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While there are numerous hormones we may aptly label important in-terms of proper function and health, for men the hormone testosterone is of great importance. Both men and women require testosterone for a well-functioning body but men do so in far higher amounts then their female counterparts. While a very important hormone and largely misunderstood, testosterone is easily one of the most exciting hormones we can discuss, especially as it pertains to performance enhancing; in-fact, we can confidently say it is the most important hormone in the performance enhancing game. Without adequate levels of testosterone our goals will largely not be met and without increased levels you can in many cases wave goodbye to the idea of surpassing these goals to a great degree. As a very important hormone, in order to make the most of exogenous use, meaning in this case testosterone introduced beyond our natural production, we are best served to first have a general understanding the hormone itself and then how best to maximize its use regarding its various forms.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone belongs to a class of hormones known as androgens;
in-fact this is the primary androgenic hormone. A very powerful hormone
in its own right, testosterone is largely responsible for testicular
and prostate development, as well as the development of muscle tissue,
bone density and strength. Beyond these basic functions, testosterone is
by-in-large imperative for our overall general health and well-being;
low levels of testosterone can not only negatively affect muscle and
bone strength but can negatively affect our state of mind.
While a member of the androgenic class of steroidal hormones, testosterone is also highly anabolic. As both androgenic and anabolic, like all steroidal hormones testosterone is derived from cholesterol and is largely regulated in terms of production by luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle stimulating hormones (FSH). Being regulated by LH and FSH, in order for these hormones to be released the pituitary gland must first be stimulated in order to achieve this purpose; once achieved and LH and FSH are released, testicular stimulation is achieved thereby causing the production of testosterone. As you can easily see, as important as the testicles are in testosterone production, the pituitary gland is of equal importance; without adequate pituitary function natural testosterone production cannot occur.
The Birth of Exogenous Testosterone:
While a hormone we naturally produce and for centuries athletes of
all types have experimented with testicular extract but true synthetic
testosterone intended for human use first made its way to the scene in
1935, largely thanks to chemists Adolf Butenandt and Leopold Ruzicka who
both received a Nobel Prize for their work. With the testosterone
hormone now being isolated and synthesized the first successful
injections of testosterone were available in the form of
Once the first batches of testosterone were made available, soon after many other forms would be introduced and made ready for human use but there is something important you need to understand. All testosterone in a general sense is the same; it is the ester attached that gives it its own unique function regarding time release and duration of activity but by-in-large all exogenous testosterone is simply the same testosterone. We will explain as we go along and get into understanding half-lives.
- Click on the following link for more info on the [History of Steroids]
The Benefits of Exogenous Testosterone Use:
There are many benefits to testosterone use and while they are generally the same for anyone who uses they can be largely dose dependent in-terms of the overall effect. Many men who use testosterone simply do so as part of a hormone replacement therapy plan; the idea is to raise testosterone levels to a normal range after they have fallen short. Many other men use testosterone for an entirely different purpose; to increase levels far beyond normal in order to enhance performance. Regardless of your purpose you can expect to receive the following benefits to one degree or another:
- Increased Recovery Abilities: The most apt example revolves around training/exercise. The act of training is not when muscle is built but rather torn down; it is through the recovery process in-which muscle tissue is built. Testosterone will increase the rate of recovery, improve the efficiency of recovery in-turn leading to a more efficient and capable physique.
- Stronger Anti-Catabolic Protection: some hormones have a negative effect on muscle tissue and can promote body fat; most notable is the hormone cortisol. Testosterone can aid in blocking and reducing this negative hormone reaction ensuring your muscle tissue is protected and body fat is not accumulated.
- Increase Red Blood Cell Count: Testosterone can greatly increase your endurance; the higher the endurance will result in the ability to do more work, i.e. train. By this increase in red blood cells we are able to increase the amount of oxygen entering the blood which increases working capabilities and can lead to greater muscle tissue efficiency.
- Increased Protein Efficiency: By supplementing with testosterone we increase protein synthesis, thereby increasing the level and rate in-which we build muscle tissue or protect it in a calorie restricted diet. Further, we are able to maintain a higher level of protein storage in-part due to an increase in nitrogen production due to higher levels of testosterone.