low testosterone epidemic: carloric restriction and overtraining
06-13-2011 02:55 PM
low testosterone epidemic: carloric restriction and overtraining
Dear forum members,
i came here a year ago to ask for help after having spoken to at least 4 doctors / endicrinologist, having tried all kinds of remedies , having thought about possible causes for my low testosterone: stress, orchitis (had it), adrenal fatigue, hashimoto thiroiditis (have it), low vitamin d, prolactinoma, excess of body fat...etc
I decided to write here to share my experience, my personal SUCCESSFULL research for a solution for low testosterone / libido which caused me a breakup, a lot of discomfort with my current girlfriend, almost depression, low energy. I want as many as possible to know how i made it because is a miserable condition....
I am a 33 years old in Europe, always had enormous sexual appetite and libido.
Over the last 10 years i realized this was declining. with it my fitness as well. Water retention, loss of muscles, fat gaining around the belly...no resistance to alcohol, terrible pains to neck muscles after an hangover...etc...weaker erection, no morning wood, dry pale skin, low body temperature when waking up in the morning.
In particular, three years ago i realized i had a t level of 300 ng/dl, and started my search for a solution
In brief: the cause for my low testosterone level was CALORIC RESTRICTION AND OVERTRAINING.
When i turned 23 yo, i realized i was starting to put on a minimal fat layer on my belly and decided to start running and dieting: the worst decision in my life
I believe i have lived almost 10 years eating on average 1500 calories per day, trying to eat as lean as possible and as few fats as possible + running 3 times a week.
You would think i had turned in the most fit person on earth: the opposite. I turned my muscles in fat, lost strenght, became slower. I could not loose wait at a point. I put the weight back on and....it's mostly fat tissue. I was stuck...not able to lose it even at 1000 calories a day and runing 3 times a week.
I did not realize i was eating so little. I thought 1500 was fine, i am a small guy (70kg, 170cm). It was BS. A man needs at least 2000 calories. If you are doing sport (as i was....) 2200-2400
In brief, in 2 months of eating more carbs (low carbs as well killed my libido) more fat and JUST MORE CALORIES (2200 a day)....I am back to my morning erections. My testosterone is 600 currently. I am not back to where i was 10 years ago and maybe i will never get there BUT... i feel better every day and my sexual llife is back on track.
My mind is finally free to focus on more important things than....
My theory then: our society impose some unrealistic role models and in the pursue to those models....we harm ourselves.
The low testosterone epidemic in the western world is caused by an overstretched lifestyle on never ending working days + low vitamins food + low calories to stay fit + overtraining.....everyone is stretching himself...for no reason
EAT MORE. TRAIN LESS. BEFORE GOING TO ANY ENDO/DOCTOR THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU EAT vs HOW MUCH CALORIES YOU BURN...caloric deficit depresses the secretion of GNRH and LH (my LH was always low, but in the ranges...when they put me on clomid it clearly showed my lh was going up and testosterone up to 700..)
YOUR SYSTEM MIGHT JUST BE DEPRESSED BECAUSE YOU EAT TOO LITTLE , think about the fact that anorexic/bulimic women see their menstruation stop...is
BEST OF LUCK TO ALL OF YOU WITH THE SAME PROBLEM
ps: i advise everyone who has vitamin D below 30 to take 20000 iu per week. or go to a tanning salon once a week. the sun is the only supplement that has worked with me other than FOOD!
07-03-2011 11:21 PM
like the post. sheds some light on some of my issues
07-04-2011 11:49 PM
I have long suspected that overtraining caused this in men who were not natural mesomorphs. More is not better and so many of us run ourselves into the ground in the pursuit of getting bigger and stronger.
07-08-2011 01:19 PM
Great posting, most guys do overtrain, but caloric intake is a huge factor. If you are eating like a horse, you can and probably should increase training output.
