As a man, testosterone is one of the most important parts of your body. Testosterone is important for a variety of functions, with mood being one of the major benefits of high testosterone. However, 30 is often the age at which men see a decline in testosterone and this leads to a reduction in sex drive. However, we should find out “does cycling increase testosterone?”
Does Cycling Increase Testosterone? While you might think that all exercises would benefit and increase testosterone, this is often not the case. Many men see a decrease in testosterone for up to 72 hours after rigorous cycling activities. However, shorter bursts of cycling have been shown to increase testosterone over the long term.
As you can see, cycling can have both a positive and negative effect on testosterone and it ultimately comes down to how you approach it. The main purpose of this article is to help you better understand how cycling would affect testosterone. We will not only be looking at the positives but also consider some of the downsides.
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Effects Of Cycling On Testosterone
Cycling is one of those sports that has grown significantly over the last few decades and with the Tour de France achieving global coverage, more people want to hop on their bikes and ride a few miles. However, it is important that as a male, you have a basic understanding of what cycling does to testosterone levels.
Positive Effects On Testosterone
Most studies done on testosterone in men focus on resistance training, which is a form of training that often focuses on building and strengthening muscles. If you do short bursts of cycling and you decrease the rest periods, you are stepping into the realm of HIIT exercises, which have been proven to increase testosterone.
One of the many studies has shown that casual riders, who push themselves to the limit for a short period and take a short break, would see increases in muscle mass. This is often accompanied by a spike in testosterone for a short period and can help with mood and the improvement of the test levels, albeit temporarily.
Negative Effects On Testosterone
The downside to cycling is that some of the races and training regiments would force the rider to ride up to 200km. This would all be done in one day and would be endurance training. Studies have shown that endurance training can reduce the levels of testosterone in a healthy male and reduce the accumulation of muscle mass.
A study targeting elite swimmers has shown that when training volumes are doubled, it leads to an increase in the hormone Cortisol. Testosterone would often help to reduce cortisol, but too much Cortisol could decrease testosterone. In essence, too much cycling could lead to a reduction in overall testosterone.
How Does Cycling Boost Testosterone
There are a few ways in which cycling can boost testosterone and these would have a significant impact on your overall performance when you are looking to build muscle or lose body fat. Here are some of the main ways in which cycling can help to boost levels of testosterone in your body.
- Losing Excess Body Fat
One of the first things that would happen when you are cycling is that you will begin to shred some of the excess weight you have been carrying. Studies have proven that too much body fat would increase cortisol and inflammation in your body and this would fight the positive effect of testosterone and reduce its production.
Once you start shedding some of these extra pounds, you will automatically reduce the levels of cortisol in your body and this could lead to a long-term increase in testosterone and also your sex drive.
- Reduce Stress
Another major killer of testosterone among men is excess stress. Once again, stress would activate the cortisol hormone, which reduces the overall levels of testosterone and often includes things like binge eating and being lazy.
Cycling can help to reduce stress by giving your body some way of allowing the stress to get out of your body. The reduction of stress would enable your body to perform at an optimal level once again and you can see increases in testosterone.
- Building Muscle
You might have heard that many doctors would prescribe resistance training to people suffering from low testosterone. However, cycling is never associated with building muscle. The great thing is that doing resistance training on your bike could lead to muscle growth and this would significantly affect testosterone.
Research studies suggest that once you carry more muscle mass, it would trigger your body into producing more testosterone. The body does this to preserve and protect the muscle tissue from catabolic effects. You might not turn into the next Ronnie Coleman through cycling, but you would be able to see small increases in testosterone.
How Do Professional Cyclists Overcome Low Testosterone?
Now that we know long-term endurance training and cycling would reduce the overall levels of testosterone, we should also consider how a cyclist would deal with lower testosterone levels. Here are some of the methods that professional cyclists deal with low T levels:
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
One of the main methods of dealing with low testosterone is often testosterone replacement therapy, which is often an injection of testosterone that would be administered by a doctor. Your doctor would have your testosterone levels tested and determine an adequate dosage to get your test levels back in the working range. For a male, this would be between 300ng/Dl and 900ng/Dl of blood.
Many cyclists would often resort to additional resistance training that would help them to deal with test levels. Resistance training can be in the form of lifting weights or a different cycling regimen. However, this would allow the cyclist to build some muscle, which should help to preserve some of the testosterone.
Another method of dealing with low testosterone levels would be when you take breaks. In the off-season, some cyclists would leave the bike completely. During this time, it helps the body to rebuild its testosterone levels. Once the season starts, the cycle and process of keeping test levels high and being good at endurance would even out.
The final natural way that cyclists would keep their testosterone levels in check would be through diet. Certain foods, especially those with high sugar content can lead to estrogen development, which would counteract testosterone. However, a healthy diet can help to promote testosterone in cyclists, while keeping their body weight at optimal levels.
Should I Use Testosterone Boosters When Cycling?
Since cycling can diminish the testosterone levels of an individual, many are wondering if they should resort to using test boosters to enhance their performance. Unfortunately, most codes of ethics and the laws of the UCI would prevent the use of any performance-enhancing drugs. Testosterone boosters are considered peds.
It is best to try some of the natural methods of boosting testosterone and while this might take some time, they will eventually work. However, you might need to consult your doctor to ensure that you are getting the right advice and supplementation.
Does Cycling Increase Testosterone Summary
Cycling is a phenomenon in the world and while it can be fun, it is not always the healthiest way to go about your life. However, the right advice, training regimen, and supplementation can help you improve or sustain testosterone levels. Let us know in the comment section how you deal with test levels when cycling.