How to increase testosterone for athletes - proper & naturally!

How can you increase your testosterone without taking unnatural substances? Testosterone is one of the sex hormones and has many important physiological functions - in men and in women. Many people nowadays have a hormone imbalance, especially oestrogen dominance - both in women and men - is an increasingly common phenomenon that arises from changing environmental influences and causes undesirable physical and mental symptoms. However, artificially increasing testosterone can also cause undesirable side effects and have health consequences. This article explains in more detail how you can compensate for a testosterone deficiency and boost your testosterone production naturally.

 

 

Male hormones - what is testosterone?

Testosterone is the male sex hormone, but it also occurs in the female body and takes over many essential signalling functions in the nervous system in both sexes. Hormones are - similar to neurotransmitters - messenger substances that act as signals for the most diverse processes. They tell the cells what to do, so to speak.

Testosterone production takes place in the Leydig's interstitial cells of the testis (male), in the ovary (female) and in the adrenal cortices. The male sex hormone has an influence on general growth, the development of muscles, the formation of blood cells and is essential for the development of sexual characteristics. It also stimulates the sebaceous glands of the skin, which is why an excess of testosterone can clog the pores with too much sebum, leading to acne, blemished skin or hair loss. It also induces the release of pheromones (scents that attract the opposite sex) and has a great influence on libido and potency (2). So boosting your testosterone only makes sense if you are actually deficient in this hormone; otherwise it leads to a general hormone imbalance and symptoms such as acne.
To understand why the testosterone balance does not simply depend on the actual amount of testosterone produced, we will first take a short excursion into the physiology of hormones:

 

Production of testosterone and oestrogen

All sex hormones - including the female hormones oestrogen and progestogen - belong to the so-called steroid hormones. Although steroids are often associated with unnatural doping substances, they occur naturally in the human body in their original form. Unlike peptide hormones, steroid hormones belong to the lipid hormones. This means that they consist of fats, whereas peptide hormones consist of proteins. The steroid hormones are formed from cholesterol. Cholesterol is therefore always the starting point for all steroid hormones, which is why the often demonized cholesterol actually has a very decisive role in hormone balance.

Cholesterol is then converted in various complex steps to the parent hormone DHEA. From this substance, Androstendion is formed in a further step, which then creates testosterone molecules with the help of an enzyme. Estrogen is then formed from these, thanks to the enzyme aromatase (1). This is only a very broken-down description of these highly complex relationships.

 

Oestrogen dominance & a low testosterone level

As described above, some testosterone produced is converted to oestrogens by the enzyme aromatase. In today's world, our bodies typically suffer from environmental influences: Many substances that we take in through food, drinks, medicines (e.g., the pill), but also through the skin (cosmetics), can trigger oestrogen dominance. On the one hand, this happens insofar as many products contain microplastics or chemical substances that block the oestrogen receptors and thus, in the short term, too much natural oestrogen floats around "freely" in the body. In the medium and long term, however, this can lead to reduced endogenous oestrogen production.

In addition, too much testosterone can be converted to oestrogen in a disturbed hormone system. Overactivity of aromatase plays a role here. This then automatically lowers the testosterone level because it, if too much testosterone is converted into oestrogen, this does not necessarily mean that the body can increase testosterone production so enormously in the long term that it can compensate for a testosterone deficiency.

 

Produce more testosterone - for muscle building & dominance

Especially when it comes to building muscle or being more dominant at work, the topic of increasing testosterone often comes into play. Of course, there are some cases in which artificial steroids are administered legally or illegally, but this is not advisable because, as you can see from the example with artificial oestrogens, this totally upsets the body's own hormone production. In addition, the artificial hormone supply can lead to many side effects, acne being the smallest problem.

However, since - as explained above - oestrogen dominance or even low testosterone levels are becoming more common, it makes sense to restore hormone balance. By the way, oestrogen dominance does not necessarily mean low testosterone. Testosterone production can be sufficiently high or even too high, even with an oestrogen deficiency. So, it always makes sense to go to the doctor for a hormone check to find out whether there is a issue at all.

In contrast to artificial substitution of testosterone, you can increase your testosterone levels naturally by getting your body to produce more testosterone itself. The first way to do this is through a proper diet consisting of enough important macro- and micronutrients as well as enough exercise - or the right kind of exercise such as strength training.

 

What should you eat? - foods that can boost testosterone!

Natural testosterone production can be boosted by having enough good fats in the diet. A low-fat or fat-free diet is the complete testosterone killer, so to speak. By the way, this is only one of many health reasons why a low-fat diet for a longer period than two weeks is definitely not advisable. Good fats are the basis for the formation of steroid hormones. These include all natural fats and oils (virgin) and especially saturated fatty acids, which have long been wrongly frowned upon. Pasture-raised butter, MCT oil, organic eggs or an entrecôte steak support hormone production and can thus help to increase testosterone. Especially if more muscle is to be built with a higher testosterone level, sufficient protein is another important factor. Testosterone promotes the growth of muscle cells, or the anabolic processes. The nutrients that can strengthen and increase muscle are mainly proteins.

