Does Working Out Increase Testosterone? By How Much?
Does Working Out Increase Testosterone? By How Much?
We all have an image in our head when we think of the word “masculine.” You may picture a guy with a big truck or maybe a chiseled jaw or even a lumberjack with red flannel.
There are some differences in our various imaginations regarding macho men, but one thing we all probably have in common is that our pictures are of physically fit men. Guys with bigger muscles and large frames just seem to give off a little bit of extra masculine energy.
Well, as it turns out, this guy in your head may be experiencing an extra boost in testosterone because of all of those hours he spends in the gym.
So let’s take a look at exercise and its connections with testosterone. If you’re a man struggling with lower T levels, you may want to know if exercise is a good way to boost the T in your body. Well, we’re here to give you the answers.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. Its main function in a man’s body mainly deals with puberty. Testosterone is responsible for carrying out pubescent stages such as the growth of the genitals, lowering the voice, and facial hair.
But the ladies aren’t left out. Women actually have smaller amounts of testosterone as well. Testosterone helps muscle growth, bone strength, and estrogen to regulate ovarian function in women.
Testosterone has loads of other jobs too. It’s a potent hormone that touches on a lot of different aspects of your life and health. Here are a few of testosterones other primary duties.
Testosterone is essential for sexual performance. Specifically, testosterone is responsible for sex drive.
Testosterone fuels your libido and increases your sexual desire, and is responsible for things like spontaneous erections and other sexual functions. And testosterone is also responsible for starting the sperm production process in the testes, so more testosterone equals more sperm
T is incredibly effective at building muscle mass. It’s why many bodybuilders are constantly chasing higher T levels. This powerful hormone can promote muscle growth like nobody’s business.
For starters, testosterone increases protein synthesis in muscle cells by fueling the cells with the energy from fats. In this way, testosterone effectively increases lean body mass by burning fat and building muscle proteins.
Testosterone also triggers the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This hormone actually increases the size of your muscles, not just their power.
As you can see, testosterone is an incredible force when it comes to building muscle.
Testosterone also works with your bone marrow to create red blood cells. By increasing your red blood cell count, testosterone helps fuel the cells throughout the body with the vital oxygen needed.
It promotes circulatory health and function by creating more cells that help transport oxygen. Pretty amazing!
Why Should I Care About My T Levels?
Because of all these important functions, testosterone is a vital hormone for the life and function of any man. Typically your testosterone levels should be between 300 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
If your levels get out of sorts, there can be some pretty unfortunate symptoms.
Too Much Testosterone
It is incredibly rare for men to have too much testosterone. This only really occurs in cases of excessive, unnecessary testosterone treatment or the use of anabolic steroids. But this can be a problem for women.
If women have incredibly high testosterone levels, they may experience deepening of the voice, increased facial and body hair, or a decrease in breast size.
Too Little Testosterone
Unfortunately, low T levels are a highly common problem among men. Testosterone levels steadily decrease after age 30 at a rate of 1% to 2% every year. This boils down to around 40% of men over age 45 who do not have enough testosterone.
This can have a variety of negative consequences, including, but not limited to:
- Low libido
- Loss of facial and body hair
- Brittle bones
- Loss of muscle mass
- Decreased cognitive function
That’s a lot of symptoms that we would be best to stay away from. And considering how common low T levels are, it’s likely that one of your readers is being affected by one or more of these symptoms.
So that begs the question: what can you do about it? This brings us back to the title of the article.
So, Does Exercise Affect My Levels?
The short answer is yes!
Exercise does increase testosterone levels. But don’t just get out there and work out and call it good. There are some things you should know about maximizing your exercise to make it boost your T levels as much as possible.
The first way exercise boosts your T is actually immediately. This makes sense because working out utilizes muscle and energy functions, which are two primary areas testosterone deals with.
For 15 minutes to an hour after working out, men can see increased testosterone levels in their bodies. But this initial hit of testosterone fades quickly, and T levels return to normal shortly after the workout is over.
This is all well and good. Any testosterone boost has benefits, but this boost doesn’t actually solve chronically low T levels.
Luckily, the T benefits of working out do not stop there. Long-term exercise has been shown to boost testosterone levels and production. One study shows that men with low T levels saw a boost to about 347 ng/dL, putting them in a healthy range.
Factors To Focus On
So now that we know that there are benefits to be had from exercise let’s focus on some specific factors that will help us ensure that you get the most out of your workouts.
Your weight can be one of the main factors contributing to low T levels. Obesity and high cholesterol can limit the amount of free testosterone in your blood. So trimming down and losing that fat can help boost your T levels back to where they need to be.
