There is hardly a word in the world of bodybuilding that elicits so many different reactions from all sides like the term testosterone, No wonder the conversations in the gym very often just revolve around which exercise, which dietary supplements or which obscure ancient medicinal herbs supposedly push the testosterone levels to immeasurable heights.
The bodybuilding culture is almost built on a foundation that relies on exercises, programs and foods that accelerate testosterone production. No wonder, because with increasing age, the testosterone level eventually decreases. Or not? Regardless of that, let's look at what's really going down your testosterone level and what you can do about it.
Do not worry about aging
The production of testosterone in the human body is controlled by the hypothalamus. In both men and women, the hypothalamus sends signals to the gonads that stimulate testosterone production. Most people think that the decline in testosterone production is the result of advancing age. Surprisingly, however, there is no study that proves exactly that aging is the main cause of a drop below the normal level of testosterone.
Rather, it is so that there is strong evidence in science that it is not an "age phenomenon", but a "generation phenomenon" is. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2007, average US male testosterone levels dropped by a whopping 17 percent between 1987 and 2004. So, if the cause is not primarily in old age, then where? Quite simply, in the changed lifestyle with which many of us sabotage ourselves.
Influence factor 1 - Poisons and free radicals
The sites where testosterone is synthesized, the testes in males and the ovaries in females, are extremely sensitive to internal and external factors. Special oxygen molecules that the body releases in response to stress factors have a particularly strong influence. In addition to environmental toxins, these stress factors include the body's own waste products and free radicals, which are the result of high-intensity training.
Of course, if you want to get fit, you can not stop exercising. But on the other hand, you can try to reduce as many other stressors as possible. This mainly concerns smoking, particulate matter, excessive alcohol consumption and the misuse of drugs and other recreational drugs.
Influence factor 2 - high cortisol level equal to lower testosterone level
Do you also live by the motto that sleep is overrated and that you can make up for it later in life? This is a big mistake, because a bad sleep will sooner or later lead to enormous physical problems. Only one night of bad sleep is enough to massively increase the blood concentration of the stress hormone cortisol. Unfortunately, cortisol is a catabolic hormone that promotes muscle breakdown.
But that's not all, because, as numerous studies prove, cortisol is an antagonist of testosterone and is thus significantly involved in the reduction of the testosterone level. Also, physical stress resulting from overtraining leads to the release of high levels of cortisol. So you see, a lot does not always help a lot, but is usually even counterproductive. To prevent the congestion-related drop in testosterone levels, you should adjust your training volume, length, and intensity to keep stress levels as low as possible.
Influence factor 3 - high body fat percentage and fluctuating blood sugar
The percentage of body fat has a major impact on the hormonal system and can also have a negative impact on testosterone levels. Even a very high level of insulin, as caused by short-term inserted cheat meals or constant overeating, negatively influences the testosterone content in the blood. This happens indirectly via enzymes that occur in adipose tissue and convert testosterone into estrogen.
There are numerous reports in this regard from people who actually have normal levels of testosterone but still suffer from typical symptoms of testosterone deficiency. The cause is an example of body fat condition too high estrogen value. The easiest way to get this imbalance back on track is, of course, the reduction of body fat and a more disciplined diet over time. Remember, however, that it is not about the rapid weight loss, but about the lasting success. Everything else only has a yo-yo effect.
Factor 4 - gastrointestinal health and liver function
A healthy liver and a well functioning gastrointestinal tract are essential for optimizing testosterone levels. Excessive eating leads to hormonal imbalance and massive weight gain. But it also leads to an enormous burden on the digestive system, which together with the liver is one of the key factors for physical health, especially as both organ complexes detoxify the body.
Many foods also cause additional stress. These include wheat, soy and gluten-containing products that can cause stomach and liver problems. So when the digestive tract and the liver are dealing with additional "problems", they no longer have the opportunity to optimally support hormone production. Of course this also applies to the testosterone.
The Testosterone Boosting Checklist
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula with which a low testosterone level can be increased in the blink of an eye to a normal level. It's just that you should think about the health of your entire body. To give you a little guide, we'd like to give you six tips to increase your testosterone levels.
1. Try to avoid toxins in your daily life. Wash your fruit, make sure to wash your clothes properly after purchase and refrain from cigarettes. Alcohol should be enjoyed only in small doses. Remember: less is more.
2. Allow yourself enough sleep. Sleep in a room that is as dark as possible, with a room temperature that does not exceed 18 degrees Celsius, and avoid using devices such as a smartphone or watching TV immediately before bedtime.
3. Build time for relaxation in your everyday life. Book a massage, meditate at lunchtime, or do a few breathing exercises at the desk. In addition, you should consider reducing your physical stress by adjusting your workout schedule.
4. Preferably, reduce your body fat by lowering your carbohydrate intake. Pay particular attention to foods that contain soy, gluten and wheat. In return, you should eat more healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids over fish, nuts and vegetable oils.
5. Promote your digestion and help your body carry out toxins. This is best done with high-fiber and micronutrient-rich foods such as mushrooms and green leafy vegetables.
6. And if, despite all the measures, there is no improvement, you should visit your doctor once. With the help of a blood count, the latter can determine what your testosterone level really is and what measures can be taken to improve it.