When most people think of testosterone, they think of a male hormone. While the focus of this article will be on male testosterone, it is essential to note that women have testosterone as well. It’s just that women make up a smaller proportion of the population.
Why is it Essential to Learn About Testosterone?
Studies from research gate have shown that low testosterone is common in endurance sports.
In men, especially, the testicles primarily make testosterone. Women’s ovaries produce testosterone as well, even if only in much lesser quantities.
It is frequently regarded as the primary sex hormone associated with those born as males.
Testosterone promotes the development of male-specific secondary sex characteristics (like muscle growth).
It is essential in the production of sperm. Testosterone is also involved in some behaviors and athletic performance. It improves the body’s ability to use oxygen when exercising.
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When Does Testosterone Become a Problem?
In general, testosterone is a problem when it reaches extremes, i.e., too high or too low. Excess testosterone is not common, but it should be taken seriously.
What Are Some Issues Encountered With the Excess Type of Testosterone:
- It gets in the way of your HDL(High-density Lipoprotein), also known as “Good Testosterone.”
- It could lead to heart failure, according to WebMD.
- Impairs the Human Immune System.
- This leads to aggressive or risk-taking behaviors. Etc
It is critical to emphasize that this type of testosterone is uncommon in males. The use of anabolic steroids regularly may result in abnormally high testosterone levels in males.
This is why athletes and bodybuilders use these drugs to improve athletic performance and muscle mass. This, in turn, could be detrimental to their overall immune system in the long run.
What Are Some Issues Seen With the Low Type of Testosterone:
Contrarily, low testosterone levels have side effects that lead to various problems.
This type of defect affects both men and women equally. As a person ages, testosterone production slows, and many older people experience low testosterone symptoms.
When a person’s testosterone level falls below 200, they have a low level.
So it’s critical to remember this number and have blood tests done regularly.
Some specific symptoms are:
- Reduced sexual desire, which may lead to depression
- Reduction in athletic performance Reduction in erectile function
- Loss of body hair as a result of weight gain
- Decreased beard growth Muscle Size
- a lack of bone density
- Sleep deprivation makes you feel tired all the time (fatigue)
Having any specific symptoms does not necessarily imply that you have TD. For example, having low sexual desire may not be enough to indicate that you have TD.
But, if you have a combination of low sexual desire, decreased erectile function, and a loss of body muscle and mass, you should consult with your doctor.
According to statistics, most endurance athletes retire due to low testosterone levels. Ryan Hall is a well-known case in point.
He stated that TD was the primary cause of his early retirement and poor performance.
But what are the possible causes of this deficiency, which appears to be affecting athletic performance, particularly in male athletes?
Low Testosterone Causes
- Overtraining and sleep deprivation: Are you overtraining by running yourself into the ground? Is it possible you don’t give yourself enough time to recover and sleep after overworking your body? Placing your body under more stress than it can handle raises levels of a hormone called cortisol, which may interfere with testosterone production.
- Poor Nutrition Strategies: Most people are concerned about reaching “Race Weight” before starting a race or tournament. While all of that is important, you should also consider lowering your testosterone levels. And doing so over time has a significant influence on the level of testosterone produced. Furthermore, if you do not refuel after training sessions, you will experience several hormonal disruptions.
- Age: As human beings get older, testosterone levels naturally decrease. Older athletes need to pay attention to the medication they take at this age. Drugs such as steroids, painkillers, statins, Antidepressants, Antihistamines, etc., are all dangerous. They could lead to problems in lowering testosterone levels.
- Poor Diet: Do you consume a lot of processed foods? Is your sugar consumption excessive? Men who eat a low-calorie, low-fat diet may have lower testosterone levels, especially if they are already at a healthy weight. This is especially true for endurance athletes like runners.
Testing and Treatment: What can you do if low Testosterone is an Issue?
Here are three approaches to consider. There is the training standpoint, the physiological standpoint, and the nutritional standpoint. The health perspective will be the biggest and easiest to implement, and it will have the most significant impact. So the big question now is what nutrition habits one should adopt to boost testosterone levels. Among these are
- Zinc is a mineral that is necessary for the production of testosterone. As a result, eating fruits like cashew pumpkin seeds increases our chances of improving testosterone levels.
- Magnesium is another mineral you should consider imbibing in your nutrition. Sources of magnesium include; dark chocolates, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Adding in healthy fats such as avocados and coconut oil.
- Cutting out sugar.
Get your blood tested. Make sure you are not running yourself into the ground by missing all the points we highlighted in this article because having the proper amount of testosterone in your body as an athlete is critical to your ability to perform well in your chosen sport. So it’s important to treat it as a priority, to remain at the top of the game.