Testosterone has been found to help increase lean muscle mass in the human body by increasing protein synthesis and providing muscles with a supply of amino acids necessary to build and rebuild lean muscle tissue. Testosterone has also been found to increase metabolic functions and increase the amount of fat our body burns. Testosterone, as we all know, is a hormone produced by both males and females (although significantly more testosterone is produced by males). However, much like our metabolic rates vary, the amount of testosterone our bodies produces also varies from individual to individual. There are ways to naturally help our bodies increase testosterone production, so don’t fret if your testosterone production seems to be on the low end of the spectrum. Strategies for increasing testosterone are similar to those for building muscle. The following are some suggestions to help increase or maintain testosterone.
Cortisol, the body’s survival hormone, is testosterone’s biggest antagonist. So, one way to maintain or even increase testosterone in the body is to keep cortisol at a minimum. Cortisol levels arise in individuals who experience chronic stress or individuals who are sleep-deprived. Over-training is also a way to stress the body, thus increasing cortisol and decreasing testosterone levels. Consuming simple carbohydrates in a post-workout meal will decrease cortisol levels. Simple carbs post-workout will also spike your insulin, pushing your body into muscle-building mode. Heightening your Vitamin C intake is also a great way to suppress cortisol in the body (it also helps support our immune system, enhancing our overall feeling of well-being). Pouring a glass of orange juice with breakfast will stimulate your metabolism for the day, and also start your day off right with good vitamins to protect muscle-building testosterone.
In order to maintain testosterone levels, a diet rich in the protein that comes from meat sources is a must. Meats contain testosterone-supporting minerals. Red meat has earned a bad reputation lately, but lean red meat a few times a week is actually good for you. In addition to being healthy, lean red meat contains zinc, a testosterone-supporting mineral, at high levels.
One more way you can maintain your testosterone levels is to consume whey protein and glutamine roughly 45 minutes before a workout. Doing so will help sustain testosterone levels throughout your activity.
Protecting testosterone levels in your body is vital to building new muscle. Keep these simple tips in mind to keep your testosterone up and you will be setting yourself on the right path to muscle-building success.