Many people are interested in learning how to increase their testosterone naturally. Contrary to popular belief, running can also increase testosterone. Lifting weights and doing strength training are two common ways to do so. Learn more about the fundamentals of testosterone and the reasons it’s critical for athletic performance by reading on.
What Is Testosterone?
The hormone associated with male sex, testosterone, is well known. However, everyone has some testosterone inside of them. The human body’s level of production is primarily determined by sex. People with penises produce testosterone in their testes, whereas those with vulvas produce more testosterone in their ovaries. This is crucial to remember because various testosterone-increasing activities will benefit various physiologies.
The hormone testosterone is in charge of promoting the growth of facial and pubic hair, a lower voice, and gaining muscle mass. Too much testosterone can cause balding in females.
In both sexes, testosterone also influences body fat distribution, muscle mass, and muscle growth. It boosts libido, muscle strength, bone mass, and red blood cell production.
Major adverse cardiovascular events (heart attack, stroke, etc.) have been known to be increased by comorbid conditions that have been linked to low testosterone levels.). Obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease are a few of these ailments.
Furthermore, there is an inverse relationship between serum testosterone and the risk of overall mortality, meaning that a low serum testosterone level is linked to a higher risk of overall mortality.
Testosterone Research And Why It’s A Popular Steroid
Consider the research conducted by a team of scientists under the direction of Shalender Bhasin, M.D., to comprehend the impact of testosterone., published in The New England Journal of Medicine:
43 male participants who exercised recreationally and had prior weightlifting experience made up the study group. They had to stick to a set strength-training regimen.
One dose of testosterone was administered to one group once per week in a specific amount. Only ten weeks of training were necessary to see an increase in lean body mass of roughly 5% in the subjects. 6 kg. Compared to their pre-test values, their maxes for the bench press and leg press both increased by 22% and 38%, respectively.
Lean body mass in the placebo group only increased by 1.9 kg. Their leg press and bench press maxes both went up by 21% and 11%, respectively.
A different test group received testosterone but was not given the training regimen. Despite this, they gained 3.2 kg of lean body mass. Their maxes for the bench press and the leg press were almost identical to those of the group who followed the same training regimen without testosterone.
Typically, massive muscle gain is the result of testosterone doping. Since testosterone has the ability to hasten the body’s recovery, it is also used as a performance-enhancing drug in endurance sports. However, there is a major downside to doping…
7 Side Effects Of Abusing Testosterone And Other Steroids
- Testicular degeneration
- Hair loss
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Behavior changes
But, of course, there are natural ways of increasing your testosterone levels.
Running Increases Testosterone Naturally
If you believe that raising your testosterone level requires superhuman effort, you must be mistaken. An increase in testosterone production can be achieved with moderate endurance training. Additionally, studies have shown that short, intense interval training significantly raises testosterone levels.
Men’s ability to maintain bone mass depends on testosterone. For females, estrogen plays a similar role. For runners to prevent injury, bone mass is essential. Stress fractures can result from high-volume running, such as training for an ultramarathon or a fast marathon time. A sign of low testosterone is low bone mass, which increases the risk of stress fractures.
Red blood cell production is aided by testosterone. A higher red blood cell count is one of the main factors affecting endurance capacity. In essence, a higher red blood cell count indicates that your heart can supply your muscles with more oxygen. In terms of running efficiency, this is obviously crucial! Another justification for testosterone use by endurance athletes as a doping agent is that it provides a significant competitive advantage (but keep in mind the risks mentioned above)!
Runners who are preparing for an ultramarathon and covering extremely long distances, however, may experience the opposite effect. The production of testosterone has been shown to be decreased by extreme endurance training over an extended period of time. Therefore, testosterone levels should be checked frequently in endurance athletes who train at very high volumes.
In fact, low testosterone levels may indicate overtraining. This is because testosterone is necessary for reproduction. As a result of decreased testosterone production, the body effectively deprioritizes reproductive function when overtrained. The production of testosterone declines because the body cannot successfully reproduce if it is unable to even care for itself (as a result of overtraining). The menstrual cycle, which is a necessary component of human reproduction, is suspended in women who have the amenorrheic condition, which is also seen in athletes.
The body releases the stress hormone cortisol when undertaking challenging endurance training, which is another factor that could be contributing to low testosterone in runners and endurance athletes. The catabolic nature of cortisol causes it to upregulate substrate utilization (i.e., the body breaks down protein, carbohydrate, and fat more effectively at the expense of building muscle). Consider the following example:
Humans were unique in prehistoric times because they could, in a sense, outlive their opponents. Imagine trailing a mammoth for a very long time; because of its size, the only way to kill it is to wait until it is too worn out to defend itself.
