Testosterone and Rapid Weight LossA higher count of free testosterone, however, comes with a price. In three collegiate wrestlers made national headlines by dying. The story was considered newsworthy not only because the three young men had no history tsstosterone illness but also because of injecting steroids needles that their use of creatine supplements had led to their untimely deaths. Subsequent investigation revealed that creatine had nothing to do with it. What weibht killed them was dehydration, leading to kidney shutdown in two of the wrestlers.
Testosterone and Rapid Weight Loss | Iron Man Magazine
A higher count of free testosterone, however, comes with a price. In three collegiate wrestlers made national headlines by dying. The story was considered newsworthy not only because the three young men had no history of illness but also because of accusations that their use of creatine supplements had led to their untimely deaths.
Subsequent investigation revealed that creatine had nothing to do with it. What really killed them was dehydration, leading to kidney shutdown in two of the wrestlers. Making weight is common in many sports, and bodybuilders often try to reduce bodyfat before a competition in order to highlight muscularity. The sensible method of losing weight is a longer, slower process.
Most professional bodybuilders begin their contest preparations anywhere from three to six months out from a contest; losing weight slowly preserves muscle and strength. Few athletes pay the ultimate price for injudicious dieting and training, but they do pay in more subtle ways. The cost of dropping weight too rapidly was highlighted in a recent study of 18 elite wrestlers who competed nationally and internationally.
The wrestlers—average age 21 with an age range of 17 to 31—were told to restrict their intake of carbohydrates and fat but keep their protein intake high, at two kilograms per pound of bodyweight, to prevent loss of lean mass. Their daily calorie intake was to 2,, and they stimulated dehydration during the last two days through heavy training and hot saunas, as well as restricting fluid intake and lowering their daily calories to a maximum of 1, The wrestlers also took various minerals:.
They used potassium chloride, which can have caustic effects in the gastrointestinal tract; magnesium hydroxide, which rapidly brings on diarrhea; and calcium carbonate, which is chalk and harder to absorb than other forms of supplemental calcium.
Even so, getting some minerals is better than getting none. Odds are that their restricted diet was low on those minerals and that side effects would have been much more in evidence without them. Remember, the wrestlers were actively seeking dehydration to foster weight loss, and dehydration causes mineral loss. The weight-reduction program proved successful. The greatest overall weight loss was 11 percent, along with an average 6.
The wrestler also lost 2. The average drop was 33 percent, along with a 47 percent drop in luteinizing hormone, or LH, a pituitary hormone that controls testosterone synthesis. The fact that LH dropped by 47 percent reflects insufficient food intake, coupled with high stress conditions.
Increased aerobic exercise, especially when accompanied by an ultralow-calorie diet, is associated with low testosterone and higher cortisol counts. The wrestlers reported increased fatigue, tension and anger and reduced vigor. They also had trouble sleeping, and stress from that further depleted their testosterone.
Insulinlike growth-factor 1 did not take a hit. IGF-1 is vital for muscle repair. I would suggest two other possible mechanisms. IGF-1 is related to both calorie and protein intake. In addition, the carbohydrate and fat may have spurred an increased release of growth hormone, which would be reflected by a higher amount of IGF Natural bodybuilders who drop weight too fast by extreme dieting and training will likely experience rapid drops in testosterone and growth hormone, as well as a rise in cortisol.
So if you avoid pharmaceutical hormones, you should also avoid crash dieting, unless you also want to crash your muscle gains. Bodybuilders hear a lot of bad things about estrogen these days. Its evil reputation is almost on par with cortisol, although the two hormones have little in common other than both being steroids.
Estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, aldosterone and activated vitamin D are all steroids. Judging by the number of supplements that claim to lower estrogen, it appears to be a definite liability for bodybuilders.
In males having an abundance of estrogen is linked to water retention—caused by increased aldosterone and the resulting sodium retention—subcutaneous bodyfat and gynecomastia. The higher-than-usual estrogen seen in some bodybuilders is caused when aromatase, a ubiquitous enzyme found throughout the body but particularly concentrated in fat tissue, converts anabolic steroids to estrogen.
