Behind the hormone testosterone lie several mysterious assumptions. Especially in sports, testosterone is a controversial topic of discussion. How does testosterone affect athleticism, muscle growth and overall physical capacity? Is there a possibility to higher your testosterone level in order to become fitter, more bulky or faster? In this article we will shed some light on different assumptions about testosterone to find out more about this muscle building mystery.
Take note: In order to correctly reflect on the studies used for this article, we will only discuss what happens within the male body since only men were probands in the surveys.
First things first: what is testosterone?
Testosterone is described as the androgenic sex hormone that is mostly produced within the testicles. Hold on, what does the term “androgenic” mean? “Androgenic” basically means “becoming a man”. Slightly vague, we know. To get a better understanding, here are testosterone’s main functions within the body:
- Developing male characteristics such as reproductive organs and body hair growth.
- Highly supports the development of bones and muscles as well as stimulating fat burning.
- Stimulating the production of red blood cells that transport oxygen within the body.
What’s interesting is, scientists discovered that 8am is the time of day when the most amount of free testosterone is found within the blood, whereas 8pm, the least. Does this mean training in the morning has a greater impact on muscle growth? Not necessarily. It has yet to be determined whether or not the time of day makes a difference on training results. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the relationship between testosterone levels and training methods.
Does strength and interval training have an impact on my testosterone levels?
To be honest, there are so many studies out there concerning testosterone and how its level within the blood can be increased in order to have a greater, overall muscular capacity.
What’s relatively certain is that high intensity intervals with exercises such as burpees or sprints have a consistent impact on the body’s testosterone level. A study shows that even 20 minutes after the physical strain, the probands’ testosterone level was elevated. Here, we can record that exercises with short and high intensity create the hormonal precondition that is needed to build muscles and burn body fat.
What’s also said to be relatively sure is that training with compound exercises such as weighted squats and deadlifts has an impact on your body’s testosterone level due to the stressing of large muscle mass. It was observed that after doing such exercises, the testosterone level increased, which then again establishes a good hormonal environment to gain muscle mass.
Take note that the time testosterone can be found within the blood is relatively short. Testosterone is also not the only hormone within a complex chain that has an impact on muscle growth and reducing body fat. It is one of many important compounds.
What are the effects of an illegal use of pseudo testosterone?
“Anabolic steroids” – is the term that often comes up when people talk about the illegal use of pseudo hormones in athletic performance. Anabolic steroids are related to testosterone due to their similar chemical structure. When steroids are taken, the burning of body fat and the protein synthesis are accelerated when simultaneously performing intense physical training.
The use of anabolic steroids is absolutely not recommended. Here are just a few of the many dangerous side effects:
- Liver diseases
- Increased risk of heart attack
Do eating habits have an impact on my testosterone level?
Yes, we can say that it does. A lack of zinc, magnesium and also essential amino acids has a negative impact on the production of testosterone within your body. Especially, during times of hard and intense training, your body is in great need of such nutrients. So, it is highly important to provide your body with enough water as well as sufficient micronutrients in order to keep your testosterone levels high.
Training with high intensity or heavy weights supports your body’s hormonal environment. This means that testosterone has a positive effect when it comes to building more muscle as well as simultaneously burning unwanted body fat. But keep in mind that only with a good and adequate supply of nutrients, is your body able to do so. As well as this, testosterone is one of many important compounds that your body needs to be able to build muscles, burn body fat and create a better overall fitness level.