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FALSE: EXERCISE ELEVATES MALE HORMONE - TESTOSTERONE (T) IN WOMEN

Are you sneaking away from exercise and testosterone boosters are a complete no-no for you because you think it may aggravate your testosterone (T) levels?  

Have you heard from someone that if you have more of the “male hormone” you will show symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) that can lead to infertility and other problems like excessive hair growth in unwanted areas (hirsutism), acne, excessive perspiration, frontal balding, and deepening of the voice?

Check it out Women…… You don’t nearly need to worry about the “T”

Exercise the way you want to and don’t let the”T” bug haunt you!

Science says that not just men, but women also produce testosterone. So you need to stop believing that it is just a “male hormone”. However, the quantity is much less in women than in the male counterparts. Being a steroid hormone it is mostly misunderstood. Moreover, its propagation as being a “male hormone” having anabolic and androgenic effects, like building muscle and tissues, with male secondary sex characteristics, i.e., deepening of the voice, development of facial and body hair, and changes in facial bone contours!

However, that’s not all that testosterone does!

Let’s know of the incentives testosterone has to offer women

You may be apprehensive as you are not aware of the fact that testosterone helps both men and women in the development and maintenance of lean muscle mass (to help you burn fat), bone strength, energy levels, bone density, immunocompetence, protein synthesis, ovulation, and sexual desire. For women, in particular, the maintenance of bone density and muscle mass is important, as both of these tend to deteriorate with age. It also reduces post-menopausal symptoms, risk of cardiovascular illnesses, and preserves cognitive health and function, in women.

You need to make exercise a habit in order to get maximum benefit from it. As for the testosterone levels, especially in women, research shows that after the exercise the rise in testosterone levels is temporary (not for long), sometimes for 15 minutes and sometimes may be up to an hour or so. Moreover, women also need testosterone for all
So, think again before giving up on exercise for the fear of increasing your testosterone levels!above mentioned reasons.the

What happens if your testosterone levels dip?
Women with low testosterone (low T) may experience persistent fatigue and decreased libido. For athletes, in particular, muscle weakness is another frequent complaint. Because testosterone is a hormone, symptoms of deficiency resemble symptoms of depression and other mood disorders.

Research supports no significant impact of exercise on testosterone levels in females

Moreover, while testosterone levels in females may influence physiological adaptations to resistance training, studies indicate that muscle accretion and strength gains happen with or without an increase in testosterone [1]. In a study [2], subjects exhibited increase in both muscle mass and strength over a 16-week period of resistance training, with no change in testosterone levels.

With the exception of two studies [3, 4] most studies using acute or short-term (i.e. 10-16 weeks) resistance training has shown to have no significant (if any) change in total or free testosterone at rest, or pre and post training in females [5, 6]. Despite this, females are still able to gain significant muscle and strength or lose fat effectively.

Factors that influence fluctuations in testosterone levels

Whether your testosterone levels rise or not and for how much duration is decided by a number of factors. Your weight, age, timing of exercise, fitness levels, stress and sleep levels, and the type of exercise you do are the determining factors.

Weight: If you are obese, exercising can improve your testosterone levels and help you shed those extra pounds.  

Age: Though exercise provides other benefits like improved bone and muscle health and better balance with increasing age, you get less post-exercise boost in testosterone.

The timing of exercise: Your testosterone levels vary throughout the day, being highest in the morning and lowest in the afternoon. So, the shoot-up in your testosterone levels will be much more in the evening than early morning.

Fitness levels: If you are new to exercise and not in a very great shape, the spike in your testosterone levels will be more. However, as your body gets used to exercising after a few weeks, your hormone response from the same workout will be much lower.

Stress and sleep levels: High stress and low amount of sleep cause only instantaneous rise on testosterone levels due to raised levels of the antagonist hormone, cortisol.
Fasting after a workout also keeps your testosterone levels elevated for a longer duration.

Takeaway
Testosterone is what allows you to build muscle and melt fat. In fact, the more testosterone you have, the more likely you are to have more muscle. This hormone, fights off depression, prevents diabetes and cardiovascular disease, powers your sex drive, regulates your mood and energy levels. So don’t make it a reason to avoid exercise!

References

  1. Kraemer, W. J. & Ratamess, N. A. (2005). Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training. Sports Med, 35(4). (p. 339-361).
  2. Hickson R. C., Hidaka, K., Foster, C, Falduto, M. T., & Chatterton, R. T. Jr. (1994). Successive time courses of strength development and steroid hormone responses to heavy-resistance training. J Appl Physiol, 76(2). (p. 663-670).
  3. Cumming, D.C., Wall, S. R., Galbraith, M. A. & Belcastro, L. N. (1987). Reproductive hormone responses to resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 19 (3). (p. 234-238).
  4. Marx, J.O,, Ratamess, N. A., Nindl, B. C. Gotshalk, L. A., Volek, J. S., Dohi, K. Bush, J. A., Gomez, A. L., Mazzetti, S. A., Fleck, S. J., Hakkinen, K., Newton, R. U. & Kraemer, W. J. (2001). Low-volume circuit versus high-volume periodized resistance training in women. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 33 (4). (p. 635-643).
  5. Kraemer, W.J., Staron, R. S., Hagerman, F.C., Hikida, R. S., Fry, A. C., Gordon, S. E., Nindl, B.C. & H?kkinen K. (1998). The effects of short-term resistance training on endocrine function in men and women. Eur J Appl Physiol,78(1). (p. 69-76).
  6. Hickson R. C., Hidaka, K., Foster, C, Falduto, M. T., & Chatterton, R. T. Jr. (1994). Successive time courses of strength development and steroid hormone responses to heavy-resistance training. J Appl Physiol, 76(2). (p. 663-670).
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We as a Sixpacks team are here to eliminate every FENCE- Mental, Physical, or Emotional- that holds you back from becoming your BEST SELF! We are your ROADMAP TO FITNESS.

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