Do the Positives Outweigh the Negatives?
Many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts use hormone enhancers – namely testosterone – to increase body mass, yet the testosterone booster side effects remain a big concern. Of course, the difference between maximizing your muscle mass or just remaining at a minimum level lies in the ability to enhance your anabolic environment, which translates into increased production of the hormone. But is that your only option? And do these boosters really work?
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. It is also the most important element of a group of hormones called androgens, and essential for its important role in sexual function, plus it helps to build muscle mass, maintain bone density and regulate hair growth. Although it is present mainly in men, it can also be found in small amounts in women. Often, the level of testosterone in the body stops functioning, due to impaired testicular function, aging and other hereditary disorders.
The Testosterone Hormone in Older Men
As men age, the amount of testosterone produced by the cells begin to decrease. At the age of sixty, the average man will have lost nearly 50% of its supply of testosterone. In addition, other factors, such as stress, lack of sleep, physical inactivity, use of certain prescription pills, such as statins, and consumption of alcohol can cause levels of testosterone to decrease dramatically. Although there is a growing awareness of the vital role testosterone plays in the overall health of men, most men do not even recognize the main symptoms of testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone Deficiency and Symptoms
Symptoms of a testosterone deficiency include irritability, depression, low sex drive, loss of hair on the face and body, aging and/or wrinkling of the skin, weight gain, and the weakening of the bones and muscle tissue. Additionally, imbalances of testosterone can set the stage for the development of a more serious disease. Low levels can also alter the body’s metabolism of blood sugar, leading to obesity and diabetes. Chronic deficiencies may also promote the early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Testosterone Booster Side Effects
While consuming testosterone enhancers is relatively safe when you stick to the prescribed dose, overuse can lead to certain adverse health effects. These include:
• Some people may notice that their skin has become more oily and acne prone. Other skin reactions may also be observed
• Enlargement of the pectoral muscle is another side effect seen as a result of consuming these enhancers
• While these are taken to increase vitality, especially in older men, it could also result in a reduced size of the testicles. In laboratory tests, infertility has also been observed, as the shrinking of the testicles can lead to decreased sperm count
• You may experience noticeable mood swings, and behave more aggressively
• Elevated levels of red blood cells, also known as polycythemia, can be found. This can also cause you to be more prone to heart disease
• Laboratory tests have also observed elevated levels of PSA, a protein produced in the prostate. Elevated levels are indicative of prostate cancer, or inflammation or enlargement of the prostate gland
Benefits of Testosterone Enhancers
Millions of men suffering from low testosterone levels generally suffer in silence, but the help of testosterone boosting supplements can revitalize the body. Testosterone boosters are designed to stimulate the natural production of testosterone and correct any deficiency, and maintain body balance.
For fitness enthusiasts, increased testosterone levels promote the development of muscle, burns fat and generates high energy levels. Testosterone defends the body against muscle loss associated with age, which can decrease your metabolic function, causing increased body fat, a downward spiral in your sexual appetite, and mood swings, among others. Maintaining high levels improves mood, cognitive function and libido, increases strength, energy and promotes fat burning. But maintaining a balance is key.
Are There Safe Testosterone Boosters
Choosing a safe testosterone booster can be difficult because safety is often a relative term, depending on the user. For example, people under 30 years of age still have optimal levels of testosterone. Increased testosterone may benefit younger users when it comes to building muscle mass and burning fat. However, testosterone boosters are not for everyone and can lead to some side effects.
There are several natural testosterone boosters:
• Include healthy fats in your diet
Several scientific studies have shown that men consuming diets rich in healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and Omega-3 have higher levels of testosterone
• Increase Your Exercise Routine
Scientific studies confirm that exercise raises testosterone levels when you practice 45 to 60 minutes a day. Testing done after one hour shows increased cortisol and testosterone levels
• Eliminate Alcohol Consumption
Even a mere 2 drinks a day can hamper the the liver, which breaks down estrogen thus making your estrogen levels increase and lowering your testosterone levels
• Consume Zinc
Zinc is essential for testosterone production because it prevents the conversion of testosterone into estrogen – the female hormone
• Use a Natural Testosterone Booster for Muscle Growth
Fenugreek: a herb that increases insulin secretion, and the rate of testosterone.
Eurycoma Longifolia: a tropical plant found in forests and mostly used for medicinal purposes. This plant substantially increases the rate of testosterone.
When choosing a testosterone booster, you should consider your age, health status and your goals. Have your doctor check your hormone levels to make sure what testosterone boosters are right for you. Stimulation of testosterone has an impact on your entire hormonal environment and can increase your body’s production of the derived hormone known as DHT, or dihydrotestosterone. For those who have or are at risk of prostate disease, this effect can be costly to your health, therefore, talk to your doctor about taking supplements, especially those that potentially can cause side effects.
Testosterone is not just a sex hormone, as many people think, but also an essential hormone for good mental and physical shape, not to mention having a strong influence on the definition of our body and in our behavior. Though there are some testosterone booster side effects, these are generally rare and primarily experienced by those that choose to ignore the proper dosages.