A steak or organic eggs, one of the best testosterone boosters because they contain the right fats and proteins in optimal bioavailability. In addition, these two foods contain a lot of zinc, which can inhibit the enzyme aromatase when it is overactive. Zinc regulates aromatase in case of overproduction and underproduction. A zinc deficiency can therefore also lead to a testosterone deficiency and / or oestrogen dominance. On the other hand, a sufficient zinc supply can help to increase testosterone levels that are too low.

 

Lowering male hormones among women

Conversely, depending on the cause of the potential forms of hormone imbalance described above, an increased testosterone level can also lead to a lack of oestrogens in women. This happens mainly when too little aromatase is actively working and accordingly too little testosterone is converted into oestrogen. Here, too, a zinc deficiency can lead to the problem because the small micronutrient has a regulating effect in both directions. A diet rich in zinc is therefore essential for a balance between oestrogen and testosterone.

 

The Anti-Baby-Pill - an Imbalance of Oestrogen & Testosterone

The contraceptive pill works similarly to the hormone oestrogen. However, the chemical substance is not to be confused with the nature-identical oestrogen. Hormones always work according to the lock-and-key principle: certain "keys" fit on certain receptors and can dock there and trigger processes. The drug that is in the pill simply fits into the lock of the oestrogen receptors, but it is more or less like a copied key that comes into the house with a burglar. A burglar also does things that are not in the homeowner's interest, and so it is with the substance in the pill. So, it also triggers side effects. By the way, it only simulates the female cycle because the monthly bleeding that occurs during the break in taking the pill is an artificially produced abortion bleeding because ovulation does not take place.

In addition, the constantly blocked receptors cause, for example, water retention and a reduced testosterone level, as the hormone system is completely upset. This can also limit a desired reduction in body fat.

 

How the hormonal system is imbalanced after stopping the pill

When the pill is discontinued, it can take months or even years for the female body to regain hormonal balance. At first, the hormone system is overtaxed because with the absence of the pill there is a lack of oestrogens: due to the oestrogen receptors constantly occupied by the pill, the body has reduced the production of oestrogen, possibly of all precursor hormones too, so that not too much reaches the end of the cascade.

This then has to be compensated for first, which can lead to either an increased or too low testosterone level. Testosterone levels can be too low if, after the absence of the artificial hormones from the pill, a lot of testosterone is converted into oestrogen and too little is quickly supplied by the mother hormones or something else does not keep up with the conversion processes. Again, a healthy diet with good fats is essential to support the body.

 

Acne & high testosterone levels

However, too high testosterone levels can also occur because when the body notices that more mother hormone needs to be supplied, it may first overproduce a lot and not all of it is converted into oestrogen so quickly. Again, this is a simplified explanation of complex processes. Women often have severe skin problems after weaning, this always speaks to an increased testosterone level. As explained above, excess free testosterone attaches to the sebaceous glands and leads to extremely high sebum production there. This can clog the pores and inflame the skin. In addition, the pill contains a type of SHBG, which also occurs in nature-identical form. SHBG is a testosterone binder that binds free testosterone to itself. With the pill, more testosterone is bound and therefore too little "free" is on the way during intake, which can lead to difficulties with muscle building and fat loss. After stopping the pill, as with the blocked oestrogen receptors, there is also too little SHBG in the bloodstream, which means that for now there is far too much free testosterone instead of too little, and it also occupies the sebaceous glands. 

 

Increasing testosterone in women - these are the differences

Many women have the goal of gaining weight and "shaping" their body. What this translates to, however, is that they want to build muscle and reduce body fat at the same time. Testosterone plays an important role in this. Strength training increases testosterone levels, which leads to the body building more muscle. More muscle means more calories are burned, the engine is bigger, so to speak, which also helps reduce body fat. With less testosterone and more oestrogen, the body will store more body fat, especially in the legs and buttocks, but also readily around the stomach and forearms. Increasing your testosterone can therefore also make sense as a woman, but extremely high testosterone levels are not advisable. Especially if it is produced by unnatural methods, this can lead to cycle disorders, increased hairiness and psychological problems. When hormones are in natural balance, testosterone levels are high enough to achieve a healthy body fat percentage through muscle gain, while also looking fit and in shape.

So, even as a woman, you should only increase your testosterone naturally and never use a chemical testosterone preparation.

 

Increase testosterone for potency? Myth or truth?

Boosting your testosterone for potency? Low testosterone levels can lead to potency issues because one of the roles of testosterone is to increase libido - in both men and women. So, it's a myth that only men need testosterone to have a fulfilling sex life. Therefore, low testosterone can lead to reduced potency, just as low oestrogen levels can. But here, too, it makes sense to balance the hormone system through natural means and not to supplement it with chemical substances. Since the production of testosterone starts with nutrition, enough fat should also be eaten for a good libido. Of course, this does not mean cheap processed trans fats, but again eggs, nuts, coconut oil and other natural fats. Eating low-fat is also very problematic for potency.

