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Does Working Out Increase Testosterone? What Men Should Know About Testosterone and Overtraining

Does Working Out Increase Testosterone? What Men Should Know About Testosterone and Overtraining

Are you looking to up your T scores? You might wonder what the most effective natural approach is. There are a lot of mixed messages regarding the role of exercise in boosting testosterone levels.

Does working out increase testosterone? Well, it's complicated.

While some workouts can boost your natural testosterone levels, others can have detrimental effects. You heard us right, some forms of exercise can actually reduce your natural level of testosterone.

If you'll like to boost your potential T-score and stay clear of the unsavory side effects, read on.

Do You Have a Healthy Testosterone Level?

If you've noticed a dip in your libido or a general feeling of laziness, you may have low T. Low T is extremely common, especially for men over the age of 30. It's nothing to be ashamed of, especially since you've already taken the first step.

Chances are, if you're reading this, you've decided to take an active approach to maintain healthy testosterone levels, but it doesn't have to stop there.

Creating the right internal environment can help you not only stop the decrease you've experienced but optimize your own testosterone levels.

Talk to your doctor if you suspect that you may be experiencing a dip in your body's production of testosterone. A simple test can let you know where you stand and how far you are from an optimal T level.

Does Working Out Increase Testosterone?

Working out is almost always a good thing. We all have heard about the positive benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. That said, none of this addresses the testosterone issue.

Working out can be a great way to create a surge in testosterone if you're working out the right way. If you're already working out and not feeling any positive results, chances are you're working out wrong.

This is especially the case if you're working out and not seeing any change in muscle tone. When your wife or girlfriend works out, she sees a similar effect. This should not be the case for men.

Men gain muscle mass much more quickly than women do, due to a much higher testosterone level. So what's wrong with your current workout?

If you're wondering what a T-Boosting workout looks like, well, you might be surprised. The optimum workout might be less work as you may think or less work than you traditionally do at the gym.

Keeping your workouts short is important for increased testosterone production. You should aim for 45 minutes or less. Working out for too long can actually cause a dip in your testosterone production.

You can avoid this by optimizing your workouts with short, heavy lifting weight workouts and HIIT training. This high-intensity interval method will get you the results you want without exhausting your body and cueing up a survival response.

Limit your cardio workouts and aim for weight training that doesn't go til failure instead.

What Causes a Dip in Testosterone Levels?

A dip in testosterone can be caused by many factors, including a trifecta of testosterone dampening biochemicals. Your levels of insulin, cortisol, and estrogen all have a huge effect on testosterone production.

These levels also can prevent your brain from properly using the testosterone you naturally produce by preventing the receptors in your brain from properly processing and responding to testosterone.

Estrogen and insulin are greatly impacted by what you choose to put into your body. A spike in insulin can be triggered by an excessive intake of carbohydrates or sugar. Insulin is one of T-dampening elements that can prevent your body from producing the levels that you're looking to get.

Estrogen is another hormone that can wreak havoc on your natural testosterone. As a man ages, his natural level of testosterone drops. Estrogen, on the other hand, tends to increase with age. This happens in women too.

Most testosterone lulls can be reversed. The right diet and exercise regimen can help get your body back on track. Beyond that, modifying your daily stress level can also optimize your T-levels.

If limiting these T-kiling factors doesn't do the trick, consider discussing hormone therapy. This T-boosting method is available by injection and will supplement your body's natural testosterone.

You Are What You Eat... and What They Ate

Now you may have heard about the role of soy in creating increase estrogen levels. That's not wrong. That said, don't use this as an excuse to pack your plate full of meat and jump on the keto bandwagon.

Why? Because you're going to get the same reaction unless the meat you're eating is grass fed. Animals that are raised on a 'vegetarian' diet are packed full of estrogen.

You're likely aware that many of the growth hormones used to speed up the maturity of farm animals, can cause premature aging in humans. This is because you're not just consuming the animal, you're consuming all the byproducts of what that animal consumed.

What you might not know, is that meat labeled 'vegetarian fed' is equally bad news for your testosterone levels. Vegetarian fed animals are fed a mix of low cost, GMO corn, and soy.

This nearly exclusively soy-based diet becomes part of your diet as soon as you consume it. This is just as bad as consuming a block of tofu instead.

We aren't telling you to give up the burgers and become a yoga-practicing vegan but do everything you can to avoid eating meat that could counteract your efforts. Always buy 'grass-fed' meat to avoid inducing potential estrogenic complications.

Add dark leafy greens like kale to your diet and you can help counteract the effects of your body's estrogen. Men and women produce both testosterone and estrogen, however, it's important to keep the proper estrogen/testosterone ratio suggested for your sex.

The Stress Hormone

Cortisol is the human stress hormone. Your body evolved to dispatch this chemical whenever danger was near. Cortisol helps your body focus its efforts on the things you may need in a fight or flight scenario.

Unfortunately for the human male, modern life doesn't really know what to make of our everyday stressors. Translation, that email from your boss gets the exact same response that your body would create if you were fighting off a bear or running from a cheetah.

When cortisol is deployed in response to everyday occurrences, other system repairs come to a halt. Your body will delay the production and repair processes required for optimal health.

This is because it believes your life is in danger and all resources should be expended toward processes aimed at giving you the best shot at survival. Translation?

When you work out for too long, your body reads your exhaustion. No other animal does calisthenics til failure by choice, so don't blame your brain. Your brain and body believe that the exhaustion you're experiencing is a distress signal.

Your body doesn't know that you're in a gym, that food and water is available at the snack bar and that you're exhausting yourself by choice. Instead, your body flips into survival mode, just the way it should.

If you're working out too frequently, you can also trigger the same response. Ideally, you should aim to work out 4 times per week.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

If you've already tried these methods and you're still wondering, does working out increase testosterone, there may be something else at play. Sometimes hormonal imbalance requires a little something extra, fortunately, you're not out of options.

Hormone therapy can be a great way to supplement your body's natural testosterone if natural methods just aren't doing the trick. This method is both safe and discreet and can help you get the libido, vigor, and muscle tone that otherwise would not be possible.

Supplementing your natural testosterone is easier than ever and doesn't take long. Hormone therapy is available by injection, so you'll want to find a professional for a hormone therapy evaluation. This evaluation will ensure that you are a safe and healthy candidate for the treatment.

If you're looking to up your game with a sure-fire testosterone boosting plan, check out our website for more on hormone therapy treatments.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

5 min read