Does Running Boost Your Testosterone?

Does Running Boost Your Testosterone?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


Yes, running can boost testosterone levels in both men and women. Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise, such as running, can increase testosterone levels in men. However, the effect may be temporary and may depend on factors such as intensity and duration of exercise.

Running and Testosterone?

Testosterone is the primary male sexual hormone responsible for hair growth and production as well as bone density, so when levels fall too low men often experience fatigue, decreased sexual drive, and weak erections.

Most exercises can increase testosterone, but excessive amounts of endurance exercises such as long-distance running can actually lower it in some individuals over time due to breaking down muscle instead of building it up.

One study performed on young men showed that sprinting intervals on treadmills followed by 90 second recoveries were more successful at increasing testosterone levels than steady-state running for increasing levels.

Running can help boost testosterone, but be wary about the intensity and duration of your workouts.

Studies have demonstrated that extreme endurance training over longer distances decreases body's testosterone production - leading to adverse effects such as fatigue or stress fractures.

Distance running and other endurance sports may have a small negative impact on testosterone levels. If you run too much and fail to consume sufficient calories, your body may reduce testosterone production in order to conserve energy for other vital processes like organ health.

However, most athletes who experience a decrease in libido after an extended period of endurance exercise will typically be able to restore their T levels through moderate to intense resistance training and healthy nutrition alone; in rare cases hormone replacement therapy may be required.

Testosterone explained

Testosterone is a powerful sexual hormone produced by both male testes and the adrenal gland and ovaries of female reproductive systems, acting to develop secondary sexual characteristics during puberty while playing an integral part in muscle health and function.

Testosterone also aids the production of red blood cells that provide oxygen delivery throughout your body; low levels can result in decreased libido, muscle mass loss and changes in body composition; however exercise can help increase testosterone and return it back to healthy levels.

Resistance Training

Resistance training, also known as heavy lifting, has proven particularly successful at increasing testosterone levels, because it promotes muscle growth.

Lifting heavier weights for fewer repetitions increases your ability to push yourself harder before reaching maximum exertion, and can stimulate testosterone release that promotes muscle growth and aids recovery.

Resistance exercises that target large muscle groups, like your chest and quads, have the greatest testosterone-boosting effects. A study determined that performing one set of eight to 10 repetitions of squats, lunges, triceps dips, and dumbbell bench presses would likely provide maximum testosterone enhancement.

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If cardio is your focus, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an excellent alternative.

HIIT involves short bursts of intense aerobic exercise followed by brief periods of rest; unlike traditional cardiovascular exercises like treadmill running or cycling machines, which may only offer traditional cardiovascular workouts, HIIT workouts can incorporate bodyweight exercises, running, rowing or jumping rope.

However, overexerting yourself when exercising can reduce testosterone levels; to prevent this from happening, find the optimal balance between intensity and duration in your workouts.

Even elite-level athletes can reach a point at which exercise has an adverse impact on testosterone by raising cortisol levels that cause muscle breakdown as well as fat storage.

Strength training routines that target multiple muscle groups are an ideal way to boost testosterone.

Strength-training can promote muscle growth while helping avoid overtraining which can reduce testosterone levels. You could try circuit training (working out multiple muscle groups at the same time), or do single rep lifts with as much weight as you can handle.

Red Blood Cells

Testosterone may be best known for sculpting bodybuilders' biceps, but this hormone also plays an essential role in endurance training.

It helps the body produce and assemble proteins needed to build muscle; additionally, red blood cell count increase plays an essential role in oxygen delivery throughout muscles.

High testosterone levels can help you run faster and further distances while possibly even helping prevent injuries such as joint pain.


Too much running can backfire for both elite athletes and amateur runners who overtrain, particularly elite athletes and amateurs who overtrain. Too much exercise may result in lower testosterone levels and an increase in cortisol, according to Schroeder.

Therefore, it's essential to give your body time between workouts for recovery as well as eating healthfully in order to maintain your testosterone levels.

Endurance workouts may also deplete your body of nitric oxide, an essential molecule for healthy circulation. Too little nitric oxide means blood vessels cannot expand and this could result in tight, painful muscles.

Running at a moderate level several times each week won't significantly alter their libido or testosterone levels, according to Hackney. If they're concerned about their levels decreasing, resistance exercises have been shown to boost them both short term and long term, according to him.

Keep in mind that testosterone levels tend to peak early morning and decline by evening, making strength training either before or after work an ideal way of increasing testosterone. Doing it early or late can give a stronger but shorter-lasting boost; midday will usually offer only smaller increases due to fatigue from daily life activities.

Muscle Mass

Testosterone is an essential hormone for building muscle and decreasing body fat, and low testosterone levels have been linked with several health conditions - such as bone density loss and reduced sex drive.

Both male and female bodies produce testosterone; men produce it at much higher rates. Testosterone production can be increased naturally through exercise or other healthy lifestyle choices like eating a well-rounded diet full of proteins and vitamin D-rich foods.

Increasing testosterone can also enhance athletic performance and libido in both genders.

Strength training can be an excellent way to raise testosterone levels. Research suggests that lifting heavy weights for shorter duration increases testosterone. Circuit training which targets multiple muscle groups at the same time is another effective means of increasing your levels. For optimal results, aim for exercises which require near-limit exertion such as squats or dead lifts.

Another essential step towards increasing testosterone is making sure to allow yourself enough rest and recovery time between workouts. Overexertion can cause cortisol production in your body which breaks down both muscle and fat, thus decreasing testosterone production.

Maintaining high testosterone levels requires following an inclusive fitness routine that includes resistance training, cardio and flexibility training.

Reducing stress levels through ensuring adequate restful sleep, staying hydrated and forgoing caffeine are all great ways to stay on track with exercise routine and reap all its rewards.


Did you know that running is one of the world's most popular forms of exercise that may also increase testosterone levels?

Testosterone, as one of the main male sexual hormones, plays an essential role in hair growth and muscle strength as well as production of sperm. Too little testosterone may lead to infertility or other issues.

Running can help combat an imminent testosterone slump by raising levels back up again.

Running is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise that strengthens both your heart and lungs, increasing blood circulation while providing essential oxygen and nutrient delivery to working muscles.

Regular running has been proven to boost endurance and strength as well as testosterone production - however, which type is best depends on both intensity and duration.

Short, intense sprints may be more effective at increasing testosterone than longer distance runs.

A study had athletes perform four 250-meter sprints at 80% of max speed over three minutes' recovery with three minutes between sprints to see results that these sprints increased testosterone while decreasing cortisol levels.

Long distance running may in fact decrease testosterone levels over the long term. This is because endurance training can break down muscle tissue instead of building it, as well as reduce your body's natural production of testosterone due to stressors it puts on it.

Luckily, this effect typically only manifests itself if done on an ongoing basis for extended periods.

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