Endurance Exercise = Low T
It's pretty straightforward: Endurance exercise reduces testosterone levels.
Maybe it has to do with the oxidative stress caused by all that huffing and puffing, or maybe rising levels of cortisol put the kibosh on testosterone production. Or it could even have something to do with the balls being cement-mixered with every stride a runner takes and subsequently getting too damn hormonally punch drunk to produce any male hormone.
Of course, lifters, too, seem to suffer from chronically low testosterone levels. Sure, all the articles in Men's Health and other simplistic pubs tell you that lifting raises testosterone levels, but that's just temporary. Soon after intense lifting, testosterone levels often free fall and no one is absolutely sure why that happens.
In any event, Indian researchers discovered something that may potentially help endurance athletes and by extrapolation, lifters, too.
A Low Copulatory Index? Yikes!
The scientists had one group of rats swim to exhaustion on 15 consecutive days. A second group of rats did nothing. As you might guess, the testosterone levels of the exercising rats plummeted. So did their sperm count and "copulatory index" or desire to mate.
But when given modest doses of Vitamin C just 30 minutes before they began swimming, the decrease in testosterone was appreciably less. Likewise, their sperm counts and desire to have rat sex improved, too.
How To Use This Info
Okay, rats aren't humans, but perhaps surprisingly, a lot of stuff that proves effective with rats ends up proving effective with humans. Besides, this experiment used surprisingly small doses of Vitamin C, so testing it on yourself would involve little downside, if any.
The researchers used three doses of Vitamin C on the rats, with the highest dose working the best. The human-sized equivalent to this highest dose is about 480 mg, which is less than the average chewable Vitamin C tablet.
If you want some cheap insurance against exercise-induced testosterone depletion (and a subsequent reduction in amorous intentions), chew a 500 mg. Vitamin C tablet about a half hour before running or lifting.
- Vijayprasad S, et al, "Effect of vitamin C on male fertility in rats subjected to forced swimming stress." J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Jul;8(7):HC05-8.