There's no shortage of talk about testosterone and the role it plays in our overall fitness and health. While everyone has testosterone in them, men possess much higher amounts with production ramping up during puberty and through our 20's.
As we get older, our testosterone levels, or T levels, start to diminish. For most men this is after age 30 and is a natural occurrence.
What Is Testosterone and What Does It Do?
Testosterone supports multiple functions within a man's body. Primarily produced in the testicles, testosterone is an integral part of male development and what gives us our masculine features.
Aside from providing us with extra body hair and a deeper voice, testosterone also promotes verbal memory and critical thinking growth during development. But T levels aren't just beneficial for young men still developing as they impact multiple key aspects of men's health.
Testosterone Helps To Keep Our Blood Pumping
The heart is one of the hardest working muscles in our body and delivers oxygen to the rest of our organs and muscle groups through blood. What many men don't realize is that their testosterone levels have a direct relation to how many red blood cells are produced.
When a heart is pumping at max efficiency with plenty of red blood cells to go around, your cardiovascular health and strength will keep you going through even the toughest days at work or in the gym. Low T levels can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke but thankfully testosterone can be supplemented when needed.
It Also Lets Us Develop More Muscle Instead of Fat
That's right, men are able to maximize their gains by naturally having more testosterone. The hormone helps increase muscle mass which helps to control weight gain and also provides more energy.
This doesn't mean that more testosterone will automatically make you stronger. Instead, testosterone makes you more lean and opens up the opportunity to pack on the muscle from there. To support these muscles, testosterone also heavily contributes to bone density.
As we age and our testosterone levels dip, so does the strength and density of our bones. There's actual science behind the idea of brittle old bones with testosterone being the key to staying fit into our senior years.
It's About More Than Just Working Out Though
Testosterone is the fuel to men's sexual fires, boosting arousal and libido. All of this culminates into being able to achieve and maintain an erection during intercourse, a struggle for older men. Low T can even contribute to erectile dysfunction. Getting in the mood doesn't take a second thought when enough testosterone is available.
When you're in the mood and getting plenty of action, it would make sense that you'd be in a good mood more often. It shouldn't be a surprise by now, but testosterone is to be thanked for that as well. Proper T levels can help men stave off depression and sadness thanks to having access to more energy throughout the day.
What if Testosterone Levels Drop?
Since testosterone is so ingrained in multiple bodily functions, low levels can have quick changes. One of the most glaring concerns is the loss of libido, killing a man's sexual desire and the ability to partake even if he wants to. Sperm production can also cause a man to be less fertile and make starting a family a marathon rather than a sprint.
Other physical changes that come with low T include an increase in body fat, loss of hair, lower muscle mass, hot flashes and even tender breasts. If the last two seem more familiar in the context of women, remember that these symptoms are the result of hormone imbalance which anyone can suffer from.
Testosterone Changes Your Mental Health Too
Lower energy levels due to low T can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns and even cause insomnia in some men. Sleep apnea can also be spurred by low levels which causes you to repeatedly stop breathing in your sleep, waking you up throughout the night.
Less sleep compounds with lower energy levels and it's still not clear why testosterone has such a huge impact on sleep. All of these changes can take a toll on your mental health and self-confidence. Since it's linked to recall and critical thinking, testosterone is needed for us to stay sharp and focused.
No man wants to admit that they're suffering from one, let alone multiple side effects of low T. The silver lining is that testosterone levels are rarely the sole cause of these symptoms, but testosterone treatment can help reverse them in many cases. It's always best to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss any concerns you may have.
How Can I Improve My T Levels?
The easiest way is to simply get moving! Since there's no way to stop the aging process yet, keeping a healthy weight and strong muscles can reduce the rate in which we lose testosterone. A proper diet and exercise routine also maximizes the benefits of any testosterone treatment you may seek out.
Outside of introducing more testosterone into your body, there are medications meant for erectile dysfunction and insomnia. The former addresses the biggest worry most men have with the latter allowing you to get restful sleep to promote growth and testosterone production.
Lastly, there are more natural supplements that help preserve and boost testosterone without the side effects found in some pharmaceuticals. That's not to say there aren't effective options available through prescription, but it's something you should talk to your doctor about when discussing your testosterone levels.
Getting Testosterone Down to a Science
It's easy to view testosterone simply as the source of male aggression and strength, but it plays such a bigger part in the daily functions of a man. While higher testosterone does lead to more energy, it's up to you to decide how you use it. If your stomach is the gas tank that fuels your body's energy, testosterone is the oil that keeps it going smooth and strong.
If you're worried that your testosterone levels are declining at an unhealthy rate, reach out to your doctor to schedule a visit. A standard blood panel can produce rapid results and get you a suggestion on treatment within a few days.
Don't let low T change how you live your life. There are dozens of methods, medications and supplements available with or without a prescription. Now that you know what you're looking for, it's time to be the man you know you can be.