Testosterone is the major sex hormone in men, and estrogen in women, even though a certain amount of estrogen is produced in the male body, while women produce the testosterone in small amounts. These small amounts can drastically affect human organism. With small corrections of life styles we can achieve a hormonal balance in the body that will enable us to enjoy life and be strong and healthy.
The process of producing testosterone starts from the head, i.e. brain. The hypothalamus gives the signal pituitary gland, and the pituitary gland then creates a luteinizing hormone (LH) that informs Leidig cells in testicles to produce testosterone. If there is enough testosterone in the blood, the hypothalamus will know that, and the secretion in the testicles will decrease. On the contrary, if a blood level is low, more will be produced.
The production of estrogen in women is taking place in the ovaries, and under the influence of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which origins from the pituitary gland. And here the principle of feedback is also present.
Testosterone drives metabolism towards anabolism, which means that the testosterone helps human tissues grow, including muscles. Testosterone receptors are placed on muscle cells; the contact of these receptors with testosterone triggers a series of processes in the cells when the proteins that are embedded in the muscle tissue are synthesized.
When the level of testosterone decreases, the body enters the catabolism. Therefore, the decomposition of muscle tissues and thus decrease in the muscle mass occurs. A typical example of such process is aging. In older men testicles produce less testosterone, so they begin to lose their muscles.
How does testosterone helps in muscles building?
First, it affects the retention of nitrogen in the body. Nitrogen is an element that is found only in proteins. In fats and hydrates it does not exist. We know that the muscles are made up of proteins; therefore, the more testosterone in the circulation, the better the protein synthesis in our body will be expected. Of course, high testosterone alone will not affect the increase in muscle mass, if the body is not provided with the adequate stimulus in the form of weight lifting. The body is a smart system- why building muscles that needs to be fed if there those muscles are not being utilized?
Second, testosterone significantly increases the number of red blood cells. Their main role of erythrocytes, especially hemoglobin, a protein which they contain, is to transfer the oxygen through the bloodstream to the tissues. Therefore, we have the following equation: more red blood cells – more oxygen which feeds the muscles – larger muscle mass.
Testosterone also plays an important role in bone building, which means that if we have sufficient level of this hormone in our blood, less is the chances that we might suffer from osteoporosis, a disease when the bone density decreases, and therefore it is easier for them to break.
The optimal level of testosterone allows us to be in a good mood, to have confidence and to have excellent memorizing performances.
The challenges of modern living (chronic stress, inadequate diet, lack of physical activity, tobacco smoking or alcohol drinking) lead to the issue of substantial number of men facing problems with low testosterone. When testosterone is low, estrogen in the male’s body (that small amount) becomes dominant, and that is the situation when the female hormone leads to the decrease in muscle mass, increased weight gain, fatigue, loss of libido, problems with circulation, bones, mood changes (depression).
How to prevent testosterone loss?
In order to avoid previously mentioned problems with testosterone loss, it is of the great importance to preserve testosterone levels in your body even at the younger age. Therefore, we advise you to adopt some new habits that will boost your testosterone levels. This is also important for men after the age of 30, when natural decrease of testosterone occurs.
Food as a testosterone booster
Some foods can improve production of testosterone, so we suggest you to eat cabbage, cauliflower, parsley, tomato, mushrooms, nuts, grapes, olive oil. These foods also reduce the level of estrogen.
Besides taking certain food, it is also very important to decrease stress to some reasonable level. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and it literally kills testosterone. There is a lot of stress release techniques available-deep breathing, meditation, yoga, to name some of the few. Choose those that you fell the most comfortable to practice.
Avoid being overweight
If you are having some extra pounds, it is important to start losing weight immediately. The fat on your abdominal wall is full of enzymes that convert your testosterone to estrogen, which will add a new fat and it is a vicious circle that is really hard to break. Besides eating specific foods and avoiding some, it is also important to improve your dietary habits, which means to establish proper dietary rhythm (at least five meals per day), always have a breakfast, avoid eating late at night, avoid eating in front of the TV or computer, cut off drinking sweet drinks, avoid going to fast food restaurants or order takeaways etc.
Don’t forget to exercise
If you choose to go to the gym, we recommend you to include exercise weight lifting, as these excessive muscle efforts will give a sign to the hypothalamus to increase the secretion of testosterone.
Remember to forget about some foods
We recommend you to forget for a while about eating salami, pate, refined oil rich in trans fats, pastry, sweets or any other foods rich in salt, sugar or white flour.
Try to avoid drinking alcohol
When you are consuming alcohol, your liver produces a substance that has the negative impact on the production of testosterone. This substance reduces the level of testosterone in the body, which will result in the reduction of muscle mass.
Is there any other way to boost my testosterone?
Yes, there are a variety of testosterone boosters on the market, either synthetic or natural, it’s up to you. By taking some of those products, your testosterone will easily reach desirable levels which can have the positive effect on your body mass.