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Testosterone is an important ingredient in every male’s genetic makeup, but levels of androgen testosterone vary from man to man. Let’s consider this hormone and why it’s vital for male health, energy and fitness.
Testosterone promotes growth hormone responses in the pituitary, influencing protein synthesis in muscles. Testosterone influences male pattern fat distribution, bone density and red blood cell production, and therefore low amounts of testosterone (also called “Low T”) can severely impact the potential and results of even the most tried and true fitness regimens.
Low T, otherwise known as hypogonadism, can occur as early as during fetal development, and pertains to the testes being underactive and producing little to no sex hormones. Also known as low serum testosterone, gonad deficiency and andropause, this disorder has several primary causes, including problems with the testicles, and several secondary causes, mainly stemming from a problem with the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus, parts of the brain that signal the testicles to produce testosterone. Causes of secondary hypogonadism can include: inflammatory diseases; medications; obesity; HIV/AIDS; concurrent illness (including severe emotional stress); and radiation treatment.
Thankfully, there are a variety of ways you can restore, raise and maintain testosterone at ideal levels suitable for muscle gain and making the most of active living. Getting enough sleep is one big help we can give ourselves. In fact, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that regularly getting a good night’s rest—ideally between seven and nine hours every night—helps to remedy low levels of testosterone. Losing excess weight through a sensible diet, along with regular exercise, is also crucial. A 2013 study in the European Journal of Endocrinology showed that a properly balanced nutritional diet (no crash dieting) and exercise offset effects of hypogonadism.
Ingesting zinc-rich foods such as edible oyster (Ostrea edulis), red meat and poultry, beans, nuts, blue king crab, spiny lobster and whole grains—equivalent to 11mg of zinc each day—is another step you can take, as studies indicate a correlation between serum testosterone level and concentrations of zinc found in hair tissue, with testosterone synthesis influenced by micronutrients such as zinc and copper.
Low testosterone is common and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to ignored. We can strive for hormonal balance and with better levels of testosterone achieved naturally, you’ll feel more capable and energetic than ever before.*
Growth Hormone (GH or HGH) is a key hormone that helps us build muscle and burn fat.
Your muscles are made of cells that have been fused together into muscle fibers. And on the outside of these fibers are things called satellite cells.
When you work out you damage cells in the muscle fibers. To fix this, your body releases Growth Hormone, Growth Factors (other hormones) and Testosterone. These tell the satellite cells to start replicating to both repair and replace damaged cells in the muscle, and also to add more cells, increasing the muscle fibers in size.
If your cells are taking in less sugar because they’re resisting insulin knocking at their door to let in sugar, then the cells have less energy to work with.
That sugar is there, and insulin is happily converting it to fat, but your cells aren’t getting it so of course they’re hungry and will keep telling you to eat more until they finally get some.
I’ve been asked many times about the one vitamin or supplement a person needs for good health, about this or that diet, about going Vegan or going Carnivore, and much more.
So I wanted to take a moment to look at some things here. Not the pros and cons of different diets or the importance of one vitamin over another, but instead — how you can determine what is right for you.