Debunking Myths About Testosterone
We tend to associate testosterone with big muscles, strong facial hair, bodybuilding, sculpted six-packs, and even big penises. What’s more, we believe that testosterone is the reason for typical male behavior in relationships and outside of them. Also, men can become so obsessed with testosterone that they could go to great lengths to increase testosterone levels and reap their supposed benefits. This is usually done with expensive supplements that include a long list of side effects.
But how much do you truly know about testosterone? What are its real benefits/disadvantages? Let’s debunk the biggest myths about testosterone!
Testosterone Is Exclusive to Men
Firstly, testosterone is a major male steroid hormone. It has numerous powerful effects on a man’s development and his sex life. Testosterone spikes first exhibit themselves in fetuses. Then, the levels rise a few months after birth. In male teenage years, testosterone soars again and essentially leads boys into puberty. With it comes the development of typical male qualities. That includes Adam’s apples, the deepening of the voice, and the development of muscles. It also leads to broad shoulders and wide chests. Testosterone also fuels facial/pubic hair growth.
What’s more, in adulthood, testosterone becomes the major hormone for men’s libidos. It plays a crucial role in semen production and erections. And it isn’t only useful for sex in adulthood. Testosterone also regulates the blood count, muscle mass, bone health, and moods. Some consequences of low T levels are increased lean body mass, lower muscle mass, weaker muscles, as well as weaker bones.
But many don’t know that testosterone is also produced in women’s bodies. Women produce it in the ovaries, and it plays a key role in various developmental phases. These include reproductive tissue growth and maintenance. It’s also important for vaginal health, bone health, and female sexual/social behavior. Moreover, it can have an effect on fertility as well as menstrual health.
Men With Higher T Levels Have Better Relationships
One T-related myth is that this sex hormone always leads to better sex, alpha-like performance, and better relationships. We also link testosterone with strong sexuality, and many believe that it fuels the need to compete with other men. Interestingly, multiple studies have found that high testosterone levels could actually be damaging in relationships.
Actually, studies have shown that those who are in nurturing relationships exhibit lower T levels. They are more open to compromise in relationships. Plus, such men are more inclined to stay in long-term relationships. With high testosterone levels, it’s possible that the inclination to cheat could increase.
Data also shows that men with lower T levels report higher satisfaction in marriage. One reason could be that testosterone levels decrease in a nurturing environment. And there’s another shocker — high T levels can diminish “social emotions,” such as generosity, empathy, and trust.
Testosterone Makes You a Better Athlete
This is perhaps the most popular myth when it comes to testosterone. The premise is that those with higher levels of this male hormone can excel in sports and athletic activities.
However, the truth is that we still don’t know the effects of T levels on athletes. There’s no way to predict an athlete’s performance based on their T levels. Additionally, it’s possible that testosterone influences and helps with several qualities that can give you a performance advantage. However, science is unable to find a concrete answer.
One study that tested Olympic weightlifters found no connections between the T levels of the male athletes and their strength. Astonishingly, the experiment found that the female participants with lower T levels were actually able to handle heavier loads. Another study disproved the effect of testosterone on running performance. The results of this study also showed that some participants with lower T levels performed about five times better at running events.
Benefits of Higher Testosterone Levels
If you think that high T levels lead to prostate cancer or baldness, don’t despair just yet. Several studies have debunked those two myths. Instead, high T levels do have a wide range of benefits that can improve the well-being of men and women.
Across the board, high testosterone can improve heart and muscle health. It boosts the contraction of the heart muscles, thereby improving your blood flow. Additionally, research proves that higher testosterone levels can help with weight loss. In this case, boosting testosterone naturally through high-fiber diets and regular exercise can help you lose excessive fat.
Of course, testosterone can increase libido. It can make sex more pleasurable. High T levels can improve performance and stamina, as well as increase your passion during intimate moments.
Conversely, low T levels have also been linked to weak erections and infrequent sexual activities. And now, we’ve come to another myth regarding T levels. Many that experience problems in bed could turn to testosterone therapy. Still, studies have found that this type of therapy is largely a myth and that it only mildly increases sexual functions. It doesn’t improve fertility or have a positive effect on energy or vitality.
Another benefit of high T levels is shown through your moods. Research has proven that low T levels can result in depression, anxiety, and mood swings. For women, higher T levels can result in immediate improvement in skin or hair health. Testosterone could also improve mental function as well as mood.
Now that you know about the biggest testosterone myths, you won’t have to worry about buying expensive supplements or paying for pricey therapies. However, if you’re still worried about your T levels, it’s advisable to seek medical advice and see if you truly have a problem.