Feeling good about the results of your serious workout routine? If so, you can thank a little hormone called testosterone. Deeply involved in metabolism, testosterone packs quite a hefty punch – regulating, for example, the production of muscle and the breakdown of fat. Everyone – both women and men – needs testosterone for good health and wellbeing. But too much or too little testosterone can wreak havoc on your body….
…so it’s a good idea to make sure your testosterone levels are within a normal, healthy range (the Everlywell at-home testosterone level test makes it easy for you to do this).
Testosterone is a hormone that’s generally found in higher amounts in men. It’s responsible for much of the development of “male characteristics” – such as facial hair and lower voice pitch – which is why it’s known as an androgen. In men, this hormone is primarily produced in the testes, while in women it is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and elsewhere in the body. Glands in your brain – such as the pituitary gland – supervise production of testosterone.
Testosterone is fairly well-known for its muscle-building power, and for a good reason: it acts as a crisp, clear signal that tells your body’s metabolic system to ramp up muscle production. When testosterone molecules are released throughout your body, they stick to special receptors that coat your muscle cells (these receptors are known as “androgen receptors”). As soon as a testosterone molecule binds to one of these receptors, a chain reaction is set off: the receptor sends a signal of its own deep into the cell, triggering the cell to make more protein. This protein is the building block for muscle fibers. So the more testosterone you have, the more muscle mass you’ll have.
But testosterone’s muscle-creating action isn’t the only way it interacts with your body’s metabolic system. For example, testosterone plays a key role in bone growth during childhood development. Even in adulthood, testosterone helps maintain bone density. In fact, there is evidence that lower testosterone levels in older men comes with a heightened risk of bone fractures.
Testosterone also helps regulate the break down of fat to provide your body with energy. So having a healthy testosterone balance helps your body burn the right amount of fat.
Clearly, testosterone is indispensable to your health and metabolic performance. But what happens when testosterone levels get too high or too low? The consequences of this can be severe, but the causes of abnormal testosterone levels are not identical in women and men.
There may be factors beyond your control that can lead to unhealthy levels of testosterone, but there are still plenty of things you can do to help your body attain normal testosterone levels.
(Don’t forget to consult your healthcare provider before implementing any major lifestyle changes that impact your health.)
Regular exercise – and weight lifting in particular – is one effective method to bring your testosterone levels to a normal range. Plus, if you workout consistently, you’ll be getting your body in tip-top shape for summer – and beyond.
Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy body weight, which is important for normal testosterone levels. (If you have too much or too little body fat, then your testosterone levels probably won’t be where they should be.) Also, cut down on alcohol consumption and watch what you eat – diets with lots of lean protein, low-fat dairy, and vegetables are best for healthy testosterone levels.
Last but definitely not least: if a test (like the Everlywell Testosterone Test) reveals that your testosterone levels aren’t within a healthy range, then make sure you consult with your healthcare provider!
Testosterone is vital to your metabolism – regardless of your age or gender. It regulates many aspects of your health, so having normal testosterone levels is very necessary for your wellbeing. And by checking your testosterone levels, you can gain a better understanding of your own metabolism – paving the way for discoveries that allow you to improve your health. Testing your testosterone levels is – luckily – easy to do with the Everlywell Testosterone Test, which you can get here.