To build muscle and strength maximizing your normal production of testosterone is important. The most common reason for declining testosterone levels is aging. However, testosterone levels typically decrease during emotional stress, over training, physical inactivity, after the use of anabolic steroids, alcohol abuse, prescription medication usage and certain diseases.
Did you know your testosterone will go up before a sporting event whether you are competing or not and during sexual stimulation whether it be my sight only or by touch. Testosterone levels will significantly decrease in both the competitors and fans of losers of sporting events.
Typically testosterone is 30% higher in the mornings compared to the evenings. This explains why men have morning erections. This can act as a warning sign that testosterone levels are falling when morning erections are less frequent as before.
By reducing these factors, improving your diet, beginning or changing your workout routine and reducing stress you can improve your hormonal balance.
Diet is key to improving your testosterone production. Ever heard of the old adage “You are what you eat” If you want to keep your testosterone at maximum levels naturally it is very important that you eat moderate amounts of protein. Protein stimulates the hormone glucagon and the anabolic muscle building responses important for ample testosterone production.
Eat more vegetables and fruit and limit carbohydrate sources from simple sugars and high glycemic foods. Excess intake of carbohydrates especially those that raise blood sugar rapidly create chronically high levels of the hormones insulin and cortisol. These two hormones hinder the production of testosterone.
Eat plenty of healthy dietary fat! Essential fats such as the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and flaxseed as well as saturated fats are essential for normal testosterone production. When fats are deficient in the diet, testosterone production is greatly hindered.
Studies clearly show that low fat diets causes lower testosterone levels while those higher in protein, lower in carbohydrate and moderate in fat cause the greatest continuous levels of testosterone and growth hormone. Studies have shown that your pre and post workout diet has a significant impact on testosterone and cortisol levels. In these studies, after exercise which included the bench press and squat to failure, testosterone and cortisol were measured. Studies show that the men who were on a diet with a higher protein/carbohydrate/fat ratio had the biggest increase in testosterone and the smallest rise in cortisol.
You must workout and eat smart to minimize catabolic hormone production and to get the most from the anabolic effects of your weight lifting routine. If your diet is very low in dietary fat and high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, your testosterone levels will typically remain very low and you will have a very tough time adding the muscle mass and strength that you are so desperately seeking.
Exercise is key for maximizing your testosterone naturally. Both the lack of physical activity and excessive physical activity over training will result in lowered levels of testosterone production. Exercise effects testosterone by stimulating the pituitary gland and the testes. Exercise raises testosterone levels by slowing down the normal breakdown of testosterone.
The duration, intensity and how frequent you exercise will greatly impact the circulating levels of testosterone in your body. Testosterone levels increase most with short intense bursts of physical activity such as sprinting or lifting weights. Testosterone levels decreases with prolonged activity especially that of frequent endurance training. During endurance training, testosterone is needed to maintain muscle but overly frequent and or extended training does not allow for muscle repair and recovery which results in tissue damage.
Studies show that testosterone levels will elevate with exercise for about 45 minutes. After this time, the catabolic hormone cortisol levels will begin to increase and testosterone levels will decline. These changes in hormonal levels have been detected for up to 1 week in some cases.
Because you require testosterone for repair and growth do not train for more than 45 minutes at a time. If you are a gym rat or just have to be in the gym everyday split routines are highly recommended. It is also recommended to take breaks from all exercise for one week a couple of times a year.
Emotional Stress is a frequent cause of declining testosterone levels. When the “fight or flight” alarm system is active, stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released. These hormones are released to provide life saving catabolic activity in our bodies. Catabolic activities mean the breakdown of stores of fat and protein to be used for energy sources and immune response.
These catabolic hormones will actually inhibit all anabolic processes because in life or death situations the body does not need to build muscle, eat or have sexual thoughts. These processes require vital energy so all anabolic processes including testosterone are halted. Today’s stresses are the greatest cause of premature aging and cardiovascular disease. But also today’s stresses severely hinder testosterone production making it virtually impossible to build muscle and strength.
So if you want to build muscle and strength it is imperative that you follow the muscle tips above. So don’t worry about the small stuff, get your rest and eat 5-6 meals spread out evenly throughout the day. This will help keep cortisol levels low and allow your anabolic processes to take charge!!!