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Running to Boost Testosterone: Does It Really Work?
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Running to Boost Testosterone: Does It Really Work?

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on January 3, 2023
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7 min

Does running lead to a boost in testosterone levels? Today’s article explores the possibilities. What is the science behind this? Join us as we unearth the answers.

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One of the biggest influences on athletic performance is testosterone. This hormone is linked with many health benefits, including increased bone density, a relaxed mood, and an impressive muscular physique. 

As such, athletes around the globe are constantly seeking ways to improve their testosterone levels. However, the majority of athletic interests center on boosting testosterone levels naturally.

That is because going all out to increase testosterone levels goes against doping regulations, disqualifying athletes from competing on the big stage. Furthermore, there are multiple safety concerns about increasing testosterone levels. 

So, the question of how to increase testosterone production naturally has, over the years, become a predominant one.

On that note, we look into the science to see if testosterone levels increased significantly with running. We have also taken things further by highlighting several ways runners can gain more testosterone and if they should decrease testosterone levels. So, stick with us!

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone that is produced by the testicles in males and by the ovaries in females. It is the primary androgen and is responsible for developing male characteristics, such as a deep voice and facial and pubic hair growth. It also helps to regulate mood, sex drive, and bone and muscle growth.

Although it is often associated with males, females also produce small amounts of testosterone. Testosterone levels typically peak during adolescence and early adulthood, gradually declining with age.

Low testosterone levels can cause symptoms such as fatigue, low sex drive, and depression. However, testosterone replacement therapy can help to improve these symptoms.

Does Running Boost Testosterone?

Yes, it does, but the answer is more complicated.

While running is a great cardiovascular exercise and a natural way to increase testosterone, it will take more than slow and steady endurance training, otherwise known as long-distance running, to raise your testosterone levels significantly.

As a matter of fact, partaking in any strength training program offers more of a testosterone-increasing effect. That is why frequent gym goers are seen to have high levels of testosterone, as the majority of their exercise routines center on weight lifting.

But when it comes to running, research reveals that short, high-intensity sprinting exercises effectively increase testosterone rather than endurance training. This is because high-intensity interval training pushes your body into an anabolic state, similar to the effects of muscle building. As a result, more muscle mass indicates increasing testosterone levels.

However, to boost your testosterone levels through running, you must have the right tools to elevate your exercise. One such tool is the Joggo running app.

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Joggo is an all-in-one training app that offers personalized workout programs for all levels of runners. It features personalized workouts, meal plans, nutrition tips, educational articles, and a progress tracker. As such, it helps structure a workout routine that draws out the best in your athletic performance.

Training efficiently at the highest level will help burn fat, induce weight loss, and increase testosterone.

The Production of Testosterone

The one thing you must note is that the production of testosterone differs between sexes. In males, testosterone production occurs in the testes. On the other hand, in females, its production occurs in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and peripheral tissues.

However, these are not the only organs that play active roles in the production and control of testosterone levels. For example, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are facilitators in testosterone control, playing active roles in the production and release of testosterone in both males and females.

Your testosterone levels are strictly monitored by the hypothalamus – the principal visceral control center of the brain. When testosterone levels are lower than the bodily requirements, the hypothalamus sends a signal to the pituitary gland via the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).

Upon issuing this command, the pituitary gland releases the luteinizing hormone (LH), which travels straight to the gonads, triggering the production and release of testosterone.

However, in females, the release of LH triggers the production and release of estrogen and progesterone.

Overall, if any of the organs mentioned above fail to function optimally, abnormal testosterone levels become the norm.

Is Testosterone a Steroid?

The answer to this question is quite complex – yes and no. Therefore, let’s look at the science behind it.

The human body produces two classes of hormones: peptide and steroid hormones. Peptide hormones are protein-based, hence, water-soluble – a great example is insulin. On the other hand, testosterone is a steroid hormone, hence, lipid-soluble.

When it comes to the steroid discussion, especially in the fitness industry, more often than not, it centers on exogenous anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). As opposed to endogenous steroids, which are naturally produced by the body, exogenous steroids are synthetically generated.

In cases where athletes and fitness enthusiasts cannot produce sufficient testosterone levels, they turn to exogenous steroids as a supplement. These steroids can be taken in one of two ways: orally or through an injection straight into the muscles.

The effect is an increase in lean muscle mass and strength. However, there are several pitfalls attributed to the use of exogenous steroids. Myocardial infarction, stroke, hyperlipidemia, acne, gynecomastia, gingival enlargement, testicular atrophy, and behavioral changes are just a few of these side effects.

