We all desire higher testosterone levels, but it often takes a small, overlooked step to achieve it. The solution may be simpler than you think – correcting a fundamental mineral deficiency.
Elevating Testosterone Through a Mineral
When you aim to enhance your testosterone levels and a blood test shows that you're not quite medically low but still not where you'd like to be, there's an initial step to take. It might come down to something as basic as a lack of magnesium.
The Magnesium Deficiency
A staggering 85% of Americans may be deficient in magnesium, and the situation could be even worse for athletes, as rigorous physical activity can deplete the body's magnesium reserves.
The significance of this mineral cannot be overstated; it participates in over 300 biochemical processes in the human body. Magnesium is indispensable for energy production, protein synthesis, and insulin metabolism, among other crucial functions. A magnesium deficiency can result in unwarranted lactic acid build-up, muscle cramps, subpar recovery, and overall diminished exercise performance. Additionally, it can hinder weight loss efforts.
Taking magnesium supplements can alleviate these symptoms and side effects, but recent research by Turkish scientists suggests an even more compelling benefit. Their study indicates that combining magnesium supplementation with intense exercise can catapult testosterone levels by a remarkable 24%.
The Study's Methodology
The research involved 30 male students aged 18 to 22. Ten of them led sedentary lifestyles, while the other 20 engaged in intense taekwondo sessions lasting 90 to 120 minutes, five times a week.
The sedentary group and half of the taekwondo practitioners were given a daily dose of 10 mg of magnesium per kilogram for four weeks, while the remaining 10 martial artists received no supplementation. Testosterone levels were measured in all participants both at rest and after strenuous exercise before the study commenced and again after four weeks of magnesium supplementation.
The Research Findings
Magnesium intake yielded increased free and total testosterone levels in both the sedentary and athletic groups. Notably, magnesium elevated free testosterone levels by approximately 15% in the sedentary group and a striking 24% in the magnesium-plus-training group.
What It Means for You
Considering magnesium's role in numerous biochemical processes, it's reasonable to assume that one or more of these processes contribute to testosterone synthesis. It's also plausible that magnesium helps to liberate more testosterone from binding proteins, thereby augmenting levels of free, bioavailable testosterone.
Hence, incorporating a magnesium supplement into your regimen is a wise decision. General health recommendations suggest a daily intake of 4 mg of magnesium per kilogram. For instance, a 200-pound individual would require approximately 363 mg daily to meet minimum requirements.
However, these recommendations don't consider the potentially greater needs of athletes or the dosage required to achieve the significant testosterone increase observed in the study.
The dosage used in the Turkish study was roughly 10 mg per kilogram, which translates to approximately 907 mg daily for a 200-pound individual, just shy of a gram. It's a manageable quantity.
Alternatively, you can turn to magnesium-rich foods, including:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Swiss chard
But, few of us are willing to consume the volumes of food necessary to reach a gram of magnesium (for example, around 10 cups of seaweed). Moreover, there's no guarantee of obtaining precise magnesium quantities from these foods, as variations in soil quality and cultivation practices can lead to nutrient disparities.