Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone for men and women to keep balanced within their bodies. Testosterone plays many roles in keeping one’s body and mind healthy, fit and vibrant. Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone in both men and women and it is present in mammals, birds and reptiles. It is produced by the adrenal glands, above the kidneys and in the pituitary gland. Men produce larger amounts of testosterone, than women, that aids in the development and maintenance of the testes and sperm production.
Around the age of thirty, testosterone levels begin to drop, by about 10% every decade thereafter. Ouch! It is important to have your hormone levels checked by a doctor regularly, to make sure your body is producing enough testosterone. If not, then testosterone supplementation may be needed. Testosterone replacement therapy can take the form of injections, transdermal patches and gels, and oral therapy. Side effects of testosterone supplementation include acne and oily skin, sleep apnea, hair loss and/or thinning of the hair. One must out weigh the pros and cons of supplementation to having a deficiency of testosterone in the body.
When natural testosterone levels begin to drop in the body, many repercussions can occur as well. Without the proper levels of testosterone in the body one can suffer form excessive fatigue, reduced sexual interest, decrease in muscle mass, loss of muscle strength, increased body fat, weakened bones, back pain, cardiovascular risks, and sleep disturbances. Lack of testosterone on the brain can affect attention, memory, spatial ability and key cognitive functions. Evidence suggests that low testosterone levels may be a risk factor in the development of dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.
There is good news though! You can naturally help your body produce more testosterone by: maintaining a healthy weight; getting enough REM cycle sleep; resistance training such as weight lifting and power lifting; intermittent fasting; short intense, cardiovascular exercise; taking Vitamin D supplements; and decreasing one’s sugar intake. Also, stress can lead to reduced testosterone levels because when your body is stressed it produces high levels of Cortisol, which can block the effects of testosterone. Eating products that contain the important amino acid Leucine, such as peanuts, almonds, rice, cow’s milk, fish, chicken and red meat also improve testosterone production. It is highly recommended though, that the amount of red meat consumed, be less than other sources of foods containing Leucine. Taking a Zinc supplement is vital for testosterone production. Supplementing, your diet, with Zinc, for as little as six weeks has been shown to cause a noticeable increase in testosterone among men with low levels.
Besides natural ways of supplementing testosterone one can now obtain testosterone without a prescription. But this is illegal because testosterone is a schedule three controlled substance in the United States. The reason the medical industry is so adamant that people should get their testosterone through a doctor is due to the health risks associated with testosterone, as mentioned above. The best thing is go to your doctor, talk about your symptoms and get the help you need, whether injectable, sublingual or natural.
Another option is picking up supplements like ZMA or prohormone supplements which also have proven to increase testosterone levels quite rapidly giving users “steroid like” gains without the dangerous side effects to anabolic steroids.