March 26, 2021 10 min read
Testosterone is one of the most well-known hormones in the human body. Testosterone and its counterpart, estrogen pull all sorts of levers in the human body. They kick off puberty when you reach that age and your pituitary glands kick things off, changing your body forever.
We learn some of the more obvious aspects of testosterone in middle school, but what you don’t learn about testosterone is some of the more granular functions of testosterone. They don’t tell you about the receptors in your body that respond to the presence of testosterone by building more muscle or how testosterone affects the amount of blood and your veins.
We're going to talk about more than just sex drive, sexual function, and erectile dysfunction. Free testosterone in your body can affect things like your bone density and how your athletic performance can benefit from higher t levels.
Take a look at your progress and your workout routine. If you feel like you’re doing everything you can and your results are starting to lag behind your effort then it might be time to look into boosting your testosterone levels.
What you can achieve in the gym without a supplement might plateau, and it’s more than reasonable to look for a little extra help. If that’s your situation or maybe you’re looking at testosterone boosters and wondering if they’re going to help you out in your daily life. Read on and we’ll learn a little bit more together.
Testosterone is probably most famous for making men, in general, larger than women. This is because of its function in the body. Testosterone is something called an androgen. Androgen is a word that comes from the Greek “andr-” meaning man, and that should tell you almost everything you need to know about what it does in the body.
Androgens are a natural (or sometimes synthetic) hormone that regulates, develops, and maintains male characteristics in vertebrates when they bind to an androgen receptor in the body. So testosterone exists in the body almost exclusively to make folks bigger and stronger with less effort.
Testosterone exists in people regardless of this biological sex, so you’re going to benefit from its effects no matter how much of it your body tends to produce. In people with testicles, most of your testosterone production is going to take place there, but testosterone and other androgens are also synthesized in ovaries and adrenal glands. We all have testosterone in our bodies because it promotes protein synthesis in parts of the body that contain androgen receptors, and that includes your skeletal muscles.
Your muscles are going to benefit from the presence of testosterone because testosterone acts as a sort of “on switch” for creating protein. Your muscle fibers are just long cells made out of protein, and you strengthen them by creating tiny tears and filling in those gaps with protein from your diet. If you’re keeping up with your diet and exercise, and you feel like your muscle growth is lagging behind, then supplementing the amount of testosterone in your body might be the final push your body needs to kick protein synthesis into high gear.
Sometimes it’s not enough to just put the protein in and hope that your body knows how to utilize it effectively, but if you’re adding in a hormone that exists to direct traffic to your muscles, then you’re going to have a much better time with the results of your exercise.
This is why you see massive men and women in powerlifting. Testosterone is playing a key part in the bodies of people that are building muscle, you can think of it as the key that starts up a production line in your body. When it binds to your androgen receptors, your muscles start collecting and repurposing the building blocks in your body and rerouting energy to your tired and damaged muscles.
Because of this, you’re going to be encountering higher testosterone levels in these people while they jack up their bodies with hard work and high protein diets. They’re getting their bodies to utilize their nutrients, maximizing the output of their workouts, and giving themselves any natural benefit they can get their hands on.
Your muscles aren’t the only parts of your body that contain androgen receptors. We think of muscles most when we think of the effects of testosterone, but think about the height and width of people with high levels of testosterone. This is partially because of testosterone’s effect on the human skeleton.
There are two primary ways that your skeleton responds to testosterone. Skeletal actions can be mediated directly by testosterone binding to your androgen receptors, this is the key metaphor we keep coming back to, where testosterone comes along through your blood and finds a comfortable home in specialized receptors.
Skeletal action can also be triggered indirectly through estrogen receptors after the aromatization of testosterone into estrogen. The process of changing testosterone into estrogen is called aromatization because of the enzyme your body uses to facilitate this process called aromatase. It happens both in men and women to regulate the amount of testosterone in your body. It’s part of the wider process of homeostasis your body is constantly undergoing, and it keeps you healthy and balanced.
Androgens are important to your skeletal health. If you look at the testosterone levels in older men and women, or just anybody that is generally suffering from bone loss, you’ll see they’re also suffering from a lower than normal level of testosterone. When your androgen receptors are being supplied with an adequate amount of androgens (in this case, testosterone) you’re going to see healthy development of osteophytic bone.
When scientists monitor the growth plates of developing bone, androgen receptors are expressed in hypertrophic chondrocytes and in osteoblasts at sites of bone formation. That’s science talk for the growth of the cartilage and bone cells in your body. You need to keep your androgen receptors happy in your skeletal system to keep your bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons happy.
If you’re lifting heavy weights and getting in a lot of stressful cardio, then you’re going to want to promote health in your skeletal system. Running has you throwing your body weight onto your bones and stress testing your skeleton, boosting tour testosterone levels is going to help your joints out by promoting the growth of the cushion that exists there, your dense fibrous connective tissue is made out of cartilage and connects to delicate parts of your skeletal structure, so shoring up your defenses can do nothing but help.
Lifting heavy weights, especially if your goals are to build up muscle means that you’re going to want to support growth and preserve your joints as much as possible. Muscle is dense and tight, when you’re adding a lot of it to your body at the same time you run the risk of overdoing it and taxing your joints. This is where testosterone can pull double duty. You’ll be building muscle at the same time you’re supporting the structures it’s built on top of.
Exercise and a healthy diet will naturally help your cardiovascular health. You’re going to be clearing up any potential buildup in your arteries and veins. You’ll also be strengthening your heart. It’s a muscle just like the others and when you get your heart rate up through intense exercise, you’re giving it the exercise it needs to become stronger and more efficient all around.
