The role of testosterone in muscle-building
I know you would be surprise if I tell you that there’s this hormone (testosterone) in your body helps you to build more muscles. It amazes you! Yes, that’s it. Increased testosterone level is equivalent to more muscle.
But is truly scary, your testosterone levels are diminishing everyday making you less of a man possibly leading to erectile dysfunction and inability to build muscle. The silver lining is that your testosterone levels are largely under your control.
This guide covers how testosterone helps you to build muscle, the science behind it, real, safe, and natural ways to increase your testosterone levels to that optimal range where your body can perform more efficiently and you were able to see changes in your workouts.
Testosterone, what does it mean?
Testosterone is a steroid hormone produced naturally by your body to stimulate the development of male secondary sexual characteristics (mainly in testes) also in ovaries and adrenal cortex.
Women produced it too but in very low levels. It has functions in almost all physical activities like increased muscle mass, energy and strength. Without it, you would not be able to function well at the gym.
Testosterone and muscle building- how are they related?
Testosterone is the most powerful and quintessential male hormone which plays a major role in building muscle mass. The relationship between testosterone and muscle building is well-known to everyone who has ever set foot in a gym or a physical education class.
Indeed, the presence of anabolic steroids (synthetic hormones) that mimic testosterone to boost muscle growth explained further to people. It’s well-known that the more testosterone you have the more muscle you will likely to add throughout the course of your training program.
You should maintain the right testosterone level in your body because it helps in overall well-being, increased libido, enhanced energy and improved athletic performance.
On the other hand, if you are trying to increase your muscles mass then focus on boosting your testosterone levels.But how does this principle operate in your body and what biological effect it has on muscle growth? Check below;
How it works (the science behind it)
Testosterone and some anabolic steroids like insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) act as protein synthesis in skeletal muscle cells. It is secreted from the testes via luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland.
The main effect it has on muscle growth is to increase the transcription level within your muscle cell nucleus. It enters your cell cytoplasm and bind with a specific receptor protein. Both the receptor protein and testosterone are transported into the nucleus where they bind at specific points on the DNA strands in the chromosomes.
Testosterone exerts its effect by activating DNA dependent RNA polymerase enzymes. During the transcription, the synthesis of ribosomal RNAs with ribosome formation and RNAs messenger are increased with the activation of protein synthesis.
The newly formed messenger (mRNA) diffuses into cytoplasm where it promotes the translation process of the ribosomes to form new proteins, which leads to the building of muscle tissue.
Does your body need testosterone to build muscle? Naturally? Yes, Artificially? No
When you are aiming for body fitness, muscle growth, and fat loss, normal testosterone levels are essential for you to succeed at your fitness goals including women.
Anabolic hormones work but when you take them in artificial forms, you are risking your health and inviting numerous side effects into your life.
If you try to trick your body with artificial steroid supplements, your hormone machine called endogenous production will shuts down and reduces your natural hormone production. It will take a long time to recover your natural levels
What about the natural means? Here, am talking about natural testosterone hormones not the synthetic injectable ones normally referred to as anabolic steroids. Since your testosterone level need to be normalized, do everything you can to increase your testosterone levels by natural means. Check below
The simplest and natural ways to increase your testosterone levels
However, for those with normal levels just looking to pack on some extra muscle or those with low testosterone that need to increase it.
There are few natural methods below that can help because not everyone will like to jump straight to medical solutions or supplements such as test 600x pills formulated to not only deliver testosterone but helps to lose fat and gain overall strength and muscles.
- Increase the intake of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
As you know that, muscles naturally tear and experience some breakup during a workout routine. It is normal,this is part of the process of building muscle.
However, too much damage can take long rest periods between workouts as you wait for the soreness to go and the muscle to repair.
So taking BCAA (leucine, valine and isoleucine) helps to speed up the repair process and reduce the damage to your muscles caused by your workout routine.
You can boost your BCAA intake by eating more foods like whey protein, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts, legumes or taking its supplements but use with caution.
- Control your stress levels
Stress has negative effect on your body, it kills testosterone levels. The more stress you are, the lower your testosterone levels. It releases the most destructive, non-anabolic hormone called cortisol. In normal doses, this hormone helps keep you alert and ready.
But if you are stressed out, it places strain on your system and starts to block testosterone. Be sure to manage your stress.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks
Intake of alcohol will promote decreased testosterone level. It is advisable you stop consuming alcohol when you aiming to build muscle mass. A glass of red wine is the best for you compare to beer that has empty and useless calories.
Beer did not only dehydrate you but also increases your estrogen levels, making you to store more fat and drop in testosterone levels.
- Include strength training in your workout routine
Increasing the testosterone level does not depend on how weight you lift but how much you. Strength training helps to boost testosterone levels naturally. The more you use your muscles, the more your body realizes that it needs to ramp up its efforts to build more muscle.
Placing your body under tension with the aid of heavy loads as well as high intensity will certainly push the body to start releasing more amount of testosterone to get the job done.
The idea behind lifting up heavy weights is to enhance the production of testosterone levels in your body.
- Increase your vitamin D and zinc intake.
The best way you can get enough vitamin D is through sun exposure.
There are vitamin D and zinc supplements that can be helpful if sun exposure is not possible like in the winter. A zinc deficiency can cause a significant drop in testosterone levels.
However, if you are able to choose between the two, always choose sun exposure. You can also get enough zinc from healthy diet like meat, fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, and beans.
- Sleep very well
Lack of sleep and stress will lessen the amount of testosterone production in your body. It causes weight gain, less muscle and little motivation. One of the ways to measure testosterone is in relation to your cortisol levels.
Cortisol opposes testosterone. If your testosterone levels are high, your cortisol levels are low, and if your cortisol levels are high, your testosterone levels are low.
One of the major contributing factors to high cortisol levels is a lack of sleep. It is always advisable to sleep for around 7 to 9 hours for a healthy body and mind, especially for optimizing the testosterone response.
- Consume more healthy fats
We often make common assumption that eating fat makespeople fat. But this is not true. Fats contain many important nutrients that your body needs and these nutrients are broken down and absorbed to build healthy muscle.
Eating healthy fats does not make you fat, it is over-consumption of sugar and Trans-fat (is an unnatural, manufactured fat that shows up in heavily processed junk).
Your body requires saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources such as almonds, walnuts, eggs, avocadoes, salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines etc. for optimal function.
- Reduce your sugar intake
Sugar destabilizes and wreaks havoc on your metabolism including blood sugar levels causing rising in insulin level. This directly leads to decreased testosterone levels because the insulin stops the testosterone from working.
So stay away from processed sugar, soda and starchy foods. Even if you take testosterone supplements, sugary diet limit the effectiveness of the supplements.
- Exercise frequently and keep your body fat low
When you are overweight, you are likely to have low testosterone level. Losing weight is a way of increasing the production of testosterone level. Engage yourself in a moderate to high intensity exercises.
Weightlifting, sprints, resistance training are some activities you can do to boost your testosterone levels naturally.Don’t let your body fat creep up on you. Keep it in check and try to maintain lean defined body.
Take home message
The role that testosterone plays in your body is important and significant; it is only one of many factors that controls muscle growth and strength gains.
And if you are searching for ways to give your body everything it requires for gaining size and strength along with burning fat, then increasing Testosterone levels naturally is one of the best and safe option.
There are also many factors that attribute to muscle growth and weight loss, such as genetics, nutrition, insulin, quality of sleep, training intensity, diet and many more.
Try to carry out intense full body workouts and consume clean and healthy foods. If you are choosing supplements as a boosting option, make sure you go for the ones that are made from right amount of ingredients.