Testosterone; hormone known by many, truly understood by few and quite possible one of the more remarkable hormones in the human body; if not, it's at least the most exciting! Testosterone is a steroidal hormone found in both men and women; yes both men and women, although in higher concentrations among men. Although testosterones are essential to both men in women, it is primarily a male sex hormone, as well as perhaps the single most important hormone when it comes to anabolic steroids and that is exactly what we are concerned with here.
When it comes to gaining muscle tissue or generating high performance, several key things must be in play. Adequate proper training and properly planned nutrition are both a must but to get the most from your set goals testosterone is king. Most are familiar with the importance of protein; proteins are the building blocks of muscle and essential to meet that end but it is testosterone that plays a role in utilizing each protein to the fullest extent possible.
The Origins of Testosterone
Testosterones have obviously always existed; it is part of the very human structure but use, exogenous use is what we are referring to here. The benefits of Testosterone use date back further than many realize. In ancient Greece many athletes prior to the first Olympic Games would eat animal testicles in order to gain a higher level of performance over their competitors. It is unlikely these individuals understood why or how this would help and it is unclear as to the magnitude in-which it worked but being as Testosterone is largely created in the testicles of mammals, the ancient Greeks were on to something.
Testosterone - The Modern Age
Throughout the 18th Century testicular extract was often used in medical practice but it was not until the 1930's where we would see the birth of Testosterone use as we know it today. In 1931, a German chemist Adolf Butenandt cleansed and filtered urine to extract the hormone androstenone. A few short years later in 1934 a fellow chemist Leopold Ruzicka found a way to synthesize the hormone and the age of anabolic steroid use was born. Butenandt and Ruzicka's work made it apparent that not only could hormones be isolated but further synthesized for safe human use and subsequently the race to synthesize the first batch of testosterone was underway.
In a 1935 paper aptly titled On Crystalline Male Hormone from Testicles Karoly Gyula David, E. Dingemanse, J. Freud and Ernst Laqueur announced they had in-fact isolated the hormone testosterones and in less than a year's time the first batch of synthetic testosterone was made. The breakthrough was of such great importance that both Butenandt and Ruzicka were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1939. Testosterone was in a way of speaking born for the first time and thanks to Butenandt and Ruzicka the first every clinical injections of testosterone in the testosterone propionate form were achieved
Testosterone beyond the Beginning
With the first batch of testosterone ever used being that of testosterone propionate, since that time a bevy of testosterones have made their way into hands of many. To this day testosterone propionate still remains very popular among many testosterone users but as the years have passed various forms of testosterone have become just as popular.
Something many seem to fail to understand is testosterone is testosterone is testosterone. Regardless of the form, and there are many, no matter which of the testosterones you choose the basic principle action is the same. Two of the most common forms of testosterone beyond propionate are testosterone enanthate and testosterone cypionate. The largest difference in these two testosterones as compared to testosterone propionate is the half life of the drugs. Testosterone propionate has a half life of approximately forty eight hours, while testosterone-enanthate has a half-life of fifteen days and testosterone cypionate a half life extending a few more hours.
Understanding Half-Life of Testosterone
When we speak of the half life of various testosterones or any anabolic steroid for that matter, we often hear a lot of misinformation. For example, a very common mistake is to assume that "half-life" refers the duration of action. Half-life is in truth a very simple concept and it applies to all testosterones as well:
Half-Life: the half-life of any anabolic steroid represents the time in-which half or 50% of the administered drug has been used. For example; if we inject 100mg of testosterone-propionate with a half-life of 48hrs, at the 48hr mark after injection we will have 50mg of active testosterone propionate left in our system. Now contrary to belief this does not mean after another 48hr mark passes the drug will be out of our system, at the second 48hr mark if we injected 100mg of testosterone propionate we would now have 25mg of the drug still in our system. Here's a sample chart that will help you understand:
|Hour Mark||Active Dosage|
|0.00hrs (Initial Injection)||100mg|
As you can see from the above chart, this is why testosterone with a shorter half-life such as testosterone-propionate must be injected more frequently than testosterone with a longer half-life such as testosterone-cypionate.
Understanding Testosterone Esters
Each of the various testosterones available has a different half-life and this half-life is determined by the ester that is attached to the testosterone. For example, testosterone-propionate is a testosterone with the "Propionate" ester attached to it, as testosterone enanthate is a testosterone with the "Enanthate" ester attached to it. It is important to note that esters carry with them more important things than simply determining the half-life of various testosterones; for example the ester attached can affect the drugs soluble level but understanding the half-life effect is perhaps the most important aspect as it pertains to the discussion here.
In recent years testosterone that is comprised of a mixture of numerous testosterones have become popular. The most popular form of testosterone mixture is that of Sustanon-250. Sutstanon-250 is a type of testosterone comprised of four different testosterones each possessing a different ester. What this accomplishes is it gives the individual a steady release of testosterone throughout the body at various intervals. The idea behind this type of testosterone model is to enable the user to maintain constant levels of testosterone throughout the body because as we have seen, as the drug reaches its various half-life stages the amount of active testosterone in the body declines
Sustanon-250 is comprised of four different testosterones which include
- Testosterone Propionate: 30mg
- Testosterone Phenylpropionate: 60mg
- Testosterone Isocaproate: 60mg
- Testosterone Decanoate: 100mg
From this mixture of four different testosterones we receive a steady dose of testosterone at different times keeping the level of active testosterone in the body stable. There are many varying opinions as to if a blend of testosterones such as that of Sustanon is needed and as is with so many things in the anabolic steroid world this is very user dependent. Make no mistake, 250mg of Sustanon versus 250mg of testosterone-enanthate is either way 250mg of testosterone and you can keep your levels of flowing testosterone exactly the same regardless of the type of testosterones you use, however, to do so will depend on your injection frequency.
In the end it really doesn't matter which type of testosterone you use. What's important is keeping your levels stable, finding the ester that fits your needs and simply going with what you enjoy. Beyond the basics of testosterone we discussed here there is so much more information for you to enjoy but hopefully you have a better understanding of how testosterones work and you can begin to find how it works best for you.