Testosterone is a steroid hormone of the androgen group found in most vertebrates. It plays a vital role in protein synthesis. It is produced by reproductive organs (testicles and ovaries).
Primarily, this hormone plays a key role in development of male reproductive tissues. It also promotes secondary sexual characteristics such as muscle growth, bone mass, and growth of body hairs.
In general, androgens promote protein synthesis. Testosterone has both androgenic and anabolic effects. Androgenic effect includes maturation of sex organs, growth of beard and other body hairs, and deepening of voice. Anabolic effects of testosterone includes growth in muscle mass and strength, increased bone density, and stimulation of linear growth.
High levels of testosterone will help you build up muscles. It also stimulate growth in strength. But even with higher testosterone levels, if you are not exercising, there will be no significant muscle increase. High testosterone levels should be accompanied by work out for it to be useful in bodybuilding.
Androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) are drugs that are structurally related to the cyclic steroid rings system and have similar effects to testosterone in the body. This are used to stimulate muscle growth and increase muscle strength by increasing testosterone levels in the body.
Some people have low testosterone levels or they produce less. AAS supplements testosterone to promote muscle growth. Many people take steroid injections to increase their muscle mass and strength.
Natural Testosterone Boost
There are testosterone boosting steroids. Then there’s the natural way in increasing testosterone levels. Why would you risk on unknown steroids that claims to boost testosterone when there’s a natural way to boost without steroids?
Eat vegetables that reduces estrogen levels. Vegetables rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C) helps reduce estrogen levels in men by 50%. This maintains the levels of testosterone in your body. I#C are naturally found in cruciferous vegetables. Here are examples of vegetables that will naturally lower estrogen levels:
- Brussels Sprouts
Reduce stress. Your body reacts to stress by producing a hormone called cortisol. Production of cortisol interferes in the production of testosterone. Not only that, it also increases appetite which leads to overeating which, in turn, leads to belly fat. So, try not to worry about little things. Avoid overtraining and meditate.
Get enough sleep. “Low testosterone levels are associated with reduced well-being and vigor, which may also occur as a consequence of sleep loss,” said Eve Van Cauter, PhD. Study shows that men who sleep 5 hours or less per night decreased their testosterone levels by10-15%. Not enough sleep also makes losing weight harder. So, sleeping 7-9 hours every night can help maintain your testosterone levels.
Have more sex. Testosterone is a hormone produced by sexual organs and by keeping those organs active, production of testosterone will increase. An Australian research study involving 1,700 men, showed that decline in testosterone levels, although less than 10%, was linked to decreased sexual activity and desire. “So, the effect (of lower testosterone in the study) is too small to cause reduced sexual function, and it must be a cause or an effect, (so) it is mostly likely an effect (of less sexual activity),” said Dr. Handelsman – the doctor involved in the said Australian study.
Whether it is natural or with steroids, it is important to increase testosterone levels for increasing muscle mass and strength.