Cardio is one of the most popular forms of exercise, as it’s simple to do, requires little equipment, and provides substantial health benefits like strengthening your heart and lungs and improving your mood. But does it increase your Testosterone? When it comes to boosting Testosterone, many think lifting weights is the only workout that does. In this article, we’ll explore how cardio workouts can help testosterone levels.
Let’s find out if cardio increases your testosterone levels or just makes you sweat.
What is Cardio?
Cardiovascular exercise, commonly known as “cardio”, is any aerobic activity that raises your heart rate and breathing for an extended period. Some of the most popular forms of cardio exercise include running, cycling, swimming, rowing, jumping rope, dance aerobics, and playing sports like soccer, basketball or tennis.
Cardio provides numerous health benefits related to the heart, lungs, circulation, weight management, mood, energy levels, and more. It is a vital component of a well-rounded fitness regimen and is recommended by health organisations for people of all ages and fitness levels.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone that makes men masculine. In men, Testosterone plays a huge role in building muscle, keeping bones strong, growing facial and body hair, spermatogenesis, libido, and making red blood cells that give energy. Testosterone helps males build muscle and strength while lowering body fat. It also affects mood, metabolism, libido, energy, thinking, and cognitive function. Testosterone levels peak during the teenage years and early 20s, then start to decline around age 30, dropping little by little each year.
How Does Exercise Affect Testosterone?
Exercise causes short-term spikes in testosterone levels in men. The degree depends on:
Strength training causes more significant spikes than cardio. However, research shows cardio also increases Testosterone temporarily. Regular cardio exercise helps maintain healthy testosterone levels as men age by preventing age-related decline.
How does cardio impact testosterone levels?
Studies show that moderate to high-intensity cardio for at least 20-30 minutes can increase testosterone levels in men. The spike lasts for 15-60 minutes post-exercise, depending on intensity.
Cardio helps reduce body fat and maintain optimal weight. This helps balance testosterone levels. Obesity and being overweight negatively impact T levels. Regular cardio exercise also helps maintain lean muscle mass. This aids long-term testosterone production as muscularity and strength training boost T levels.
Factors that Impact the Cardio Testosterone Link
The following factors impact your Cardio-Testosterone connection:
- Age – Younger men may experience more significant spikes than older men from the same cardio workout. Testosterone production declines with age.
- Weight – Overweight men are likely to see an enormous boost when starting a cardio routine as it reduces body fat which helps restore T levels.
- Intensity – Higher-intensity cardio leads to more significant spikes in testosterone levels post-exercise.
- Timing – Testosterone levels are highest in the morning. So evening cardio yields better spikes.
How To Maximize the Testosterone Boost from Cardio
To maximise the testosterone boost from cardio, opt for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) like sprints or Tabata. Also, build lean muscle through strength training as it complements the effects of cardio. Ensure sufficient rest and nutrition for optimal recovery and testosterone production. Take supplements like vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium which also boost Testosterone.
In conclusion, research indicates that cardio exercise helps temporarily increase testosterone levels, especially in younger men and overweight individuals. High-intensity interval cardio yields optimal spikes. However, all forms of vigorous cardio promote healthy Testosterone by building muscle, burning fat and enhancing fitness. Make cardio and strength training regular fitness habits and healthy lifestyle practices to sustain Testosterone.