The Battle Against Low-T
Posted on August 21 2018
"Not me bro. Have you seen the size of my truck?" Well, it turns out that maybe you are compensating for something.
Recently, The Havok Journal posted an article by author Kevin Lacz, a Physician’s Assistant who argues that in his daily practice, he see’s a significant decrease in median testosterone levels within the Tactical Population. He argues that due to a prolonged time in stressful environments where your body remains in a sympathetic (fight or flight) response, one’s body has a more difficult time resetting back to a parasympathetic state, wreaking havoc on your hormones. This has a number of implications particularly on the veteran population.
For most hard-chargers, the first thought that comes to mind with Low-T is that it causes a decrease in sexual functions. And while that’s important there are two problems in particular that exacerbate Low-T in men, a higher risk of fat accumulation and sleep disturbances. Your testosterone drops, you gain weight and lose sleep, your testosterone drops even further, and the cycle gets worse.
Current and past members of the military, particularly those that have deployed in a combat zone, already are more likely to experience sleep disturbances. And for many veterans who are no longer forced to maintain conditioning levels, it is a time to relax a little which in turn results in weight gain. As you settle into your new cubicle life, it’s easy to maintain eating habits that existed while you were out rucking with your units once a week or patrolling daily. And of course I’ve discussed the difficulties of transition and how so many of us end up in the bottle. None of this bodes well for someone who may already be suffering from Low-T.
While it’s good advice to be examined by a doctor, be sure to discuss with him or her other options outside of Testosterone Replacement Therapy. Large clinical trials continue to be lacking in terms of the side-effects of such therapy but common beliefs are that it could cause an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke as well as Prostrate Cancer, Blood Clots and Sleep Apnea.
In Home Options
Luckily there are options that you can implement today that naturally boost testosterone levels that don’t include binge watching Clint Eastwood movies or jacking up your truck. The most obvious method to those reading this is to exercise. The best forms of exercise to boost testosterone levels is to perform multi-joint, compound movements such as the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Olympic Lifts. As much as you want to curl in the squat rack, isolation movements such as this do little to increase testosterone levels. Lift hard, lift heavy, and stress your body.
What you eat also has a major impact. A diet high in protein has been proven to boost testosterone as well as decrease fat. But also adding in healthy carbohydrates and fats will help boost energy stores for all those gym sessions. Focus on clean, healthy foods and plenty of greens.
Lastly, do what you can to increase your sleep. One particular study noted that testosterone levels will decrease by 15% in those who sleep 5 hours or less but increase by 15% during every hour over. This, of course, will also benefit your ability to perform in the gym.
If true that the tactical population is at a higher risk of low testosterone, it would appear that there are two circular paths that can be taken, one that exacerbates Low-T and one that boosts testosterone. Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you’re ready to make a change and desire to start or re-start a strength program, contact us for a custom program that’ll get you back in the black and enter a cycle that is proven to benefit your overall well-being.