07-08-2011 09:12 PM
There is good research that shows both weight loss and extreme exercise can both cause a decline in testosterone and can lead to a loss of libido. (An interesting study looked at what happened to ironman type athletes after an endurance race--- huge plummet in T levels.) I know that now. But, after a year of eating lightly and running almost every day (about 50Km per week) plus some strength training on top, my libido crashed and when I went to my GP, he had no clue and was almost embarrassed to discuss the subject. I insisted on Testosterone tests, he initially would only tell me that my results were fine, but when I pressed him for results, I found that my total T was around 400 ng/dl but my free testosterone to be near the bottom of the normal range. (High SHBG.) Still no suggestions from him, he thought my results were fine, then he suggested an antidepressant (WTF!)
I cut back on the running and stabilized my weight. I still run, about 30K per week, but I am no longer exhausted in the afternoons nor are my legs and joints stiff in the morning. My strength training routine, though, is now fairly rigorous.
BTW, I'd kill for a T level of 600 or 700. My last blood test was 500. Not sure what it is currently because my GP is not on board with further testing.
07-09-2011 08:20 AM
Great post. Ppl don't understand that when we eat we cause hormones to secrete, tissues to uptake nutrients etc. Most of the "normal" population is just underfed nutrient wise. I'm not talking carbs/protein/fats, it has a lot to do with micro nutrients, leptin sensitivity etc. because when many people "diet" they feel hungry. Really hunger is mostly emotional, starvation yes, will lead to the body "being" hungry, but I think because most people eat processed stuff that doesnt' even register as nutrients to our body it's starved, yet has energy, so it's confused and just stores it as fat, cause that's safe, but it's not real food to it so it still signals the "i'm in need of food guys, EAT!".
Sorry for the confusing post, i'm in a rush lol .
07-09-2011 12:31 PM
Studies have shown that 4 nights in a row of insufficient sleep cuts Test levels in half. Think about that, only four days to plummet Test levels.
Lift heavy and eat lots of dead animals! Yes, that's me in my avatar.
02-14-2012 03:37 PM
low testosterone epidemic: carloric restriction and overtraining
Hi man, I was wondering if you feel better now and your T levels increased. I believe It happened the same to me, I'm a bit older than you, 38 now, started training in October 2010, morning 4 times a week wieghts and 4 times a week cardio..in the afternoons.... too much...right? well, at that time I didn't know about over training and all that... I just wanted to get in shape for once in my life.
My T levels before I started training were 650, after one year of hard training, 400, stopped training that hard, and after 5 months, T level increased to 450. I took HCG for 2 months ( november and december ), a doctor recommended it so I took it, I don't know yet if the T level increased because of the HCG or because I stopped training that much.
I've even considered hormone replacement ( testosterone in gel or patches ), but I know if I do that, I won't be able to maybe have a family one day. so I started surfing the www and I've found your post, it looks like very much of what happened to me... I was always with energy, always wanting to get laidm now, and in the last several months, I have lost my energy, i'm tired, I have sex but I think that I used to have more energy before...
You're younger than me, but I'd like to ask you for your advice. eat better, not overtrain, would you do anything else? did you take any vitamins? are you T levels back to normal?? please let me know, anything would help thanks
02-17-2012 08:23 PM
I don't know. I believe you are right in many ways, but overstate the calorie needs and especially the carb needs.
Originally Posted by Estrogosky
My experience tells me that eating healthy fats is what many guys have left out for years, and this messes with all your healthy hormone levels. We need fats such as coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil as well as the fish oil, and of course, vitamin D3 (the oil based kind) is essential too. Zinc, selenium, tocotrienols, and dietary cholestrol (eat whole eggs) are important also. As long as you do all that you can "get away with" low calories and even high levels of cardio for cycles of time. You do need to come back to eating more, especially protein, and reducing cardio while building muscle and strength quickly. The above fats, minerals, natural E, and dietary cholestrol set the foundation, and if you have that foundation, extra calories and the better test boosters will bring you back during intense weight training without any problems in my experience.
I'm 63 now and have gotten my test levels up to 620 fairly recently, and it felt like I did better than that, but I didn't blood test that time. I have more knowledge now about setting the foundations for high test levels, and I'm going to see if I can get over 700 next time I do blood work. Oh yeah, I was a low carber when I tested at that 620 level.
