Ask any average gym goer, what single physical factor affects their muscle growth and fat loss. They would probably answer none other than testosterone. Testosterone is a male sex hormone and play’s an important role to maintain muscle mass, bone density and sex drive. Women also produce testosterone but at lower levels. The primary growth hormone in female is Estrogen. To understand the roles of these critical hormones in the mechanics of the human body, it is important to understand the basics of hormones and how they impact growth.
What are Hormones?
Hormones are vital chemical substances that are present in humans and animals, often known as chemical messengers that carry information and instructions from one groups of cells to another. In humans they influence every cell and organ. They regulate growth, development, metabolism, tissue function, sexual and reproduction and even moods.
Testosterones belongs to a class of male hormones called Androgens and are called Anabolic steroids. In men, it is produced in testes with a small amount is produced in the adrenal glands. The brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland controls testosterone production and it instructs the pituitary glands on how much to produce and these messages are passed onto the testes. These communications happen with the help of chemicals and hormones in the blood stream.
Testosterone plays a vital role in prenatal development of male sex organs and determines the gender of the child.
Testosterone takes on a greater importance in sperm production that is required to maintain an active sexual desire in men. It also increases energy metabolism, thereby helping men to shed extra pounds, helps in body fat distribution and acquire a leaner, fitter physique and gain muscle strength. It is also associated with overall health and development and wellbeing of men.
According to a scientific research, woman’s total estrogen levels are about a tenth to a twentieth of men’s level of testosterone. But there is a higher level of estrogen in women during their reproductive age.
Just like Testosterone, Estrogen are a group of steroid compounds and they are uniquely responsible for the growth and development of female sexual characteristics. Estrogen includes a group of similar chemical hormones such as estrone estradiol and they are produced primarily in the ovaries. Estriol is produced by the placenta during pregnancy.
The Main Role
In women, Estrogens promote development of sex characteristics such as changes in breast during adolescence and pregnancy. It regulates the menstrual cycle by controlling the growth of uterine line and various other metabolic process including bone growth and cholesterol levels.
Estrogen produced by the ovaries helps prevent bone loss and works with calcium and other minerals to build up bones. The body constantly builds and remodels the skeletal system through a process called resorption and deposition and makes newer bones at a faster rate than what it breaks down – a process which usually continues till the age of 30. But once Estrogen levels tend to decline, this process gradually slows down, leading to cases of Osteoporosis.
Women may lose as much as 20 percent of their bone mass. Thus keeping bone structures strong and to prevent from Osteoporosis becomes a real challenge.
In Your Workouts
Regardless of your gender, it is essential and beneficial to naturally increase testosterone which is crucial for overall health and to better athleticism and confidence. Regular participation in weight training exercises will strengthen your bones, and increase muscle tone. Aim for full body workouts that covers major muscle groups.
Increasing your hormone levels naturally will give an edge and an overall difference to your athletic body composition.
There are other minerals and vitamins which will aid in conjunction with these hormones. Zinc, a naturally occuring mineral will increase your performance level and improve your immune system. Vitamin -D, the sunshine nutrient optimizes your estrogen levels and plays a major role in your athletic performance and also optimizes your bone health.
A special note to those who are looking to raise hormone levels, don’t depend on supplements or steroids. Select a diet that is rich in healthy fats, omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, antioxidants and zinc, which helps in maintain an optimum testosterone levels. Keep up with an active healthy lifestyle, go for a swim, jog, run or anything that will keep you moving and workout regularly.