The Pros and Cons of Taking TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy)

Historically, low testosterone has mostly been a problem for middle aged men and beyond. Research shows that 39% of men over 45 suffer from it. Another study shows that while 13 million men in the U.S. may be deficient in testosterone, fewer than 10% get treatment for it. That’s an enormous number of guys living life with the handbrake on because of their low T levels. 

Even more shocking is the fact that these statistics only account men that were clinically deficient. It ignores the millions (many of whom are young) whose lab tests indicate they are fine but, based on their symptoms, are almost certainly deficient.

Furthermore, these figures don’t account for the fact that young men don’t typically get their T levels tested. Many millions of them are quite possibly deficient, too. Not because of old age, but because of things like environmental estrogens, over-exposure to chemicals, a crappy diet, and because of the soft, comfortable, convenient low-testosterone lives they lead.

Don’t believe me? Consider this fact, researchers speculate that the testosterone levels of today’s average man are roughly half of what his grandfather’s were, at the same stage in life.

Because of this, Testosterone is a hot topic and so it should be!

Optimal Testosterone levels are vital. They reduce the risk of depression. Higher natural T levels also equates to more muscle mass and more efficient fat loss. It’s a hormone we naturally have within us that helps us look and feel the way we want to look and feel. As I’ve said before, We’re literally better at who we are if our T levels are thriving.”. 

Low levels of testosterone can be disastrous for your quality of life. Sub-par T-levels can cause

  • Increased body fat
  • Reduced strength and muscle mass
  • Decreased bone density
  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety

For this reason, I suggest you do these three things:

  1. Get your T levels checked at your family doctor.
  2. Understand that, if they prescribe testosterone-replacement therapy, it can be a viable and effective approach but, it doesn’t actually help your body produce more T on it’ own. 
  3. Before even considering TRT try and optimize your lifestyle to boost your own production. Use the tips and routines I’m about to outline, then get your levels tested again and assess if your levels are optimal

Almost every man on the planet can increase his testosterone levels the natural way. I’ve seen if happen time and time again, but for a select few individuals, especially those in their 60’s and 70’s, TRT may be a viable option. Before I dive into the Pros and Cons of TRT let me examine what you can do to drive your natural Testosterone production up to ideal levels naturally.

Optimal levels of Testosterone can make you feel like Superman. It does cool stuff to the body, but this doesn’t happen overnight. If you suffer with low Testosterone, getting your levels back up to scratch will help you feel pretty good, quite quickly but, you need to stay consistent to feel the full benefits. 

Diet, sleep, lifestyle, and intelligent supplementation can all help you to keep your T-levels where they need to be for you to thrive.

Your Diet Can Have a Huge Impact on Testosterone Levels

A recent study looked at the effect of consuming dietary fats on levels of sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), free testosterone and cholesterol in men. After consuming a diet with a high fat content (greater than 100 g fat/day) for two weeks, the mean plasma cholesterol level increased, while the mean SHBG level decreased About 2/3 of your testosterone is bound to SHBG, and not free. Some believe that “free testosterone” is the only form of the hormone that counts, as it’s the only form of T that is actually ready to work on your tissue. More on this subject later when I explain the test to consider getting done.

With that initial intro to the importance of fat consumption, and cholesterol on T levels lets dive deeper. 

Here are some of my favourite dietary strategies to boost Testosterone:

Eat foods high in good fats.

Make sure you include the following foods that are high in these powerful fats in your diet on a daily basis:

  • Eggs – rich in testosterone-boosting cholesterol, saturated, and monounsaturated fats.
  • Almonds and Brazil nuts – high in Omega-3’s that have been shown to naturally raise T levels in men.
  • Unpasteurized Raw Organic Milk – milk that’s high in good fats, nutrients, but without all of the added hormones that they pump into pasteurized milk, and the cows that produce it. Hormones that can raise estrogen levels in men.
  • Chia – chia is a seed that’s extremely high in Omega-3’s, and will be a part of our 3x a week shake along with the Organic, unpasteurized milk.
  • Fish – whether it’s just the oils, or if you have fish in the morning – an optional food source. Fish, such as salmon, is rich on protein, but also a great – maybe the best – source of omega-3’s.
  • Meat – grass-fed beef is a great source of saturated fat. Opt for grass-fed to avoid the hormones pumped into the mass-produced cattle found in most grocery stores.

