Testosterone Levels And Women Who Hit The Gym

Testosterone Levels And Women Who Hit The Gym

Testosterone is a sex hormone that is both critical to the health of both men and women.

This article covers the importance of testosterone for women and how they can increase natural levels.

LAST UPDATED: September 2018 by Ben.

This article is supported by referenced cited at the foot of the page.

Women & Androgens

Testosterone isn’t only important for men – here’s why athletic women must think about it too.

The hormone testosterone might typically be thought of as the male sex hormone.

However, the truth is that women need to think about it, if they want a strong and toned body, as higher levels of testosterone in women are associated with lean body mass. [1]

Both men and women naturally produce testosterone (women’s bodies produce it in the ovaries and adrenals), although women have much lower levels than men.

The average adult female produces just 15-70 ng/dL (0.5 – 2.4 nmol/l) testosterone, compared with the average adult male who produces 280-1100 ng/dL (9.7 – 38.1 nmol/l). [2]

The imbalance starts from birth, with female infants producing 20-80 ng/dL and male infants producing 75-400 ng/dL!

But just because women have naturally lower levels of testosterone than men do, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

Testosterone plays a key role in a number of crucial elements of female health, strength, and even mental wellness. [3]

If you’ve never given much thought to your own testosterone levels, it’s time to start.

If you have a testosterone test, the chart below shows what figures represent ‘low’ testosterone and action should be considered:

low testosterone reference guide for men and women
Image Source: National Health Service, Southend University Hospital [4]

Why Do Women Need Optimal Test Levels?

Women’s testosterone levels are low to begin with, and they start to drop after the age of about 25.

Testosterone is important for muscle mass, bone density, strength, energy levels, and even for the production of estrogen. [5]

‘Decreasing levels of anabolic hormones may be associated with musculoskeletal
atrophy and decrease in function that is observed in older women…’ [6]

It’s a truly key hormone that needs to be kept high for as long as possible.

Particularly as testosterone levels fluctuate through your menstrual cycle (which explains why you feel more energized and much stronger in training on some days!)

It is highest level in the middle of your menstrual cycle and during ovulation.

Olympic female athlete in starting blocks

12 Benefits Of Testosterone For Women

  • – Control weight gain and body fat accumulation
  • – Minimize cortisol (the stress hormone)
  • – Help with anti-aging
  • – Boost confidence
  • – Increase bone density and minimize bone loss
  • – Elevates mood and can help with mild depression
  • – Supports healthy immune system function
  • – Increases physical energy levels
  • – Boosts mental well being and focus
  • – Helps to reduce training fatigue so you can train harder and longer
  • – Supports muscle mass and reduces muscle atrophy
  • – Can regulate cholesterol and menstrual cycle

A study published by the British Medical noted that higher levels of testosterone in women resulted in a number of contributory physiological actions that enhance athletic performance.

‘…the researchers suggest that women may benefit from the boost that testosterone gives to red cell production, which enhances the availability of oxygen in tissues, and to visuospatial abilities…’ [7]

Is Testosterone Therapy for Women Safe?

This is where we need to distinguish the difference between testosterone therapy and increasing natural levels of testosterone.

Testosterone therapy is when women (or men for that matter) are administered a dose of synthetic testosterone to top up their levels. This is sometimes used if your levels are particularly low.

Stimulating more testosterone secretion is completely natural, as it is your bodies own natural supply, not a synthetic dose from therapy.

Testosterone therapy can bring with it some complications. Notably this is because there are no long term trials or studies regarding therapy in women.

As a result the FDA have not approved any treatment specifically for women. [8]

Therefore, it is safer to stimulate natural testosterone secretion rather than overload your system with a synthetic dose.

5 Natural Ways To Boost Your Testosterone

A healthy lifestyle plus strength training is one of the best ways to keep your hormone levels healthy throughout your life.

Get these 5 things in order and you will give your hormones a helping hand.

