What is Testosterone and Why is it Important for Health and Performance?
Testosterone (T) is the main male sex hormone. The amount of testosterone that men produce is determined by their sex hormone levels, the amount of body fat and the percentage of body water (fat). T levels may be high in men with high testosterone levels because this is where the body takes in the excess energy that it needs from food. Low testosterone levels can happen because there is too much fat in the body or if a man is not eating enough protein.
Testosterone levels also affect many body functions. It helps maintain bone density, increases muscle mass, promotes muscle growth, and helps the body use fats efficiently. Testosterone is produced naturally in males by the testes (testicle), but it is synthesized by the adrenal glands. Testosterone is also produced by the body in other places, such as in the adrenal glands. A man's testosterone levels can be measured by blood test, ultrasound, or an X-ray, but all of these are expensive tests. For most men, it is better to get a testosterone test kit that costs less than $10, which contains only a few basic testosterone tests. Tests for blood or ultrasound testosterone are not available in the United States.