We’ve all heard a lot about the importance of keeping your testosterone levels up for both performance health reasons, but how exactly are you supposed to tell where your levels are at in the first place?
Is the hassle and expense of a trip to the Doc’s office really the only way? What a major pain in the ass.
Well as it happens you can avoid that exact pain in the ass by simply paying close attention to the hints your own body gives you on a daily basis. Here’s a few classic markers of testosterone volume that all guys should be aware of.
(Just to be clear we meant a metaphorical pain in the ass, if yours is literal it really is probably best you do see a doctor)
For any guys curious about just how much male hormone they’re producing, there really is no better place to start than the source, T central, those all-important testicles.
Never let anyone tell you size doesn’t matter because the fact is, the bigger your balls are the more testosterone you’re packing. On the other hand, if your boys are on the smaller side, that’s typically a sign that you need to think about putting the T in top up.
For a demonstration of how testicle size and hormones are linked, either check out the shrinkage immediately following a night’s hard drinking – alcohol is no friend of testosterone. Or else spend a while in a ladies’ perfume department inhaling all those dreaded estrogenic fragrances, see (or barely see) what that gets you.
Personally I’d go with the first option. Hanging about a women’s store, breathing deeply and checking your groin is enough to get a fella a bad reputation.
If you’re sweating the possibility of having lower testosterone then as luck would have it you’ve just been handed a perfect opportunity to check.
Give your pits a sniff. We all have these glands see, called apocrine glands, which only kick in after puberty and produce apocrine sweat. This stuff is hormonally driven and is the reason why your parents went from lovingly smelling your head as a baby to dawning a hazmat suit on laundry day in your teenage years.
Simply put, it reeks and because of the hormonal connection the more face meltingly pungent it is, the more testosterone you’ll generally be producing.
So while everyone within a 3 mile radius might be begging you to return that perfume place we just talked about, you can be proud of that man musk, the scent of victory. On the flip side if you’re coming out the gym smelling like a summer meadow, it’s worth looking at ways to boost hormone levels and make that B.O a little more K.O.
Most of us will remember a time when it was harder to get rid of erections than it was to get them, but if you’re pelvic pointer posture isn’t quite what it once was, chances are Low-T is to blame.
Testosterone is the main fuel the tank for all our sex drives and if it’s not up there, neither will anything else be. Around 400 ng/dl and most men start experiencing erectile dysfunction but sometimes it’s even a little higher in younger guys, 500-600 ng/dl for example.
So keep an eye on regularity and strength of your love lance and if it’s not impressing like it used to, strive to get your testosterone up to at least 800ng/dl and you’ll soon have a yoyo like control over that thing, just like the good old days.
Morning erections can actually tell you a lot about the reason you might be having trouble; if your lower half is still getting up before you do regularly, but you’re struggling when it’s time to perform, chances are the cause is psychological. However if your experiencing fewer or no early rises it’s usually a sign of low T.
If you have a little extra padding then there’s every chance that your testosterone is not what it could be. Overweight guys consistently have lower male hormone because surplus fat stimulates aromatase, an enzyme which converts it to the female hormone, estrogen.
These two are the opposite ends of your internal balance, the more estrogen you create the less room there’ll be for testosterone.
Basically, if you don’t want your endocrine system to be one long ladies night, it’s a good idea to work on shifting those excess pounds.
The good news is once you’re over that first mound, it just gets easier; more unwanted weight you lose, the higher your testosterone will climb and the more readily you’ll accumulate muscle. The positive mass you gain the more calories it’ll burn and the less fat you’ll have left over.
That, to (almost) quote Sir Elton John is the circle, the circle of buff.
If you’re a man who considers everything we’ve said here so far to be folksy, unscientific nonsense and you just long to see some damn numbers (though preferably not on a doctor’s bill) then there are a few home test kits available. Blood and saliva are the fluids we’re interested in here.
The saliva test is easy enough, once you’ve received your test you fill a test tube half full with saliva and return it to the lab in an envelope. The blood test requires you to prick your finger and let sample drops fall on to a blood spot card, which is sent back and examined.
A few things to bear in mind before you start spitting and bleeding all over the shop: there is cost involved, typically $50 for the kit then an additional charge of about $30 depending on what tests you order.
Also hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day. They’re normally highest in the morning but even if you perform it then, home tests will never be as accurate as those carried out by medical professionals. Still good for a ball park figure though.
We covered home testing as much as we could in this article.
One number to be aware of is that big one on the front of that birthday card every year. We’ve said it hundreds of times by this point but testosterone really does begin gradually dropping by 1% per year from the age 30 onwards if left unchecked.
That means the older you are the more important it to maximise male hormone production in any way you can to reverse the otherwise inevitable performance loss. Staying active, eating the right foods and finding a quality natural supplement are all effective ways of giving your output a boost.
Even though none of these suggestions are what you would call an exact science they are all at least proven indicators of whether or you’re heading in the right direction.
For a definitive hormone profile with actual stats you can’t do better than a professionally administered blood test.
There a lot of other important factors a blood test can tell you about too; oestrogen levels, amount of free testosterone, cortisol readings, so it may be worth getting at least one to establish your starting point.