Balancing Testosterone

Back to hormones today, because everywhere I search they seem to be so tied in to health. Today we’re looking at testosterone (and no testosterone is not just for men). Testosterone is the primary sex hormones for men. It is produced in the testes (men) and ovaries (women), and to a smaller extent in the adrenal cortex (check the blog on the adrenal glands)in both men and women. It’s the rise in testosterone that gives teenage boy that deepened voice and extra body hair, and it is what keeps the adult male looking chiseled with a full head of hair. For women testosterone correlates to sexual desire, drive, and responsiveness. Testosterone is closely linked to estrogen (yes men have estrogen as well). It is the increase of estrogen and decrease of testosterone in men as they age that causes their inverse in physique for one. This imbalance can:

  • decrease sex drive
  • decrease muscle tissue and bone density
  • decrease energy levels
  • decrease strength and stamina
  •  more aches and joint pain
  • lessen initiative
  • lessen mental aggressiveness
  • increase risk of depression and anxiety
  • increase risk of obesity
  • increase risk of diabetes
  • increase risk of cardiovascular disease

Testosterone levels peak at 20 and go downhill after that. Of course, like most thing diet and lifestyle can affect testosterone levels. Because estrogen can be made by fat cells, rising levels of obesity, means an increase in estrogen (and a negative affect on body composition) with the increase in fat. Damn obesity and excess weight really wrecks havoc on the body, doesn’t it? Just cutting calories to lose weight isn’t going to cut it either (and for starters this often results in muscle loss too). When calories are cut by 15% the brain things you are starving, therefore it shuts off testosterone production to wait out the famine. Keep in mind that testosterone is a hormone, which means it is made from cholesterol. Which means incorporating healthy fats (grass-fed beef, eggs, etc.) in your eating routine can be beneficial to hormone production. Don’t forget that these are also valuable sources of proteins. Hormones are also composed of amino acids, hence the importance of cycling protein in the diet. Lifestyle, alcohol consumption can actually promote estrogen levels (not the effect that we want). Exercise is beneficial to testosterone (and growth hormone) production, but not chronically (too much cortisol=bad for other hormones). Control stress and sleep and you’ll be on your way towards hormonal balance to keep (or obtain) that youthful, strong, muscular body of yesteryear! For more on our fat-burner hormonal balancing weight loss programs check out our website at bodychange.net.

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