In bodybuilding, the human hormones are everything. Androgens, the male hormone, and Estrogens the female hormones are both essential to every human being, but for bodybuilders, these are everything. A bodybuilder needs to know how to control these hormones in order to gain the desired physique. Without this knowledge, a bodybuilder is doomed for failure or very limited gain.
Many bodybuilders focus on the most common androgen hormone, testosterone. This is why you’ll notice that the word testosterone is widely used when describing masculinity, or the lack thereof. However, both men and women bodybuilders also need to apply the same focus on the female hormone Estrogen.
Why is estrogen so important in bodybuilding
First of all, a proportionate amount of both male and female hormones is necessary for human survival. The human body needs both hormones for different purposes. In males, estrogen is important in the prevention of prostate cancer, obesity, and hair loss. In females, well, estrogen is the more dominant hormone.
Males will normally have more testosterone than estrogens. In a normal male, the ratio is 100:1. Bodybuilders can be considered far from normal as their muscle mass will usually be more than the average male.
The knowledge of how estrogens work in the male body is important when it comes to bodybuilding and especially when steroids have been considered.
How do estrogens work
When steroids are used, the levels of testosterone in the body are increased. The body naturally produces both testosterone and estrogen and keeps the balance according to body type. When testosterone levels are increased, the body will attempt to increase estrogen levels as well.
Since estrogens are female hormones, an increase in this hormone in men can become quite a problem. Men with high estrogen levels will be able to retain fat much longer (not good for bodybuilders), and will tend to grow some female characteristics like the female breast, definitely not good for bodybuilders.
An increase in estrogen levels is normal for people who are taking steroids. Bodybuilders who decide to take steroids also need to take antiestrogens to prevent the increase of estrogen levels.
Well, this actually works a bit differently. Anti-estrogens don’t actually prevent the increase of estrogen, but rather prevent estrogens from finding receptors. Estrogen levels may be high, but without receptors, these will have no effect on the body.
On the other hand, estrogen levels cannot drop down to zero as this is also a dangerous situation. Remember that the body requires both hormones in order to function properly. A bodybuilder’s objective is to increase testosterone levels, but prevent estrogens from having too much effect on the muscles and other tissues.
In summary, bodybuilders may require high levels of testosterone, but this does not mean that they don’t need estrogens as well. Estrogens need to be present but only at a certain amount. An excess of estrogen is not good for a bodybuilder and neither is a depletion of estrogen. The balance of testosterone and estrogens need to be maintained at the levels a bodybuilder requires.