If we asked you what testosterone does, you’d undoubtedly mention things like building strength and muscle mass, improving sex drive—in short, all the attributes we’ve come to equate with masculinity, especially when we’re at our peak in our late teens and early 20s. So, not surprisingly, when you no longer feel like the man you were and start to ask why, low T is often the culprit.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone belongs to a class of male hormones known as androgens (aka, steroids). It is both androgenic (causing male physical characteristics) and anabolic (causing development and growth of muscle), the latter being far more interesting to the average guy trying to get jacked.
Produced primarily in the testes and the adrenal glands, testosterone is involved with a variety of important processes in the body. It helps control development of male sex organs and kicks into high gear during puberty, when secondary sexual characteristics develop. These include not just an increase in size of the penis and testicles, but also the sprouting of facial and body hair. In addition, it is typically accompanied by a growth spurt and the development of stronger, more visible musculature.
As men mature, testosterone plays a critical role in sex drive, production of red blood cells and sperm, fat distribution, and—drumroll, please—the maintenance and increasing development of muscle mass and strength.
Signs of low testosterone
Testosterone doesn’t just get up and leave the body on a whim. Instead, the side effects sneak up on you, first causing you to question how good you used to feel in the sack or in the gym. Then you start to notice your muscle-mass gains are nonexistent, and you’re actually getting smaller and weaker.
Fatigue and a growing lack of interest in sex, training, and sports are the next indication that something’s just not right. Before you know it, you’re crying at movies and dog food ads.
How to boost low testosterone levels
The good news: Low testosterone doesn’t have to happen to you…or keep happening to you. There are steps you can take to eliminate the symptoms and get at the core of the issue. It starts with diet and exercise.
Among the foods that can improve your natural testosterone production are oysters (rich in zinc), fatty fish such as salmon and tuna (vitamin D), and eggs (which contain cholesterol, the building block of testosterone). Other good foods to binge on for increased T levels include onions and garlic, spinach, and broccoli.
In the gym, intense workouts involving large muscle groups, heavy resistance, and minimum rest between sets are the best prescription for T production. Compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, bentover rows, and the bench press should be used in place of leg extensions, the pec deck, and hyperextensions. It is critical that you stress your body to get the biggest hormonal surge, and isolation movements just don’t cut it.
Finally, sleep is a critical part of the low-T conundrum.
If you don’t get eight hours of sleep per night, your body becomes catabolic. First, your body is unable to adequately recover from hard training sessions. Second, reduced sleep causes an increase in the manufacture of cortisol. This burns up muscle tissue, increases fat deposition (especially in the belly), and reduces testosterone production.
How supps can help increase testosterone
If you feel as if you may be experiencing reduced testosterone levels, take the quiz below to find out. Depending on the results, adding a supplemental test booster to your diet might help put you back in the game. One good option to consider is Novex Biotech’s TestroVax.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, men who supplemented with the functional compound in TestroVax experienced a massive spike in T levels. TestroVax’s main ingredient is a compound called Testothione, which contains several proven testosterone boosters including DAA (D-asparaginic acid), the anti-aromatase herb fenugreek, the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, and the sexual-energizing adaptogenic herb Rhodiola rosea.
It also contains Damiana, which has been shown to help improve libido and boost energy levels, as well as 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, which aids in muscle development.
Because of its profound effect on T levels, the unique proprietary blend in TestroVax can help you achieve significant muscle growth, increased energy levels, and vitality, plus intensified libido. Quite simply: It can help you erase the symptoms you’re experiencing and make you feel like a man again.
Do you have low testosterone?
To find out, tally up how many of the following you’ve experienced:
1. Low sex drive: Any reduction is bad; a drastic drop-off signals problems.
2. Difficulty achieving erection: If you depend on Viagra or Cialis, that’s not good.
3. Significant loss of muscle mass
4. Increase in body fat
5. Fatigue and lack of energy: If you’re sleeping seven to eight hours a night yet feel sluggish, something’s wrong.
6. Lack of enthusiasm: The inability to get excited about life in general is a sign of low T.
7. Mood changes: Are you irritable or depressed most of the time? It could be hormonal.
8. Low semen volume: A noticeable decrease in ejaculate isn’t normal.
9. Hair loss: It could be on your head, but also on your face and body.
10. Shrinkage of testicles: If your gonads feel smaller or softer to the touch, be cautious.
If you answered “yes” to 3 or fewer of the above symptoms, you’re in pretty good shape. If you are in the 4 to 6 range, you may have low-T trouble brewing. It’s time to look closely at your diet and exercise program. Finally, if you are experiencing 7 or more of the symptoms, low T is the likely cause.