In the world of sports and fitness, many professional associations see the use of anabolic steroids as having an unfair advantage. As such, rules are in place to ensure that participants compete while being completely natural.

Other Ways to Increase Testosterone

While lifting weights and high-intensity interval training are the preferred methods of naturally boosting testosterone production, there are other ways of getting more testosterone.

#1 Get enough sleep

The quantity and quality of sleep play a major role in testosterone production. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked with elevated cortisol (stress hormone) and low testosterone levels. To prevent this, you must prioritize consistently getting a whole night’s rest.

#2 Try supplements 

Testosterone booster supplements are another alternative to combat low testosterone. While the majority of testosterone booster supplements claim to tackle low testosterone, it is essential to note that the research on them is greatly lacking.

According to a study involving the top 5 over-the-counter testosterone boosters, only 30% out of 37 participants experienced increased testosterone levels. This proves that while testosterone booster supplements may work, there is a need for further research to explore their effectiveness and safety.

Some of the top testosterone booster supplements include:

  • TestoPrime
  • Testogen
  • Testo-Max
  • Genius Test by the Genius Brand 
  • Roman Testosterone Support
  • Prime Male
  • PrimeGENIX Testodren

Overall, using testosterone booster supplements to improve low testosterone levels is not a bad idea. However, you need to do proper research before jumping on any supplements. 

Likewise, you must endeavor to consult a doctor. They are the only ones qualified to diagnose low testosterone and provide adequate remedies.

#3 Do strength exercises

As mentioned earlier, strength training is one of the best ways to increase testosterone, even more than endurance training. That is because the male body’s response to strength training is the production of testosterone, which is evident with increased muscle strength and mass.

Doing full-body workouts is best as it targets all muscle groups. That is because full-body workouts tend to be more challenging and thus result in a greater release of testosterone.

In addition to full-body workouts, exercises that focus on the legs, like squats and deadlifts, have also been shown to increase testosterone levels. This is likely because leg exercises require a large amount of energy and thus result in a greater release of testosterone.

#4 Have a clean diet 

A healthy diet is important for many reasons, including maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and having enough energy to live an active lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet can also help increase hormone levels.

While testosterone levels naturally decline with age, several things can contribute to low testosterone levels, including poor nutrition. Nutrition is vital for testicular function and healthy hormone levels. 

A clean diet with plenty of whole foods, healthy fats, and essential nutrients can help increase testosterone levels and improve overall health.

What Happens if Your Body Has Too Much Testosterone?

While there are positives to having the normal range of this male sex hormone, having too much of it causes the opposite effect. For starters, you experience frequent mood changes, like euphoric highs and depressive lows, and anger issues due to decreased cognition and poor judgment.

Furthermore, too much of this hormone coursing through your body triggers the brain to halt production, forcing the testicles to shrink. You also develop a higher blood count, which, if left unchecked, can lead to blood clots and an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks.

FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about running and testosterone increase.

Is it enough to run to boost the production of testosterone?

While running boosts testosterone, it is counter-intuitive to not include other exercises in your training program. That is because there are other benefits that you gain.

So, your training program should consist of a mix of resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and strength training.

Is it possible to overdose on testosterone while constantly running?

No, it is impossible to overdose with constant running workouts. Even high-level muscle-building activities will not lead to an overdose.

A Word From Our Coach

While naturally increasing testosterone levels through running and other high-intensity exercises does not pose any harm, going above the normal range can put you at serious health risks.

You should do your research before buying supplements. Better still, consult a doctor before beginning any therapy. Doctors are better qualified to keep your testosterone, estrogen, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels at equilibrium. They ensure you are not at risk of clotting by checking your blood pressure. This helps reduce your chances of having strokes or heart attacks.

Conclusion

So, does running boost testosterone? The simple answer is yes. That being said, there are plenty of other ways to increase your testosterone levels if you’re looking for an effective way to do so. Try out some of these methods and see which ones work best for you.

Joggo
Love from the first run
  • Personalized running plans created by professional coaches
  • Meal plans perfectly tailored to your current diet, allergies, and health needs
  • Treadmill mode for people preferring indoor running
  • Educational articles on easier running, injury prevention, nutrition, and more
  • Behavior science-based reward system for lasting motivation
Our rating:
4.7
Start Free Quiz Now
Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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