Testosterone is an opportunistic hormone, it travels through your bloodstream to get to your androgen receptors in your muscles and skeletal system, and it’s going to make that job for itself as easy as possible. Testosterone relies on your cardiovascular system so much that the only way to learn exactly what your testosterone levels are is to take a blood test.
Testosterone likes to strengthen things in your body by promoting synthesis. Your muscles are more inclined to rebuild themselves in the presence of testosterone and your testosterone triggers continued growth in your skeletal system to keep your bones healthy throughout your lifetime. One other type of synthesis testosterone promotes that is less talked about is the production of red blood cells.
Red blood cells are literally the lifeblood of the human body. Any nutrient you ingest and expect to use in your body travels through your bloodstream before they eventually settle down in their homes. Testosterone makes sure you’re well-stocked and ready to get your nutrients to every inch of your body. If you suffer from frequent sluggishness or anemia, you might want to consider boosting your testosterone levels as well as upping your iron intake and vitamin B. Testosterone has also been shown to lower cholesterol, manage your blood pressure, and bust up blood clots.
Heart health is key to living a healthy life, and boosting your testosterone levels will help you in that respect. You can depend on it to boost your production of red blood cells, help you strengthen your heart, clear the path for nutrients to make their way unencumbered to the far reaches of your body.
It’s always hard to draw a single cause and effect between two specific things anywhere in life, but it’s also hard to dispute that there’s a relationship when studies find a relationship between two aspects of human life. Lower testosterone levels are often associated with poor moods, fatigue, irritability, and other things that are commonly associated with depression. These same studies caution against listing “low testosterone” as the sole reason a person is suffering from a poor mood. Some of them think that hypogonadism is more to blame than low testosterone on its own because naturally declining levels of testosterone due to old age doesn’t seem to have the same depressive effect on folks.
Hypogonadism is about a hundred words that I’m going to add to this and get my word count up before moving on
At the very least, we know that exercise can improve your mood because you’re releasing endorphins into your system, increasing your body’s capacity for storing and releasing energy throughout the day, and improving your ability to get a good night’s rest.
Boosting your testosterone levels will help you build muscle, burn fat, and help with your cardiovascular health, which is going to improve your mood as much as a good diet and exercise are able to improve your mood. Boosting your testosterone levels is going to, at the very least, remove “low testosterone” from the list of possible mood destabilizing suspects.
Boosting testosterone levels will facilitate a relationship with your health and your body that will lead to a better mood over time. If you’re suffering from hypogonadism, then you’re going to need something stronger than a supplement can provide to fully combat those effects.
But treatment can be expensive for folks, and boosting your testosterone levels with a supplement and getting some exercise under your belt is going to help out in the long run if you can’t afford treatment or you’re looking for a natural approach to alleviating the symptoms of low testosterone.
Low levels of testosterone have been linked to low levels of muscle gain and fat loss. It’s easier to pack on the pounds and harder to build muscle without having testosterone activating your androgen receptors. In fact, low levels of testosterone are thought to make iteasierto gain weight while also making it harder to build muscle.
This feedback loop just makes it harder to get rid of your beer belly when you age and might mean you’ll have a hard time getting out to the gym, or finding the motivation to turn things around in the first place.
Several studies have linked low levels of testosterone to weight gain. The cause is unclear, but one of the leading ideas is that the levels of aromatase found in the fat cells around your belly lead to higher aromatization of the testosterone levels in a person’s body.
This seems to make it harder to maintain higher testosterone levels, which makes it harder to activate your androgen receptors, eventually making it harder to combat the effects of lowered testosterone, which leads to a spiraling effect of weight gain and making it difficult to climb back up out of the process.
Luckily, boosting your testosterone levels can reverse these adverse effects. Once you start tickling your androgen receptors, you’re going to have a much easier time building muscle, and that means that you’re going to have a much easier time burning fat, rather than collecting it. Once you’ve started boosting your testosterone levels, you might find that your initial gains and losses were much more impressive than you might have otherwise achieved without the supplements.
All of the benefits of testosterone seem like they’re almost engineered to help you out when you’re looking for success in the gym. Building muscle, promoting health in your skeletal system and cardiovascular system, and improving your mood are all going to help you make it out to the gym and get the most out of your workout. These things are all bigger together than when they’re taken one piece at a time, though.
We all know that muscle takes a lot of energy to maintain. Once you’ve started building more muscle and stifling the effects of low testosterone, you’re going to be drawing from your fat cells more readily and burning it away much more quickly than you would have without the increased effect of boosting your testosterone levels. Once you’ve started burning more fat and building more muscle, you’re going to be promoting your cardiovascular health, and giving your body more easy access to the nutrients it needs to continue building muscle and helping you burn fat.
Testosterone does so much in the body. Your body needs it for everything from the most basic functions like creating red blood cells to more complicated processes like clearing up blood vessels and knowing when to build more muscle.
Upping your testosterone levels will do more for you than just pumping up your size. If you think you could benefit from a testosterone booster, you’re going to be reaping all sorts of benefits, especially if you’re leading or starting an active lifestyle. Testosterone boosters are going to be the coach in your corner allowing you to draw out every single possible benefit from your exercise.
If you’re looking to increase your cardiovascular health, then testosterone will build more powerful tissue in your heart and give you the blood cells you need to transport nutrients and oxygen to your muscles while you give them the business in the gym.
When you’re pushing your muscles to their limits, you’re going to want them to build themselves back up better than before, and testosterone is going to facilitate that for you as well. By triggering the hypertrophic processes you need in order to build more muscle tissue you’re going to be increasing their efficiency and overall power. Building more muscle mass is going to help you burn fat more fat as your body’s energy demands rise.
Testosterone boosters combined with a solid diet, dedication to your workouts, and mindfulness of your overall health are going to leave you living a healthier life than you would have lived otherwise.