How to increase To gain muscle mass, as well as for other functions in our body, not only our willingness to exercise and carry out a healthy diet and life, but also our hormones intervene. Specifically if we are men, one of the most important hormones to gain muscle is testosterone, the quintessential male sex hormone. But this does not mean that women do not have it, on the contrary: they also have it, although in smaller quantities, just as men have in a small amount the so-called female hormone: estrogen. If you are interested in knowing how to increase testosterone to gain muscle mass, in this article we will explain everything you have to know to get it naturally.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is secreted primarily in the testicles, but also in the ovaries (in the case of women) and in the adrenal glands.
When produced mainly in the testicles, it is a steroid hormone, which means that it helps in the control of metabolism, in the proper functioning of the immune system, to balance salt and water in our body and to the proper development of the characteristics sexual.
What is testosterone for?
Many women exercise when they worry that their bodies are as muscular as men and, therefore, lose their feminine figure. But, unless they take anabolic, it is not so. This is because they have less testosterone than men, and among the main functions of testosterone is to increase muscle mass. But how?
Testosterone for muscle growth: how it works
The testosterone, as we said, increases the blood level and, what is more interesting: it has a natural anabolic effect because it increases the formation of proteins in the bones and muscles. Therefore, it is to be understood why men generally have more strength than women. The more testosterone is secreted and the more physical exercise is performed, the more muscle mass and strength will increase.
In addition, as this hormone speeds up the metabolism in man, it will help lose body fat, while increasing muscle mass.
How to produce more testosterone with food
To increase the levels of this hormone naturally, we must know that there are certain foods that stimulate the production of testosterone, such as:
Zinc rich foods
Zinc is a mineral that helps the proper functioning of the immune system and the production of testosterone. Among the main foods with zinc are:
- Dairy products with raw milk.
- Fish and meat rich in protein (such as liver, poultry and shellfish).
- Natural aphrodisiacs such as oysters, chocolate and avocado.
- Seeds and pipes, such as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Natural aphrodisiac foods
Natural aphrodisiacs generate higher sex hormones, making them perfect for producing more testosterone. These types of foods are, apart from those already mentioned:
- The coffee
- The cinnamon
- The banana
- Black raspberries
Foods with healthy fats
The intake of healthy fats also stimulates the production of testosterone. The main foods with healthy fats are:
- Vegetable oils, such as olive and sunflower oils.
- Nuts, mainly nuts.
- Food from pasture fed animals.
- Blue fish (rich in omega 3), such as salmon and tuna.
In addition to the foods mentioned, it is important that you frequently consume vitamins A, B and E, which help in the production of this hormone.
Habits to produce more testosterone naturally
Leading a healthy life is another of the main keys to producing more testosterone. Therefore, it is important that you keep these tips in mind:
- Avoid stress: being stressed produces estrogen, the female sex hormone. This is because estrogen helps our body reduce the stress hormone cortisol. The more estrogen you have, the less effective your testosterone will be.
- Do not consume alcohol or tobacco: both eliminate the male sex hormone. According to a study, drunkenness can reduce this hormone by 20-25%.
- Sleep between 7 and 8 hours: it is proven that by sleeping less than that time, the body slows down, making everything go slower, even the production of testosterone.
- Limit sugar consumption: sugar generates a high level of insulin, which leads to a decrease in the male hormone.
- Exercise daily: not only to stay healthy, but to accelerate your metabolism and, therefore, help generate the male sex hormone in your body. In the next section we will see the best exercises to increase this hormone.
- Watch with tight underwear: as this hormone is produced in the testicles, they need to be under a season of about 36 º C. Wearing tight clothing can increase the temperature of the genitals, and therefore produce less testosterone.
Exercises to gain muscle mass
To gain muscle through physical activity, it is best to do strength exercises, as it is shown to increase testosterone levels. Therefore, we suggest that you focus on the following types of exercises:
- Weight bearing exercise.
- Dumbbell exercises
- Press machine exercises.
- Exercises with pulleys.
If you cannot afford to go to the gym, you can simply lift weight objects in your home, in addition to doing pushups and abs, always being careful not to hurt yourself.
Other hormones to gain muscle
However, not only does the male sex hormone help increase muscle mass, but there are also two other allies in our body:
- Growth hormone: also called GH or somatotropin, it helps us both gain muscle and burn fat. If you want to activate it to the fullest, in addition to leading a healthy life and diet, it is advisable that you perform not only strength exercises, but high intensity exercises, such as HIIT training.
- Insulin: As we said above, having high levels of insulin can hinder our goal. However, if we have this hormone controlled, it can be a great ally to gain muscle mass, as it helps transport amino acids to the muscles.