogen (something we do not seek) through the action of the aromatase enzyme.
These chemicals are in the food we eat, in the water we drink and in the products we use every day, so if you want to increase your testosterone (or decrease its conversion to estrogen, which in the end is the same), you should avoid contact with components such as BPA, parabens, herbicides, pesticides … I know that in today’s world it is practically impossible to avoid contact with them, even supermarket tickets contain BPA but if you can avoid or reduce your exposure to all these substances, the better.
Sleep and rest
The dream has a very direct relationship with the production of testosterone as you can see in this study, in this one and in this one where there was a decrease of 10 to 15% of testosterone in those who only had 5 hours of sleep. That is why you should pay attention to your rest and ensure a minimum of 7 to 9 hours of daily sleep.
In addition to sleep, stress levels also influence testosterone because when cortisol (stress hormone) increases, testosterone levels decrease. This happens after the exercise ( study ) since training is the most catabolic moment of the day, but cortisol does not rise exclusively during training. If your daily life is great stress, your cortisol levels will be higher than if you live a more relaxed life. This is why relaxation is so important, and techniques such as meditation can make your testosterone levels not suffer so much.
Distribute your macronutrients intelligently
The macronutrients are very important when we talk about testosterone. Many people think that protein is the macronutrient that most affects testosterone and more protein, more testosterone, but the truth is that it is the macronutrient that least stimulates it.
The fat, on the contrary, is the macronutrient that has shown the most influence on testosterone (study, study, study ) and that is why many of those who advocate low carb and ketogenic diets seem to have a cross-race against carbohydrates when the truth is that carbohydrates also help the production of testosterone. In fact, GnRH has a direct relationship with glucose and glucose is generated mainly by carbohydrates, so somehow carbohydrates DO influence the production of testosterone.
Testosterone is a key element if we seek to increase our muscle mass, in addition to having other vital functions for our correct performance. That is why it is so important to know how it originates and how we can boost its production naturally, without the need for those supplements “natural testosterone stimulators” that are on the market. Our body does not work with pills.