Masters Athletes Testosterone
Testosterone makes men . . . men. Testosterone, of course, is a hormone. Testosterone is important for normal sexual function. But testosterone’s role in other aspects of men’s health and well-being is sometimes overlooked. Testosterone maintains muscle and bone. It drives production of red blood cells. It directs the distribution of body fat giving men a masculine physique. Or at least not a feminine physique. Testosterone keeps minds sharp and energy levels high. Testosterone levels fall with aging. Testosterone starts to decline when a man reaches the age of about 30. From age 30 on, men can expect a 1% drop in testosterone every year. Few enjoy the process. Aging is frankly scary. And its something none of us of ever imagined would actually happen to . . . us.
What is Normal Testosterone?
Testosterone levels in men can vary quite a bit. “Normal” levels are levels that allow a man function normally. Men whose testosterone levels fell between 300 and 1000 ng/dl (nanogams per deciliter) are considered to be within the normal range. On average older men have lower testosterone than younger men. But there are many factors besides age that can lower testosterone. Lack of sleep, stress, getting dumped, problems at work, even something as simple as losing an athletic competition can cause testosterone to fall. Some people believe that men should take testosterone supplements to offset natural declines. And many men report feeling stronger, sexier and more energetic when they take them. There are a few problems with supplementing with testosterone, including some serious health risks. There is an alternative. Before running to the doctor or giving up you can become a Masters Athletes. If you are already a Masters Athlete . . . keep it up.
Masters Athletes Testosterone.
Masters Athletes do not share many of the changes in body composition, function, hormone profiles or metabolism that their sedentary peers experience. At least not to the same degree. This is according to a recent study of a small group (20) of Masters Athletes compared to a small group (28) of sedentary peers. Masters were found to have:
- Greater VO2 Max
- Greater peak power output
- Higher salivary testosterone
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower percent body fat
There was no difference between Masters Athletes and Sedentary Peers in
- Fat Free Mass
- Total Body mass
Here is an interesting question that wasn’t apparent reading the paper. If Masters athletes have less body fat and the same amount of Fat Free Mass as sedentary peers what is the source of the Masters Athletes mass? Probably not blood volume, since blood pressure is lower. Body hair perhaps? From less balding? If anyone would like to go over the paper and let me know what I’ve missed it would be greatly appreciated.
Hayes LD, Grace FM, Sculthorpe N, Herbert P, Kilduff LP, & Baker JS (2013). Does chronic exercise attenuate age-related physiological decline in males? Research in sports medicine (Print), 21 (4), 343-54 PMID: 24067120