Testosterone is a powerful steroid belonging to the family of hormones called androgens. It is primarily responsible for the testicular and prostate development in males. In fact it plays a significant role in maintaining the general well-being of an individual, which mainly includes building and strength gain of the muscle tissue and bone density. Thus presence of testosterone is imperative in our body because its low levels can not only negatively affect muscle growth and bone density but can also become a cause of depression for our being.
How is testosterone produced inside the body?
Besides belonging to the family of androgens, Testosterone is also a popular anabolic compound. Thus like other steroids, it possesses both anabolic as well as androgenic properties and is mainly derived from cholesterol. In terms of production, it is regulated by luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) of the body. Thus it is only after the release of these two hormones in the body that testosterone is produced. This process takes place by the stimulation of the pituitary gland of the body which then releases the LH and FSH. This release then initiates the production of testosterone in the body. Therefore proper functioning of the pituitary gland plays a crucial role in the production of natural testosterone in the body. The molecular weight of testosterone is 288.43 mg/mol and is written under the molecular formula C19H28O2.
History of Exogenous Testosterone
Although testosterone is a naturally produced hormone in the human body and has been largely employed by athletes for their benefit since centuries, its first synthetic form for human use was produced by Adolf Butenandt and Leopold Ruzicka who also received Nobel Prize for their significant contribution in the field. After testosterone was isolated and synthesized, its first version in the form of injections was available as Testosterone Propionate.
The benefits of testosterone are many but the prime factor that governs the intensity of results depends on the manner and quantity of the dose administered. For example, some men take additional testosterone only as a part of the hormone replacement therapy in which their prime motive is to increase their testosterone levels to normal after they have fallen short of it. A large number of them administer testosterone for an entirely different goal which is to increase its levels much above normal for the enhancement of their performance.
However written below are some common benefits of testosterone which every user is likely to enjoy:
Testosterone also helps in increasing the red blood cell count in the body. When a person taking this steroid increases his workouts, it results in the increase of red blood count which paves the way for more oxygen entering the body.
Testosterone is also known to increase the endurance of the human body. More the endurance in the body more is the individual’s ability to train. This eventually leads to greater efficiency of the muscle tissue
The protein efficiency is seen to greatly increase in the body after the administration of Testosterone. Thus when the body is supplemented with a testosterone dose, it leads to an increase in the protein synthesis, thereby increasing the level as well as the rate at which the muscle tissue is built or protected in a calorie restricted diet.
Testosterone is known to largely increase the ability to recover in its users, improve the efficiency of recovery in-turn when the muscles are torned down leading to the development of a perfect musculature.
Another major benefit offered by Testosterone includes strong anti-catabolic protection of the body. Some hormones like the cortisol present in the body are known to have a negative effect on the muscle tissues which can lead to weight gain in the body. Testosterone plays an effective role in blocking and reducing the negative effect of this hormone thereby ensuring the protection of muscle tissues in the body
These benefits of testosterone are fundamental to the presence of testosterone in any form in the body.
Forms of Testosterone
Testosterone is available in many forms and can be taken in more than one ways. Administering it in the form of injections happens to be one of the common ways to take this drug. It can also be put inside the body in the form of transdermal gels and patches. Another way is in the form of gel caps and tablets. If the person is seeking a hormone replacement therapy, then all other forms other then the injectable version can be taken but if building of muscle mass and body strength is the primary goal then the injectable version would work the best.
The attachment of ester in different ways to the testosterone compound renders it different forms. There are six major types of testosterones that hold prime importance for human use. They are Testosterone-Propionate, Testosterone-Enanthat, Testosterone-Cypionate, Testosterone-Suspension, Sustanon-250 and Omnadren.
Side-Effects of Testosterone Use
Just like other testosterone compounds,testosterone produces its own share of side-effects on the user. It must be noted that these side effects appear only when the steroid is taken in very high quantities for a very long period of time. Hence it is recommended that the user strictly adheres to the prescribed dosage only. However, some common side effects of Testosterone include water retention, gynecomastia, high blood pressure, testicular atrophy, development of acne and adverse cholesterol reactions.
There is a major difference in the way doses for hormone replacement therapy and muscle enhancement by bodybuilders is taken. People wanting to use the drug for hormone replacement should take their dosage advice from the doctor. For best gains in muscle mass and strength, beginners should start with 250 mg a week of testosterone. Bodybuilders and athletes seeking stronger results can administer up to 500 mg a week of this potent steroid.
Though many athletes have been found to take the drug in much higher than the mentioned amounts, it is not a recommended practice. This is because higher doses potentially increase the risk of side effects.
The most common length at which testosterone can be employed is 8 weeks. While administering a stronger dose, the best limit for optimal result is 12 weeks. Taking this drug beyond this period of time can lead to side effects and is not advised.
Lastly, it must be mentioned that testosterone should not be taken by individuals below 18 years of age. When employed as a part of the steroid cycle, Testosterone should be combined with a healthy diet followed by a rigorous bodybuilding regime.