What are the side effects of taking testosterone injections?
Testosterone, or more specifically low testosterone, has received a lot of attention lately. Men who are feeling a little less energetic race to their doctors to have their hormones tested and hope for a quick fix with a patch, gel, injection or pill. But before you do the same, you may be able to fix the problem naturally. The secret is nothing new: a healthy lifestyle. Research shows a link between an expanded waistline and lower testosterone. A study published in 2011 in the Asian Journal of Andrology studied more than 200 men between the ages of 54 and 86. They reported that men with the highest waist-to-height ratios had a tendency toward lower levels of testosterone. It doesn't mean that every guy who sports a beer keg will have lower testosterone. It just means that there is a higher risk.
a few years ago a bodybuilder a friend of mine from the gym told me it's really important that I do squats deadlifts and other heavy compound exercises because they boost testosterone more than light weight movements or machine exercises and it turns out in a way he was right it's long been established that resistance exercise increases serum concentrations of hormones like testosterone growth hormone and igf-1 and foundational research from the 1990s and early 2000s led by dr. bill Kramer showed that the higher the training in tension so training with heavier loads and the more muscle mass involved in the exercise so training with compound movements for example the more testosterone increase you see and the reasoning from there was fairly straightforward since we know that testosterone is anabolic aiming to increase it acutely should be weighted pretty heavily when it comes to designing an effective hypertrophy focused training program and naturally I went on believing for several years that the reason why the style of training was so effective for me was that it was jacking up my testosterone it wasn't until later that I realized that the level of testosterone increased seen with these training modifications just isn't enough to increase muscle growth on its own and that this heavy compound strategy is most likely effective for a different reason it induces progressive tension overload and activates a large volume of musculature with the modest testosterone increase being a mere side-effect so to speak and this is the more consensus view in the current scientific literature as more recent data from Western colleagues out of McMaster University concluded that post exercise increases and these hormones cannot be used as proxy markers for hypertrophic potential in humans a liitle muscle and if you just look at some of their data it's clear that despite the fact that testosterone did increase with the training protocol that emphasised high intensity and large muscle masses there was no difference in muscle protein synthesis between the groups and just keep in mind that the increases in testosterone were acute meaning they didn't get elevated from the training and stay elevated they simply spiked up and then came back down after an hour which seems almost definitely not enough of a chronic hormonal shift to do much for muscle growth so reading this made me curious how much of an increase you'd need to see gains from it so let's talk some numbers according to a 2017 paper a harmonized normal range for healthy non obese American and European men aged 19 to 30 nine years old is 264 to 900 sixteen nanograms per deciliter and it's not clear if increasing testosterone naturally within this range will do much in the way of increasing muscle mass however we do know that increasing it through exogenous testosterone supplementation does increase muscle mass in fact it might increase muscle mass better than training alone does a landmark 1996 paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine split 40 men into one of four groups Group one trained naturally group two took 600 milligrams of testosterone every week and weight trained group three took 600 milligrams of testosterone every week but did not weight training group 4 with the placebo group they didn't train or inject testosterone the training program is a little weird just four sets of six reps on the squat and bench press three times a week for ten weeks but some of the results were pretty shocking the group that injected testosterone and trains unsurprisingly the most gains and the placebo group saw unsurprisingly the worst gains however what may surprise some people is that injecting 600 milligrams of testosterone per week led to a greater increase in muscle mass without any resistance training and resistance training naturally did of course if more of an optimized training routine were provided the results may have favored the trained and natural group more however based on this study alone what we can say is that testosterone really works however just look at the scale of increase we're talking about here at baseline the concentrations were just around 500 and after 10 weeks of weekly injections they were up around 3,000 nanograms per deciliter that's an enormous increase magnitudes greater than the acute changes you've seen from altering training methods which only lasts acutely anyway but what I really wanted to know was would going from 600 to say 800 make any difference or better still would altering these levels anywhere within the natural normal physiological range help me get more jacked and after scouring the literature on this the best answer I can give is maybe it seems really likely that increasing a low testosterone level of say around 300 nanograms per deciliter or lower to a more average level like say 600 nanograms per deciliter might help boston and colleagues were able to show that even in the absence of weight range increasing testosterone levels from 306 to 570 nanograms per deciliter across 20 weeks led to a pretty big increase in fat math as measured by hydrostatic weighing DEXA of about three kilograms for about six and a half pounds so going from a hype of genetic level of 300 or less to a more normal range would almost certainly help however it's unclear whether or not going from a more middle of normal range to a more high end of normal range would do much so since we've already debunked the idea that acute increases around the training session does much of anything the next thing I wanted to figure out whether there are other ways I could increase my testosterone naturally and since we're on the topic of training it does seem that overtraining is a bad idea to give you some idea over training the literature has been defined as any increase in training volume and/or intensity resulting in long term performance detriment and it turns out that if you overdo it too much for too long testosterone drops off and over doing training volume is worse for testosterone than over doing training intensity a study by Frey at all showed that doing 10 1 rep max squats every day for two weeks didn't change testosterone concentrations however multiple studies have found that large increases in volume reduces testosterone and such as the case when combining weight training with endurance training according to the most recent work by Jones itaú it seems that combining strength and endurance training in the same session three days per week for six weeks doesn't significantly decreased testosterone compared to strength training alone however this is in contrast to earlier research that did report a testosterone decrease when combining weights and cardio so it seems that if you're simply doing too much training volume when combining the two then physiological stress will increase to a point past which endocrine changes favour catabolism namely a dip in testosterone and a spike in cortisol so to reduce this effect try to stick to lower intensity cardio performed at a low to moderate frequency