For many women, the word "testosterone" conjures the image of a muscle-bound sports player or a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. But it turns out that testosterone is not just for guys — it and another androgenic hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), are forces of good in women's metabolic war too. They can help us boost our energy, motivate us to hit the gym, and help us build calorie-burning muscle. That's why we have to do everything we can to protect our levels of these hormones, because as we get older, they start to head south.
Androgens like testosterone and DHEA are anabolic hormones — by definition, they build rather than destroy. And what they build, thank goodness, is mostly muscle. In both men and women, testosterone helps increase lean muscle mass and strength, boosts libido, and improves energy.
Unfortunately, as we age, our production of testosterone and DHEA trends downward. Our libidos slip, our muscles lose mass, we gain abdominal fat, and our bones weaken. Motivation to exercise decreases, which is absolutely tragic because exercise helps boost testosterone. To make matters worse, as people gain weight, their bodies start to convert more of their testosterone to estrogen. This estrogen can then start to overshadow the effects of testosterone in a vicious cycle: more estrogen, more fat; more fat, more estrogen. The testosterone gets crowded out of the equation.
Eating right, exercising, and managing stress are all crucial to keeping testosterone and DHEA levels high. Members of my online program will learn more about testosterone-boosting foods later in the week — stay tuned!