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Does Testosterone Make You Stronger? (From An Expert)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

With over a decade of experience in training young men to improve their strength and body composition, I’ve constantly been researching ways to increase their testosterone naturally.

Low testosterone levels are often correlated with a decrease in muscle mass and strength, but I wanted to see what the scientific literature says about whether testosterone actually makes you stronger.

So, I spent a few days researching various studies and discussing them with an endocrinologist to gain a deeper insight into this matter.

Here’s exactly what we found.

Quick Summary

  • Testosterone is the major androgenic (male) hormone responsible for the full development of young males and masculine characteristics in men.
  • Naturally high testosterone is associated with better athletic performance in both men and women, which also includes increased muscle mass and strength.
  • Synthetic testosterone has been one of the most common doping agents used by athletes in strength and power-based sports for decades.

Can Testosterone Make You Stronger?

Healthy athlete with beard

Yes, testosterone can make you stronger.

It plays a major role in the muscle-protein synthesis, which helps you build muscle mass and develop strength [1].

Testosterone is considered to be the major promoter of increased muscle mass and strength in response to resistance training [2].

The fact that testosterone can make you stronger is why many professional athletes take testosterone treatment in the form of steroids.

How Do People Use Testosterone to Get Stronger?

Using a dumbbell to grow muscles

People use testosterone to get stronger by naturally increasing their testosterone levels, taking anabolic-androgenic steroids, or going on testosterone replacement therapy.

The last two options are artificial ways to enhance your testosterone beyond your genetic capacity.

We’ll explore the natural ways to increase it later on in more detail, but let’s first take a bit closer look at these two other options.

Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids

Simply put, anabolic steroids work by stimulating muscle mass to grow by mimicking the effects of testosterone.

When you take anabolic steroids, you have control over how much testosterone your body gets to use.

So, when people take anabolic steroids (either orally or via intramuscular injections), they see an increase in muscle strength and size that wouldn’t be possible with natural testosterone production.

That’s why most professional bodybuilders and powerlifters tend to have more muscle mass than natural bodybuilders.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy (henceforth TRT) is usually administered to men (and some teens) who suffer from the effects of low testosterone. It’s used to return their T-levels to a normal range.

However, even people who don’t suffer from low testosterone misuse testosterone therapy to gain an unfair advantage in competitive events.

“Muscle cells have receptors for testosterone called androgen receptors. When testosterone binds to the receptors, muscle fibers are maintained. Without testosterone, maintenance stops and muscle is degraded.”

- Dr. Ronald Tamler, MD, Professor of Medicine

Benefits of High Testosterone

Testosterone plays a positive role in both men and women. Since it mostly benefits men, we’re going to look at the positives of high T-levels in men [3].

Naturally high testosterone has the following effects:

  • Builds strong bone density
  • Promotes better fat distribution
  • Helps increase muscle mass
  • Helps increase muscle strength
  • Stimulates facial and pubic hair
  • Regulates production of red blood cells
  • Regulates sex drive and prevents erectile dysfunction
  • Increases bone mineral density
  • Keeps healthy sperm count

Side Effects

A guy having an acne

Interestingly, having too much testosterone can lead to several negative side effects in men and women [4].

While naturally high testosterone won’t lead to these problems, exogenous testosterone from steroids can do so.

Here are the most common side effects in men and women.

In men:

  • Acne
  • Aggression (and mood swings)
  • Headaches
  • Excessive body hair
  • Heart and liver issues
  • Low sperm count
  • Higher libido
  • Hypertension
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Swelling of legs and feet
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia

In women:

  • Acne
  • Loss of libido
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Irregular periods
  • Excess facial and body hair
  • Dark and thickened skin
  • Deepened voice
  • Reduced breast size
  • Thinning hair
  • Weight gain
  • Infertility
  • Increased chances of breast cancer
  • Anxiety and depression

Some Natural Solutions

Man holding salad and smiling at the camera

Here are four ways to naturally increase your testosterone.

1. Eat Foods That Support Your Testosterone Production

Ginger, oysters, pomegranates, fortified milk plants, green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, fish oil, onions, and extra-virgin olive oil are best foods to boost testosterone production [5].

In conjunction, it’s best to also avoid foods that lead to low testosterone levels [6].

2. Exercise

Moderate-level exercise is directly correlated with an increase in testosterone levels [7]. So, if your current lifestyle is stagnant, incorporate cardio and weight training into your schedule.

3. Get Lots of Sleep

Sleep and testosterone are connected more than people think. The majority of testosterone release in men occurs during sleep [8]. In fact, sleep fragmentation and lack of quality sleep lead to reduced testosterone levels.

Sleep may also indirectly affect your testosterone by helping your muscles recover after a workout [9]. With better recovery, you’ll be able to perform better in the gym.

4. Natural Testosterone Supplements

Natural testosterone boosters for men and t-boosters for women are one of the best ways to increase testosterone. These products use natural and clinically proven ingredients to naturally raise your T-levels, improve your mood, enhance your workouts, and help you recover.

FAQs

How Do I Know I’ve Increased My Testosterone Production?

You know you’ve increased your testosterone production when you experience the positive benefits of the hormone. To get a more accurate answer, you can check your T-levels with a simple blood test.

Do Men Always Have Higher Testosterone Than Women?

While men naturally have higher levels of testosterone than women, certain disorders with the adrenal glands (like polycystic ovary syndrome) can lead to unnaturally high levels of testosterone in women [10].

Natural Testosterone For Strength

There are several ways you can come out of a low testosterone slump or go beyond your normal testosterone levels: a healthy diet, working out regularly, and getting enough sleep can all naturally raise your T-levels.

On top of that, we also recommend taking natural testosterone boosters. Check our reviews where we try to find the best option on the market.

We personally tested these products and found that they boost athletic performance significantly without any side effects commonly associated with steroids.

Check out our list and find one that best matches your needs.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2917954/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21058750/
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/testosterone-therapy/art-20045728
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/signs-of-high-testosterone
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323759
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325186#bread-pastries-and-desserts
  7. https://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-and-testosterone
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21550729/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3846536/
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