In this article, we will examine how nutrition affects the hormonal system in general and testosterone production in particular.
Is it possible to increase testosterone levels by changing only your diet? If you are knowledgeable about nutrition, you know about the role of fats in human nutrition and that, like cholesterol, they are extremely important for the production of hormones.
Testosterone, like many other hormones, is formed from the hormone pregnenolone. Pregnenolone depends on the precursor of cholesterol and serves as a raw material for the production of other hormones. By using a low-fat diet, you are depriving the body of the necessary building materials needed for important biochemical processes.
But what about carbohydrates? Can foods containing carbohydrates affect the hormonal system? The answer is yes! Carbohydrates through insulin can affect testosterone levels by inhibiting cortisol synthesis.
Read more about what carbohydrates are and why the body needs them.
Why is insulin a friend of testosterone?
You come to the gym, work hard, as a result, the concentration of cortisol in the body increases, as well as the muscles are destroyed due to training. A small amount of cortisol is not dangerous, but everything changes if it gets too much. Our sympathetic nervous system responds to high levels of cortisol with arousal, increased alertness, and most importantly, at such moments the body falls into a state of catabolism .
If we are in a state of catabolism for a long time, then a phenomenon such as Pregnenolone theft syndrome occurs. Remember we talked about building materials and cholesterol? Pregnenolone Theft Syndrome and high cortisol concentrations limit testosterone production.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that cortisol inhibits the production of acute steroid regulatory protein, whose function is to deliver cholesterol to the mitochondria and activate the synthesis of steroid hormones in Leydig cells.
In other words, the less we disrupt the transportation of building materials necessary for the synthesis of testosterone, the better for our performance. If there is enough energy in the muscles to do the job, cortisol levels will decrease. In addition, insulin , produced by an orgasm in response to carbohydrate intake, inhibits the action of cortisol.
- An increased level of cortisol switches the nervous system into a stressful mode of operation.
- Cortisol and testosterone are antagonists to each other because the production of cortisol requires resources that could go into the production of testosterone.
- Insulin is also an antagonist of cortisol. The timely intake of carbohydrates is the best way to cause the release of insulin, which suppresses cortisol.
- Reception of carbohydrates returns the body to a quiet mode of work, includes a mode of recovery and muscle building.
- Monitoring cortisol levels using the methods described above allows you to save resources (such as cholesterol and pregnenolone) that affect testosterone production.
What more can be done?
- Use highly branched cyclic dextrin and amino acids .
The best way to control cortisol production is to use supplements such as highly branched cyclic dextrin, essential amino acids, and / or leucine.
Solid food is not effective for such purposes, however, if meals are properly arranged before or after training, this will enhance the effect of the use of special additives.
- Find your personal dosage
Essential amino acids and leucine can stimulate mTOR, insulin production, and protein synthesis. However, know your measure. For the average male athlete, you can start with 25-35 grams of dextrin with highly branched cyclic chains or isomaltulose. Women can start with 15 gr. before training.
You can determine your dosage based on your body weight, training program and diet. Planning your diet and training can improve your performance and optimize your hormone production process.
A larger amount of training load requires more energy and, therefore, carbohydrates, always remember the number of approaches, repetitions, working weights. Athletes weighing more than 90 kg who are engaged in heavy high-volume programs are allowed to consume 50-75 grams. carbohydrates in one workout.
- Add leucine
For optimal results, take 5-10 g. leucine in addition to a set of other important amino acids. If you have financial constraints, try not to lower the dosage below 3 grams. Her intake can be increased by consuming the bcaa amino acids after training.
Essential amino acids are absorbed very quickly by the body, their combination with a sufficient amount of leucine is the most effective way to stimulate the synthesis of muscle proteins, according to the latest studies in sports nutrition (Jager et al. 2017) Jäger et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2017) 14:20 DOI 10.1186 / s12970-017-0177-8
- Start with a moderate amount of carbohydrates
Too many carbohydrates can harm the hormonal balance in the body: reduce sensitivity to insulin, disrupt hormones such as triiodothyronine and malic acid.
Start with a dosage of 25 gr. and increase it depending on the current diet and training. Excess carbohydrates, even taken on time can do much harm. Each cap containing 25 gr. carbohydrate supplementation gives approximately 100 kcal. Remember to consider these extra calories in your daily diet.
Everyone knows that sports nutrition plays an important role in the mechanisms of recovery and muscle growth - from stimulating the synthesis of muscle proteins to a general strengthening effect. Properly taken supplements can be an additional and very effective tool at your disposal to achieve your goals.