By Christina Major | 5 May 2021
You might think turning to hormone supplements might get you bigger muscles or more speed. But that's just not the case. If your hormones aren't correctly balanced for what your body needs, it could cause lethargy, low sex drive, heart problems, and even death. It's as much of a problem if you have too much as if you have not enough.
Sex Hormones and Muscle Building
There are three primary sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. They each work in both men and women.
In a woman, a normal testosterone range is 8 to 60 nanograms per deciliter. Men biologically have more testosterone, between 240 and 915 nanograms per deciliter. You can see the difference.
Estrogen's the primary hormone that brings on feminine traits, fat storage, metabolism control, and mental acuity. On the other hand, testosterone focuses more on masculine characteristics, sex drive, muscle building, and energy utilization. They're both vital, in both sexes, for proper health. Of course, they're not the only hormones.
The other hormones in your body, such as serotonin, dopamine, insulin, cortisol, thyroid hormones, and the nearly 100 different types of hormones used in small concentrations throughout the body, are dependent on the sex hormones once a person goes through puberty.
It's keeping those hormones in the proper balance that makes a massive difference to your health.
And here's the big thing to remember. More testosterone does not equal bigger muscles, only how the muscles are distributed. Your muscle strength and size is dependent on many other factors, including the long-term utilization of testosterone, bone density and distribution, and the utilization of calcium during fetal development and childhood growth before the age of 10.
Even with the popularization of transgender fighters in MMA, biological males will always have more muscle on their bodies than biological females.
Fallon Fox, a transgender MMA fighter, broke the orbital bone around her opponent Tamikka Brents' eye. While these types of injuries do occur during fights, they are exceptionally rare in female fights. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is becoming more common.
Hormone Replacement Therapy and Testosterone Supplements
Unless you've been tested by a doctor specializing in hormone therapy, we do not recommend taking testosterone supplements. The studies are out there that show when young men take testosterone supplements, it does not increase muscle mass and puts a sometimes fatal strain on the heart.
One of the most famous studies regarding hormones comes from bodybuilders who use testosterone to build muscle. The study showed the bodybuilders did not actually produce any more muscle than they otherwise would have but showed an enlargement of the heart and decreased function. It greatly increased the chance of a heart attack.
Getting Back In Balance
A Legend's Perspective
Some supplements will help you to naturally return to your normal testosterone levels, like the ones Randy Couture uses. He has publicly stated his position on this as well:
"Well, I understand it; there is this whole movement out there for anti-aging. And it started out with guys in their 50's who, naturally, as you get older, your testosterone levels deplete. Your body quits producing more. They want to feel, recover and do the things they did when they were younger.
I understand that. But, I think there are natural ways to jump-start your body's own production rather than put an external source of testosterone in your body.
I think putting the external in only compounds the issues that you're already having. Obviously, Chael and Marquardt, there have been several athletes that have used TRT. I think for them, it's not a function of really having depleted levels of testosterone;
it's wanting to have testosterone levels of a 21-year-old again because when you were 21, let's face it, you recover better, you're probably going to compete better, especially if your 32 and you have that experience going into a fight.
Pushing the Boundaries
So, I understand it; I chose a little bit different path in trying to find natural ways to boost my own testosterone levels and my body's own production. I used the XCAP program, resveratrol, those natural products that forced my body to produce more, and seeing a doctor that's going to regulate where your levels are… I just think there are alternative ways of doing things. If you're that concerned about really monitoring where your levels really are, make sure that you don't cross that line.
I want my body to do what it's supposed to do. Obviously, as I get older, it gets harder to do that, but I can still make it to do it; I just got to be more diligent about it. That's just my opinion.
That's one of the reasons why I formed the XCAP supplement program. I have been using it for seven years; I competed till I was almost 49; I've probably pushed it farther than anyone is going to push it for a while."
Need a Boost?
Do you fall within the category of needing a supplement to boost your testosterone production? The Power of Hormones is a step-by-step guide that helps women take control of their hormone health.
It was by a woman who suffered from various hormone imbalances and unsuccessfully tried several treatments. The Power of Hormones is an easy-to-read book designed to help all women at any stage of life.
While your testosterone or estrogen needs may change with age, "The Fighter’s Nutritional Blueprint: Creating a Combat Arts Ready Body" can assist your in your fitness journey no matter what stage in life you are in.