with shorter durations as much as you can assuming your primary goal is muscle and strength II so what about diet isn't soy really bad for testosterone levels not really the most comprehensive meta-analysis on this topic which analyzed 32 studies came to the general conclusion that neither soy foods nor isoflavone supplements alter measures of bioavailable testosterone concentrations in men for something more tangible examined calm states that one to two servings of soy food daily in less than 25 grams of soy protein from non concentrated sources doesn't impact testosterone and only seems to adversely affect testosterone when super loaded and soy protein concentrate even when highly probably doesn't affect testosterone because of its negligible isoflavone content which are the compounds in soy that bind to the estrogen receptors to begin with but more to the point it seems that the main dietary factors driving changes in testosterone are body composition and caloric intake in a twelve-months case study following a natural bodybuilders during contest prep it was found that as his caloric intake went from four thousand seven hundred and fifty calories to twenty one hundred calories per day taking his body fat from 14.8 to just four point five percent to testosterone plummeted from nine ninety one nanograms per deciliter to just 227 nanograms per deciliter that's a seventy seven percent decrease rapid weight loss can also decrease testosterone a 2008 study on competitive wrestlers found that just two to three weeks of caloric deficit caused a pretty huge sixty-two percent decrease in testosterone when caloric intake was limited to five hundred to a thousand calories per day on the flipside since overweight individuals tend to have lower testosterone in chronic overfeeding has been shown to reduce testosterone there seems to be a sweet spot in terms of body fatness and caloric intake that will be specific to the individual but by my estimation sitting somewhere between ten to fifteen percent body fat will be a healthy spot to optimize testosterone levels for most men the macro nutrient composition of the diet also seems to matter with high fat diets generally outperforming low fat diet however it seems that total energy intake is likely the main driver of these changes and I personally think that as long as your fats are somewhere in the normal range of say 20 to 40 percent of caloric intake testosterone levels can be optimized there's also a slight trend toward saturated fat increasing testosterone more than other fats so including some saturated fat and sufficient fat generally may help in optimizing testosterone however keep in mind that the magnitude of these changes are relatively small with one study showing a low fat diet to reduce testosterone by twelve percent in older men and another study showing a higher fat diet increased testosterone by thirteen percent in young the vitamin and mineral composition of the diet also matters but more so in the case of deficiencies for example a zinc deficiency can lower testosterone so be sure to eat plenty of foods rich in zinc like meat and shellfish beans and not vitamin D can also regulate testosterone levels so depending on how much sun exposure you get supplementation of up to 3000 IU per day can increase testosterone there are other supplements that generally have weak evidence supporting them such as the aspartic acid but it only seems to work for 6 to 12 days before levels just go back to normal and it isn't associated with any body composition images ashwagandha has one study showing a 15% testosterone increase in young healthy men but the evidence is otherwise non-existent other supplements like tribulus horny goat weed and fenugreek have no evidence no human evidence and conflicting evidence respectively for these reasons I wouldn't focus on natural supplementation for boosting testosterone so what are the lifestyle factors like sleep stress and sex while the correlation is not as strong as I would have expected decreased sleep has been associated with decreased testosterone while one 2011 study found that reducing sleep from eight hours to five hours per night for five days reduced testosterone by ten point four percent in young men a later 2012 study found that reducing sleep from ten hours to four hours for five days noted only a trend for reduced testosterone that didn't reach statistical significance on the other hand sleep deprivation for 33 hours straight resulted in a 27% average drop in testosterone in 24 young men sexual activity seems to play an important role in testosterone regulation one study published in the Journal of evolution in human behavior showed that simply having a five-minute conversation with an attractive woman was able to boost testosterone by thirty percent in men other research has shown that sexual arousal from viewing pornographic films can increase testosterone secretion and meant one study showing that watching a four-minute erotic video clip before training significantly improved 3 rep max strength on the squat the quote freshness of one's relationship also seems to matter with a 2015 paper showing that single men and men in a new relationship which was defined as lasting less than 12 months had significantly higher testosterone than men in long-term relationships and other earlier research showed that both men and women with polyamorous relationships or who have multiple committed relationships have higher testosterone than single folks with singly partnered individuals having the lowest testosterone of all of course it's important to keep in mind before you've dumped your main squeeze or pick up a new one that were simply looking at correlations it seems to me that it could be the case that men and women with higher testosterone are just more likely to want or to be in multiple relationships not necessarily that having multiple partners increases testosterone while that remains a strong possibility given the variety and lifestyle preferences on this front perhaps the most generalizable advice is to have regular sex since testosterone increases after evening coitus in both men and women while on evenings with no intercourse testosterone decreases as the night goes by and for the record ejaculation by itself isn't associated with changes in testosterone since the actual ejaculatory process is regulated by serotonin and nitric oxide not testosterone other things worth mentioning that can optimize testosterone levels include East wrestling as much as possible such as by meditating and relaxing and avoiding excessive alcohol intake which has been shown to reduce testosterone and so while barring exogenous hormonal supplementation all of these methods may not be enough to drastically improve your gains on their own perhaps combining several of the actions discussed could make a significant enough impact on your gym performance and physique to make it worthwhile [Music] alright what is going on everyone first of all I just want to say thank you so much for watching the video I put a lot of energy into creating this one in a way that was not only information-packed but also hopefully entertaining to watch and I want to give a quick shout out to Squarespace for sponsoring this video in case you guys aren't aware Squarespace is an all-in-one website platform that allows you to custom create your own website that's easy to use with beautiful designer templates and 24/7 customer service and I'm really excited about this partnership because I've personally been using Squarespace for two years to run my own website and my own online coaching business so if you guys would like to get started with your free trial and building your own website or setting up your own online store you can do so today at squarespace.com by using the offer code Nippert which will save you 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