Men are bigger and stronger than women – on average. Testosterone is the male sex hormone and is behind the physical and physiological features that distinguish men from women. So it would not be too farfetched to extrapolate that logic into meaning the more testosterone you have, the stronger you become. But how true is that? You are in luck. I have studied testosterone extensively over the years. Here are the things I have found on the connection between testosterone and physical strength.
What is testosterone? Can it make you stronger?
Let’s step away from the complex, scientific jargon for a bit. Testosterone is simply the primarily male sex hormone. Everything that you expect to see that defines the physical characteristics of the average man comes down to testosterone. Women have testosterone too – just not in the amounts men do (levels are about 6-10 times higher in men). In men, testosterone is made in the testes while in women, this occurs in the ovaries and adrenal glands. Production is regulated by the pituitary gland.
Like many mammals, humans exhibit sexual dimorphism. Ah yes, I know we were stepping away from difficult words but bear with me. Sexual dimorphism means the species’ sexes exhibit differences in not just sex organs but in size and physical appearance. The average man is noticeably larger and more muscular than the average woman.
And though it looks like investigating the obvious, multiple studies show testosterone does indeed improve physical strength. How does it do so though? It comes down to testosterone’s proven support for muscle protein synthesis. Importantly, testosterone increases muscle mass in both men and women.
How to use testosterone to get stronger
Now that we know testosterone levels have direct correlation to muscle mass and physical strength, how do you increase or normalize the amount of testosterone in your body? There are four main methods of increasing testosterone. Each of these have pros and cons.
1. Anabolic steroids
Anabolic steroids are a source of synthetic testosterone. They are best known for their widespread usage among athletes and pro bodybuilders keen on boosting performance and muscle mass. As a lab-produced testosterone, they stimulate muscle growth and physical strength by mimicking the effects of testosterone.
The primary advantage of anabolic steroids is how dramatically fast they can increase muscular mass. In a classic example of steroids’ appeal, viral fitness influencer Liver King admitted to using steroids while making his audience believe his physique was the result of a caveman-like diet of raw meat (and he built a fortune while at it).
The main danger of anabolic steroids are the profound long term health risks. They are classified as controlled substances in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and many other jurisdictions where use is prohibited.
2. Testosterone replacement therapy
If you are diagnosed with moderately or severely low testosterone, a doctor may recommend testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). It is a treatment regime that uses synthetic compounds similar to anabolic steroids but in this case regulated by law. Before putting you on TRT, the doctor will examine your symptoms and run some medical tests. TRT is not homogenous – there are different levels of treatment depending how severe your testosterone deficiency is.
Like anabolic steroids, TRT can get your testosterone up quickly with the added benefit of being a legally permitted process. On the downside, TRT is expensive, potentially hazardous and has loopholes that could be abused by people who want to get on it but do not really need it.
Your body naturally produces the hormones it needs. Like any other biochemical process, what you eat determines whether your body gets the inputs it needs to generate the right amounts of testosterone. At the minimum, switch to a diet rich in protein. And contrary to what you may have heard, you need to eat foods rich in natural fats too – in moderation. I’ll talk about food a little more in the subsection below.
Changing your diet is the most ideal way to get your testosterone levels where you want them. It is safe and will be the first thing your doctor will recommend. For all its merits though, diet takes a longer time than other methods to substantially increase your muscular mass and strength.
4. Testosterone boosters
Testosterone boosters are supplements formulated from all natural ingredients that stimulate your body’s own production of testosterone. This is in contrast to TRT and anabolic steroids which work by introducing synthetic testosterone. The supplements build on the benefits of a testosterone-friendly diet by making the required nutrients available in larger quantities and more readily absorbable form.
The best testosterone boosters are safe, have minimal side effects, affordable and can be purchased over the counter. However, testosterone boosters do not work on their own. They are designed to complement a healthy diet.
Benefits of having high testosterone levels
Natural ways to boost testosterone
Going natural is the best way to boost testosterone. To do that, you need to find the right mix of foods, herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and supplements. Take a look at the following examples you could start off with and build on.
Vitamins & supplements
So yes, boosted testosterone can make you stronger. I would hasten to add that how you boost testosterone matters a lot. The ideal is to change your diet and incorporate foods known to support testosterone production. This can be complemented by the use of all-natural testosterone boosters. Only if that fails to work should you consider more radical solutions like TRT which must only be done under the supervision of your doctor.