Building muscle mass not only helps in maintaining your muscle tone but can also prevent unexplained weight gain in women, especially after a certain age. Thus, it is important that you start improving your muscle health. A recent study has found that boosting the testosterone levels of women artificially can help improve physical performance, boost endurance and increase their muscle mass.

The study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has revealed that women’s athletic abilities can be improved by having them smear a testosterone cream on their thighs for about ten weeks. The study’s lead author Dr. Angelica Linden Hirschberg, professor at the department of women’s health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm said that their study makes it evident that testosterone boost improves physical performance in women and improved endurance of more than 8%. She also opines that even though the testosterone levels were increased more than four times, they were still much lower than the male testosterone range.

The impact of testosterone levels on the athletic performance of women has been unknown by far. The researchers included 48 healthy and physically active female participants in the age group of 18-35 and randomly assigned them to apply testosterone cream or a dummy cream for a period of ten weeks. They then evaluated these women’s testosterone levels and their endurance. They also evaluated their performances, leg power, muscular strength, and knee strength during various activities.

"The normal female range of circulating testosterone is 0.1 to 1.8 nmol/L and the normal male range is 8 to 30 nmol/L, so there is no overlap at all," said the lead author via an email to Medscape Medical News. "In our study, the testosterone group reached a mean testosterone level of 4.3 nmol/L, which is higher than the normal female range, but still lower than the male range."

Although the study proves this in the short term, the findings could not be translated directly to female elite athletes with high testosterone in the male range since they included only well-trained female participants and not elite athletes.

This is the first-ever study to report that testosterone could improve female performance. The study design is considered the gold standard since it relates to the controversy around the IAAF regulations for female athletes.

Hormone levels in the testosterone group were in the range of what can be seen in a common medical condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, Dunaif said.

"It's well below the normal male level," said Dr. Andrea Dunaif (professor and system chief of endocrinology and diabetes, Mount Sinai Health System, New York City), "What I found absolutely remarkable was that they found a significant increase in endurance (with a relatively small increase in testosterone level)."

Testosterone improved muscle mass in women Sabine Mondestin, Pixabay