(and 10 tips to address that problem)
Testosterone deficiency is one of the biggest problems affecting male and female populations throughout the world.
First: let me clear one thing up: testosterone deficiency isn't just a problem for muscle gain and sexual performance. Testosterone is one of the key mult-function hormones in both men and women, and deficiency is linked to a wide variety of diseases, including obesity, diabetes, compromised immune system, and even heart disease.
Second: an "above normal" level of testosterone does not result in more muscle gains or better sexual performance, and in fact may result in increased risk of disease, including cancer. So don't go there.
Third: testosterone replacement therapy should be a "last resort": external testosterone may in fact "down-regulate" your body's own testosterone production. You're better off boosting your own production with natural supplements (as I describe below).
Fourth: what causes testosterone deficiency? Aside from medical disorders, the biggest culprits behind testosterone deficiency in both men and women are: (i) physical & mental stress, (ii) not enough fat in the diet, (iii) sleep deprivation, and (iv) environmental toxins.
This is why numerous studies have shown that endurance athletes, hard-core Crossfitters, and even Navy Seals "in training" suffer from alarmingly low levels of testosterone (levels similar to 9-year old girls). You may recall that Olympian Ryan Hall retired early because of low testosterone.
So the first thing you should do is: GET TESTED! In fact, test all your major hormones: I'm seeing deficiencies / imbalances in one or more hormones in almost every test report I review: testosterone, vitamin D (yes it's a hormone), estrogen/progesterone, etc.
So how to remedy testosterone deficiency:
1. Don't overtrain! Bashing your body 5-6x a week will drop your testosterone dramatically.
2. Don't "just do cardio": the trigger for your body to produce testosterone is "lifting heavy weights", and I mean "heavy!".
3. Do SLEEP!
4. Do eat enough fat! No fat = no raw materials for testosterone production (same goes for Vitamin D by the way). Period.
5. Don't eat hormone-laced meat or chicken: animal products (including eggs) coming from animals injected with hormones will wreck havoc on your own hormonal system. Do eat organic, free-range, and grass-fed.
6. Do eat celery: yes I know, it's weird, but studies have shown that celery triggers natural testosterone production. That's why it's also in my recovery green smoothie.
7. Do supplement with maca root: I use it in my recovery smoothies almost daily.
8. Do supplement with: Zinc and Boron.
9. Do stay away from environmental toxins, including chemical-heavy creams, lotions, beauty products, soap, shampoo, & deodorants. Use natural ones instead.
10. Do engage in stress-lowering techniques: less stress = less cortisol = more raw material available for testosterone production. Spend the time to relax, unwind, and use meditation & mindfulness to help lower cortisol.
Oh, and one more thing for fellow-Dubai-based endurance athletes: keep it "cool" down there: the easiest way to destroy your reproductive system is by overheating "down there". So change out of your cycling shorts as soon as you get off the bike. Cold showers help too (but keep your partner out of sight during that cold shower for obvious reasons!).