What is more critical for that event as a human? a large, bulky body that burns lots of calories just to move around? or a leaner body that moves more easily and requires less energy to do so? Of course, from the standpoint of survival, the leaner human makes more sense!
Testosterone And Exercise
Testosterone has long been shown to cause increases in muscle mass and muscle strength and reductions in body fat, especially when combined with resistance training, which is why testosterone has been abused as a performance-enhancing or doping substance in sports for decades.
Older men are now eligible for these benefits as well. When testosterone is administered to older men, physical function, strength, and muscle mass have been shown to be significantly preserved compared to the natural aging-related sarcopenia time course. Testosterone levels naturally peak around age 30 and begin to decline significantly after age 50 or so.
The production of testosterone appears to sharply increase in response to resistance training, which is well known to raise testosterone levels. These advantages appear to apply to ongoing strength training as well.
When rest intervals between sets are brief and the work sets are intense, testosterone seems to rise most significantly. But, does running increase testosterone?
Strength Training Also Increases Testosterone Naturally
Additionally, the body releases more testosterone after short, intense strength training sessions. This is a perfect application for total body training, which involves working all the major muscle groups. Muscle growth is better accomplished through strength training. One of them is the fact that running, especially long distance running as mentioned above, stimulates more testosterone production than strength training does.
Though it might be clear why strength training is better for developing muscle, think about it. It is not just the strain put on the muscles; it is also the fact that bodies (particularly the bodies of those with penises) produce more testosterone in response to this demand. Strength training, in essence, signals to the body that it needs to build more muscle in order to lift or push a heavy object (much like squatting or pulling a mammoth carcass in prehistoric times). The body reacts by releasing a hormone that instructs the muscles to expand in order to meet the demand (and, ideally, exceed it for the next time). On a molecular level, this is what is taking place within the body.
Can Exercise Increase Testosterone Production?
Depending on your running technique. A great cardiovascular workout is running., as we’ve mentioned. Slow and steady exercise does not, however, result in the intensity needed to stimulate an increase in testosterone production.
Short, intense sprints are thought to be much more effective at boosting testosterone levels.
Athletes (handball players) in one study ran four 250-meter sprints on a treadmill at 80% of their personal maximum speed, with three minutes of rest in between each sprint. Both the testosterone to cortisol ratio and testosterone levels significantly increased.
These findings suggest that the sprint exercise, a type of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), led to an anabolic state, or a state where muscle is being built, similar to weight lifting. Greater testosterone production results from having more muscle mass.
Do men who run have higher testosterone levels? Absolutely, if done properly. Running for an extended period of time might be harmful.
Actually, running farther and for longer stretches of time can lower testosterone levels. The hormone cortisol, which your body produces in response to acute stress, rises after endurance exercises.
It is thought that higher cortisol levels prevent your body from producing testosterone.
According to data from a study involving male endurance athletes, free testosterone levels significantly dropped after a steady long run of 97 minutes on the treadmill at 75% of the participants’ VO2 max.
This decrease persisted for 72 hours following the exercise session, suggesting that testosterone levels may require prolonged periods of rest to return to baseline following an intense workout.
In other words, a chronic low testosterone state could result from consistently exercising in a way that depletes testosterone without adequate recovery.
How Does Running Affect Your Health?
Running can be a great way to start feeling better. Mild to moderate exercise should be a regular part of your routine if you want to improve your health and wellbeing.
Cardiovascular exercise increases metabolism and aids in fat burning. Other benefits include:
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Slowing your resting heart rate
- Improving blood sugar levels
- Reducing triglycerides and cholesterol
- Shrinking your waist circumference
You can lower your risk of disease and feel overall healthier by improving these vital aspects of your health.
Low testosterone and an unhealthy hormonal balance are both frequently caused by obesity. Adipose (fat) tissue performs the role of an organ that produces estrogen, and the ensuing estrogen-heavy balance in your body effectively lowers the levels of testosterone that are available for your body to use.
When it comes to testosterone, lowering your overall body fat may help you regain hormonal balance in your body, improve your testosterone levels, and alleviate some of the symptoms of Low T you’ve been experiencing.
Your body isn’t actually producing more testosterone than it was before, even under these better circumstances.
You can raise your testosterone levels naturally. One of the best ways to take advantage of testosterone’s benefits is through regular exercise. Increased testosterone is beneficial for both your libido and athletic performance. Men who exercise regularly have a 30% lower risk of impotence than men who do not, according to a 30,000 subject Harvard School of Public Health study.