Testosterone is the hormone that makes a man a man, even though, women have some, too.
It is essential for developing and maintaining muscle mass and does play a large role in male sexuality and reproduction, impacting such factors as sexual and reproductive function, muscle mass, and hair growth.
It also has some less flashy, but equally important roles like maintaining bone density, levels of red blood cells and giving one a sense of well-being.
Your body’s testosterone peaks at age 20, and then it slowly drops, reducing by 1% each year starting at around age 40.
Providentially, you can stave off the decline process, and even boost your testosterone to the higher levels needed for improving muscle growth by how you work out.
Deficiency of Testosterone
Deficiency in puberty could result in underdeveloped genitals, enlargement of breast tissue, underdeveloped muscle, and sparse/absence of pubic and body hair.
Deficiency in adulthood could result in diminished sex drive, erectile dysfunction, muscle weakness, loss of body hair, Depression and other mood disorders.
Disorders can also affect all ages of men are, and that includes:
- Loss of bone, Increased fracture risk
- Loss of skeletal muscle and strength
- Increased fat mass, Reduced libido
- Reduced erectile function, Infertility
- Increased insulin resistance and risk of diabetes
- Reduced sense of well-being, Fatigue
- Reduced stamina
- Reduced cognition
Effects of long-lasting testosterone deficiency include osteoporosis and Anorchia (also known as vanishing testes syndrome).
Exercise and testosterone interactions
Specialists and fitness professionals still have a lot to learn about exercise and its effects on testosterone levels, because several other factors besides your workout are believed to be involved.
However, one thing is clear, and that is what you need to make exercise a habit in order to get the benefits it offers.
Four factors that matters include: your weight, your age, fitness level, and the timing of your workout.
If you are overweight, exercise can improve your testosterone levels by helping you shed pounds, even though older men seem to get less of a post-exercise boost in testosterone.
Still, exercise offers many other well-being benefits for older men, including bone and muscle health and better balance and posture.
When you exercise, your testosterone levels vary throughout the day, with levels being typically highest in the morning and lowest in the afternoon.
An investigation has found that strength-training workouts may have a superior effect on testosterone in the evening than in the morning.
Thus, the short-lived boost from your exercise session might be even bigger if you schedule it after work instead of early in the morning.
If you are not in great shape, and you start exercising, you may get a brief, but the bigger boost in testosterone than a man who’s already in good shape.
Both erratic fasting and short intense exercise have been shown to boost testosterone.
Short intense exercise has given a positive effect on increasing testosterone levels and averting its decline, unlike aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise, which on the other hand, have shown to have negative or no effect on testosterone levels.
After exercise, testosterone levels rise but not for long.
This interaction was further studied, and in studies where food or supplements are not consumed after training, circulating testosterone levels are shown to increase, but in studies where macro-nutrients like protein and carbohydrates are consumed after the workout, a consistent decline in circulating testosterone was observed.
This is actually a good thing in terms of muscle growth, and most bodybuilders know they need protein and carbs after a workout.
These important macro-nutrients make available a dramatic increase in muscle protein synthesis and a positive net gain in muscle mass.
One of the main reasons for this increase in protein synthesis is believed to be because of the increased uptake of testosterone by the muscle.
Although weight lifting triggers an increase in testosterone production, a decrease in blood testosterone levels in response to nutrient-timing after a workout is due to the increased uptake of this hormone by the muscle.
The significant presence of protein and carbs in the bloodstream triggers an insulin response that is thought to facilitate the uptake of testosterone by the muscle tissues.
Testosterone is what drives men to aggression and the will to be competitive.
It also is what supports us in the execution of goals, by increasing muscle mass.
Testosterone should not be overlooked when weightlifting, as the gains will greatly improve just by increasing your testosterone level.
So do not let your progress be stalled, evaluate your testosterone and take steps to correct it if need be, as high testosterone is the best way to get results from your training.