Testosterone is synonymous with masculinity, muscle, and, quite frequently, aggression. Essentially, testosterone is what makes a man, a man. With it, you're filled with a sense of machismo unmatched by any other mortal, but lacking testosterone is a one-way ticket to lackluster gains, mood, and health.
What is it about this hormone that makes you a hero or a zero? We’ve got a full list of benefits discussing how this essential hormone transforms affects virtually every aspect of your life.
What is Testosterone?
Most of us have a pretty solid idea what testosterone is, but just in case you need a refresher…
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and anabolic steroid. It’s present in both men and women, though men have significantly greater quantities. In men, testosterone is primarily produced in the testicles, while in women it’s mostly generated from the ovaries and to a lesser extent the adrenal glands.
Male testosterone production increases approximately 30x more during puberty and early adulthood, but once men reach age 30, they experience roughly a 1% decline per year every year for the rest of their natural life.
Key roles testosterone is involved in include:
- Sex drive
- Mood and sense of well-being
- Body composition
- Neurological function
- Hair growth
- Vocal pitch
- Cardiovascular function
These are just a few of the numerous functions testosterone effects. Now, let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of having optimal testosterone production!
Benefits of Testosterone
Testosterone plays a critical role in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein, On a molecular level, the hormone impacts the expression of important regulatory proteins affecting glycogen synthesis, glycolysis, lipid metabolism, and cholesterol metabolism. As such, it’s no wonder that men with higher levels of testosterone are well documented to have increased metabolic rates. Having a higher metabolism means you’re burning more calories each day and leads to the next benefit of higher testosterone which is…
Improved Body Composition
Testosterone aids body composition by increasing protein synthesis in muscles and decreasing body fat, which helps control weight and promotes greater energy levels. Additionally, higher T levels are associated with greater strength and lean mass. On the flip side, having low testosterone promotes fat gain, less muscle, and reduced energy. But testosterone alone won’t turn you into a muscle-laden lifter, combining it with an intense weightlifting program is absolutely essential for gaining muscle, losing fat, and shaping the body of a modern-day Greek god.
Not only does higher T levels enhance the way you look, it can also impact the intensity with which you attack your training sessions. Testosterone significantly impacts arousal and affects certain regions of the brain governing The hormone activates the subcortical areas of the brain which are responsible for producing aggression, while cortisol (the “stress” hormone) and serotonin act opposite to testosterone, and blunt its effects. In other words, if you’re walking around stressed all the time, you won’t be able to get it up come go time in the gym.
Lower testosterone levels are associated with poorer quality of life, fatigue, depression, and irritability. Basically, men suffering from hypogonadism lead a crummier, duller, less enjoyable life, but research shows that men receiving testosterone treatment can reverse these feelings, once their testosterone levels are restored to normal, healthy levels. And, researchers are currently exploring testosterone therapy as a means for treating depression in adults.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, as such, it makes perfect sense that it would play a role in sexual arousal and activity. Men with higher levels of testosterone typically have a stronger desire and need for sexual activity and performance in the bedroom. Older men faced with declining testosterone levels often experience low libido and difficulty achieving an erection.
Studies show that boosting testosterone levels can improve sexual health, desire, and performance. So, if you find yourself struggling to step up to the plate at night, you may want to invest in a supplement to naturally raise testosterone levels.
Improved Memory and Cognition
Believe it or not, testosterone also plays a pretty significant role in neurological function too. Research documents that men with higher total T levels have a lesser chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. On top of that, there is also evidence to suggest a strong correlation between testosterone levels and a man’s memory and cognitive function. With higher testosterone levels, neurological functions including processing speed, verbal memory, and reasoning are significantly better.
Testosterone is important to muscle growth, but it also plays a critical role in bone mineral density and bone integrity. As men age, their testosterone levels drop as does their bone density, which increases the likelihood of weak, brittle bones and osteoporosis. Conversely, strong bones boost athletic performance, support your muscles, and protect your internal organs.
Clinical trials demonstrate that increasing testosterone levels improves bone density, particularly the bones of the hip and spine, supporting a stronger, healthier male.
Improved Blood Work
The heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, supplying the muscles and organs with essential oxygen and nutrients for maximum performance. Testosterone impacts blood flow in the body by aiding red blood cell production in bone marrow. On top of that, testosterone may also support cardiovascular disease. Research shows that cholesterol lowers total cholesterol levels in the body, and men with normal T levels are less likely to experience heart attacks or strokes.[6,7]
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- Kelly DM, Jones TH. Testosterone: a metabolic hormone in health and disease. J Endocrinol . 2013;217(3):R25-R45. doi:10.1530/JOE-12-0455 .
- Welle S, Jozefowicz R, Forbes G, Griggs RC. Effect of testosterone on metabolic rate and body composition in normal men and men with muscular dystrophy. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992;74(2):332-335. doi:10.1210/jcem.74.2.1730811.
- Bassil N, Alkaade S, Morley JE. The benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy: a review. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. 2009;5:427-448.
- Batrinos ML. Testosterone and Aggressive Behavior in Man. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2012;10(3):563-568. doi:10.5812/ijem.3661.
- Borst SE, Mulligan T. Testosterone replacement therapy for older men. Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2007;2(4):561-566.
- Isidori AM, Giannetta E, Greco EA, et al. Effects of testosterone on body composition, bone metabolism and serum lipid profile in middle-aged men: a meta-analysis. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2005;63(3):280-293. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2265.2005.02339.x.
- Rishi Sharma, Olurinde A. Oni, Kamal Gupta, Guoqing Chen, Mukut Sharma, Buddhadeb Dawn, Ram Sharma, Deepak Parashara, Virginia J. Savin, John A. Ambrose, Rajat S. Barua; Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men, European Heart Journal, Volume 36, Issue 40, 21 October 2015, Pages 2706–2715, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehv346