Many men and even women entering mid life experience depression, fatigue and anxiety and may lose their competitive edge. Some of this may be due to hormonal changes. There is a link between testosterone and motivation and some effects can be modulated by adrenaline and cortisol.
Studies among competitive athletes have shown that winning a competition raises testosterone and motivation to be competitive and continue to win. Those who lost a competition showed sharp declines in testosterone levels. Testosterone and motivation go hand in hand and it may be difficult to determine cause and effect. Stress has an effect on both motivation and hormone levels. The increase in adrenaline can make the testes more sensitive to Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and in the initial stages the same levels of LH can stimulate an increase of testosterone and motivation. This is especially true in people who have high social status, dominance and by nature are competitive.
Studies done in mixed sex rat groups under chronic stress showed high levels of cortisol and low levels of testosterone and motivation. Their hormone levels, behavior and symptoms mimicked those in humans. Subordinate humans show behavior such as chronic defensiveness and symptoms of depression; their voluntary alcohol consumption increases, and their life-spans are shortened.
While you may or may not change your social status, competitive nature or level of dominance, you can lower cortisol and reduce its damaging effects and you can elevate testosterone and motivation. Diet, exercise, and reframing techniques can have a major effect on hormone levels and a sense of control and self esteem. Eating a low glycemic, nutrient dense diet free of processed foods and simple carbohydrates can lower cortisol. Weight lifting to 85% of your 1 Rep Max can increase testosterone and motivation and reframing exercise to focus on what you can control as well as creative problem solving can give you a boost in self esteem and confidence.
When all else fails, it is best to be tested for underlying illness, hormone levels and depression. If testosterone levels are low, giving testosterone can make a huge difference. This along with regular exercise, supplements to lower cortisol and elevate mood and a supportive diet, sleep and behavioral cognitive techniques can make a difference. There are many natural ways to boost testosterone and motivation. Consulting with a functional medicine expert experienced in bioidentical hormone replacement and nutrition can dramatically transform your life and your health.
Lorraine Maita, MD is an award winning physician, speaker and author of “Vibrance for Life: How to Live Younger and Healthier” and can make you slim, sharp, sexy and supercharged. She is an expert in anti aging medicine, bioidentical hormone replacement, and weight loss, medical nutrition, supplements and executive health. Dr. Maita has a private practice in Functional, Integrative, Personalized and Anti Aging Medicine in Short Hills, NJ howtoliveyounger.com and educates virtually at www.vibranceforlife.com. Live and look younger and healthier by scheduling a consultation today.