When Working Out, Make the Most of Your Testosterone

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IF YOUR HAIR LOSS CONDITION IS DRIVEN BY TESTOSTERONE, WHAT YOU LACK IN HAIR CAN BE COMPENSATED FOR IN THE MUSCLE DEPARTMENT.

It has become common knowledge that Androgenic Alopecia – male pattern baldness (MPB) and it’s equivalent in women – is driven by Testosterone. And while the body chemistry is a bit more complicated than simply having good quantities of this hormone, as other genetic factors play a role in hair loss, the paradoxical increase of facial and body hair from androgens in guys with MPB is a hint at something kind of cool.

Yes, guys with hair loss have it going on … and to the envy of many.

Let’s count that as a good thing. Testosterone (T) has achieved status as the “must have” hormone among men worldwide. Enough so that testosterone supplements for men – to improve workout results, boost libido, increase energy and bone density – litter the Internet and the pages of health and bodybuilding magazines.

Under certain circumstances, medical doctors prescribe testosterone supplements. And evidence suggests that those supplements (a.k.a., human growth hormones, or HGH) are very popular. Too bad for them that they have to pay for it, right?

The great thing for you is that your T levels are already an advantage for developing muscle and reducing body fat. But you have to put them to work. As time moves forward, you will have incentive to work harder.

“Testosterone has achieved status as the “must have” hormone among men worldwide. Enough so that testosterone supplements for men – to improve workout results, boost libido, increase energy and bone density – litter the Internet and the pages of health and bodybuilding magazines. Let’s count that as a good thing.”

“Testosterone” is not just one thing

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is part of a complex of hormones that make us virile by mitigating the effects of naturally occurring estrogen in men (yup, we’ve all got some). In natural excess, DHT correlates with both baldness and prostate problems. Finasteride (Propecia, et al.) works by inhibiting levels of DHT, which is often debated for its side effects. Existing research doesn’t indicate a “de-masculinizing” effect.

In fact, DHT is only part of the equation where it comes to male hormones (more on that in future articles). Suffice it to say that if you have Androgenic Alopecia, you are also experiencing the inevitable effects of aging, even if you’re in your 20s, much more so if you are older. As all men age, the degree to which your natural testosterone tampers down the feminizing effects of your estrogen diminishes – i.e., older men physiologically become more feminine.

Disturbing as that may sound, there are ways to combat it, to keep your T levels higher despite the passage of time. Pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy, HRT, is one route. But if you, like me, worry about elective chemical interventions and their unknown side effects, you’ll seek out a more natural approach.

Testosterone, smart Food and smarter exercise

That approach is diet and exercise. But not just any diet or any exercise. Your diet should be higher in monounsaturated fats, Vitamin E, Allicin, something called DIM, and Zinc, with some cholesterol thrown in good for good measure. For exercise, think high intensity strength training.

Let’s start with the foods. Here’s a short list; not so surprisingly, it contains foods you should be eating anyway for overall good health:

  • Monounsaturated fats: Generally, these might be known as “fats without feet.” Fish, nuts and that oddly fatty fruit, avocados, have it. Peanut butter counts too (even though it’s technically a bean, not a nut), and is one of the easiest snacks in the world.
  • Zinc: Found in lean proteins including chicken and all the red meats with the word “loin” in them (tenderloin, sirloin, pork tenderloin, etc.). Also in eggs (the yolk), seafood (crab, oysters), pine nuts and dairy products.
  • Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds are lousy with Vitamin E, as are almonds, asparagus, avocado, olives and all vegetable oils, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, whole grains, wheat germ and milk.
  • Allicin: Garlic, crushed but not cooked, contains the highest concentration of this testosterone-boosting compound. Cooking diminishes the effects of Allicin, however heat releases other health benefits from garlic.
  • Cholesterol: Yes, cholesterol is necessary for human testosterone production. So eat the yolk with your eggs, not just the all-protein whites. One a day should do it.
  • DIM: Diindolylmethane, a natural phytonutrient abundant in cruciferous vegetables including cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, limits the effects of male estrogen. The less cooked the better.

Now, hit the gym. Muscles working very hard stimulate testosterone production. The word to remember is intensity, as when you are panting at the end of an exercise, pushing whatever you’re doing to complete muscle fatigue. And the greater the muscle mass pushed to fatigue, the greater the T production (biggest muscles: legs/glutes and back). We’ll explore this topic at greater length in future articles.