The truth about testosterone
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones for men and you need the right level to look, feel and perform at your best. So how do you know if your testosterone levels are low? And what can you do about if so? Is there a way to natural increase testosterone to make losing fat and building muscle easier? Here’s everything you need to know about this critical hormone so you can get back to your best, says New Body Plan editor Joe Warner
If you’re a man then you’ve heard of testosterone. Probably because of its huge involvement in supporting sexual health, function and fertility. Or because having high testosterone levels are (wrongly) linked by the media to sudden outbursts of aggression and violence.
The truth about testosterone is a very different to what you may think you know. Yes, it’s responsible for sexual desire, but it’s far more than a one-trick pony. Indeed, this hormone has a key role in many bodily functions. These include the development of male sexual characteristics; the regulation of muscle mass, bone density, and red blood cell production; and helping to regulate mood and cognitive function. Testosterone may even play a role in preventing certain chronic diseases.
Therefore, to live a fitter, healthier and happier life it’s vital that men of all ages maintain optimal levels of testosterone to support their overall health and well-being. Here’s everything you need to know about this key hormone to do just that so you can look, feel and perform at your very best!
Find your perfect fat-loss plan!
Take the New Body quiz!
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that is produced primarily in the testicles in males and the ovaries in females. In males, testosterone (or T for short) plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as the testis and prostate. And it promotes secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair. In females, testosterone is produced in smaller amounts and plays a role in regulating the menstrual cycle and maintaining bone density.
Why is testosterone important for men?
Testosterone is important for men because it plays a key role in many bodily functions, including the development of male reproductive tissues and the maintenance of secondary sexual characteristics. It also plays a key role in maintaining muscle mass and strength, bone density, and sex drive. It also helps to regulate mood and maintain energy levels.
In addition to these physical effects, testosterone also plays a role in male social behavior and risk-taking. For example, some research has suggested that higher levels of T may be associated with a greater willingness to take risks and compete with other men. So, in short, testosterone is important for maintaining many aspects of male health and behavior.
When does testosterone in men peak?
Testosterone levels in men typically peak during adolescence and early adulthood, and then gradually decline with age. The exact age at which T levels peak can vary from one individual to another. In general, however, testosterone levels are highest in men in their late teens and early twenties, and then begin to decline slowly but steadily after the age of 30.
By the time a man reaches the age of 60, his testosterone levels may be only about half of what they were at their peak. It is important to note that there can be a wide range of normal testosterone levels, and that levels may fluctuate over time in response to various factors such as stress, illness, and changes in diet and exercise habits.
Why does testosterone decline in men?
Testosterone levels naturally decline in men as they age. This decline is known as andropause, and it is a normal part of the aging process. The exact reasons for the decline in T levels are not fully understood.
But it is thought to be due to a combination of factors such as changes in the function of the testicles and changes in the levels of hormones that regulate the production of testosterone. Additionally, certain medical conditions and medications can affect testosterone levels, as can lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress.
Can I naturally increase testosterone?
While there is no sure way to naturally increase T levels, there are some things you can do that may help to boost T or slow the natural decline. These include:
– Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein
– Getting regular physical activity, particularly weight-training and resistance exercises
– Getting enough sleep
– Avoiding drugs and alcohol, or using them only in moderation
– Managing stress and anxiety through techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing
– Avoiding environmental toxins such as pesticides and pollution (see next question)
In addition, men should talk to their doctor if they have symptoms of low T, such as decreased sex drive, fatigue, or changes in mood. In some cases, testosterone replacement therapy may be an option to help maintain healthy levels of the hormone.
Can toxins negatively affect testosterone production?
Exposure to certain toxins can disrupt the production and function of T, leading to a variety of potential health problems. There are many different toxins that can affect testosterone levels in the body. Some examples include:
– Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can interfere with the production and function of hormones in the body
– Environmental pollutants, such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which can disrupt the endocrine system and affect hormone levels
– Certain medications, such as steroids and certain chemotherapy drugs, which can interfere with the body’s ability to produce T
– Alcohol, which can impair the liver’s ability to produce hormones
– Tobacco smoke, which contains numerous toxic chemicals that can affect hormone levels
It’s important to note that the effects of these toxins on T levels can vary depending on the type and amount of toxin a person is exposed to, as well as their overall health and genetics.
What type of exercise is best to increase testosterone in men?
Exercise can help to boost testosterone levels in men. The type of exercise that is most effective for increasing testosterone levels varies from person to person, and may depend on factors such as age, fitness level, and overall health.
In general, however, weight-bearing and resistance exercises are thought to be the most effective for increasing testosterone levels. Examples of these types of exercises include the barbell bench press, the Smith machine squat and the trap bar deadlift.
In addition, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has also been shown to be effective for increasing testosterone levels. You can do HIIT in many ways, such as with cardio HIIT exercises, a dumbbell HIIT workout, or even a bodyweight HIIT workout that requires no specialist equipment.
It is important to talk to a doctor or fitness professional before starting any exercise programme. Why? An excessive or intense exercise plan, especially coupled with a low-calorie diet, can actually decrease T levels.
Are there any supplements that can increase testosterone in men?
There are a number of dietary supplements that claim to increase testosterone levels in men. However, the effectiveness of these supplements is not well-established and they can be risky to use. Some of these supplements contain herbs or other natural ingredients that may have hormonal effects, but their safety and effectiveness have not been proven.
In addition, some of these supplements can be contaminated with other substances, such as prescription drugs, that can be harmful. Because of these risks, it is best to avoid using dietary supplements to increase T levels, and to talk to a doctor instead. In some cases, T replacement therapy may be an option for men who need it.
Find your perfect fat-loss plan!
Take the New Body quiz!