Getting Testy- The Benefits of Testosterone
By Ken Hunt
I have received many letters recently asking about the benefits of increased testosterone as it relates to fitness . I am sure you have read about the benefits of testosterone and probably discussed it a length with your friends or even your doctor. For men, testosterone helps maintain bone density, fat distribution muscle strength and mass red blood cell production sex drive and the all important sperm production.
The older we get testosterone production slows down and the body has a decrease in the amount of free testosterone available in the bloodstream. Testosterone peaks during adolescence and early adulthood. As you get older, your testosterone level gradually declines — typically about 1 percent a year after age 30.
These reduced levels can cause a variety of problems. Changes in sexual function- This may include reduced sexual desire, fewer spontaneous erections — such as during sleep — and infertility. Changes in sleep patterns- Sometimes low testosterone causes insomnia or other sleep disturbances. Physical changes- Various physical changes are possible, including increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, and decreased bone density. Swollen or tender breasts (gynecomastia) and hair loss are possible. You may experience hot flashes and have less energy than you used to. Emotional changes-Low testosterone may contribute to a decrease in motivation or self-confidence. You may feel sad or depressed, or have trouble concentrating or remembering things.
It’s important to note that some of these signs and symptoms are a normal part of aging. Others can be caused by various underlying factors, including medication side effects, thyroid problems, depression and excessive alcohol use.
You certainly have heard about the number of testosterone replacement medications that can be prescribed by your doctor. But there are several ways to increase your testosterone levels naturally so that you can look and feel better.
Eat the right kinds of foods. Proteins in eggs and whey allow the adrenal glands to keep the levels of testosterone in the body steady. Eating fruits and vegetables can also have a positive effect on the levels of testosterone in your body. Because fat contains enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen, having a lot of fat on your body increases your chances for developing low testosterone levels. Fruits and vegetables can help you lose fat and develop a stronger immune system. Eating meat can also help you to raise your testosterone levels. And peanuts, can raise testosterone levels better than other foods.
Weight bearing exercises are also an excellent way to help increase the levels of testosterone in your body. Instead of training one or two of your small muscle groups, concentrate on training large muscle groups to get the maximum effect on your testosterone levels. Instead of doing many repetitions with a low amount of weight, do five repetitions with a weight that is difficult for you to lift. Working large muscles groups by using a heavy workload has been shown to help increase testosterone levels in your body.
You can increase your testosterone levels with some very common-sense approaches to health and wellness. First, limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Consuming alcohol makes your body slow down its production of testosterone and other hormones because it is busy processing the alcohol to clear it out of your system. Scientific research shows that if you get more sleep you can raise your testosterone levels. If your levels are low, try changing your sleeping habits to get a better night’s sleep. Following all of these natural methods of increasing your testosterone can raise your levels and make you look and feel better.