I recently had my blood tested as I've felt pretty bad( I've had no libido, have felt depressed, had low energy, and over-training symptoms such as insomnia) for a while, and I just got the results back.
Apparently, my thyroid is good, but my free testosterone was, in my doc's words "exorbitantly low"
As I'm 17 years old, male, and pretty underweight, this is a BIG problem for me!
I think I know why I have low levels, I experimented with reducing calories and was eating WAY high protein, low fat and low carb for a while, while working out 6x a week doing long, high volume and HIIT workouts. I then kept low carb and tried upping my fat intake to at least 40-50% of my daily cals, but kept high protein(I was eating more calories to do this)
However, the calories were still too low, as I was losing weight, about half a pound a week, and feeling awfull all the while. SO, for the past 3 weeks, I've noticed that my body composition has gotten steadily worse, and I've had worse athletic performance in my workouts.
My questions are A: should I increase my calories, and will that start to lower the body fat I've started to accumulate(worsening body composition, but staying the same weight)
and B: How can I increase my T levels naturally, or at least help to repair the damage done to them? Also, is it even possible with low Testosterone to follow a cyclic diet of lower to higher carbs on workout days, and still see results? Is it hopeless for me to try with these levels?
Thanks, any help would be appreciated
EDITS: Okay, so I just read this post on robb wolf's website- http://robbwolf.com/2011/01/24/my-training-at-39/
I have definitely seriously screwed my testosterone over, and as I said, I really was focusing on body composition goals.. without T though, I realize it's virtually impossible to achieve them. Do any of you recomend I try the sort of protocol Robb did, in order to help repair my body/endocrine system?
Eat adequate (just enough for the day) protein and get the rest of your calories from healthy fats like coconut oils, macadamia oil and nuts, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Avocado oil. High protein diet have been proven to lower free testosterone levels. Cut your protein intake to about 80-100 grams a day. You really don't need that much. You just think you do. Start eating some fruit, of all kinds. Get those carbs in. Carbs from fruit, veggies and even some tubers are not bad like grain, legume and dairy carbs are. Eat a more well rounded diet. Plenty of fruits, veggies, grassfed meats, wild caught fish, low omega 6 nuts like macadamias, omega 3 eggs. I've covered the dietary aspect of your problem. No onto the lifestyle habits. First off, you are working out WAY too much. 6 times a week? Really? You do not NEED to work out that much at that level of intensity without proper recovery. It's simply too much. Take it down a notch, or two, or three. Do high intensity training only 2 times week. The rest is low intensity like walking, climbing, cycling, swimming. Remember working out vigorously leads to hormonal imbalances, mineral imbalances and makes you release too much cortisol, the stress hormone. Sleep more, chill out with your friends and take life more easily. Take it from me, I used to overtrain too and felt that exact same way you are describin. Night sweats, low libido, no motivation or zest for life, grumpy and moody, felt weaker, could not lower bodyfat even though I was working out like crazy. These are all the signs, listen to your body. I ended up getting a inaugal hernia from lifting weights too frequently, with out proper form and recovery time. Plenty of healthy fats, proteins and fruit, veggies tubers. Godd luck, hope I helped.
When I was your age I trained as you did and felt the same way. Remember that the "more you train more you improve" philosophy is wrong: you need rest to recover and rebuild. When you train you destroy your body; if you don't let it recover it makes no sense. Google "overtraining". Eat as you feel. All the fat you eat will not come around your belly: it is a component of your cells, of your muscles... And cholesterol is a precursor for testosterone.
Oh boy, in your age, your testosterone level should be indeed up in the sky!
As others have mentioned already, try to balance your workout more. Dr. John Gray MD, relationship expert talks and writes a lot about hormones.
One basic thing about testosterone is that men need to REST their muscles, in order to recover the T-level. Check out his site, lots of great info: http://www.marsvenus.com
Good luck, enjoy life, and BIG CONGRATS for giving priority to your healthy body!!! (In the era when many of your fellas prefer sitting by the computer day in and day out...)