One of the biggest pet peeves among women lies in the belief that men have it so easy when it comes to their metabolisms. For instance, when men and women go on the same diet, men tend to lose more weight, without trying as hard, but why?
The answer lies in the fact that—on average—men tend to carry around 40 pounds more muscle than women and ten times the testosterone. Muscle is a key metabolic tissue that greatly enhances the amount of calories we burn over a 24 hour period and testosterone happens to be the primary hormone that allows us to keep this metabolic furnace burning. That is until we lose it!
That’s right, men don’t exactly keep everything they had in their youth—especially when it comes to testosterone. Andropause, a term first appearing in the medical literature in 1952, is commonly defined as the natural reduction of male hormone levels—yes testosterone. Andropause is also believed to be one of the primary reasons some men experience a great deal of muscle loss, and fat gain—primarily in the tummy region—in later years, as well as the loss of; bone density, libido, stamina, and cognition.
Ninety-five percent of a man’s testosterone is made in the testes, with a meager 5% produced in the adrenal glands. Testosterone is a fat-soluble steroid hormone that is synthesized from cholesterol, which is why it (along with estrogen) needs to be transported around the bloodstream on a special carrier protein called a sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Unfortunately, once testosterone is bound to SHBG it is unable to elicit its physiological responses upon the body, and as SHBG levels increase with age and the more fat we accumulate, testosterone levels continue to decline by about 2-3% per year after the age of 40.
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts have discovered that the increase in SHBG is directly related to the increase in a mans age. On average, there was a 13% increase in SHBG per five years, making it harder and harder for elderly men to maintain an optimal metabolism.A study published in the journal Obesity Research, showed that out of 284 middle-aged men tested, low testosterone levels were discovered to be indirectly or directly related to the amount of fat
the men were carrying around their midsections. Abdominal obesity is clearly associated with major health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Researchers from the Lipid Research Center in Quebec, discovered that the higher the testosterone levels in 76 men, the better their levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and the lower their levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).
Due to the fact that testosterone levels are known to decline in direct proportion to the degree of obesity, it is thereby imperative to maintain a healthy weight, especially as we get older. Here’s how:
- Maintain muscle through regular resistance training
- Consume optimal protein and try supplementing with one or two high alpha whey isolate shakes per day (especially after exercise)
- Supplement with water-extracted stinging nettle root extract, as this has been shown to help free testosterone from SHBG (this is found in Ultimate Male Energy)
- Get sufficient sleep and reduce stress