Boost Growth Hormone

Short periods of fasting (14-16 hours) can increase your natural GH levels by 2000%, and growth hormone correlates to testosterone. Give it a try.

Healthy Fats

Don’t go super low fat with your diet.

Adequate fat intake is crucial for healthy hormones including androstenedione, testosterone, and free testosterone.

Focus on oily fish, avocados, nuts, and butter.

If you don’t eat fish regularly, take a quality omega 3 fish oil supplement for essential fatty acids.

Reduce Your Stress

Ongoing stress leads to cortisol production, which impacts your testosterone levels and can leave your entire hormone profile out of whack.

Try to control stress, or at least your response to it.

Better Sleep

Make sleep part of your stress reductio strategy.

Enough good quality sleep has a major impact on your testosterone levels, as well as balancing all your key hormones.

Limit Alcohol

Alcohol isn’t just caloric (at 7kcals per gram), but it can affect your testosterone levels all the while that you have alcohol in your system.

Bad news for binge drinkers or anyone who likes a daily tipple.

HIIT & Heavy Lifting

Training is one of the very best ways to boost your levels of growth hormone and testosterone levels.

Ditch the little dumbbells and lift as heavy as you can with good form, and choose HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio over LISS (low intensity steady state) if you can.

Increased muscle mass and less body fat will help keep your test levels higher, too.

5 Best Testosterone Support Ingredients

The common misconception is that testosterone boosters are for men only. This is certainly not the case.

Women can benefit just as much as men can, and remember, your levels of testosterone are not as high as that found in men so you are not going to look like a big bulky man.

Natural testosterone supplements won’t come with any unwanted side effects like facial hair or a deep voice (those are linked to hardcore anabolic and exogenous hormone use).

The supplements we’re talking about here are natural and widely available, giving a gentle amount of support to your body’s own hormone balance.

Here are 5 to look out for:

  1. ZMA (Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate and Vitamin B6)
  2. Vitamin K2
  3. Vitamin D3
  4. D-Aspartic Acid
  5. Fenugreek Seed Extract

Check out this these natural testosterone boosters for the best natural hormone support for healthy women.


So, as we can see, testosterone in women is important.

However, the FDA have not approved any form of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) as they have with men. Yet, one thing to remember is that TRT is synthetic testosterone just as anabolic steroids are.

Therefore, an alternative option is to help restore your own natural levels by a number of ways.

These include lifestyle changes, diet choices and exercise.

By ensuring that you get plenty of rest, consume the correct nutrients and exercise regularly you can optimize your hormone levels which can help improve your bodily functions.


[1] Sowers MF, Crutchfield M, Jannausch ML, et al. Longitudinal changes in women approaching the midlife. Ann Hum Biol 1996;23:253–65.

[2] https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=testosterone_total

[3] Salivary testosterone: associations with depression, anxiety disorders, and antidepressant use in a large cohort study. Giltay EJ, Enter D, Zitman FG, Penninx BW, van Pelt J, Spinhoven P, Roelofs K. J Psychosom Res. 2012 Mar;72(3):205-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2011.11.014. Epub 2012 Jan 11. PMID: 22325700

[4] http://www.southend.nhs.uk/pathology-handbook/test-directory/test-directory-t-index/testosterone/

[5] https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/low-testosterone

[6] https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/pdf/10.1123/japa.12.1.101

[7] https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/naturally-produced-testosterone-gives-female-athletes-significant-competitive-edge/

[8] https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/testosterone-therapy-is-it-for-women

Rating: 5
Testosterone and women
Article Name
Testosterone and women
This article looks at the importance of testosterone for women and how to optimize your hormone levels.

Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

2 thoughts on “Testosterone Levels And Women Who Hit The Gym

  1. Thanks for the info, my boyfriend has told me about testosterone boosters before but I always thought they were just for men.
    But the benefits for women sound great…think I’ll give them a try.

    Rating: 5
    1. Yes, many women do not realize that they can benefit from a natural test booster to help increase muscle and lose fat as well without looking like they are on steroids.

      Try them and see how you get on.

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