Next up, aim to eat foods high in the mineral Zinc.

A study at the University of Tehran, that zinc raises testosterone levels by inhibiting the enzyme aromatase from working. Aromatase is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen.

Foods like red meat, oysters, beans, and pumpkin seeds are all high in zinc. Include these in your diet on a regular basis to stop the flow of estrogen, and raise your T levels.

A diet high in vegetables, especially green leafy ones, is also a smart choice. Two of my favourite T-boosting veggies are Broccoli and Garlic.

  • Broccoli is high in indole-3-carbinol, a food compound that can help reduce estrogen in half in men.
  • Garlic contains allicin, an ingredient that raises T levels and lowers cortisol.

Right, let’s look at other factors within your control that can help improve your T levels.

First up sleep, research clearly indicates that sleep deprivation lowers testosterone. A single night of sleep deprivation sends your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, through the roof. Testosterone is a cortisol antagonist. They work in a kind of see-saw fashion. When one is up the other is suppressed. So, living with chronically high cortisol means probably suffering with chronically low testosterone. Furthermore, chronic sleep deprivation drops your testosterone and growth hormone. It also weakens erections and sexual health considerably.

Fixing your sleep can go a long way to fixing your Testosterone production. In a recent video, I did a deep dive on sleep. In it I gave my key tips to guarantee you get the best possible sleep. Let me quickly recap those now:

  • Get the best mattress you can afford
  • Get outside and get some sunlight exposure early in the day
  • Have a sleep routine
  • Get off your smart phone and other devices at least an hour before bed
  • Supplement wisely – Man Sleep is an awesome supplement that you should consider if you struggle with poor sleep. The ingredients in it were a game-changer for me.

Next let’s look at your training. 

Your training can have a positive impact on Testosterone levels. Don’t just do hours of mindless cardio. Lift like a man should!

Not only does weight lifting help decrease body fat and increase muscle mass, resulting in higher testosterone levels, but it directly effects T levels. You need resistance training. 

Multi-muscle, multi-joint exercises like squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, and O-lifts help naturally raise both T levels and human growth hormone levels.

Build your training around high quality, intense weight lifting workouts that prioritise the big multi-muscle, multi-joint exercises to help keep your T levels at their peak.

Smart supplementation can help drive your Testosterone levels up to the levels you need to feel like your living with purpose, energy, and vigour.

Man Boost is a great example of a supplement that works synergistically with a healthy diet and lifestyle to help you reach optimal Testosterone levels. It contains, rare minerals and natural ingredients that have been studied to help lower estrogen level and boost male hormone health.

It contains nutrients that help naturally block estrogen by two methods: 

1. By flushing chemical estrogens out through the liver (IC-3 – one of the rare ingredients that do this). 
2. By blocking the process by which your body converts testosterone to estrogen. 

I love Man Boost. But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to these reviews from guys like you who have tried it themselves….

“You’re not going to find another quality testosterone boosting product such as this for the same cost. Buying the individual ingredients separately costs much more and requires you to take more pills to take. “

“Man boost is a great supplement for healthy testosterone production. It has the clinically effective doses of high quality ingredients. The specific type of zinc used in this supplement is more bioavailable, and with all the estrogenic chemicals in our environment it is an absolute must for optimal testosterone production.”

If you follow all of my tips and supplement wisely then I’m confident your T-levels will climb significantly. Sadly, some of you might find your production is still sub-optimal despite doing everything you can to naturally boost them. At this point you might be tempted to pursue TRT.

