Why Do Testosterone Levels Drop With Age?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, it plays a key role in the development of virtually all of our masculine traits and characteristics.
Everything from our deeper voices, our facial and body hair to our muscle mass, strength, energy and of course sex drive and performance are down to the effects of testosterone.
At its peak through puberty and into our 20’s as we pass into our 30’s and older our natural levels begin to delete.
You might ask – why do testosterone levels drop with age? Furthermore, is there anything that we can do about it to return testosterone to its youthful levels?.
You will be only too pleased to discover that you can do something about it. You do not have to suffer the effects of having low testosterone.
With the right exercise, diet and an effective supplement plan its quite possible to regain your testosterone production and feel up to 20 years younger as a direct result.
This article tells you how to go about it
Table Of Contents
Testosterone is a naturally occurring sex hormone, it belongs to the group of hormones known as steroid hormones, having both anabolic and androgen effects it has a lot of responsibilities to perform which make it the most important of all male hormones.
The product of a delicate hormonal process that begins in the hypothalamus in the brain, passing down to the pituitary gland before ending up in the testes where testosterone is produced and released into the body.
These glands naturally regulate just how much testosterone is present in the blood stream, ensuring that not too much or too little is present.
This process is known as the “Hormonal Negative Feedback Loop” and certainly until you are aged 30, its a very effective control system..
The Effects of Testosterone
Testosterone is the key to many aspects of our ‘manliness’. It stimulates and regulates the development of our most male attributes, our sexual characteristics, fertility and of course muscle mass, strength and performance.
Throughout puberty and into our 20’s our levels of total testosterone are at their peak, with blood level readings ranging between 300ng.dl and 1000ng.dl.
While our testosterone levels are within this range, we will experience all the benefits associated with optimum hormone production:
- Solid muscle mass
- Good strength and energy levels
- Better endurance and stamina
- Strong hair growth
- Powerful sexual urges and desire
- Strong bones
- Good vascular, metabolic and cognitive health
From The Age Of 30
As we start to get older, its perfectly normal for our testosterone production to reduce, experts tell us that this happens by around 1-2% per year.
Studies have shown that for most men, their testosterone production actually reduces by 30% between the ages of 30 and 75.
To increase the problem, any testosterone remaining in the blood can be up to 50% less active with a large percentage of it not being absorbed properly into the bodies tissue cells.
Taking both factors into account, by the time you hit 45 its not unusual for your total available testosterone be some 40% lower than the levels you experienced in your 20’s.
If your blood testosterone readings drop below 300ng.dl, you are officially diagnosed with Hypogonadism ( the posh word for Low T)
So Why Does The Reduction Happen In the First Place
Testosterone levels reduce as we get older because of hormonal and chemical changes in our body.
The actual procedure is quite complex, but to sum it up simply:
- Your Testes physically make less testosterone.
- The communication between the hypothalamus, pituitary and the testes isn’t as effective.
- More of your testosterone becomes bound to a protein known as SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin). This renders the testosterone inactive and ineffective.
The fact is that taking all the above not account, its quite usual to only have around 3% of your total testosterone actually ‘free’ in the blood to carry out its work.
AS we get older, the hormonal chain responsible for testosterone production becomes less efficient.
As a result, our body begins to make less testosterone.
This is not the only problem however.
The entire testosterone producing sequence is kicked off when the hypothalamus release GnRH (Gonadtropin releasing hormone). this then kicks of a series of events that involve the pituitary and then the testes
With age this process reduces (the various glands basically stop talking to each other) leading to lower testosterone production.
At the same time, the levels of SHBG actually increase in the blood stream, this means that more of our ‘free’ testosterone is grabbed and held hostage, basically being rendered inert and unavailable.
These factors can all combine to reduce the stimulation of our androgen hormones, if left untreated, it can quickly turn to hypogonadism.
Hypogonadism ( Low T) can lead to some unpleasant symptoms and side effects being experienced by the man in question, this can include:
- Reduced muscle tone and strength
- Increase belly fat
- Low energy levels, lack of performance
- Increase risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, cognitive issues and depression.
- Complete lack of libido, and erection problems.
Fortunately You Can Fight Back
The good news is that you can fight back and regain some , if not all of your lost testosterone, its a compete myth that the problem is unfixable.
It might take some lifestyle changes, here are some proven hints and tips:
Join A Gym And Lift Weights.
It has been proven that regular strength training is one of the best activities that you can do to boost your hormone production.
Lifting heavy weights have been shown to be a fantastic way of natural increasing your testosterone production.
Compound moves such as dead lifts, shoulder and chest presses are some of the exercises that are known to work really well..
Basically you want exercises that use a number of muscle groups, these have been shown to trigger a natural increase in anabolic hormones.
Going further, these exercises help you to burn excess body fat, building in its place strong lean muscle.
This maybe easier to say than do, but stress is a major adversary of testosterone. The hormone released when under stress is called Cortisol, this is known to be a true testosterone killer.
Cut down on caffeine and other stimulant use, try to get more sleep, rest, recover and invigorate yourself with regular exercise – another great stress buster
Even small changes in your diet can make huge differences in your hormonal balance. try to eat more foods that are known to increase testosterone including:
- Tuna and Salmon
- Egg Yolks
- Oysters and Other Shellfish
- Fortified cereals
- Lean Beef
- Beans, Nuts and Legumes
Take A Natural T-Booster
There are some great natural testosterone supplements out there, a good one has been formulated with a mix of proven, all natural ingredients ( herbal extracts, vitamins and minerals) that nurture and provide the right hormonal environment to encourage and promote the body into stepping up its own testosterone production.
Look for a product that contains good levels of Vitamin D3, D-Aspartic Acid, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Zinc and Fenugreek for a start, other ingredients to look to for include Boron,Luteolin and Nettle extract to name a few.
Natural products differ from drug based TRT products, as they do not actually force foreign or man-made hormones into your body.
Instead they simply encourage your body to increase its hormonal activity and make more of your own natural, genetic hormone.
As a direct result, you are far less likely to experience any of the adverse reactions and side effects that have been attributed to these man made, drug based treatments.
MEET THE AUTHOR: My name is Paul Gardner – I am the editor, main researcher and writer for testojunction.com.
I am 59 years old and currently live in the outskirts of London.
Sport and fitness has been a massive part of my life, as a younger man I used to swim competitively. Representing the county at events both home and abroad.
I have also been an avid squash and tennis player too, and have been a keen gym goer all through my life.
I have a CPD accreditation in Sports Nutrition, and have studied and have been writing about nutrition, hormones, natural ingredients and sports supplements for over 12 years and have had articles published in many popular publications.
One area that I have a particular interest in is how hormones play a massive part in our development, fitness, muscularity, strength and of course our sexual development.