It is clear that hormone supplementation is common among athletes. For male athletes, testosterone seems to take a top spot among the most used hormone. Testosterone is actually a type of steroid hormone and it is produced by the Leydig cells inside testes. It has both anti-catabolic and anabolic effects on our body. It has been shown that fat intake could affect the production of testosterone. It appears that people who consume more fat in their diet have far lower concentrations of testosterone in their body.
The same effect could happen when we replace carbohydrate with protein. This also applies for men who consume meatless or vegetarian diet, compared to those who consume mixed high-meat diet. As a result, endurance athletes who switch to lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to meat-rich diet could have significantly lower resting testosterone concentrations. A good diet should contain comparable proportion of fat, carbohydrate and protein.
Unfortunately, it is not completely known how nutrition could affect testosterone production. Manipulation of the fat and carbohydrate proportion in our diet should be able to alter the hormonal balance in our body. As an example, fasting growth hormone and testosterone concentration should be elevated with the consumption of fat-rich diet.
In this case, trainers and athletes may perform macronutrient manipulation to enhance their exercise training programs. Instead of using supplements, they can define what kind of diet that they should have to adjust proper testosterone level in their body. It has been shown that anabolic hormones could determine the muscle strength and size. However, we should know that each athlete could have different hormonal responses. We should be aware of the effects on specific target tissue.
Athletes need to be aware of the nutrient cycling effect and it could happen when we follow up carbohydrate-rich diet with fat-rich diet. In this case, we should consider the enormous complexity of our endocrine system in regulating cellular functions. We should be aware of diverse mechanisms that may control homeostasis.
Many athletes follow specific dietary regimen, such as five meals each day and it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to follow. The aim is to increase the nutritional absorption by spreading the amount of meals. In this case, we should be able to ensure the efficiency of the metabolic process in our body. Tinkering of daily caloric intake should help us to achieve the desired goals.
Insulin is another hormone that our body produces and it has an essential role in regulating our blood glucose level. It could stimulate the amino acid uptake that is incorporated into the skeletal muscle. Continuous ingestion of carbohydrate should increase our blood glucose level. Fat-rich meal should lower the concentration of insulin in our body. Athletes may follow a three-week of low carbohydrate diet to achieve lower resting insulin. Insulin stimulates the synthesis of protein, so athletes could alter their diet to change the hormonal balance in their body. It should be noted that high insulin concentration may not be a good thing for athletes.