Bodybuilders who use large doses of anabolic steroids may have more estrogen than young women do. Normally, men have about 10 times as much testosterone as women, only 0. That scenario changes in the presence of huge doses of anabolic steroids, which is why bodybuilders who juice also take drugs that either block estrogen cell receptors Nolvadex , or inhibit the aromatase enzyme directly Arimidex. It appears to interact with androgen cell receptors, amplifying the impact of anabolic steroids.
Estrogen also maintains IGF-1, which has anabolic functions in muscle besides helping muscle repair after exercise. Some emerging evidence shows that estrogen may play a role in preventing excessive muscle damage during exercise. From a cardiovascular protection viewpoint, estrogen is a paradox. In women it appears to protect against cardiovascular disease by fostering higher levels of high-density lipoprotein, the good kind of cholesterol, and maintaining the elasticity of arteries.
Having supple arteries helps protect against atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. In a recent study that involved young men, average age 19, researchers looked at the connection between the sex hormones estradiol, estrone, testosterone and androstenedione and such major cardiovascular-disease risk factors as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess weight. Having more estrone, a weaker estrogen, was linked with increased total cholesterol and heightened LDL, which is also linked to cardiovascular disease.
Testosterone, which is often accused of promoting cardiovascular disease in men, had no effect on any risk factors. Clearly, estrogens are of no benefit whatsoever to men of any age. Why they appear to protect women from cardiovascular disease is still a biological mystery. Some scientists suggest that increased estrogen, coupled with lower testosterone, is responsible for many of the ills linked to the aging process in men. Older men tend to have more bodyfat, and more bodyfat means more aromatase activity and more estrogen.
While there is only one known androgen cell receptor, estrogen has two: In addition, having lower testosterone leads to having more visceral, or deep-lying, abdominal fat, which is most unhealthful. There it makes mischief as a prime cause of the metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Visceral fat is also rich in aromatase. Some researchers suggest that because of the metabolic problem discussed above, routine use of aromatase-inhibiting drugs should be considered a sensible treatment for men who have higher estrogen and lower testosterone.
Other researchers, however, point to the effects of a total lack of aromatase in animals bred to lack genes that produce it or humans born without the same genes. They also accumulate excess fat in their livers, a condition that is corrected if they receive estrogen. They have resting insulin three times greater than other mice. Human beings who lack aromatase have similar conditions, including higher glucose, insulin and total and low-density lipoprotein, which places them at risk for cardiovascular disease.
The abnormalities are all reversed in men who are given estrogen. How that relates to those who use drugs that interfere with estrogen activity becomes clear when you consider that labels on over-the-counter versions of aromatase inhibitors always warn users not to take them all the time.
None of the supplements completely knock out estrogen. A study 3 of young men given one milligram daily of Arimidex, which is far more potent than any over-the-counter estrogen blocker, for 10 weeks found a 50 percent reduction in estradiol, the most active form of estrogen.
When you block estrogen in men, you get a reciprocal increase in testosterone. Taking Arimidex caused a slight rise in testosterone in the young men, but in older men who were low in testosterone, taking the same drug in the same dose normalized testosterone. So the effect on testosterone depends on how much your body is making in the first place.
So in effect, you are trading one set of problems high estrogen for another high DHT. Rapid weight loss decreases serum testosterone.
Int J Sports Med. Association between lipid profile and circulating concentrations of estrogens in young men. Estrogen suppression in males: J Clin Endocrin Metabol. You must be logged in to post a comment Login. You must be logged in to post a comment. Cutting carbs is generally considered to be the fastest and most effective way to drop weight.
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Newsletter The latest, greatest training info and research delivered to your online mailbox every week and it's FREE. It's your road to radical results. Find us on Facebook. Subscribe to Our Channel. More in Nutrition News Alert: Cutting Carbs Cutting carbs is generally considered to be the fastest and most effective way to drop weight. Cindy Mam April 12, Debunking Fat Myths We all want to look better, lose fat, and improve our fitness levels through the food we eat. Cindy Mam April 2,