Testosterone has become a buzzword thatsomeclaim as the key toattractiveness, muscle growth,fitness, and even success in the workplace.Illegal substances that mimic the effects of testosterone on the body have become some of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the US, with around 0.5 percent of the US population admitting to anabolic steroid use, while others clamber to find alternatives to boost their natural levels of sex hormones. But what exactly is testosterone, and can we raise it naturally?
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in males and plays a key role in the development of male sex organs, alongside much of the physical changes during male puberty. It is secreted from the testicles in males and ovaries and adrenal glands in females. This hormone drives a host of importantdevelopmental characteristics, including muscle growth and bone density, sex drive, facial and pubic hair, and the production of sperm. That isnt to sayfemales do not have testosterone much likeestrogenis found in males, females do have circulating testosterone, but their bodies naturally produce around 10 or 20 times less than the male body.
Specifically, testosterone is a signaling molecule thatbinds to androgen receptors. Itis carried through the blood to target tissues, where itexhibits bothandrogenic (development of male characteristics) and anabolic (increase of muscle mass and density, andbone density) effects.
That isn't to say that we should just boost testosterone levels to the Moon, though. Evidence suggests a link between high levels of dihydrotestosterone (a more potent androgen derived fromtestosterone) and male pattern baldness.There is also some extremely contested science suggesting testosterone may be linked to aggression and criminality, butthe evidence remains slim.
Owing to its role in muscle growth and bone density some of the largest contributing factors in overall strength increasingtestosteroneor supplementing with testosterone analogsisa popular method of increasing athletic performance. However,most of these supplements are either illegal or only legally available when medically prescribed. Luckily, testosterone levels vary massively within the body, and there are various waysthroughlifestyleand diet that can naturally andsafely raise these levels.
First,let'sget the relatively obvious one out of the way. Correlations with exercise and increased serum testosteroneand other androgenlevels have been shown,but the exact mechanism is currently unknown. Research has suggested that reducing body fat percentage may be a strong driver for increased testosterone, which may be the reason some exercise methods have moreof an effect than others.
According to a 2018 studyon men with erectile dysfunction, the researchers found the best methods of increasing testosterone were reducing body fat and improving cardiovascularfitnessthrough aerobic activity.A clinical trial in 2017 found similar results, with a 12-week aerobic exercise regime increasing serum testosterone in overweight men.
So, if youre looking for a simple way to increase your androgen levels, were sorry to say it might be time for some cardio.
Eating a nutritious and balanced diet is the next ticket tohigh testosterone and no, that does not mean cutting out carbs or fats.A twin study thatanalyzedhow diet affects testosterone levels found apositive correlation with healthy fat intake, as well as keeping weight low and eating fewer calories.Eating sufficient proteinis also correlated with overall testosterone levels, and acontrolled intake of carbohydrates to complement the cardio and resistance training also has abeneficialeffect.
Essentially, if you are going to exercise to boost testosterone, youll also need a strong handle on your nutrition, and don't be skimping on any of the food groups.
An increasing body of evidenceshows strong links betweenvitamin D levels and circulating testosterone. A 2010 study comparing a group taking Vitamin D supplements and a placebo group found a significant correlation with those takingvitamin D and an increase in testosterone, while the placebo group remained the same.Another reportfound similar results, with supplemental Vitamin D reliably boosting testosterone in men.However,both these pieces ofresearchwerein people with lowvitamin D concentrations, andthe evidence to support increasingvitamin D intake when you already receive adequate amounts is more stretched.
It is therefore incredibly important you receive sufficient vitaminD if you are looking to boost your male sex hormones, either by the best way simply going outside and enjoying the sunshine or via supplements.
By now, you might be thinking that increasing testosterone is all about generally being a healthy person, and you arent far wrong. However, there is one more thing that correlates stronglywith testosterone levels prestige. Prestige ishow highly in regard others hold you:Do they respect and admire you? Do they look up to you as a leader?This is an entirely social ranking, but might have an effect on yourtestosterone levels.
In humans, civilization has now evolved to the point where leadership comes from social characteristics sorry to say, you cannot simply beat up your boss to become CEO.Testosterone is thought to be a "competition hormone" so, could testosterone be boosted in people that have higher prestige, and thus a higher social ranking?
The answer, according to a 2018 study, is yes. When researchers took a sample of males and watched as a hierarchy formed, as it usually does, they noticed something interesting. As the "high-ranking" males achieved high levels of prestige, judged by their peers, their testosterone rose. Those that achieved a low ranking in the group saw no change, or in some cases, a decline intestosterone levels. The results suggested that testosterone may actually directly correlate with social standing, propping up those with high prestige.
Therefore, if you are looking for a way to potentially boost testosterone that doesnt lie within a dreaded treadmill or chicken and rice, maybe you should start working on your social skills.
*Please note: none of these methods should be considered medical advice and are not adequate replacements for clinical interventions. If you are concerned about a sex-hormone deficiency, consult a medical professional.
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4 Ways To Potentially Boost Testosterone Levels, According To Research - IFLScience