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Hormones are chemical messengers produced by glands in the endocrine system that trigger specific regulatory effects and responses on certain cells or organs.

Bodybuilding Hormones 101

Testosterone

Produced by:

Primarily secreted by the testes, with small amounts also secreted by the adrenal glands.

Function:

Testosterone is the most important anabolic hormone produced by the human body. This androgenic hormone is primarily responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics in adolescent males. It also plays a central role in the growth of muscle mass, maintaining energy levels and immune function. It increases bone density and boosts strength too. It is also critical for protein synthesis as it is a primary growth factor – it binds to receptors on the surface of muscle cells, amplifying the biochemical signals within muscles. This results in protein synthesis and muscle growth.

How to boost production naturally:

  • Lift heavy weights using compound movements.
  • Supplement with Zinc monomethionine and aspartate and Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA).
  • Manage your stress levels.
  • Get enough sleep and recover properly between exercise sessions.
  • Limit long during steady-state cardio.
  • Eat a diet that is rich in healthy fats (testosterone is produced from cholesterol).
  • Reduce body fat levels.

Related hormones:

Testosterone also helps to increase growth hormone (GH) levels, another growth factor, further enhancing protein synthesis. Luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulates testosterone synthesis from Leydig cells in the testes. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates the production of androgen-binding protein from Sertoli cells of the testes. Insulin sensitivity is also linked to the changes in the testosterone-cortisol balance.

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