Reduced levels of testosterone can lead to a decrease in muscle mass, potentially causing the accumulation of fat in the chest and abdomen. Additionally, testosterone plays a role in enhancing protein synthesis during physical activity, aiding in muscle growth and overall performance improvement.
Athletes such as football linemen and heavyweight wrestlers who need to be significant in size and mass may benefit from increasing testosterone levels. Healthy methods for elevating testosterone can include specific vitamins and supplements.
Increased Muscle Mass
Men can boost their natural testosterone levels through various healthy methods, including diet and exercise. In addition, some men may take supplements like whey protein or Vitamin D, which is known to increase testosterone.
Testosterone is essential for many vital functions, from how much weight you can lift to your sex drive and energy levels. However, not all naturally-occurring testosterone is created equal.
Most of the testosterone in your body is “bound,” meaning it attaches to proteins like sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) or albumin. The binding prevents your tissues from using the hormone immediately, so only a tiny amount is free to act on cells.
A total testosterone test will show you how much bound and unbound hormone is in your bloodstream. But your doctor should order a free testosterone test to understand your hormone levels better. It will give more information about the cause of your low or high T levels, such as if you have a testicular tumor or adrenal gland problem.
Testosterone is necessary for muscle growth and maintenance. Additionally, libido, bone density, and mood modulation depend on it. Stress can cause a decrease in testosterone levels, but there are ways to increase your general testosterone level, including testosterone replacement therapy.
The most beneficial type of testosterone is free testosterone, which can react with any cellular site in the body designed to receive it. Bound testosterone cannot do this, so it is less critical.
Testosterone can be measured with a simple blood test. However, more than just total testosterone is required. You should also have your free testosterone levels tested, which can be done with advanced medical technology such as liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. When your free T should be at its highest in the morning, your doctor will take blood from your arm.
The primary sex hormone in men, testosterone, is crucial for red blood cell production, muscle growth, and bone formation. It also helps improve endurance, which is why people who compete in sports like football linemen or heavyweight wrestlers tend to have high levels of free testosterone.
Natural testosterone is found throughout the body in bound and unbound forms. Bound testosterone is tightly associated with a protein. It can’t get into the cells to function, so keeping your total testosterone (total T) low and free T high is essential.
Pharmaceutical testosterone has been shown to increase free T in women and is used by female athletes to enhance their performance. For instance, a study of 50 women who were given either placebo or testosterone for ten weeks found that those who took the drug could run farther on a treadmill before they reached exhaustion than their peers. They also saw improvements in bench press and squatting strength.
Increased Sexual Desire
The most commonly known role of testosterone is as the primary male sex hormone. However, it also has many other essential bodily functions, including regulating metabolisms, supporting bone and muscle strength, and enhancing sexual desire.
Testosterone is made in the testes and adrenal glands and secreted directly into the bloodstream. It then circulates throughout the body, and some of the molecules quickly bind to proteins called sex hormone binding globulins (SHBG), while others lightly bind to a protein known as albumin. Only about 2 percent of the total testosterone is free and unbound.
Testosterone is vital for both men and women, but low levels can cause symptoms such as decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. Several factors, such as aging, stress, side effects of certain medications, or decreased physical activity, can cause low testosterone levels.