A healthy diet is prescribed to basically anyone aiming at achieving optimal health and longevity. But what relation does it have to packing on pounds of muscle mass and your male hormones? A close one. In this article, we are discussing all things and foods that affect your testosterone in any way, good or bad.
The Male( And Secretly Female) Muscle Hormone
Testosterone is what makes a man manly. This is the hormone that sparks muscle growth, bone growth, hair growth, as well as increasing risk-taking and aggressive behavior. For general health and muscularity, more is usually better( but only within the natural ranges, and only of the hormone produced by your body). Synthetic injection of testosterone in the form of steroids also exists, but carries very high health risks and is illegal in most countries and professional sports. Everyone has a different healthy range of T, but a male with less than 300 ng/dL(nanograms per deciliter). A healthy range goes from 300 to about a thousand. Above that, these are usually steroid-using individuals.
While this hormone is responsible for muscle growth, it is not the only factor. There are plenty of natural bodybuilders who operate on a normal level of 400 ng/Dl, and folks who don’t even do resistance training with a circulating 800 ng/dL in them. This proves yet again that genetics is rarely your limiting factor. Your willingness to put hard work over years in the gym usually is.
Women also have this hormone in their bodies, and it has a similar function. However, they naturally have a way lower range than that of the opposite sex. Still, low levels of testosterone may cause a hormonal imbalance in both females and males.
Symptoms Of Low “T”
Lower or absent libido( in females and males this hormone is highly indicative of sex drive). Thus, elevated levels of the hormone usually signify a high sexual desire.
Low muscle mass. Because this hormone is responsible for your muscle if it plummets for a medical or unknown reason your total body mass suffers a big loss. Another sign would be packing on lots of fat, and zero muscle. That’s a telltale for extremely insufficient testosterone in your system.
Depression/anxiety. Especially in men, when they lack the hormone they need to function, they may start experiencing a slight mental decline. In severe cases, their ability to function at work or with their family members may also be affected.
Erectile disfunction. When a man is unable to maintain an erection, it is a sign of something going bad in their hormonal systems. This is usually seen in the elderly or those with medical conditions affecting their T levels.
Fatigue. In both sexes, in case you are feeling tired all the time, your androgens are the first suspects. Both your testosterone and androstenedione are responsible for this, so you should head straight to your doctor, so he can send you to do the appropriate testing at the lab.
Men may also experience reduces hair growth( your beard included) or even loss of body hair all over.
How To Fix Low Testosterone?
The first step would be to look at your weight and diet. Simply being overweight will drastically affect your T levels. Thus, losing weight will get you back lots of that feel-good hormone. However, those who are in the “metabolic syndrome” category may also be at risk for lower hormonal profiles. Excess weight doesn’t always reflect in the BMI, it may simply be a high amount of belly fat.
As we know, some nations are really thinner than others. There is no such thing as an obesity crisis in Japan because they don’t have that kind of problem over there. As we have discussed, diet is paramount in this regard. On a popular local website a Japanese author explains the importance of breakfast, among many other science-based articles.
It is of great importance to consume healthy fats to maintain your T levels, and if you were lacking from your natural point they may even improve. Foods such as fatty meats, eggs, and fatty fish are all good options. Good old milk and cheese do the trick as well. However, you should keep an eye on your saturated level intake, and consume more of the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These can be found in olive and canola oil, nuts, and seeds of all kinds. And most of all, consuming a diet high in variety will make sure you get all the appropriate nutrients to keep your hormones in check.