Testosterone has been around in the market for years, but our bodies have naturally produced this hormone for thousands of years. Our natural production of testosterone has dropped dramatically for the last decades due to a sedentary life, poor food choices, and environmental triggers. That is why people are now giving more importance to this hormone, and the internet has become a great place to get information, but it is also creating all kinds of myths around it.
But, is testosterone really important for athletes? How does genetics play its part? Is there anything we can do about it?
What higher levels of testosterone can do for you
Testosterone is not only the sexual hormone in males. There are traces of testosterone in women as well, and it is an important hormone for growth and muscle mass. Thus, higher levels of testosterone will give athletes an edge on sports that require high levels of physical performance and a clean-cut body with efficient muscles.
We can talk about various effects testosterone offers in sports:
- It contributes to building muscle tissue: Testosterone stimulates muscle growth. Males have around 20 times more testosterone than women, and that is why they naturally grow bigger muscles and a bulky appearance. However, it is not only about physical appearance. Testosterone increases muscle strength and performance, especially in athletes and physically active individuals.
- It enhances energy levels: Testosterone gives you a clear advantage when it comes to your energy levels, and that is why one of the symptoms of low testosterone is low energy levels. This hormone modulates your energy metabolism and helps your body create more ATP. This is a molecule required for movement, chemical reactions, and every vital function of the nervous system. That is why higher testosterone levels are independently associated with feeling more energetic, and it would even change your mood for the better.
- Speeds up recovery time: One of the most interesting functions of testosterone in athletes is that it helps the body preserve energy and use its resources more efficiently. It gives you extra energy, but it also improves the way your lungs and the cardiovascular system uses oxygen. Thus, testosterone reduces your recovery time, which is a fundamental attribute in group sports and resistance training.
- Strengthens body tissues: Testosterone builds a stronger body inside out. It strengthens your muscle tissue, but it has an effect on ligaments and articulations as well. With a higher level of testosterone, you will have healthier joints and improved mobility in the field. Testosterone is also essential to keeping healthy bone mineralisation. It promotes more robust and stronger bones, contributing to prevent fractures and various health problems associated with strenuous physical activity.
- Testosterone reduces excess body fat: Testosterone and fat do not get along very well. Excess fat increases estrogen production which counters the effect of testosterone, and higher levels of testosterone help your body get rid of extra fat. That is why athletes with higher levels of testosterone usually have a better body composition. They have very low body fat percentage against a high weight in muscle mass. Extremely low levels of body fat are important for bodybuilders while athletes in resistance sports require a bit more, but all of them will benefit from not carrying extra weight in the form of loose fatty tissue.
The weight of genetics and environmental factors
After evaluating the effects of testosterone in sports, we can easily conclude that someone with a naturally higher level of testosterone would have an advantage in competition. Their genetics play an essential part in giving them an edge, but there’s something else contributing to stand out: a healthy lifestyle and excellent food choices. According to studies, environmental factors may be even more important than genetics to modulate our levels of testosterone.
Testosterone deficiency usually results from a dysfunction in the testis. The average concentration in males would be between 300 and 1,000 ng/dL, and lower levels lead to a significant reduction in muscle mass, low energy levels, and many other symptoms. But if you have slightly low levels within the normal range, it is probably because you need to take care of certain environmental and nutritional factors if you want to increase your natural production of testosterone.
What can you do to increase your testosterone levels naturally?
Nutrition comes in handy if you still have functioning testis, which is probably your case. What you need is to stimulate testosterone production. Eating cruciferous vegetables, zinc and magnesium-rich foods will help you get back on track. There are certain foods and extracts with impressive benefits as well, such as Tongkat Ali extract and ginger. However, you would require a long-term intake if you want to see a real difference, and that is not always easy or convenient.
That is why testosterone boosters and zinc supplements are the best way to increase your natural testosterone levels. Using them for a very long time will beat down your genetics and any other environmental factors contributing to slightly lower testosterone levels. They would even help patients with severe testosterone deficiency symptoms.
Athletes with a testosterone supplement report higher energy levels, shorter recovery periods, increased muscle mass and more strength. Thus, stop blaming your genetics and stimulate your natural production of testosterone by eating correctly, supplementing smartly, and living a healthier life. Avoid endocrine disruptors found in preservatives, pesticides, processed meat, contaminated soil, and many other day-to-day sources. Doing so and giving your best in your training and competitions will make a difference in your physical performance and give you a clear dominance of the field.
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