Phil Cavell quizzes two experts on the efficacy of hormone replacement therapy and testosterone replacement therapy for older cyclists
Hormones are chemical messages sent around the body that stimulate physiological change, bringing improved states of function and balance. Insulin, for example, is released after a meal and tells receptor cells around the body to absorb glucose in readiness for future energy demands. Unfortunately, our hormonal efficacy tends to deteriorate as we age.
Insulin is just one of many hormones that comprise our endocrine system, which is responsible for the hormones that control metabolism, growth, organs, mood and reproduction – but we also have dominant sex hormones that drive our development, function and daily lived experience.
Testosterone is a key sex steroid for males (although it also circulates in females at lower levels) used to calibrate functions including libido, muscle mass, bone density and fat storage.
As you may have guessed, testosterone declines slowly past the age of 30 such that a ‘normal’ level for under-50 males is 8.7-29nmol/L (female 0.2-1.7nmol/L), while the over-50 male range drops to 6-26nmol/L.
‘This is a very gradual drop that can, to a point, be offset with strength training, nutrition, and lifestyle adaptations,’ says endocrinologist Dr Nicky Keay. The hormone drop in males is linear, while for many females, especially masters athletes, the opposite is true. Perimenopause and menopause
Photo: Thomas Barwick via Getty The principal female hormones are oestrogen and progesterone. The former has positive ramifications for heart and bone health as well as brain function and […]