Before you do, you owe it yourself to do your research. I’ve done plenty of research for you and here are the key points:

  • Testosterone replacement therapy is as much an art as it is a science. The correct delivery method and dose is individual and requires an expert who can apply the science to your situation. This is a skill. Sadly, most doctors are not equipped to deliver this level of skill.
  • A “normal” testosterone reading means almost nothing. You need to have total testosterone, free testosterone, and bioavailable testosterone measured to get a reasonably accurate hormonal picture.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) should be given based on symptoms instead of blood values. If you have no energy, gain fat easily, have trouble putting on muscle, have a low libido, and suffer from depression, you may need TRT.
  • There are numerous types of TRT, including injections, gels, creams, or pellets.
  • TRT is contraindicated in men with existing prostate cancer. It can also cause your blood to thicken.
  • Some benefits of TRT happen quickly, while others take years. Libido can improve within weeks, as can depression, but loss of body fat and an increase in muscle takes months to plateau while continuing on at a lesser pace for years.

TRT, like any medical treatment can cause side effects. Some of those associated with TRT are pretty scary.

One of the scariest is the link between TRT and prostate cancer. I have some good news though, researchers found that men who’d been prescribed testosterone for longer than a year not only had no overall increased risk of prostate cancer, but their risk of aggressive disease had been reduced by 50 percent.

In another study, researchers in the United Kingdom looked at 1400 men who had received testosterone replacement therapy for up to 20 years and they found only 14 cases of prostate cancer over the course of the study.

Dr. Malcolm Carruthers, medical director at the Center for Men’s Health in London and a co-author on the study states that:

“This myth about testosterone replacement therapy being linked to prostate cancer has been rooted deep in medical consciousness for over 60 years, but this paper says no. Testosterone treatment is actually good for the prostate, not bad.”

Here are the answers to some of the other key questions that crop up with TRT:

Do I have to inject myself?

Doctors are more likely to prescribe testosterone creams and gels for practical reasons. Let’s be honest, not many people want jab themselves with needles do they? However, creams and gels are hard to dose properly. If you aren’t scared of injections a prescription for injectable testosterone is more likely to provide a consistent and easy to monitor dose.

Gels provide a much more natural androgen rhythm that mimics the body’s natural rhythms. However, gels have their drawbacks. From a practical perspective, it may be easier than jabbing a needle in yourself but, there are issues to consider. You should only apply gels to freshly showered skin. You should refrain from swimming or working up a sweat for at least an hour. 

Importantly, you can’t, under any circumstances, let a child or female (especially a pregnant one) come into contact with the treated area until it’s absolutely dry. If you do you risk skewing their hormonal profile and causing negative outcomes.

How Often Do I Take TRT?

While some doctors administer testosterone injections every two or even three weeks, that method can lead to problematic spikes of blood levels of the hormone, followed by problematic low blood levels as the shot begins to “wears off.” Once weekly shots seem to be the preferred method by some more progressive doctors.

How much Testosterone will they give me?

The most common TRT dosage is 200 mg. every two weeks. As I just mentioned this might result in undesirable peaks and valleys in your T-levels.

For most men, 100 mg. a week of either ester is enough for effective TRT. However, some men need less and some men need more, possibly up to 200 mg. a week. Beyond this point you’ve crossed over to a bodybuilding steroid cycle instead of testosterone replacement. Health risks begin to increase rapidly when you get outside of the ranges that doctors prescribe.

Will TRT shutdown my own production of Testosterone?

Yes. TRT will most likely shut down your own production of testosterone. There is some good news though, because normal production should resume within a few weeks after you stop. It may, however, take as long as six months to get back fully.

Does TRT affect my sperm count?

TRT will reduce your sperm count. Depending on the dosage and the prior production of your testicles, TRT might even lower sperm count by so much it almost becomes an effective birth control method!

These changes in sperm levels are not permanent. They do rise back to normal after you come off TRT, but it generally takes several months.

Does TRT change my libido?

For almost all younger men on TRT, it increases libido and strengthens erections. Older men exhibit an increased libido from TRT, but don’t gain as much in the erection department. 

Is TRT bad for my heart?

The general perception for the uneducated is that high levels of Testosterone will give you a heart attack. I think belief is fuelled by the images of juiced up, bodybuilders that abuse drugs to change their physique at the expense of their health.

