Natural Ways To Increase Testosterone Bioavailability In Athletes - Part II By Ivan Nikolov
1. How to increase testosterone levels
- Incorporate basic movements that involve several muscle groups in your training routine. Good ones are squats, dead lifts, and military presses. Basic (compound) exercises have been shown to play an important role in the testosterone levels.
- The greatest workout related testosterone production occurs with the use of heavier weights and lower rep range. A study shows that the best is 85 per cent of your one-rep max.
- Tribulus terestris is a natural supplement, which has been shown in some studies to have the ability to increase the leutenizing hormone (LH) levels.
As we already mentioned above, one of the functions of LH is to stimulate testosterone production by the testes.
2. How to prevent testosterone levels from getting low?
** Obesity. Based on the way the testosterone-estrogen mechanism works, increased levels of estrogen will ultimately decrease the circulating testosterone.
Excess fat causes more estrogen production due to the fact that fat cells are those, which manufacture estrogen. So, the more fat cells, the more estrogen in the blood and the less testosterone.
** Drug and alcohol abuse. Alcohol has the property to inhibit your ability to remove estrogen from the blood stream by acting as a central nervous system depressant and also by decreasing zinc levels.
** Stress elevates corticosteroid levels in the blood steam, which causes the testosterone levels to decrease.
** Medications. Some medications, including estrogen and progesterone, lower the lutenizing hormone (LH) levels. LH is the hormone, responsible for the steroid hormones production.
** Diabetes. Studies suggest that there is a link between type 2 diabetes and lower testosterone levels.
** Hypertension and high cholesterol levels. These both cause the arteries to harden, this way decreasing the blood flow to the sex hormone producing organs. That of course leads to low sex hormone levels.
** Aging. Fact is after the age of 40 test levels drops by roughly one per cent per year. We canít do too much about that. The clock keeps ticking for all of us. However, we can try to manipulate testosterone levels in any other possible way.
** Low fat diet. Low fat consumption causes increase of the SHGB, which means one thing Ė less free testosterone. It is considered that monounsaturated fats play an important role in testosterone levels and bioavailability.
** Overtraining can contribute to as much as 40 per cent drop in testosterone levels. That is why itís important to notice early the signs of overtraining and give the body a week or two well-deserved rest.
** Not enough sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep the body is not recuperating well, which causes less testosterone and more corticosteroids to be released.
Just to mention corticosteroids like cortisol are in fact catabolic hormones meaning they use up muscle tissue to provide the brain and the heart with energy.
** Vitamin C. It suppresses the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol decreases testosterone levels. So, ultimately less cortisol, more testosterone.
3. Block the testosterone-binding effects of SHBG
** Nettle root as a highly concentrated extract has shown to be effective at binding to SHBG and therefore it permits more free testosterone to circulate the system. It also acts as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor.
This is the enzyme, responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a more potent form of the male sex hormone, which causes prostate enlargement and ultimately cancer.
Methanolic extract of nettle can also cut down the SHBG levels, which is another form of elevating the free testosterone in the blood stream.
** Pygeum (prunus africana) is another herb, known to block the testosterone-binding effects of SHBG. Nettle root and pygeum extracts also benefit the prostate gland as a preventive treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) both by blocking the 5-alpha reductase action.
** Avena Sativa is an extract from the straw of oats. It has somewhat different properties. It works by freeing bound testosterone, which increases the free testosterone in circulation.
4. Lowering aromatize levels
** Zinc. The mineral zinc inhibits the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into excess estrogen. The recommended dose for inhibiting aromatase is 80mg daily. However, be sure the combined zinc quantity of all the daily supplements you are taking does not go over this benchmark.
** Chrysin is a bioflavonoid that has shown a potential as a natural aromatase inhibitor. Chrysin is poorly absorbed in the system. It is found that when taken along with piperine, chrysin exhibits a lot better absorption.
Supplementation with chrysin and piperine together might bring good results in reducing aromatase levels.
How does this all apply to the sport of natural bodybuilding
Letís assume you are an individual, who exercises regularly and who doesnít consider taking exogenous steroid hormones. In other words you are a natural athlete or enthusiast, who desires to keep his natural testosterone levels in the range, favoring good health and lean muscle mass build up.
Here is what you do:
1. If you are even slightly overweight consider staring immediately a diet and training routine, tailored toward fat loss and lean muscle retention.
2. Consider also dropping the alcohol intake to absolute minimum if you want your efforts in keeping test levels high to give results.
3. Begin mastering some types of self-control or even meditation. These will take care of the excess stress levels.
4. Take medications only if they are absolutely essential for your health and are prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your personal physician to find out if there are any natural remedies to replace your current medications and if he recommends such approach for your health issue.
5. Keep your blood pressure and the serum cholesterol in check.
6. Eat enough good fats in your diet. Good means monounsaturated and omega-3 and 6 polyunsaturated fats.
7. Donít ever overtrain. Sleep enough to promote good recovery. Signs of overtraining are loss of appetite, tiredness and irritability, lack of motivation, impaired mental focus, prolonged recovery periods.
8. Start relying more heavily on basic exercise movements. Train in the low rep range most of the time. 5 Ė 8 reps will ensure that youíre using weights that will eventually stimulate elevated testosterone levels.
9. It will only do you good if you decide to try some or all of these natural supplements: chrysin - piperine blend, nettle root extract, pygeum, avena sativa extract, and tribulus terestris. Try to find them in your local health store. Follow the directions for best results.
10. And you shouldnít even consider training without supplementing your diet with enough vitamin C (at least 1g a day) and zinc (15mg min.). Take vitamin C with your multivitamin formula after breakfast, and post-workout with your protein shake.
Zinc should be present in your multivitamin blend but this is not enough. Take zinc with magnesium in the form of ZMA right before you go to bed on an empty stomach.