Enough exercise, sports (mainly strength training) ensure a good hormone balance in women and men. So if you want to increase your testosterone, you should exercise regularly. In addition, negative stress often brings the hormone system into hormone imbalance. Occasionally, this leads to a low testosterone level, but sometimes to an increased one. Everything that happens mentally has a direct impact on the physiology of the body. When we are anxious or stressed, more stress hormones are released. These have an influence on the sex hormones and the blood sugar level.

 

Sympathetic & Parasympathetic Activity

Finally, it is always about a healthy balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The parasympathetic nervous system, with all its neurotransmitters and hormones, takes care of sleep, regeneration, anabolic processes and supports the immune system. The sympathetic nervous system stands for activity, stress and catabolic processes. Only when both systems are in balance can the body and psyche be completely healthy. So, you should only increase your testosterone if you actually have a deficiency. Otherwise, too high a testosterone level can have many negative consequences.

 

Increase testosterone - these are natural home remedies

Many home remedies that can be used to increase testosterone have already been mentioned: Good fats, high-quality protein and enough exercise ensure stable testosterone levels. Naturally, you can boost your testosterone with the following foods:
Oats contain what is known as Avena Sativa, a substance that is thought to have a positive effect on testosterone levels. This effect can be potentiated with eggs, for example banana pancakes made from porridge would be a good recipe idea for this.

As already mentioned, coconut oil, pasture butter, ghee, and nuts are good sources of fat that provide an important base substance for the hormone cascade of steroid hormones. This allows you to increase your testosterone naturally.

Maca powder and liquorice root are other natural foods that can increase testosterone levels and naturally provide a good libido for both men and women.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts also count as testosterone boosters; they contain indole-3-carbinol, which also helps to ensure that less testosterone is converted to oestrogen, resulting in higher testosterone levels.

All the foods mentioned, but also everything rich in zinc and, as mentioned above, exercise and healthy stress management are testosterone boosters.

 

Checking blood values regularly - an important piece of the puzzle

It always makes sense to have the blood values determined at regular intervals by a doctor or alternative practitioner. In addition to the blood count, the micronutrients should also be checked because this could show whether something is missing or too much is present, which could influence the hormone metabolism. The example of zinc and aromatase above visualized this topic. Above all, if there is a suspicion that the hormones are imbalanced or one possibly has a testosterone deficiency, the testosterone values, but also the other sex hormones, should be determined. In this way, a possible too low testosterone level can then be increased with natural methods. The testosterone levels should also always be discussed with an experienced doctor or, better, alternative practitioner.

 

Conclusion on increasing testosterone

If you want to increase your testosterone, you should first make sure that it is really necessary. By determining the blood values and looking closely at possible symptoms, such as problems with muscle growth and water retention, could be considered problems.

 

 

Source references:

(1) Doccheck Flexikon: Steroidhormone. [https://flexikon.doccheck.com/de/Steroidhormon#Beispiele; 17.07.2022].

(2) Doccheck Flexikon: Testosteron. [https://flexikon.doccheck.com/de/Testosteron; 17.07.2022].

Ines Schulz
Ines Maria Schulz, geboren am 01.12.1992 in Basel, Schweiz hat auch dort den Master Of Education in Biologie und WAH abgeschlossen, womit sie den Grundstein für das Verständnis von Physiologie und Anatomie sowie Ernährungslehre gesetzt hat. Zudem ist sie ausgebildete Sportlehrerin für die Grundschule. Seit zwei Jahren ist sie Coach bei MTM Personal Training, dem erfolgreichsten Personal Training Studio in Berlin. Dort unterstützt sie täglich Kunden, die ihr maximales Potential bezüglich mentaler und physischer Gesundheit und ihrer Leistungsfähigkeit ausschöpfen möchten. In Kooperation mit Ärzten wie Dr. Dominik Nischwitz und einem Labor für Darmgesundheit sowie dem ständigen Austausch im Team kann sie ihre Kunden optimal über Training, Ernährung, Mikronährstoffe und Lifestyle beraten. Für MTM hat sie bereits ein Frühstücksbuch und einen grossen Teil eines Lifestyle Booklets verfasst. Zudem schreibt sie wöchentlich den Newsletter, in dem Ernährungstipps und von ihr kreierte Rezepte veröffentlicht werden. Ines hat bei verschiedensten erfolgreichen Coaches und Fachpersonen Seminare und Zertifikate absolviert und erweitert stetig ihre Kompetenz. Für Supz Nutrition ist die junge Trainerin seit Januar 2019 mit dem Verfassen von Blogartikeln aktiv.

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