To focus on weight, sustained, moderate cardio can be helpful. Going on a light jog or even a long walk can be very effective at promoting weight loss.
The type of workouts that you do can affect the results you see with your T levels. While routine exercise like playing a sport or walking boosts testosterone, the best activities are full bodyweight strength training.
Lifting weights focuses energy on the muscles in high amounts, and the muscles are what testosterone focuses on, so specifically, working on muscles can reap great results for testosterone.
The best way to get the most out of your strength training is to work big muscle groups. More muscle means more testosterone, so working bigger muscles like quads and glutes will be better than working smaller muscles like biceps.
The time of day you work out can also be a factor. Your hormone cycle naturally releases large amounts of testosterone in the morning and lower amounts in the evening. So working out in the morning can limit how much extra T is released in your body.
Working out in the evening can boost your levels when they’re low, helping you have higher T concentrations throughout the day.
Is It Enough
While it is true that exercise boosts your testosterone, there are limits. If your T levels are deficient, the relatively small boost exercise can give might not be enough to alleviate your symptoms.
We’re going to talk about other ways you can boost your testosterone so you can get it to normal levels. So stick around.
Can I Exercise Too Much?
But there is a caveat to this whole topic: too much exercise can actually hinder your testosterone levels. It sounds kind of backward, but there are reasons for this strange phenomenon.
Essentially, overworking yourself causes major stress on your body. When your body is in a high state of stress, your brain releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol makes your body go into a little bit of survival mode.
This means that your body will redirect energy and focus to essential functions. Unfortunately, this means that muscle growth and sexual function take a back seat. In fact, cortisol can actually limit your testosterone levels.
But how do you know when too much is too much? If you have excessive soreness that lasts for several days, trouble sleeping, or get fatigued in the days following a workout, you probably overdid it. Your activities should make you feel energized the next day.
Here are some tips to keep your workouts at a healthy level.
If you are just getting into working out, do not try to do too much initially. If you are out of shape or have weak muscles, don’t do too much. Limit the time that you workout, lower the weight you’re lifting and keep intensity lower.
Know Your Limits
As you build strength and work out more often, you will find out what your limits are. Don’t push them. Be comfortable and secure in where you are in your workout journey, and work with what you’ve got.
If you struggle to lift a certain weight, lower it. If running an extra 5 minutes would put you on the floor, end it early. The important thing is that you are getting medium to high-intensity workouts, which means different things for everyone.
What Else Can I Do To Improve My T Levels?
As we said before, exercise can only do so much for your testosterone. But, lucky for you, there are several things you can do to increase your T levels. By combining the small effects of multiple life changes, you can see a big difference.
Improve Your Diet
A healthy diet is always a good idea, but it’s especially good for getting your hormones balanced. Eating highly processed foods and getting an inadequate amount of your daily nutrients can really hinder your body’s ability to regulate hormones.
So make sure you’re getting enough vegetables, a balanced amount of protein, and cut out sugar as much as possible. Sugar can have hindering effects on your T levels, and it can cause you to gain weight, which can also hinder your testosterone.
The best diets for increasing T levels have holistic and balanced nutrition and a low-calorie count.
Get Good Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important elements for overall health and also for testosterone balance.
Your body operates on various cycles, and this is especially true when it comes to hormones. And the biggest cycle your body is tied to is the sleep cycle.
If you are getting irregular sleep, struggling to sleep through the night, or are not getting enough sleep, you can mess up your body’s rhythm and hinder your ability to keep your testosterone up.
Sleep is so important that getting low sleep for only one week can cause your testosterone to fall by 10% to 15%. That’s how important sleep is to your T levels!
We’ve touched on this already, but stress is one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to T levels. Cortisone can have very negative impacts on your testosterone.
If you’re stressed at work or there is a family situation causing you feelings of anxiousness, it’s best to face it head-on. Talk to a loved one about your stress, or even visit a therapist. Dealing with stress can make all the difference in your quality of life and your T levels.
One of the best things you can do for your T balance is to take a testosterone supplement. Supplements combine natural ingredients to promote the health of your testosterone levels. Our products are crafted to support the health of your hormonal system to help get your T levels back!
This can help you with your energy levels, muscle growth, and with feelings of confidence. Getting your T levels right can make you a new man.
Working out is a great move for your overall health, but it also has distinct benefits when it comes to testosterone. Exercise can increase your natural testosterone levels so that you can feel great, build muscle, and get back to how you used to feel.
But you can experience the benefits of exercise all the more when you combine it with proper testosterone supplementation. Combining these two things can help you get fit and feel great.
Now you have the tools in your arsenal to seize your health and balance your T! So, get out there and restore your testosterone!