Have you been working out a lot, but with little effect? You have worked on your diet as well, but it still didn’t help. Or maybe you just want to increase your gains? Maybe, just maybe, you should start thinking about testosterone. In this article the hormone is discussed in detail and at the end of the read you will get a special program to fix testosterone naturally.
What is testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone, belonging to the group of androgen hormones. Don’t be afraid of the word steroid. We all know what it means, but in this case, it refers to an organic compound, with four rings, placed in a specific configuration. Many hormones are steroids, such as testosterone or estradiol. Cholesterol is a steroid as well, and it has plays a big role in the cell membrane. The other members of androgen hormone group are: Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), Dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA), androstenedione and androstenediol.
During the fetal period, testosterone is created by the placenta, and makes the development of male reproductive system possible. The production stops until puberty, after which, the production continues during the entire lifetime. In adults, testosterone is made by Leydig cells of the testicles. When released in the blood, 97% binds to carrier proteins, while the rest is referred to as free testosterone. It is transported to the tissue, and possibly converted into DHT. Some tissues use testosterone in its native form, while others need DHT. It enters the cells and binds to receptor proteins. This complex is then transported to the nucleus. It stimulates the production of protein. Testosterone which isn’t used is transported to the liver, and converted into DHEA and androsterone. Then, it is bound to glucuronides, or sulfites. It ends up in urine or feces, and is extracted from the body.
Keep in mind that the production itself isn’t random. It is controlled by the luteinizing hormone (LH), produced in the pituitary gland.
Even though the testosterone is called “male hormone” it is also produced by the ovaries in the women as well. The amount produced by the ovaries is significantly lower. In men, around 7mg of testosterone is made daily, while in women 1/15 of this amount is produced. Blood levels in men range from 300 to 1000 ng/dL, while in women the levels are from 25 to 90 ng/dL.
Estrogen is not exclusively “female hormone” as well. Men produce it too, but in way smaller quantities. The source is not known for sure, but it is believed that Sertoli cells (in the testicles) convert testosterone in estrogen. A much larger amount is created from testosterone and androstenediol in other organs, such as the liver.
Testosterone is basically responsible for all the characteristics of men.
Its functions include:
- The development of: penis, testicles, prostate and other parts of male reproductive system.
- Descend of testicles
- Hair development and growth
- Baldness in men with genetic tendencies
- Voice change in puberty
- Increased thickness of the skin
- It may contribute to the development of acne
- Increase in protein synthesis
- Muscle growth
- Increase in bone mass
- Retention of calcium
- Increases the basal metabolism
- the number of red blood cells increase
- re-absorption of sodium
What about muscles?
Now let’s focus on the effect of testosterone on muscles and their growth.
As you probably know, muscles grow, not by increasing the numbers of muscle cells, but by increasing the size of the cells that are already there – hypertrophy. Muscular hypertrophy is achieved by increasing the amount of glycogen storage or myofibrils. When glycogen storage is increased the muscles can work for a longer period of time. On the other hand, when the number of myofibril is increased the muscle contraction becomes stronger, meaning you can lift more weight.
We mentioned before that testosterone increases protein production. Well, myofibril is a protein. So, testosterone will increase the amount of myofibril your muscles create, and therefore, increase the muscle size and strength. This DOES NOT happen if you are a couch potato. Your muscles need a reason to become stronger. If you don’t workout, then all that extra testosterone will be eliminated from your body. Keep in mind that your levels of testosterone should be above the ranges we talked about before.
Another great effect that testosterone has is the increase in basal metabolism. As your basal metabolism increases, you burn more calories.
One study believes that increased levels of testosterone stops the creation of fat cells. Important thing to note here is that as you get fatter, your fat cells increase in size, and not numbers. The number of fat cells usually increases in obese children, but not adults.
How can you increase your testosterone levels?
Let’s start with the big no-no. Yes, we are talking about autogenic-anabolic steroids (AAS – bad steroids). They increase the production of testosterone, that is true. However, the desired effect is not as great as everyone believes. One study shows that they only increase the lean body mass by 2-5kg. There is a big price to pay for this tiny effect: acne, increased body hair, aggressive behavior, mood swings, elevated blood pressure, decrease in HDL (good cholesterol, which may lead to atherosclerosis). And that study was done using small doses! Larger doses can cause cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death. DON’T USE STEROIDS. It is not worth it!
There are natural ways to increase testosterone. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been proven to improve peek power output, and increase the level of free testosterone.
Testosterone boosters can work well too. They are herbal supplements that naturally increase your testosterone levels. They either increase testosterone production, or inhibit compounds that convert testosterone into estrogen.
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The ingredient you want in your booster are:
It is a natural amino acid found mostly in Leydig cells. If you remember well, those are the cells that produce testosterone.
This plant can increase the amount of luteinizing hormone, which stimulates the production of testosterone.
This Indian plant works a bit differently. One study has shown that both placebo group and the group using fenugreek had an increase in muscle mass during the first four weeks of training. Fenugreek was actually effective in the next four weeks, as the group using it continued to gain muscle mass. The idea is that this plant can help you increase strength after hitting the plateau.
ZMA is a mix of zinc, monomethionine aspartate, vitamin B6 and magnesium aspartate. It mostly helps with the recovery, and with zinc and magnesium deficiency.
Since you have reached to the end of this read, you’re aware that our T-levels are under attack.
However that’s only HALF the problem because when we make bad food choices we are silently boosting production of estrogen, the FEMALE hormone.
Estrogen has the opposite effect of testosterone and leave you flabby, weak and suffering with ugly man boobs.
It’s ok for your body to contain a small amount of estrogen but eating food containing estrogen-boosting nutrients causes estrogen production to spiral out of control.
So, on the next page I have put forth a program that will show you 101 ways to naturally boost your testosterone.
Inside, you’ll gain instant access to foods, herbs, spices, and lifestyle hacks to naturally boost your testosterone within the next 24 hours.