Testosterone is a hugely important hormone for not only men but women also. We all need it to survive and it is especially important as we age when our levels start to steadily decline if we do not look after ourselves. Besides being a potent aphrodisiac testosterone provides us with a stable emotional state, controlling our mood and allowing us to avoid becoming a “grumpy old man” with age. For Women testosterone helps with decision making and providing general enjoyment of life. Along with this Testosterone holds several other benefits for both men and women:
- Keeps bones solid and dense
- Allows you to maintain a good level of muscle mass
- Fends off excess fat gain
- Keep disease at bay
- Provide vigour and mental sharpness
So basically it is pretty good stuff and something we want to keep at a solid level throughout our lives. And while testosterone declines naturally with age there are a few things that can be taken into account……
There is no need to become militant about getting plastic out of your life but every little helps. Studies are showing that the oestrogenic compounds leached by fluids and food from plastic packaging can have a pretty detrimental affect on human health.
“We must have identified just the tip of the iceberg in that plastic packaging may be a major source of xenohormone* contamination of many other edibles. Our findings provide an insight into the potential exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals due to unexpected sources of contamination.”
Now Oestrogen itself is not bad and it is needed to compliment testosterone. The problem comes with the man made Xenohormones which have a testosterone lowering and oestrogen triggering effect. This is bad news for both men and women…. Try avoiding some of the following common sources of Xenohormones:
- Microwaving or cooking food in plastic containers
- Drinking water from plastic
- Plastic cups and plates at home
- Plastic spoons for cooking food
Remember every little helps in this department so the more you can do to remove plastic from your life the better.
The oestrogenic effects of processed Soy and well documented, mice have shown to have significantly lower testosterone levels when eating soy products.
These results suggest that in adult males, genistein induces the typical estrogenic effects in doses comparable to those present in soy-based diets.
Sadly processed soy products are documented as a health food, which they certainly are not. Avoid things like Soy Milk, Tofu and pretty much any food with Soy in the ingredients (it seems to be sneaking it into health/protein bars very often now). This point is especially applicable to female readers who are more to likely to be using some sort of Soy products as they are more promoted and aimed toward the female market. Soy is fine used in its traditional context, so things like tempeh, edamame, miso and other natural soy products. These may even hold benefits……
I am not talking about drinking water but rather alcohol, especially binge drinking. We can get away with this to some extent when younger but with age alcohols detrimental effects when over consumed catch up with the human body. Drinking large amounts also has a detrimental affect on the immune system and can de-regulate our sleep cycles and ability to manage body composition (causing stored fat and muscle loss). Studies show that exercising before drinking alcoholic beverages has one of the biggest testosterone blunting effects:
“Physical stress immediately before alcohol administration prolonged the depressant effect of alcohol on testosterone secretion.”
Take into account these subjects drank quite a bit of alcohol. So do not worry about having a glass of wine or a beer with your post dinner run or gym session…… Also let’s not forget that some alcohol has been shown to have an anti-oestrogenic effect to some extent, this is thanks to the polyphenol resveratrol found mainly in red wine. So again this one comes down to a fine balance in that drinking moderatly probably will not effect testosterone and it is binge drinking that we should worry about…..
Over Exercising and Stress
Overexercising is a real deal breaker in terms of hormones. Running your body down in any sense is likely to have a detrimental effect on not only testosterone but your bodies immune function and mood. Essentially exercise is stress on the body, it is something we do to break ourselves down to get stronger and fitter. We need to rest after bouts of exercise especially “High Intensity” stuff which is everywhere now. As the old adage goes “Muscles are made in the kitchen, not the gym” so make sure you get plenty of rest between exercise sessions. If you are exhibiting any signs of overtraining:
- Feeling “Blah” or down
- Persistent muscle soreness, taking longer to recover
- Reduced heart rate upon waking
- Constant infections, reduced immunity
Then it is probably a good idea to back off training of any kind for a week. Maybe limiting things to some Long Walks, Yard Work, Stretching and maybe Light Cycling. Once you start to feel better and vigour returns, your body is ready to go again. Remember to eat well during times of stress as calorie restriction (which often happens without noticing when stressed) acts as another stressor on your body.
Everything in Moderation including Moderation itself….
These 4 points should serves as an indication of things that have a detrimental effect on not only testosterone but probably our general endocrine system having a knock on effect on many hormones. Like everything do not get too caught up. Use this post as a guide as to what to avoid to maintain a healthy hormonal system. Unfortunately many of these things are hard to avoid in todays world especially plastics. So just keep things in mind and do the best you can…..Post Written by Chris of Zen to Fitness. Please checkout my new e-book by clicking the image below: