As most of you fellow bodybuilders know, testosterone is the male hormone responsible for the development of the male sex and reproduction organs; in addition to also promoting male characteristics such as a deep voice, facial hair, increased levels of muscle mass, aggressiveness, confidence, and supports a healthy sex drive. Men's testicles produce this hormone in large quantities while female's ovaries produce some of it in very small quantities.
Low levels of this hormone create metabolic issues that have immediate and long-term consequences for the person suffering from a deficiency.
Maladies Of Low Testosterone Levels
Needless to say low levels of testosterone can cause a male to first and foremost lose his sex drive. Also energy levels will plummet as well as muscle mass and strength.
Even if you are giving it all you got in the gym and following your diet, you may find that getting a good pump at the gym is hard, and also that gaining muscle is becoming a very hard task to accomplish. Worst of all, fat loss seems harder than ever as well.
If you suffer from low testosterone your mood may also take a dive and you may often feel depressed. In addition to the above, the following are also maladies of low testosterone levels:
Increased insulin resistance (which makes it hard to lose body fat as insulin levels will increase in the body due to the fact that the cells are not accepting this hormone efficiently).
Constant fatigue and reduced zest for life.
Reduced mental capacity.
Age For Decline:
Normal range of total testosterone is between 300 - 1200 nanograms per deciliters (ng/dl)
Normal ranges for free testosterone (the actual active testosterone that your body can use) are: 8.7 - 25 picograms per milliliters (pg/ml).
At what age does this decline start happening? The time at which this decline in levels begins is still much debated amongst experts but recent research seems to indicate that it can begin as early as 25-30 years old. My advice to you is that if your sex drive is low, then you should have your levels checked because this is the most common symptom of low testosterone.
Below are the normal values for testosterone levels:
Needless to say the closer to the upper level you are in both ranges the better.
Top Natural Supplements That Can Help Boost Testosterone Levels:
(Not Recommended For Teenagers - Except For ZMA)
Once you find that your levels of testosterone are beginning to decline, there are several supplements that one can use in order to keep them optimized naturally. Please remember that for the most part (except for the first two supplements presented) only if you are older than 25 years old, when the hormonal production may begin to decline, should you start considering the use of these supplements.
Teenagers, in my opinion, should stay away from any supplement that has an effect on hormonal levels as there is no need to upset a system that is already operating at peak efficiency. Besides, teenagers produce roughly the equivalent of a 300 mg shot of testosterone per week anyways so there is no need to attempt an increase in production.
The efficacy of some of these supplements is still under debate by some of the experts in the field, but in my opinion as a competitive athlete I have seen an edge by using them.
A scientifically designed anabolic mineral formula. This formula consists of Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate and vitamin B-6.
This all-natural product has been clinically proven to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes. Hard training athletes typically deplete the body from these essential minerals.
2. Eurycoma Longfolia:
Eurycoma Longfolia unbinds testosterone from a hormone called SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), which prevents the absorption of testosterone into the receptors.
Taking Eurycoma, helps the body free bound Testosterone into Active Usable Testosterone by lowering SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) by an average of 30%.
I get my Eurycoma Longfolia from two sources: A product from Biotest called Tribex Tabs where I take 1 capsule twice a day and another product called Promen-X, which not only helps to boost testosterone levels but also increases Nitric Oxide levels as well with only 1 tablet a day in the morning.
Final Thoughts On Testosterone Boosting Supplementation
If you are an over 25 year old trainee whose testosterone levels have already begun to decline and who wishes to increase them naturally, then you may want to try some of these supplements. There is no need to take all of these at the same time. You could get great benefit from doing 6 weeks of one, 6 weeks of another and so on. But if you have the finances to use them all, I have found no adverse effects from doing so.
About The Author
Hugo Rivera is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, Sports Nutrition Specialist and Computer Engineer graduate from the University of South Florida. Hugo is owner of hrfit.net, an informational, free fitness and nutrition website and guide for bodybuilding.about.com, an About.com web site owned by the New York Times Company whose goal is to help beginners start a safe and healthy weight-lifting program, choose the right gear for their needs, and offer motivation to help users meet their personal goals.
Hugo is author of a self-published bodybuilding e-book called "Body Re-Engineering" geared towards the natural bodybuilder and co-author of one of the most popular Men's Health book in the country (according to Barnes and Noble) entitled "The Body Sculpting Bible for Men" and the very popular "The Body Sculpting Bible for Women".
Hugo also just released his new book called "The Hardgainer's Bodybuilding Handbook" in March 2005 and also serves as a nutrition consultant to several professional football players and other elite athletes. Hugo serves as business consultant to many personal training studios as well and offers personalized diet and training programs through his web site.
Hugo continues to publish several articles on the subject of health and nutrition in several magazines and web sites, appears on several radio talk shows and has been with Prolab Nutrition for over three years. Hugo competes as drug free NPC athlete at the National Level and his core supplementation has always consisted of Prolab products.