Lactic acid for more testosterone

If you end your strength training session with a set of high reps so that your muscles produce extra lactic acid, it’s likely to increase your natural testosterone production. This Lactic acid increases testosterone production through the Leydig cells.

If when you complete a strength training session you add a set of high reps set so that your muscles produce some extra lactic acid [structural formula shown below], it’s been shown to increase your natural levels of testosterone production. A research study shows that lactic acid increases our testosterone production through the increase of Leydig cells.

It is well known that strength training in the gym raises our testosterone levels. These researchers therefore wanted to know a little more about how this actually works, so they focused on the key Leydig cells in the testicles. These are the all important cells that convert cholesterol into testosterone under the influence of hormones LH and FSH.

The science researchers added increasing levels of lactic acid to Leydig cells in test tubes. By way of review and being thorough they also exposed the cells to the hormone LH. The image below shows exactly that the Leydig cells help to produce more male hormone when combined the higher levels of lactic acid, but that with the hormone LH only does not have the same effect.

Lactic acid is the key – and here’s why

These researchers conclude that they did trials with even higher levels than those shown in the image. But this negatively effected the production of testosterone.

The researchers also exposed the cells to some other substances to get a bigger picture such as, forskolin, which stimulates cAMP. CAMP is another cell messenger, a molecule that relays signals from activated receptors to the cells. This effect resulted in more or less disappeared, which led the researchers to conclude that lactic acid works in the same way as cAMP does.

Lactic acid is the key – and here’s why

In other experiments the science researchers uncovered that lactic acid is active mainly in the first stages of testosterone synthesis.

This research study is interesting for masters athletes who want to optimise their muscle building. The more your strength training stimulates testosterone production, the better your training effect can be.

J Cell Biochem. 2001 Jun 26-Jul 25;83(1):147-54.