Testosterone is an androgenic-anabolic hormone predominantly present in the male body. It plays an essential part in the development of sex organs. Its also responsible for the physical feature development and support the formation of secondary sexual characteristics such as body hair, muscle, and bone mass.

Quick Facts about Testosterone

  • Testosterone is a natural anabolic steroid;
  • Testosterone levels decline with age;
  • The hormone controls several important body processes in the body.

Why do we consider Testosterone to be a Sex Hormone?

Testosterone is considered a sex hormone primarily because of the role it plays in developing secondary sexual features and its effect on sexual function. The hormone itself is actually an androgen. Androgens are hormones that stimulate growth and development. 

Another reason why testosterone is considered a sex hormone is the fact that it supports the development of both internal and external reproductive organs in males. It's also essential in the production of healthy sperm. Testosterone largely affects everything dealing with sexual development.

How does Testosterone Correlate with Fitness?

Testosterone is considered one of the most potent naturally secreted hormones in the body. Its potency allows it to affect several body processes that go beyond sexual function. A study shows that one of testosterone's biological effects is the promotion of muscle growth. In addition, testosterone can stimulate protein synthesis, which is one of its anabolic effects, and stop protein degradation. 

An increase in protein synthesis causes a buildup of cellular tissue in muscles. This causes an increase in strength, creating a direct link between testosterone and fitness. Testosterone levels improve with physical activity and help increase lean body mass. In essence, efforts to improve fitness work hand in hand with enhanced testosterone levels.

How Does Low Testosterone Impact Our Health?

The physiology of testosterone is quite interesting. Unlike other hormones that have a single role in the body, testosterone influences multiple body processes. This means that it affects our health in a huge way.

Let's look at how testosterone can improve our health:

  • Brittle bones

    Low testosterone levels can cause bone degradation and brittle bones leaving individuals more susceptible to bone disorders like osteoporosis. According to studies, testosterone maintains bone mineral density. It improves skeletal development and prevents bone loss during bone remodeling.

  • Lower libido and sex drive

    We know that testosterone plays a huge part in men's health, but its most meaningful role is improving sex drive, libidos, and sexual performance. It isn't actually clear how testosterone improves libidos. However, research shows that stabilized testosterone levels increase sexual desire.

  • Issues with sleeping and rest

    Studies show that low total testosterone levels are linked to sleep deprivation and unhealthy sleep patterns. Thus, getting testosterone levels back to normal will do the opposite—improve sleep quality. 

  • Depression and other mental issues

    Mood changes such as irritability, depression, anxiety, and other mental issues have been linked to low testosterone levels. The correlation between the two is unknown, but balanced testosterone levels do alleviate mental problems.

  • Muscle mass loss and issues with muscle growth

    Low testosterone levels cause issues with muscle mass development and cause significant muscle mass loss. Boosted testosterone levels can accelerate muscle growth and prevent muscle mass decline.

How Does High Testosterone Impact Our Health?

We are almost always talking about testosterone elevation and its benefits, but does this come with a downside? Many of us looking to boost testosterone levels are wondering about this, so we've done the research and found that there can be some issues if testosterone levels soar too high.

Below we look at how high testosterone levels can impact our health:

  • Hairy body;
  • Headaches;
  • Liver issues;
  • Mood swings & irritability;
  • Prostate issues;
  • Rampant appetite;
  • Acne and skin issues;
  • Increased blood pressure.

These symptoms do not appear on every occasion testosterone boosters are used or when testosterone production is enhanced. According to experts, these symptoms only show up when testosterone levels are suddenly shot up or synthetic testosterone therapy is used in excess. Gradually increasing testosterone levels with a testosterone-boosting supplement according to instructions will not cause the effects mentioned above. 

Women and Testosterone

Testosterone is known as a male dominant hormone; however, it is present in the female body as well. Testosterone is produced in a woman's ovaries in small amounts. The function of testosterone in the male and female body differs slightly, as it works in conjunction with estrogen most of the time to produce beneficial effects. 

