They have been cases where athletes have revealed how testosterone has played a crucial role in their life. It seems that testosterone plays a very important role in the field of sports and the level of testosterone gets affected by the training that the athletes go through in more ways than we can imagine. Athlete Ryan Hall has mentioned that training and running can affect the level of testosterone in the body. But how? That is what we are going to discuss in this piece.
When the level of testosterone decrease below the usual level, there can be some symptoms like fatigue, depression, decreased sex drive, anxiety, irritation, and more. Some of the common symptoms of diabetes, liver diseases, and obesity. But how does running come into the picture? Let us start from the basics.
What is testosterone and what does it do?
Testosterone is the main sex hormone for males and it fuels all the masculine features of a male-like facial and body hair, sex drive, sperm production, and more. Most of the runners do not want a drop off in muscle strength since it can lead to fatigue which will affect their performance in endurance sports like distance running.
Testosterone also affects the bone health of a male just like the way estrogen works for females. And one of the most important points for runners is that testosterone also increases the red blood cell count and because of that, more oxygen can travel to your muscles. When this happens for a longer amount of time, you can actually maintain your pace during running.
Do you have low testosterone?
In order to know that you must notice some of the symptoms mentioned above. If you feel that your testosterone levels are actually decreasing, you can go ahead with a blood test to get the official diagnosis. There will be two-morning blood tests with a gap of 1 week in between and if both show low readings, it means your hunch was true.
Does running lower testosterone?
By this point, you might really want to get an answer to this question. The primary culprit for low levels of testosterone in the case of runners may be overtraining. Your mileage, intensity, and frequency of running can play a huge role and when you do too much, your body tries to react by not producing enough testosterone. When you place your body under more stress than it can handle, it may show a wrench in your testosterone production.
Endurance training can have a significant effect on your body according to studies conducted. Apparently, endurance training can affect the levels of testosterone and it has also been observed that the level of testosterone is lower in endurance-trained mail than in a male who has not been trained.
Studies also say that when overtraining happens, the fat percentage in the body decreases dangerously. This also plays a role because the fat cells produce a hormone called leptin which tells your brain that you have enough food in your system. Without that, your brain does not initiate sex hormone production.
How to get your testosterone levels back to normal?
So now you probably have your answer to the question- “does running lower testosterone?”. If you want to increase the level of testosterone in your body and bring it back to normal, you can go ahead with vigorous resistance training like weightlifting and eating enough fat. You also need to get sufficient sleep and decrease the amount of running in your routine.
You can also opt for synthetic testosterone or steroids only if the doctor prescribes them for you. However, using steroids or synthetic testosterone may cause some issues because it is considered illegal to take up performance enhancers like these in the sports industry. It can also interfere with the natural testosterone production of your body and could also result in an unwanted increase in muscle mass, which can later prove to be a disadvantage for runners.
Mostly you need to back off from your intense training or reduce your mileage while running. After giving yourself a break for a few weeks or months, there is a high chance that your body will replace the lost testosterone.