Testosterone - The King Of Hormones?

 

Testosterone is commonly called the King of Hormones. Yet there are other powerful hormones in the body that can also lay claim to that title. In fact, this has been a long-running debate among lifters. Is Testosterone The King Of Hormones? Or is it a different hormone? Let’s find out!

What Are Hormones?

Before we go any further, let’s briefly define hormones. They are “molecules secreted into the extracellular fluid, circulate in the bloodstream, and carry regulatory messages throughout the body”. As messengers, they carry specific messages to specific receptors. By signaling these target receptors, hormones cause a specific action. There are three main classes of hormones: steroid, protein, and amine. They are part of the Endocrine System, a group of glands that secrete hormones.(1)

Growth Hormone

Now that we know what hormones are, let’s start with GH (Growth Hormone). GH is a protein hormone that consists of 191 amino acids. It’s produced and secreted by somatotropic cells in the anterior pituitary gland. 


Various feedback mechanisms control GH production. These mechanisms include nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep, and growth hormone itself. As GH secretes in response to these various factors, it does so in a pulsating manner that varies hourly. 

For example, GH secretes every 3-5 hours with up to 70% being secreted at night, mainly from 11 pm to about 2 am.(2,3,4) 

The primary function of GH is to stimulate overall growth, such as the developmental growth of bones and, of course, muscle growth. Plus, it promotes fat loss and has a role in the metabolism of macronutrients. Finally, it’s involved in the regeneration of your skin. 

Insulin

Insulin is also a protein hormone that’s released by the pancreas when glucose levels increase above normal. Insulin binds to target receptors on the cell membrane. This activates the receptors and they bind phosphate groups to intracellular enzymes. Because of this, glucose absorption, utilization, ATP production, amino acid absorption, and protein synthesis are all enhanced.

However, insulin is a double-edged sword because it is secreted in response to higher-than-normal glucose levels from eating too many simple carbohydrates. This leads to unwanted fat gain. That means you have to control your diet to minimize this unwanted effect.(5)

Don’t Forget Testosterone!

Testosterone is a steroid hormone (also called androgens, with testosterone being the primary androgen) derived from cholesterol and produced by the interstitial cells of Leydig (these are cells in the testes). In addition, the adrenal glands secrete smaller quantities. Levels fluctuate but the average adult male produces about 5-10 milligrams daily. Of course, levels begin to decline when men reach their mid-20s. 

Benefits of testosterone include:

  • Promotes the development of muscle, primarily through protein synthesis
  • Develops male sexual characteristics and sex drive
  • Supports energy and mood
  • Help keep body fat levels under control
  • Supports the production of red blood cells

For those that may not know, protein synthesis is the synthesis of new skeletal muscle proteins and is literally the trigger of muscle growth.(6)

What? DHT?

There’s also DHT, another androgenic hormone that is typically thought to have negative effects, such as male pattern baldness and prostate problems. Yet, DHT has some positive effects on muscle growth. For example, one study suggests that DHT increases protein synthesis and essential amino acid transport to fast-contracting muscle fibers more than testosterone.(7)

The Verdict - Is Testosterone Really The King Of Hormones?

And the winner is…all of them! Why’s that? For optimal results in the gym, you need the combined muscle-building benefits of each of these powerful hormones. As powerful as testosterone is, why focus on testosterone alone when you can optimize your progress by focusing on testosterone, insulin, and GH? 

Don’t Forget 5% Nutrition!

Of course, we have supplements that can help maximize natural hormone production. These include TEST Testosterone Booster (stack it with Core D-Aspartic Acid, Core KSM-66, and Core ZMA). Also, use Freak Show Insulin Mimicker to make carbohydrates more productive, and Knocked The F*ck Out to support GH production and help you sleep better. By adding these innovative products to your program, you can help make the most of your hormones!

References:

  1. Biology by Campbell and Reece, p.975, 977, & 932
  2. Normal Physiology of Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factors in Childhood, Cecillia Camacho-Hubner, MD, Dept of Endocrinology, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London EC1A 7BE, UK
  3. Brinkman JE, Tariq MA, Leavitt L, et al. Physiology, Growth Hormone. [Updated 2023 May 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482141/
  4. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-gh
  5. Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, Chapter 18, The Endocrine System, by Frederic H. Martini, p.617-620
  6. Griggs, R. C., Kingston, W., Jozefowicz, R. F., Herr, B. E., Forbes, G., & Halliday, D. (1989). Effect of testosterone on muscle mass and muscle protein synthesis. Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md.: 1985), 66(1), 498–503. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1989.66.1.498
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3167122/
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