Testosterone has quite a bad reputation. Mostly due to its association to thuggish, sexually aggressive and ‘white van’ type behaviour in men. Yes, it is created in the testicles. Yes, it is what makes a man ‘manly’. Yes it can enhance aggressive reflexes, and YES it can be partially blamed for some of my gender sending unwanted dick pics on instagram / getting their penis out at any opportunity in real life. BUT we must remember; behind every dickish, thuggish act there is usually a dickish thug. Testosterone isn’t to blame here, people are.
Top tip: Fight the ‘negative’ effects of testosterone by getting a hobby, and, more importantly, a conscience.
The behavioural blame needs to put back onto the person, rather than excusing it with a natural hormone imbalance. Instead of testosterone shaming, we should all take a little time to praise its benefits and see its necessity to a man.
- Body and muscle repair
- Increased energy levels
- Improving rate of lipolysis (fat loss)
- Improving Sexual health and libido
- Building strong bones and a stronger heart.
- Improving mood and well-being
- Improving concentration and cognitive behaviour.
- Improving confidence, and motivation and drive for success.
...And all that could be slipping away from you. That’s right - even nature seems to be against testosterone! I recently discovered that a man loses approximately 25% of it in his 30’s, and then a further 25% every decade from then on.
You can’t unlearn this sort of thing. I’m starting to panic! Hold me.
You can't see it go so most people aren’t bothered, or even aware it’s happening. That belly would just creep up on you out of nowhere, and perhaps you’d brush it off with the excuse of a changing metabolism. The lethargy and reduced sex drive could be easily blamed on your draining lifestyle, hyperactive dog or 2.4 children. Maybe you’d find yourself drinking a bottle of wine a night to mask the mild depression that could be put down to an unfulfilling job, high workload or overly demanding boss. These things might also take the blame for the lack of motivation that you feel on a day to day basis but you drive forward none the less, on a plateau, all to gather that ‘sweet, sweet money’ to buy a collection of random, expensive objects in a hope to fill a sad, sad void in your life that you can’t quite put your finger on. What void? Well, I don’t want to jump to conclusions here - but probably THE VOID THAT TESTOSTERONE ONCE FILLED. Then, before you know it you’re 45, quitting your job, breaking up with your wife and hiring motorbikes to ride Route 66 with your friends in a last ditch attempt to hold onto the youthful spirit and desire for adventure you once had...and all this could have been solved with a little extra of one particular magical hormone.
Ok, maybe I’m being dramatic. But there’s a modicum of truth in that scenario. This is actual science, and I’m not ready to succumb to it - You can have my testosterone when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
There are so many documented ways to boost your testosterone naturally. Too many ways. So many pages of conflicting and unfounded information it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. I just hope science progresses enough over the next few years to give me an easy ‘get out of jail free card’. Although, some would argue that the lab coats have already prevailed - albeit illegally. A get out of jail card, that might put you in jail. Great.
Warning: Here’s where I might lose you. Admittedly, I can quite easily see the temptation in later life to dabble in illegal supplements - especially if you enjoy an active lifestyle! You only need to look at 70 year old Stallone to see what the alleged benefits for the late adoption of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are. Would you prefer to live to 80 like this:
or 90 like this?
It’s not just about looks here. It’s about vitality, and enjoying the time you have left to it’s fullest capacity. Given a choice, who would want to be sidelined with niggly injuries for the last 20 years of their life, when they could be doing their own stunts in action films - or for none Sylvester Stallones - simply playing football with their grandkids?
I’m acutely aware of the negative effects of steroid abuse. I watched nearly every professional WWF (O.G) wrestler of my generation die from heart or liver failure.
I’m even conflicted while writing this. I’ve spent my whole life firmly against PEDs, but I really struggle to see any downside during a period of life where the only thing keeping you back is that you’re body is dying. I’m acutely aware of the negative effects of steroid abuse. I watched nearly every professional WWF (O.G) wrestler of my generation die from heart or liver failure, and I’m pretty sure they all slammed back the anabolics like a kid with a family bag of skittles. Of course, there are other more ‘acceptable’ options to consider first - testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) which is legal in some countries (but not in sports) and of course, legal supplements. They promise the world, but there’s no concrete proof that they actually work. Besides, who’s to say they’re any safer than the illegal counterparts? With drug testing techniques often being one step behind the dopers themselves, it goes some way to show there are legitimate scientists working on the highly profitable illegal side of PEDs. This is purely speculation, but someone with experience is working on these drugs, that’s for sure. How else do they become so scarily effective?
Taking the illegal route is a tough moral decision, and one I luckily don’t need to make quite yet. I’ve still got over 75% of my testosterone in me...But I’ll be honest - I’m keeping my eye closely on Stallone’s lifespan. He’s the ‘canary in the coal-mine’ for third age PED use.
In any case, a friend of mine used to say that taking any kind of supplementation without maximising your potential naturally is the equivalent of putting a spoiler on a Vauxhall Nova (he gave me this advice in the early 00’s when the reference was still relevant). So whatever comes later in life, I’m going to set out to build a natural base first.
As of today I’m on a personal mission to keep my testosterone level high - legally, and naturally. In part two (where all the good science facts are) I will breakdown a realistic guide of how a man can naturally maximise his testosterone production into his 30’s and beyond, without asking to see what’s under the counter at his local muscle gym.
Then... I’m going to try out a few different options and see what happens.
What do you think? Is it worth putting the efforts in to save your testosterone? Let me know in the comments below.