Optimal levels of testosterone have been linked with many health advantages both physically and mentally. This is especially so for men, though women benefit from this hormone too.
When your testosterone levels are optimal, you find it easier to build muscle, you become stronger and more driven, you have more energy and focus, and suffer less stress and illness. You also develop a healthier libido, and become healthier overall.
But have you ever considered whether testosterone can make you taller? A lot of people query this, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, we associate testosterone with masculinity. Though women also benefit from some healthy levels of testosterone, it’s predominantly effective for men. Similarly, there’s a subconscious idea that men should be taller.
Perhaps this is because men have been considered the ‘protectors’ of the species way back since the caveman ages, meaning women feel more protected when a male is taller than them.
We know that optimised testosterone levels can help gain muscle mass more easily – but can it impact your growth?
Testosterone is essential for healthy functioning, and we all need it. It’s produced primarily in the testes for men and ovaries for the women. Women do benefit from a healthy level of testosterone, while men are much more reliant on it.
When a man’s body is producing the right amount of testosterone, his bone health and muscular strength improves. It becomes more achievable to gain leaner muscle mass, whilst shedding body fat, creating a more defined physique and athletic ability.
Good levels of testosterone can also be incredibly beneficial for your mental wellbeing. Your mood will be lifted, and your passion and drive will return. You’ll have more energy, suffer less from stress, have improved sleep health and recover faster in between training.
Optimal testosterone levels will also enhance your sexual function and libido, the quality of your sperm, and the health of your immune system.
It’s clear that testosterone is imperative to a man’s physical and mental health, and there are some incredible natural testosterone boosters that can help optimise the amount you produce. They really do work, too (I’ve trialled many).
Men need to be more watchful of their testosterone levels as they age. From the age of around 30, the amount we produce drops off by about 1% year on year. We’re at our peak testosterone output during puberty.
And this is where the query between testosterone and height originates – they do link.
As we know, testosterone is responsible for the development of body hair, how deep your voice is, and muscular and bone health. Our testosterone levels are hard at work during puberty, to help all these aspects along in an important phase of growth.
Does Testosterone Affect Your Height?
The evidence becomes a little murky here, with very little available to prove a connection between testosterone levels and height at any phase in our lives. It is, however, associated with HGH (high human growth hormone) output.
So you could say that high testosterone levels equate to high human growth hormone levels, which would lead to growth. This is what encourages the theory that testosterone does have an impact on your height.
Now here’s a spanner in the works: medical research links high testosterone output with reduced height. Yes, you read that correctly. When there are high levels of testosterone available, it has been found that height development is inhibited; while lower levels of testosterone have an effect on growth.
In fact, testosterone therapy has been experimented on pubescent boys as a treatment for excessive height, and proved to be effective at limiting how tall they became.
How is this so, when we know HGH encourages height?
The answer is that testosterone and HGH play very different roles. They’re certainly similar when it comes to muscle gains. But for vertical growth, HGH can impact this, whereas testosterone cannot.
What Affects Your Height?
Let’s first clarify one thing here: you can’t change how tall you grow. Once your bones have emerged from their growing phase, they stop, and you can’t manipulate them.
You are the height you are. The few things that can have an impact on your height are out of your control.
Hormones are one of them. These affect your bone formation by the growth plates, and will determine how tall you become. We know HGH plays a big part in this, too.
Growth hormones specifically are produced in the pituitary glands. Their production can be impaired by certain medications, which will affect height achieved.
Gender itself is a major factor in determining how tall you’ll be. On average, males will grow five to six inches taller than the average woman.
Finally, we have DNA, which is by far the most determining factor for height, and which you have no control over. Some of the approximately 700 separate genes we have will affect growth hormone output, while others will affect our growth plates. Some genetic orders will impact overall height, too.
How Can You Increase Your Height?
The answer is you don’t really have control over your height. It’s set, and this happens in your adolescence. Taking a testosterone booster when you’re older isn’t going to help you vertically.
There are some things you can change to impact the perception of your height, however.
Here’s an example. I myself am shorter than I’d like, standing at 5’ 8”, or 172cm. Though my brother is a little taller than I am, people often assume I’m the tallest.
This all comes down to posture. While my brother slouches, I stand straight. My brother is much less interested in exercise, whereas I have a number of black belts, practice yoga, and lift weights. My posture is better because of this.
I’m more aware of my posture and joint mobility, and with my lower back and core strength, I have an advantage.
To improve your stature, look at your posture. Think about how you carry yourself, and train regularly. This physical confidence and build gives the illusion that you’re taller than you really are.
You can achieve this with plenty of training, solid nutrition, and adequate sleep. Plenty of protein, healthy fats, fruit and vegetables will all contribute to the connective tissue and muscle mass you need to create the perception of height.
Sadly, there is no miracle solution to becoming taller. Testosterone will not increase your height – in fact, it works quite the opposite.
The factors that naturally manipulate how tall we become are not in our control: gender, growth hormone, and DNA are what determine how tall you become with the growth of your bones.
Your height is all in your posture. Stand up straight, shoulders back. Tighten your core and lower back. Lift your chin. Train and fuel your body to hold itself. You can’t make yourself taller, but you can maximise your stature.