Testosterone belongs to the androgen group of steroid hormones that are responsible for the development of secondary male sexual characteristics like muscle growth, the deepening of the voice and growth of facial and body hair during puberty. Testosterone plays a vital role in athletic performance hence the desire among sportsmen and women to boost their bodies production of this hormone. Naturally, men have much higher testosterone levels than women, which explains why men are able to put on and maintain muscle mass more easily than women.
The main benefit of testosterone for athletes is the role this hormone plays in protein synthesis. Protein synthesis plays a very important process in muscle growth. When muscle is broken down in the gym, testosterone helps to rebuild the damaged tissue resulting in denser, stronger, and bigger muscles. The presence of testosterone also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is one of the biggest enemies to muscle growth as too much of this hormone causes you to lose muscle by breaking down muscle tissue. The more testosterone there is, the less of this muscle destroying hormone you will have in your system.
In an attempt to gain an unfair advantage, some athletes put their health at risk by taking anabolic steroids to boost their bodies production of testosterone. Anabolic steroids are synthetic forms of testosterone and should never be administered without medical supervision because of the health dangers an unregulated administering of this substance can cause. It is only under very rare conditions that testosterone therapy is recommended such as for persons suffering from muscle wasting disorders.
Athletes who resort to artificially introducing testosterone into their system with the sole aim of improving athletic performance put themselves at risk. No medical doctor in their right mind would approve testosterone pills or injections for someone who does not need it. Since these athletes know that what they are doing is illegal, many of them will take it on their own with little to no medical supervision regarding the effect the dosages are having on their body.
Some of the negative side effects of steroid use range from infertility, shrinkage of the testicles, breast development and baldness in men while women may suffer from the enlargement of the clitoris, excessive body hair and baldness. Other harmful effects are tendon rupture, high blood pressure, heart attacks, cancer, tumors, fluid retention, rage and delusions. The body might also stop producing testosterone naturally and become dependent on obtaining it from an external source. Can you imagine a once healthy individual having to take testosterone injections for the rest of their life because their body does not produce it naturally anymore? The risks associated with steroid use is certainly not worth it.
As long as an average person works out, eats right and gets enough sleep, their testosterone levels will naturally increase. A healthy lifestyle is the key to gaining muscle naturally and looking good. There is no need to put oneself at risk by taking anabolic steroids.
About the Author
Chris Brown is an average 26 year old guys with a passion for Health and Fitness. Check out his blog “Gain Build Muscle” for the latest fitness updates and you can also follow him on Twitter.