BlogExplosive ModeFebruary

Hi Testosterone, howyoudoing

'Within the nutritional/sport supplement industry there are a vast amount of products that are marketed as 'testosterone boosters.' Many of these products contain a proprietary blend of various ingredients alleged to increase endogenous testosterone levels. However, in most cases there is little data, either on the complete product itself or the various active ingredients typically contained within a proprietary blend, to substantiate manufacturers' claims. In many cases, the studies that are available which are used to substantiate product claims involve animal or cell culture models; therefore, the results may not be germane to humans. Nevertheless, the nutrition/sport supplement industry often attempts to take advantage of this, often times irrelevant, information by manufacturing products with the intent of them acting as 'testosterone boosters' in their ability to increase endogenous testosterone levels, presumably by activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, and subsequently augmented when combined with resistance training. Furthermore, these products usually have no data available, yet are still being marketed on the premise that increases in endogenous testosterone will result in increases in muscle mass, especially when ingested in conjunction with a resistance training program.' (ref 1)





Increase or maintain testosterone levels?

Unless subscribed by a doctor, it might be wise to stay away from any sport supplement claiming to raise your testosterone levels. Just like with water manipulation, you are likely to mess up the delicate balance that the body strives to maintain (homeostasis). It's this self-regulating mechanism that for instance tells our body to hold more water in case we drink less water. The more testosterone you attempt to produce, the more estrogen the body will produce. So instead of supplementing with D-aspartic acid and other so called testosterone boosters, why not optimize your testosterone levels by some common sense:



1) Avoid over-training

This is easier said than done. The body can take a beating and it will work despite what signals your brain is giving you. Unless you are on purpose in an over-reaching training period, you need to know when not to train. If your bodyfat is too low or your body is in a constant fatigued state, your testosterone levels will drop.

It is worth noting that a lot of world records have been set when athletes have recovered from injuries. Rest requires discipline and it's difficult to figure out when enough is enough. Even for professionals. This is problematic for an ambitious and competitive athlete. When is the optimal time to stop a training session and when is the optimal time to train again? Some performance coaches have solved this by simply measuring the first effort after the warm-up. If you are 20% off your usual level you simply stretch and go home. The same principal can be used to assess when to stop your training session. If the performance drops 20%, you stop. If you do not have a coach, you can simply rest every other day. Train twice during the training day if you want, but the two nights of sleep in between should keep you safe from over-training.

The vertical jump is a very good indicator of training fatigue. Use a basketball rim to keep track of yourself.



2) Avoid vitamin D deficiency

From my personal experience, I believe vitamin D is as important as leucine when it comes to building a healthy and athletic body. Vitamin D deficiency is common among people that have desk jobs and do not spend a lot of time outdoors. Again, it is not about consuming extra vitamin D but rather ensuring that we get sufficient amount of vitamin D to keep our testosterone levels elevated (ref 2). Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between vitamin D and testosterone levels (ref 3). However, new research (from last month!) questions if vitamin D can actually influence testosterone levels (ref 4).



3) Consume healthy fats and minerals

An egg a day will..eh.. keep your testosterone levels up. And watch out! You will loose the benefit of the good cholesterol if you throw away the yolk. And it's no co-incidence that the yolk actually contains vitamin D (and leucine of course!). This is why an egg will boost your testosterone more than a protein shake containing the same amount of protein. Mixing milk in your protein shake can by the way also increase testosterone due to the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) found in milk (ref 5.)

It is a common dieting mistake to cut all fat intake in hope of loosing weight. A drastic decrease in fat intake will decrease testosterone (ref 6) and negatively impact your muscle growth. This might be the reason why the If-It-Fits-Your-Macros dieting is so successful with young adults. Throwing in random fatty foods revs up the testosterone that a 30-day cabbage soup diet kills.

Vegetables, nuts and mushrooms provide important minerals like zinc and magnesium. Broccoli for instance contains indoles which in turn inhibit estrogen(ref 7). This is also a way to indirectly improve your testosterone levels and stabilize electrolyte balance in the body.



It would appear that eating a wide range of foods and training in moderation is the simplest and most effective way to maintain good testosterone levels. Not to forget that adding various spices, such as curcumin, will also improve testosterone production (ref 8). Recent research confirms also that the common decrease in testosterone seen in older men is not due to age, but rather to increasing body weight (ref 9). Instead of looking for a magic pill, it could be worth spending some effort on getting the basics right.



References

1.Darryn S. Willoughby, Mike Spillane and Neil Schwarz: Heavy Resistance Training and Supplementation With the Alleged Testosterone Booster Nmda has No Effect on Body Composition, Muscle Performance, and Serum Hormones Associated With the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis in Resistance-Trained Males (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918557/)

2.Pilz S1, Frisch S, Koertke H, Kuhn J, Dreier J, Obermayer-Pietsch B, Wehr E, Zittermann A.: Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21154195)

3.Wehr E, Pilz S, Boehm BO, März W, Obermayer-Pietsch B.: Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men.(Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2010 Aug;73(2):243-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03777.x. Epub 2009 Dec 29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20050857)

4.Heijboer AC1, Oosterwerff M, Schroten NF, Eekhoff EM, Chel VG, de Boer RA, Blankenstein MA, Lips P.: Vitamin D supplementation and testosterone concentrations in male human subjects. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25557316)

5.Macaluso F1, Morici G, Catanese P, Ardizzone NM, Marino Gammazza A, Bonsignore G, Lo Giudice G, Stampone T, Barone R, Farina F, Di Felice V.:Effect of conjugated linoleic acid on testosterone levels in vitro and in vivo after an acute bout of resistance exercise.(J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jun;26(6):1667-74. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318231ab78. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22614148)

6. Hämäläinen EK, Adlercreutz H, Puska P, Pietinen P.: Decrease of serum total and free testosterone during a low-fat high-fibre diet.(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6298507)

7.Karen J. Auborn, Saijun Fan, Eliot M. Rosen, Leslie Goodwin, Alamelu Chandraskaren, David E. Williams, DaZhi Chen, and Timothy H. Carter: Indole-3-Carbinol Is a Negative Regulator of Estrogen (http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/7/2470S.full)

8. Abarikwu SO, Akiri OF, Durojaiye MA, Alabi AF: Combined administration of curcumin and gallic acid inhibits gallic acid-induced suppression of steroidogenesis, sperm output, antioxidant defenses and inflammatory responsive genes. (J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Sep;143:49-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2014.02.008. Epub 2014 Feb 22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24565563)

9. Nebido Review: Obesity is strongly linked to low testosterone levels in men ( http://www.nebido.com/obesity-is-strongly-linked-to-low-testosterone-levels-in-men)

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