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I bet you imagined a brawny, aggressive man upon reading the term, “Testosterone”. Rowdy behaviour and increased muscle mass, after all, it is what the hormone is primarily known for — besides the boost in libido energy.
But why should you imagine it; is it just societal upbringing or is there actually a reason behind encouraging us to seek testosterone boosters or therapy, luring us with the idea of gaining a couple of pounds of muscle mass? Let’s find out.
The Science Behind Testosterone
Testosterone, a steroid hormone, belongs to the androgen set of hormones. The Leydig cells of the ovaries (for women) and testes (in men) are the ones mainly responsible for its productions in both sexes; a less quoted source is the adrenal glands of both genders.
Once the hormone is in the bloodstream, an estimated 96-98% of it is bound to two proteins, namely globulin and albumin, so that it will (a) be soluble to transport, (b) be kept aside as a reservoir in case the level of plasma testosterone fluctuates, and (c) be safe from degradation by either the kidneys or the liver.
The fluctuation/regulation in the amount of this hormone is due to the binding capacity of globulin and albumin and the number of testosterone in the blood.
The rest of the testosterone, termed appropriately the ‘free testosterone’ is what’s responsible for the physiological changes, including the secondary sexual characteristics; such as growth of body hair and increased bone mass and muscle, which individuals’ experience.
Boys hitting puberty have skyrocketing testosterone levels: this is when they find aggressive activities appealing, when both their muscularity and body weight sees a drastic change compared to that in girls.
More testosterone means increased size of each of your muscle cells; they pull harder, and the high levels push them to create more muscle cells as well. You feel active, energetic, and your competitive drive along with mental focus is improved too.
If testosterone is deficient, then according to a 2012 study, this causes fat to accumulate around undesirable places, particularly the belly.
The fat cells initiate the production of an enzyme, aromatase, whose job is to convert the testosterone into oestrogen.
The latter, in turn, will deposit more fat on the chest, thighs, and hips. It’s an unhealthy cycle with fat consuming testosterone; with no testosterone to bind to the androgen receptors along the muscle cells.
Thus, in this scenario, we see the degradation of muscle fibre. This is known as muscle wasting and one suffers from lethargy, depression, and fatigue.
How to Increase Your Waning Testosterone Levels
Athletes and bodybuilders are probably the only ones that acknowledge the fact that testosterone is significant for building strength and muscle. So what is it that they — and you — should be doing?
Will you be more interested with drug-induced testosterone or would you rather that it were a lifestyle choice to help you naturally increase its levels to increase the lean body mass while simultaneously reversing the fat accumulation?
Here’s something to get you started.
Get Enough Sleep
Several researches have shown that sleep is linked to low testosterone. And to be honest, you won’t be eager to do some serious exercise if your body is overtired.
Get Some Sun
According to a report, you may raise the testosterone levels by 120% by simply exposing your skin to sunlight for as little as 15-20 minutes.
Testogen is a supplement that contains ingredients proven to help boost your natural testosterone levels.
Eat a Balanced Diet
It’s not just consuming too many calories that have the ability to ruin your image. Too few calories can wreak havoc with your system too.
Indulge your appetite to an amount, which is able to maintain a healthy weight for you.
Alcohol, caffeine, and processed sugar for instance, are off-limits whereas whole grains, fruits, dairy, and veggies are a good source to get the required lean protein.
Eggs are a good choice too, as they increase the healthy HDL and zinc, which are important constituents of testosterone. Eating cabbage, on the other hand, is shown to reduce oestrogen by 50%.
Exercise is a natural stress reliever, strength training and cardio are two methods that positively aid muscle building by cutting through belly fat while being good for your heart as well.
Walking briskly, biking, using weight-training machines, or lifting weights are some examples. It’s recommended that you get two days a week of strength training, in addition to 150 minutes of cardio exercise for a similar number of days.
The harder you train, the more the testosterone levels increase. But don’t over-train; it would lower the levels by so far as 40%, which is why a break from the gym and letting the body recover on scheduled days is necessary to maximise testosterone.