The word testosterone (T) can often be heard in the same breath with the words build muscle mass . You need this hormone to grow big and strong. The question is: is this correct? What makes this hormone so special? How does it work? What does it do for your muscle mass? How can you boost your testosterone naturally? We answer all these questions in this article, and we give you 8 ways to naturally boost your testosterone!
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is the male sex hormone. Hormones are substances with a specific effect on organs and tissues. They activate or inhibit activities in the body and a very small amount is already effective. Hormones are transported through the blood and broken down in the liver. They regulate your growth, metabolism, behavior and your character.
Testosterone falls under the so-called steroid hormones. Steroids are fats with four carbon ring structures. These fats make T insoluble in water. Testosterone is produced in the adrenal glands and by the gonads of both men and women. In men, it provides sexual characteristics such as a low voice, hair, muscle building, more strength and greater bone density. In women, testosterone concentrations are much lower than in men, producing about 7 mg of it per day.
How does testosterone work?
When T is released into the blood by the adrenal glands and gonads, about 95% of it is bound to proteins in the blood plasma: albumin and globulin. This makes them soluble and allows them to be transported through the blood. The testosterone that is not bound to blood proteins is called free testosterone. This T actively triggers changes in the body and is the testosterone we want more of.
The greater the binding capacity of your blood proteins, the lower the amount of free T in your body. Substances like anabolic steroids ( a lab-made, artificial form of testosterone ) cause the blood proteins to bind less T, which means there is more free testosterone in your blood. Low testosterone levels can cause various problems. This is a sensitive subject that is not unknown to strength athletes. That is why we discuss this first.
8 Natural testosterone boosters
- Train hard! Use a good strength training plan with lots of high-intensity exercises. This allows for more testosterone production. Use more weight and do fewer repetitions.
- Too high a fat percentage lowers testosterone production. So lower your fat percentage for more T!
- Get enough good quality sleep ( 7-9 hours per night ). Too little sleep increases cortisol ( stress hormone ) and lowers testosterone.
- Drink little to no alcohol. The systematic consumption of ( too much ) alcohol lowers testosterone production.
- Provide little chronic stress. Under stress, you produce a lot of the hormone cortisol, which lowers testosterone.
- Limit your sugar intake at times . High insulin levels ( which decrease insulin sensitivity ) inhibit T production.
- Eat enough healthy fats. Consuming sufficient healthy nutritious fats is important for the production of the hormone. Therefore, eat a lot of olive oil, avocados, fatty fish, nuts and eggs.
- Enjoy the sun regularly. Vitamin D is produced under the influence of sunlight: a natural steroid that influences the lifespan and production of the T hormone.