About carbs: Some body types do seem to need more carbs, and it's good for them and helps tremendously in muscle gain and etc. But not people like me, as I'm very carb sensitive and take insulin mimickers whenever I go over 15 grams in a meal to prevent blood sugar spikes and to get carbs into muscle.
10-15-2012 07:19 PM
Wow.... this is exactly what happened to me but it was only over a year. I'm 20years old atm but when i was 19 and in my first year of University i started working out vigorously (everyday) and over the space of a year my workouts got more and more intense, my daily food intake decreased, and i became obsessive with food and food types.
Anyway, about 3-5weeks ago i finally figured out what the cause of all my symptoms were (had been in and out of doctors MANY times doing tests for EVERYTHING). It got so bad that i got pale skin, dramatic weight lose, and worst of all nighttime incontinence which i had never had growing up (Doc said it was todo with my hormone levels and all the stress in my life from university, moving flats 10+ times, and being in a city where i knew nobody and had no family while studying). I've started eating a lot more and cut down to 4 days a week of lifting (spilt routine or 3 days if full body workouts) and have put on 9kg (78kg->87kg) without much noticeable fat. I just got my Testosterone re-tested and it is now 5mols per litre up from 3mols 3-4weeks ago (Total Testosterone).
I was just wondering if you tried any kind of testosterone booster or if you think it would be a good idea?
10-19-2012 06:50 PM
I'm currently experimenting with increasing my off day calories from 1850 to ~2200 mainly in teh form of carbohydrates.. I started carb cycling in the summer and started exhibiting a lot of the OP's symptoms.. Brain fog, general fatigue, no libido, slight hair loss, short term memory loss, etc..I hope everything gets back to normal. I also at first thought it was an adrenal gland issue from use of my pwo's for so long..I used 200-400g every other day. To me that doesn't seem like excess, but none the less.. Like stated in previous posts, your caloric intake (especially carbs) should be the main factor in overall energy levels, cognitive functioning,, libido, etc.. Wish me luck!
10-21-2012 03:07 PM
I think testosterone boosters are worthless. Never worked for me.
I am in a similar situation as the OP. I think my childhood years of eating 85+% carbohydrates lowered my test. Very little protein ever, love handles, lethargic from age 7 or so until until I started eating meat at age 22. I don't think my insulin sensitivity has increased at all since I'm 197lbs from a Max of 255 and still have love handles. My test was super low (60) in week 3 of PCT but Im pretty sure its been low for most of my life. Dwindling sex drive down to none at all, training up until over training, and still can't lose this fat.
Now, on week 2 of HRT I feel better than I've felt as long as I can remember.
Anyhow, I believe my poor diet ruined my test levels for most of my life. But my endo doesn't think that's a possible cause even though he prescribex TRT. The urologist didn't seem to care, so hopefully this anti aging doc will understand
10-21-2012 03:30 PM
Good points here about the caloric restriction, but "overtraining" is a term used far too loosely. Too much exercise for one's personal needs, sure. But CNS overtraining is something else entirely. For the recreational lifter/fitness enthusiast, this is not even remotely a concern,no matter how tough your 5 day splits may seem.
10-21-2012 08:14 PM
I think that everyday stress is more likely to lower your testosterone levels than restricted calories and training hard. Now combine too much of the everyday stressors and too much physical activity with restricted carbs and you'll see them drop.
More importantly than your T levels are your SHBG levels. If your fat levels are high, you can bet your aromatase is high, and so will be your estrogen. A guy with a 400T, low SHBG, moderate levels of estrogen can feel great as compared to another with 800t, high SHBG and high estrogen. It's all about ratios, not just how high your T levels are.
10-21-2012 08:33 PM
<30g carbs/day for 5 months, 53 days/60 training with 41 days >1000 calories in 80 minutes
In all seriousness, that was my July and August. Also correlated to my lowest sex drive ever. Now its beginning to make sense
...and still have love handles
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