The human body is made up of much more than muscles, bones, nerves, blood, and skin cells. Circulating through the bloodstream are numerous chemical messengers called hormones. One such hormone is testosterone. Also present in the body are neurotransmitters – chemicals that send messages between the nerve cells rather than the bloodstream. Dopamine is a prime example of a neurotransmitter. Today we examine testosterone and dopamine interaction to see how they influence one another.
The reason men have more muscle mass than women has to do with the hormone testosterone. Their testosterone levels are much higher than those of females, who have a higher estrogen to testosterone ratio than males. That is why men are inherently stronger than women. It is also the reason why men lose muscle size quicker as they age. In this report, we look at how testosterone affects strength as muscle mass declines along with testosterone levels.
Testosterone levels decline for all adults as they age. For men, it is a slow process, often beginning in one’s mid-twenties. Since the reduction is only about one to two percent a year, most males will not notice much of a change until they reach their forties or fifties. There may come a time when gym workouts no longer produce the desired results. With the decrease in testosterone levels, muscle strength and mass begin to decline.
Women tend to maintain higher levels of testosterone until menopause when the ovaries cease all hormone production. At that time, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone levels all plummet. Some testosterone and progesterone still come from the adrenals. The biggest change is that estrogen conversion from testosterone further lowers what little free testosterone women have, often creating a condition of estrogen dominance. Men can get that condition, too, which leads to weight gain and further loss of lean muscle mass, strength, and flexibility. That is also why women notice a significant decrease in muscle and strength following menopause.
Ensuring an adequate supply of testosterone, whether naturally produced or through testosterone therapy, can help improve muscle mass and strength throughout the latter years of one’s life.
Declining testosterone levels in later years leads to loss of lean muscle mass and strength.
Testosterone Effect on Maximal Voluntary Strength
There are three primary components of performance when looking at muscle:
Strength of the muscle is defined as the muscle’s maximal force-generating capacity. Power is the rate of generating that force. Endurance or muscle fatigability is the ability to make repetitive dynamic contractions or sustain a submaximal contraction before becoming fatigued.
To test the testosterone effect on strength, a study looked at 61 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35 years, of which 54 completed the study. Although the subjects were not actively involved at the time in strength training, they did have previous weight-lifting experience. Requirements included body weight of no more than 20% above ideal for their height, no athletic competition during the 12 months before the study, and no use of anabolic steroids during that same time. Testosterone administration of either 25 mg, 50 mg, 125 mg, 300 mg, or 600 mg per week of intramuscular testosterone enanthate was used in conjunction with monthly injections of a long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist. Resistance training and intense, prolonged endurance training were not allowed. A standardized diet was required.
The testing of how testosterone affects strength looked at maximal voluntary leg press strength by the amount of weight a subject could lift only one time (one repetition maximum – 1-RM) on a seated leg press machine. Multiple repetitions and increased loads with 2-minute rest periods were used to determine the 1-RM for each person. Those men receiving 300 and 600 mg experienced significant gains in leg press strength, with 50 mg following behind. The men who received 25 or 125 mg of testosterone did not see a significant increase from baseline.
The testing of power utilized a foot pedal of a leg power instrument designed for the study having the right knee flexed to 90 degrees. Those men who received 600 mg of testosterone experienced the greatest increase in power, with 300 mg following next. The increases were considerably lower for men in the other three groups.
For the muscle endurance, a Keiser leg press a measured the total repetitions to failure of completing the repetition. There was very little difference between the groups in this area, showing that changes in fatigability were not significant with testosterone therapy.
Will Testosterone Make You Stronger?
In the previously mentioned study on testosterone levels and strength, researchers reduced natural testosterone with a GnRH agonist before supplying supplemental testosterone. The purpose was to allow for a controlled look at how higher testosterone levels would impact muscle strength.
Overall, the study shows that higher testosterone levels do correlate to increased muscular strength. Numerous studies of older men back up those claims. In fact, some research even points to increases in lean muscle mass and strength without exercise resulting from testosterone therapy.
In one analysis of how testosterone affects strength in numerous studies, testosterone replacement therapy was not shown to increase muscle study overall, even though some singular studies showed this to be true. However, TRT was found to increase the physical function in the participants. Part of the problem in current research is the lack of standardized testing protocols.
Although not necessarily conclusive, much research does point to an increase in strength from testosterone.
Best Way to Use Testosterone to Increase Strength
Under no circumstances do we recommend using testosterone for the sole purpose of increasing strength or lean muscle mass. Testosterone is a hormone that has a natural range level in the body. Raising that level higher than ideal can result in potentially dangerous side effects. When we look at how testosterone affects strength, we also find that too much testosterone can have detrimental impacts on the body. Balanced hormone levels and specially targeted exercises can do more for increasing strength than unnecessary hormone therapy.
If, however, you have symptoms of low testosterone along with clinically diagnosed deficient levels, then TRT may be the best option. Targeted and customized testosterone therapy along with exercise can significantly increase testosterone levels. Strength and muscle mass will likely improve when following a doctor-prescribed course of treatment.
Contact our hormone clinic for a free consultation to find out if testosterone therapy can help you improve strength and lean muscle mass.
One of the most commonly asked questions here at HGH Doctor hormone clinic is how much does testosterone therapy cost. Even before asking if they might have Low T, many men ask that question first. It is natural to want to know what to expect right up front. However, it is a question that is often impossible to answer.
An online search to find out is testosterone therapy safe and effective can yield confusing results. One trusted medical site tells you that it is while another says that it is not. All you know is that the symptoms of testosterone deficiency (Low T) are interfering with your life. What are you supposed to do and who do you believe?
A man is most at risk for low testosterone levels as he ages, the same time the incidence of prostate cancer rises. In this report, we look at the use of testosterone replacement therapy after radical prostatectomy. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) treatment is beneficial for many men who suffer extreme symptoms of low testosterone (Low T) following prostate cancer (PC) surgery. Other reasons to consider testosterone therapy include:depression, decreased bone density, muscle loss, weight gain, and erectile dysfunction.
Emerging evidence and research are clearing the way for more men to receive testosterone therapy after prostate cancer (PC). Once a taboo subject, many doctors now believe the quality of life benefits of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) following treatment for prostate cancer far outweigh the small risk potential. It may even be that TRT lowers the risk of cancer recurrence in men.
Testosterone is crucial for many functions in the body. It reduces the risk of inflammation and lowers mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease. What does testosterone do to your kidneys and their functions?
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is one of the most widely studied types of hormone treatment. For over 80 years, doctors have prescribed TRT to men for various reasons. Long before anti-depressants were invented, testosterone was the treatment of choice for depression. Today, you can find testosterone replacement therapy studies focused on many areas, including prostate cancer, heart health, breast cancer, urinary and sexual functions, hypogonadism, and safety.
Testosterone deficiency is an easily treated medical condition that can happen to men or women. Receiving a diagnosis of low testosterone means you get to speak with a hormone specialist to select from a plethora of testosterone therapy medications to choose the one best suited for your needs.
Access to local doctors who prescribe testosterone therapy is not always easy. Perhaps you have an insurance plan that charges you upwards of $100 to visit a specialist. That is after paying a fee for an office visit with your primary care physician for a referral. You could easily be out over $150 before even getting a simple question about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) answered. It is no wonder that so many people search for how to get prescription for testosterone therapy online. HGH Doctor is a hormone clinic ready to help you get the answers and treatment you need – at an affordable cost.