As an athlete with a high training volume (on a multi modal triathlon and strength biased crossfit type regime) I feel a big drop of in libido. I read into this as having a relatively low level of testosterone. I know that this kind of training is no where near optimal but as it is a source of income what would you suggest I do? I eat a clean, strict paleo, grain, legume, dairy, frut and nut free. Is it worth looking into the herbal options an that sort of thing? Suggestions?
High intense training can tip the balance of cortisol to the high side. If you add other life stressors and excessive caffeine intake, cortisol can even be higher lowering testosterone. You did not mention your age, but that plays a big part in free testosterone to estradiol ratio levels. As you age, estradiol levels go up and recovery from high training sessions is extended. Other things could be binding up your free testosterone like estrogen disruptors and your testosterone is not available for use. Eating a lot of cabbage, that is filled with indole 3 carbinol helps remove excess estrogen and might improve this ratio.
There is some good research out there that Acetyl-carnitine, proionyl-L carnitine and L carnitine tartrate helps keep testosterone levels up after intense training and aging. There is a product by Beverly International called Quadracarn, a carnitine analog formula that has all 3 carnitines. This might be helpful than any herbs.
Up your vitamin D levels and zinc, both of which limit testosterone production. I found a noticeable effect on libido at 6000 IU of D3 per day, and 25 mg of zinc. YMMV.
In my experience, when you get the right levels sorted, you'll know pretty fast.
I've never used the herbal stuff.
I'd make sure you sleep as much as possible, and take naps.
Increasing your carbs might also help.
Make sure you are getting everything you need for testosterone production- maybe take ZMA?
I'd also deload as much as possible without impacting performance.
Sounds like some overtraining. How's your sleep? And do you ever track your waking heart rate?
Have you considered supplementing pregnenolone? You may have a pregnenolone steal syndrome, which can be associated with high cortisol levels from overtraining (or otherwise). There are some posts about that on here.
from personal experience, cut your volume down and if you feel you still need to get to the gym, just increase the days you workout or rather the frequency of those muscle groups. The only way to do this in a healthy manner would be to reduce your volume. If you don't you will not hurt your muscles, but damage your tendons and ligaments which is FAR worse than muscle damage.
If you are looking for intensity, you do not necessarily need to always increase reps. During your workout, employ super sets, mega sets, super set planks into your workout, or just remove your rest - or all of the above. Increasing volume can have very bad after affects to your soft tissues as well as your CNS
Don't use chemical L-carnitine products, they tend to lower you natural production. Eat red meat instead, grass fed (non organic is drained from that essential aminos).
There's a lot of studys on this saying that supplement works well, it does when you take it but lower you're own production (been discussing this with my endo). Please belive me onthis one, I used to take a lot of supplements, since I was sponsored, most which just messed everything up worse :)
Also stay away from food at least 2 hours before you go to bed since insulin will make you produce less HGH during your sleep, most HGH is produced during your first hour of sleep so eating right before you go to bed will actually have a big effect.
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