Let's look at what testosterone does for the female body:

  • Improves the growth, maintenance, and repair of a woman's reproductive tissues;
  • Supports better energy, endurance, and stamina
  • Keeps metabolisms at a constant beneficial rate;
  • It has a positive effect on moods and emotions;
  • Enhances bone growth, quality, and mass;
  • Improves libidos and sexual functionality.

Optimal Testosterone Levels by Age and Gender

As we mentioned, testosterone is produced by both males and females. Males start producing higher amounts of testosterone during puberty, while females follow a slightly different trajectory because estrogen is the primary hormone in the female body. Thus, ideal testosterone levels differ between genders and change as we age. 

We take a better look at the optimal testosterone between the genders at different ages:

Between 6 to 9 years

  • Males-Below 7-20 nanograms per deciliter of testosterone;
  • Females-Below 7-20 nanograms per deciliter of testosterone

Between 10 to 11 years

  • Males-Below 7-130 nanograms per deciliter of testosterone;
  • Females-Below 7-44 nanograms per deciliter of testosterone.

Between 12 to 13 years

  • Males- Below 7-800 nanograms per deciliter of testosterone;
  • Females-Below 7-75 nanograms per deciliter of testosterone.

14 years

  • Males- Below 7-1,200 nanograms per (ng/dL deciliter) of testosterone;
  • Females- Below 7-75 nanograms per (ng/dL deciliter) of testosterone

Between 15 to 16 years

  • Males- Between 100-1,200 nanograms per (ng/dL deciliter) of testosterone;
  • Females- Below 7-75 nanograms per (ng/dL deciliter) of testosterone.

Between 17 to 18 years

  • Males- Between 300-1,200 nanograms per (ng/dL deciliter) of testosterone;
  • Females-Between 20-75 nanograms per (ng/dL deciliter) of testosterone.

19 years and older

  • Males- Between 240-950 nanograms per (ng/dL deciliter) of testosterone;
  • Females-Between 8-60 nanograms per (ng/dL deciliter) of testosterone.

Keep an Eye on your Testosterone Levels

After taking a deeper look at the role testosterone plays in both the male and female body, we conclude that the hormone is definitely something individuals need to keep an eye on, especially with the widespread benefits that come with achieving and maintaining ideal testosterone levels. The easiest way to ensure that your testosterone levels are at their peak is to get a blood test. Alternatively, you can check that you are not experiencing any symptoms of low testosterone levels and get a natural testosterone booster to elevate your levels.


How can I naturally increase my testosterone levels?

You can increase your testosterone levels by incorporating more zinc into your diet and a strict exercise regime. Having a good sleep schedule can also help with a healthy testosterone level.

What happens when you start taking testosterone supplements?

You would see fat around your thighs and hips disappear, and your body will begin redistributing your weight. Your legs and arms will have more muscle definition, with a rough appearance. You would also notice a spike in sex drive, more energy, improved mood, and better sleep.

Does masturbating reduce testosterone levels?

No. Studies have proven that masturbation and ejaculation have no long-term effects on testosterone levels.

Can everyone take testosterone supplements/replacement?

Men who have prostate cancer or women with breast cancer should not take any form of testosterone replacement. You should avoid taking testosterone if you have severe urinary tract problems, uncontrolled heart failure, and untreated severe sleep apnea.

What activity releases the most testosterone?

Studies have shown that resistance training and weight lifting are the best activities to increase testosterone. These activities trigger the body to make more testosterone.

About the Author Tim Rockwell

Tim Rockwell is a highly skilled and knowledgeable fitness expert. With a background in exercise science and years of experience in the fitness industry, Tim is passionate about sharing his expertise with others through his writing. He currently contributes articles to Eurasc, where he shares practical tips and strategies for leading a healthy, active lifestyle.

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