Optimal hormonal levels are good for your health. This is true of Testosterone too. That’s why I’m so keen for you to try and get within the ideal range naturally. In light of this, if you are unable to get your T-levels up without a prescription, it should come as little surprise that using TRT to reach optimal levels can actually be good for you heart. The Journal of the American Heart Association published a meta study (over 100 individual studies) that found higher levels of testosterone (still within normal ranges, though) were essential to heart health.

Just to be clear, I’m talking about optimal levels here. Not the crazy levels that pro-bodybuilders pump into their system.

Are there any other health risks I should know about?

Generally, the biggest danger from TRT is possible thickening of the blood due to increased haematocrit. A consequence of this is an increased risk of stroke. This can be managed by donating blood, but it is still a pretty big concern and undertaking you must consider. If a blood test reveals your haematocrit to be much above 50% then I’d urge you to speak to your doctor.

Take Responsibility for Your Health – Don’t Look for a Quick Fix

So, there you have it. My summary of the Pros and Cons of TRT. If you want my honest opinion, you should do everything you possibly can to get your levels up naturally and avoid TRT unless it is the only viable option. Even then it must be closely monitored by a doctor who is in expert in the area. This will minimise your risks of the potential side effects, but it will not eliminate them. You must be aware of these risks.

Thriving with perfect T-levels will allow you to live the life you want, but before you dive into the apparent quick fix of TRT, weight up the risk-return ratio. I think you’d be far better served focusing on eating right, prioritising sleep, training well, and using supplements like Man Sleep and Man Boost to put yourself in the best possible position safely.

If you do you’ll have more energy, better mood, build more muscle, get leaner, have a greater ability to focus, and recover faster.

Personally, these have helped me to achieve a lot more. Build the body and mind that allows me to live life on my terms. 

For guys with low T, Man Boost has proven time and again to be a safe, effective supplement that provides life-changing results.

You could get all these benefits too. Get your diet, training and sleep on point. Supplement these habits with Man Boost and it’ll change your life.

Remember you can get it at the lowest possible price at the link below.

References:

  1. Morgentaler, A., “Testosterone and prostate cancer: an historical perspective on a modern myth,” Eur Urol. 2006 Nov;50(5):935-9.
  2. Mark R. Feneley MD, FRCS (Urol), Malcolm Carruthers MD, “Is Testosterone Treatment Good for the Prostate? Study of Safety during Long-Term Treatment,” The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 06 June 2012.
  3. Gupta, N., Goldberg, H., “Calculated Free T and T:E Ratio but not Total Testosterone and Estradiol Predict Low Libido,” AUA Annual Meeting, May 12-16, 2017, Boston.
  4. Leproult . “Sleep Loss Results in an Elevation of Cortisol Levels the next Evening.” Sleep, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9415946/. 
  5. Leproult, Rachel, and Eve Van Cauter. “Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men.” JAMA, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 June 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/.
  6.  Eve Van Cauter, PhD. “Age-Related Changes in Slow Wave Sleep and REM Sleep and Relationship With Growth Hormone and Cortisol Levels in Healthy Men.” JAMA, JAMA Network, 16 Aug. 2000, jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/192981. 
  7.  L;, Van. “Physiology of Growth Hormone Secretion during Sleep.” The Journal of Pediatrics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8627466/.
  8. Kohn, Taylor P, et al. “The Effect of Sleep on Men’s Health.” Translational Andrology and Urology, AME Publishing Company, Mar. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108988/.
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24739309/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31416797/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6298507
  12. https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/63/11/1260/759439
  13. https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S0007114511000237
Chad Howse

About The Author

Chad Howse

Chad is the founder and CEO of MITA Nutra, as well as the author of the Man Diet and the Lost Art of Discipline. Chad uses a simple, science-based method to creating supplements, programs, and guides, to help men thrive. Everything he does with MITA is designed to help you fuel your next win.

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Chad Howse

Chad is the founder and CEO of MITA Nutra, as well as the author of the Man Diet and the Lost Art of Discipline. Chad uses a simple, science-based method to creating supplements, programs, and guides, to help men thrive. Everything he does with MITA is designed to help you fuel your next win.