Before we go any further, it’s absolutely critical you know what your testosterone levels are. Only a blood test will reveal this, and you’d best know that number before going to the doctor’s office.
There are several reasons for taking this test beforehand;
- ) Optimizing your test/free test is the bread and butter of any good stack;
- ) It makes no sense to give you test/test precursors, if you’re already optimal
- ) If you’re low normal (worst case scenario), it affords us the opportunity to
make sure you test low by making some modifications.
The normal range for testosterone is vast; 300 to lOOOng per deciliter for most age groups. It’s a LOT easier to build muscle when your levels are at 1,000 vs 300 though, no matter what any physician tells you. Free testosterone is even more important, because it represents the amount that can actually bind to the steroid receptor site and deliver its message to the cell nucleus to “turn on” protein machinery.
Your quandary with the Dr. will be in the “optimal” vs. “normal” argument. The doctor is trained to get the sick person to normal/healthy, no get a normal/healthy person to optimal. He’ll view this as an unacceptable risk, and doubly so if your objective is to build muscle.
Regardless, here’s your benchmark:
You want to be in the upper third of the reference range for both total and free testosterone.
IF YOU TEST OPTIMAL: CONGRATS! NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUIRED
IF YOU TEST LOW NORMAL
This is the worst case scenario, because it’ll likely disqualify you from testosterone replacement therapy. In order to qualify then, there are ways to temporarily drive down your test levels. Among them:
- ) Lack of sleep
- ) Excessive amounts of alcohol
- ) Licorice
- ) Taking a strong pro-hormone
Of these options. I’d suggest the licorice route as being the safest, if not the most reliable (that’d be the PH’s). This study, for example where seven healthy men were given 7 grams of commercial licorice tablets a day, containing 0.5 grams of glycyrrhizic acid. Glycyrrhizic is the “active” in licorice responsible for the testosterone lowering effects. Cut their test levels in half within 4 days.
Average drop was from 740 ng/dl to 414 ng/dl. Thus, a 300 total testosterone level which was “normal” is now 150 4 days later.
Presto, you now qualify for HRT…