Relationship Between Testosterone and Muscle Aches

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


It's hard to beat a great training session. The iron has been taught a lesson, and your PRs have been smashed. Your confidence is high and you're ready to sleep early, rest and recover.

You have a nagging feeling something is going to go wrong. You hate it, but you can't help yourself. Muscle soreness after training. You'll feel the aches and soreness from your intense workouts. 

Maybe it has nothing to do training. You may just have aches and pains you can't pinpoint. You may be putting the niggling soreness down to age. 

Can low testosterone be the cause of your aches and discomfort? 

Does a lack of male hormones cause muscle soreness a day or two after an intense workout? 

Find out more here... 

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The natural hormone Testosterone is an incredibly powerful and potent steroid. The testes produce it, and regulates pretty much all of the things that make you a male. 

The testosterone hormone is responsible for everything from your wide shoulders, chiseled chin, thick, muscular arms, and your imposing personality. 

By the time you reach 65, your T level will have dropped significantly. 

Low androgen levels can have a negative impact on your performance and health. 

  • Your muscle mass and strength will decrease.
  • Man boobs and belly fat are both common.
  • You are at a higher risk for metabolic and cognitive disorders
  • You're losing your libido and sexual stamina.
  • A range of pains and aches are present, as well as a general feeling of fatigue.

The hormone testosterone is controlled by vitamins and minerals. Each one plays a crucial role in ensuring that you get the right amount of it into your bloodstream. 

If you don't get enough of these vitamins and minerals, your testosterone levels will drop quickly. 

A vitamin D deficiency could cause muscle aches

You need the correct nutrients to ensure that your body functions optimally. 

Vitamin D is an important vitamin, often called the "sixth steroid hormone". 

It is obtained from sunlight (if you live in an area with a warm, sunny climate), and also through food. To optimize your vitamin D levels, you will need to take a supplement. D3 is the strongest form. 

D3 promotes bone and muscle growth and regulates it. A deficiency can cause pain, numbness, and aches. 

Vitamin D3 has been shown to speed recovery for athletes with muscle pain. 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day is enough to decrease recovery time and reduce inflammation by 50%. 

Vitamin D also plays a role in testosterone production, so the connection between these three key players is easy to understand. 

Soreness may also be caused by low magnesium.

A lack of magnesium can cause aches and discomfort, just like a vitamin D deficiency. It is an essential mineral that plays a role in many bodily functions, including nerve and muscle tissue. 

Magnesium is known to relieve the symptoms of muscle soreness associated with fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder that causes muscular pains and fatigue. The aches are so severe that it can make it difficult to complete daily tasks, let alone exercise. 

A study showed that magnesium can inhibit or block nerve receptors which cause pain, such as NMDA- and 5-HTA when they are activated. 

Magnesium is also an important testosterone regulator. Many studies have shown that a lack of magnesium can lead not only to muscle pain, but also low T [3]. 

Link between Hormonal Imbalance, Pain and Inflammation

One clinical study found that testosterone has an analgesic action, protecting the body from painful conditions [4]. 

Even women with rheumatoid arthritis and conditions of the musculoskeletal systems have lower androgen levels than usual. 

Researchers have found that testosterone and DHT, a derivative of testosterone, can also reduce the symptoms of neuropathy - nerve pain. 

One study published in the Journal of Endocrinology showed that balancing hormone levels reduced pain among diabetics. Let's also not forget that low T can be a factor in diabetes, metabolic disease and more. 

The use of anabolic steroids can cause muscle pain and aches

While natural supplements found in test boosts may help to alleviate muscle pain and aches by optimizing hormones and balancing out nutritional deficiencies, some anabolic steroids and prescribed steroid medication can actually have the opposite impact on soreness and aches. 

Anabolic steroids can cause rapid muscle growth, which may have an adverse effect on the strength of your ligaments and tendons. It's because muscle strength and size begin to overpower the connective tissues, and your tendons are unable to keep the muscles attached properly to the bones. 

Even without taking into account the discomfort of regularly injecting your body, this is a lot. If you're not careful, the sites can become infected and painful. 

You're also more likely to experience intermittent pains and cramps during a cycle of steroids. You're also more likely to experience bone pain. 

Hypercalcemia, a concentration of calcium higher than usual in the bloodstream is one theory. 

Hypercalcemia from anabolic steroid use can lead to fatigue, pain in the musculoskeletal system and even weakness. [6] It was suggested that anabolic steroid pain may be the main reason that so many bodybuilders choose opiate-based analgesics. 


Testosterone is an essential hormone, not only associated with muscle growth and masculinity but also helping regulate your mood, bones, and other aspects of health.

Hormones play an essential role in building and strengthening muscles when exercising.

By binding to androgen receptors in muscle tissue and stimulating protein synthesis and hypertrophy (increasing muscle fiber counts).

Furthermore, hormones help build new tissue by activating satellite cells that trigger growth of new fibers that contribute to muscle strength - thus contributing to their strength development.

As we age, testosterone levels naturally decline over time - this process is known as andropause or male menopause and usually does not cause significant problems for most people.

However, some older men may experience more rapid declines of their testosterone, leading them to experience symptoms like low muscle mass, depression and less sexual interest than expected.

Low testosterone also decreases bone density and may worsen osteoporosis - an incurable bone condition which weakens bones to increase their susceptibility to fractures and joint pain.

Osteoporosis does not cause joint discomfort directly but weakens them further, making them more vulnerable than ever to breaking apart and fracture.

Testosterone also plays an essential role in maintaining the health of tendons and ligaments that connect muscles to bones and stabilize joints, such as your knees or hips.

When these tendons and ligaments become weak or stretched out, this can cause joint pain and instability; specifically in weight-bearing joints like knees and hips.

The best way to maximize hormones like testosterone is by ensuring that you are getting the correct nutrients. Together, the nutrients and testosterone are effective in reducing muscle pain and soreness.

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  1. Barker, T et al. Supplemental vitamin D enhances the recovery in peak isometric force shortly after intense exercise. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2013; 10: 69
  2. Crosby, V et al. The safety and efficacy of a single dose (500 mg or 1 g) of intravenous magnesium sulfate in neuropathic pain poorly responsive to strong opioid analgesics in patients with cancer. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2000; 19(1): 35-9
  3. Cinar, V et al. Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011; 140(1): 18-23
  4. Vincent, K et al. Hormones and their interaction with the pain experience. Rev Pain. 2008; 2(2): 20-14
  5. Calabrese, D et al. Diabetic neuropathic pain: a role for testosterone metabolites. J Endocrinol. 2014; 221(1): 1-13
  6. Samaha, AA et al. Multi-organ damage induced by anabolic steroid supplements: a case report and literature review. J Med Case Reports. 2008; 2: 340
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