Healthy Beginnings

Testosterone supplementation for wintertime athletic performance

Osteoporosis can lead to decreased bone density, as seen here. Photo: Shutterstock

Winter in the Sierra is a time to enjoy the mountains and snow. Whether it is snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling, all of these activities are demanding on the body and put added stressors on your muscles and endurance.

As we age, there often is a disconnect between the mind’s desire to exercise and the body’s physical capabilities. This is probably more pronounced in males, who, as they age, tend to exercise beyond their limits.

Many a 60-year-old male has ventured onto the slopes and tried to ski like they did when they were 25, only to end up on crutches with a blown ACL or worse. Unfortunately, with the aging body, this can lead to debilitating and chronic injuries sometimes putting an end to physical activity all entirely.

Testosterone is an essential anabolic hormone in men. According to a published paper in The American Journal of Medicine by Basaria, et al., “Long-term studies of testosterone therapy in hypogonadal elderly men have shown beneficial effects on bone density, body composition, and muscle strength without any substantial adverse effects on lipids and the prostate.”

As males age, testosterone levels naturally drop. This leads to loss of lean muscle mass, longer recovery times and a steep fall in exercise endurance. For the active, aging athletic males, this can lead to injury, decreased ability to exercise at desired levels and a potentially reduced quality of life.

Another consequence of aging in both males and females is osteoporosis. For someone who wants to ski or snowboard late into their life, osteoporosis can lead to decreased bone density putting older athletes at risk for fracture.

According to Dr. Michael Platt, M.D., “The primary hormones involved with bone health are testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, and DHEA.” In his book “The Miracle of Bioidentical Hormones,” he writes, “Testosterone is also intricately involved with bone metabolism.”

For those older adults interested in high-impact winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, an appropriate physiological level of testosterone is an absolute must to help prevent fractures.

To be healthy and active in the wintertime means being strong and fit. According to a 2014 study analyzing the androgen effects on skeletal muscle by O’Connell, et al., “Loss of muscle mass and function, known as sarcopenia, is the central event in the development of frailty, the vulnerable health status that presages adverse outcomes and a rapid functional decline in older adults.”

Many studies have shown that testosterone supplementation in aging men helps build lean muscle mass, reduce visceral adiposity and improve and reduce recovery time. Frailty leads to injury, and for those wishing to stay active and healthy during winter months, avoiding injury should be high on the priority list.

Here at the Gerber Medical Clinic, we place great emphasis on longevity and vitality. For many years we have successfully supplemented bio-identical hormone replacement for both men and women.

We have had great success with testosterone supplementation, and we have seen amazing results. Most recently we began utilizing testosterone pellet insertions for ease and convenience, and the majority of patients see results in as little as one week.

If you want to stay active, vibrant and experience increased lean muscle mass and better recovery for your winter activities this year, come by Gerber Medical Clinic and have your testosterone levels checked. You’ll be glad you did.

Robert Floyd, MD, is a board-certified family physician practicing integrative and functional medicine at Gerber Medical Clinic in Reno. He is now accepting new patients. Visit www.DrFloyd.org or call 775-826-1900 for more information.