Testosterone levels in American men have been steadily declining over the last two decades.
The reasons for this decline are still unclear, but it seems that your grandfather had about 50% more testosterone than you do at your age.
The most common symptoms of low testosterone are:
- Reduced sex drive and libido
- Low energy and decreased motivation
- Difficulty building muscle and strength
- Difficulty losing fat
- Brain fog
- Gynecomastia (development of male breasts)
Any of these sound like you?
Chances are that you suffer from one of these symptoms because, well, most men do nowadays.
This is the first post of a seven part series where we’ll cover pretty much everything you need to know about how to increase testosterone naturally and the benefits of higher testosterone.
Now, I am no expert on this subject, so I partnered with someone who is. This entire week-long series was created in conjunction with Christopher Walker of AnabolicMen.com.
Christopher Walker, author of The TestShock Program was 19 when he was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. That tumor blocked secretion of several major hormones and as a result his testosterone was a measly 11 ng/dL (that’s almost zero).
In 18 months he was able to raise his testosterone well above the medical range 100% naturally. In this series we are going to outline exactly how Chris was able to accomplish this, so you can do it too.
What is Testosterone?
Synthetic testosterone is the most sought after performance enhancing drug in sports, especially bodybuilding.
But most people don’t actually know what it is or what it does. Here’s the simple explanation: Testosterone is the principal male sex steroid hormone and it’s anabolic.
When testosterone molecules enter the androgen receptor sites in your muscle tissue, they trigger protein synthesis, and therefore growth of new muscle tissue.
Similar effects take place in your bones. Testosterone molecules bind to the skeletal androgen receptors and increase the density, strength, and mineral uptake of them.
This effect is so pronounced that supra-physiological doses of T (meaning steroids) actually build muscle without training.
Why You Should Naturally Increase Your Testosterone
The truth is, your endocrine system is much too complex to be fixed by a simple pill – this is why Testosterone Boosters are actually scams.
Low T in our modern society is caused by lifestyle factors such as bad nutrition, low activity level, poor sleep quality and little bad habits.
All of these are natural causes.
This means that if you optimize your lifestyle, you’ll achieve the opposite effect – an increase in T production.
Here’s the problem though: Doctors and researchers know how bad people are at changing their habits. For this reason and to make some money, they prescribe the easy fix instead – Hormone Replacement Therapy.
But that has a big negative effect in the long term.
You’ve heard about bodybuilders having small balls right? It’s true.
If your body receives testosterone from an outside source, it will stop producing its own. You’ll say that’s not so bad. But the real problem is that even when you stop using exogenous T, your body still won’t produce its own.
In fact, the issue is usually worse than when you began using HRT. This is one of the reasons why I personally didn’t want to rely on medication.
The Testosterone gels, creams, pellets, and patches that your doctor is prescribing can affect natural T production even after you stop taking them.
Understanding How Your Body Produces Testosterone Will Help You Optimize Your Own Production
Naturally, Testosterone is produced through the following process:
It all starts from the hypothalamus which releases a hormone called gonadotropin releasing hormon (GnRH).
GnRH then stimulates the pituitary gland (which Chris had issues with) that releases two other hormones: luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
In the bloodstream, both of these hormones make their way from the brain, down to the testes, where they enter the testicular leydig cells.
Inside the leydig cells, the following events take place: FSH starts the process of spermatogenesis, whereas LH – through an extremely complex process – converts cholesterol into testosterone.
About 95% of your testosterone is produced this way. The remaining ~5% is synthesized from DHEA in the adrenal glands.
Now here is where taking testosterone meds mess up everything. Based on how much testosterone is present in the body, a “Feedback” signaling” is sent back up the spinal cord to the brain to tell the hypothalamus to either accelerate or slow the process.
If you have exogenous T in your body, the signal to the brain will be “oh we have plenty of T available, you can stop production.”
How Does Testosterone Affect Your Body Once It Is Being Produced?
As testosterone enters the bloodstream, it’s called “free testosterone”. This is because it’s literally free, as it’s not bound to anything yet.
But then your liver also releases this carrier protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). And this is where things get complicated.
About 98% of the fresh “free testosterone” is bound to either SHBG or albumin (another carrier protein), and when testosterone is bound to either one of these proteins, it cannot effectively enter cells anymore, and it has a really hard time binding to the androgen receptors.
Meaning that ~98% of the testosterone is not really that “active”. Simply put, the more of the carrier proteins (SHBG and albumin) you have in your bloodstream, the fewer testosterone molecules actually remain bio-available.
The remaining testosterone that isn’t bound to carrier proteins (free testosterone), freely circulates around your body, just waiting to be bound into a receptor.
Then for example, let’s say that you’re lifting weights at the gym. Your androgen receptors in the muscle tissue activate and free testosterone molecules will be bound to the receptors. This is when the effects start to take place.
Once the free testosterone molecule is bound to androgen receptor, the receptor goes through a structural change, making it able to enter your DNA.
Once it actually enters the DNA, the effects of testosterone finally take place.
When it happens in your muscle tissue, you’ll get increased protein synthesis and muscle growth as a result. If this takes place in your face, your beard growth might increase, or facial bone structure might become more dense and angular, etc.
“What Should I Do Right Now?”
The content we distribute this week will tell you virtually everything you need to know, but we have created some light reading for you in the meantime.
Head over to the Testosterone Week page on AnabolicMen.com, where you will find multiple free e-books prepared just for you.
The book I recommend you read between today’s video and the next? 52 Ways to Naturally Increase Your Testosterone.