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Does Testosterone Make You Taller, featured image

When and How Does Testosterone Make You Taller

Here’s how testosterone is related to height:

Testosterone is one of the main sex hormones involved in growth during puberty, especially for boys.

Testosterone has been shown to enhance the effects of growth hormone (GH) to increase insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) that plays a major role in linear bone growth during childhood and puberty.

Testosterone has only a temporary effect on increasing your height that lasts throughout puberty.

But even testosterone won’t help to increase your height if you’re an adult as you can’t grow further once your growth plates are fused, which is mainly controlled by estrogen in both boys and girls. [1] [2]

That’s why girls’ bodies mature faster and stop growing earlier than boys – they have more estrogen.

And the growth plates usually close toward the end of puberty (around 13-15 for girls and 15-17 for boys). [3]

But the number one factor that affects your peak height remains the genetic makeup (DNA) carried on from your parents.

Scientists claim that around 80% of a person’s final height is decided by the DNA inherited from their parents. [4]

To highlight the relationship between testosterone and height, in this article I’ll cover:

  • The hormones that make us taller
  • How low testosterone affects one’s height
  • How testosterone can be a potential treatment for delayed growth
  • Practical tips to boost your testosterone levels naturally during puberty

What Hormones Make You Grow Taller?

The hormones produced by the body that trigger bone growth during puberty are:

1. Growth Hormones

The increased growth hormone secretion in the teenage years is among the primary factors for increased height. [5]

Growth hormones are produced in the anterior pituitary gland located at the base of the brain.

However, certain conditions may affect this gland’s ability to secrete enough GH for normal growth.

Kids who suffer from rare genetic conditions such as growth hormone deficiency (GHD) will experience an impaired growth rate than children with normal GH levels. [6]

2. Thyroid Hormones

Thyroid hormones (TH) play an important role in growth as they’re needed for normal GH secretion and synthesis. [7]

Thus, TH influences bone and linear growth in adolescence.

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Thyroid hormones consist of 2 hormones that the thyroid gland (an endocrine gland situated in your neck) makes and releases – thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

However, specific thyroid hormone mutations like resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH) can lead to development problems and growth deficits.

3. Sex Hormones

Testosterone and estrogen are the main sex hormones responsible for growing taller in the teenage years.

Research shows that in boys, testosterone is joined by estradiol as having the most impact on the pubertal growth spurt. [8]

Estradiol is a form of estrogen that’s known as the major female sex hormone, although it still plays a role in male growth.

Does Testosterone Make You Taller, tall and short man playing basketball

Does Low Testosterone Decrease Height?

Although normal testosterone levels contribute to healthy growth in puberty, certain low testosterone conditions might actually increase height.

An example of such a condition is hypogonadotropic hypogonadism that affects the testicles and results from gonadal failure.

A scientific paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that men with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism who experienced prolonged delay of puberty (at least 6 years) were taller than normal men. [9]

In fact, the men who were diagnosed with this condition were roughly 1.1 inches taller than the average height of American men, which is around 5 foot 9 inches. [10]

Another particular disorder that usually leads to an increased height in men is the genetic condition Klinefelter’s syndrome. [11]

Klinefelter’s syndrome results in men being born with an additional X chromosome that’s characterized by more height, longer legs and arms, breast tissue development and decreased fertility. [12]

Nonetheless, these increases in height are the result of specific abnormalities in testosterone levels and the male body – they don’t represent the normal growth process.

Does Testosterone Make You Taller, boy sitting next to a river

Testosterone’s Uses for Boys with Delayed Growth

Research shows that the administration of testosterone can be used to speed up growth in boys with constitutional delay in growth, without impacting their final adult height. [13]

The key takeaway of the study was using low doses of injectable testosterone enanthate (50 mg) to stimulate growth in boys aged 14-15.

Administering lower doses of the hormone is done to minimize the possibility of premature growth plate closure.

Although somewhat controversial, the results of this study are very solid as the final mean height of the boys with constitutional delay in growth was less than an inch from their pretreatment predicted height.

Boys Usually Reach Peak Height at 16 Years of Age

Boys grow at a slower rate than girls and most reach their adult height when they’re around 16. [14]

In fact, most boys reach complete adult maturity by the time they’re 18 years of age.

Although height seized to increase, one’s musculature may continue growing.

5 Ways to Boost Testosterone Naturally as a Teen

Although testosterone boosters are always an option, your best bet would probably be to try the following methods for raising your T naturally:

Does Testosterone Make You Taller, man doing deadlifts

1. Engage in Resistance and High-Intensity Training

Physical exercise has many health benefits for people of all ages, including younger individuals in their teens.

One of the benefits of working out is stimulating your natural testosterone production.

Resistance training (e.g. weightlifting) has been shown as the most effective exercise method for boosting testosterone levels short and long-term. [15], [16]

Another really effective way for increasing your T naturally is through high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Research shows that high-intensity training is more effective than steady endurance exercise (e.g. cardio) at boosting free testosterone. [17]

Another great thing about HIIT is that it doesn’t require fancy equipment and can be done anywhere.

Overall, any type of exercise can give your natural T secretion a boost, although resistance training and HIIT are the most effective.

Does Testosterone Make You Taller, stressed out man

2. Try Reducing Your Cortisol and Stress Levels

Elevated stress levels are one of the big problems in our modern world, with chronic (long-term) stress being particularly unhealthy as it increases cortisol. [18]

There’s evidence that chronically elevated cortisol can disrupt testosterone production in men, which can be manifested by lowered libido. [19]

High cortisol levels have also been documented to suppress testosterone production by directly affecting the testicles. [20]

Essentially – the higher the cortisol elvels, the less testosterone you’ll have.

Some good practical tips to lower your stress and cortisol levels include:

  • Get enough quality sleep
  • Consume a whole-food diet
  • Workout regularly
  • Try to laugh more

Striving to minimize repetitive stress in your life can be a great idea to stimulate your T production during your teenage years.

Does Testosterone Make You Taller, a guy snoozing on a skateboard

3. Get at Least 8 Hours of Quality Sleep Each Night

Most teenagers need between 8-10 hours of good sleep each night for optimal health and wellbeing. [21]

Generally, testosterone peaks at 4.00 AM, making a good night’s sleep essential to maintain healthy T levels. [22]

Studies reveal that young healthy men who slept for only 5 hours (per night) for a whole week experienced, in general, a 15% reduction in T levels. [23]

That’s why trying to get at least 8 hours of restful sleep is essential to keep your T production at optimal ranges.

And don’t worry about sleeping more than adults since on average teenagers need to sleep 1-3 hours more than adults, according to CDC sleep data. [24]

Does Testosterone Make You Taller, a man standing on his arms under the sun

4. Add Some Vitamin D to Your Daily Routine

Vitamin D is a hormone, rather than an actual vitamin that’s synthesized by the kidneys.

From a pure vitamin perspective, it’s a fat-soluble nutrient that’s also known as the “sunshine vitamin” as there are 2 ways through, which your body makes it:

  1. From direct skin exposure to sunlight.
  2. From food (only around 10% of vitamin D is absorbed via food). [25]

Note that your skin has to be directly exposed to sunlight – staying behind a tinted window won’t work.

Research shows that long-term vitamin D3 supplementation (3,000 UI/daily) can improve T levels by approximately 25%. [26]

Either try to get more sun or if that’s not an option consider trying a vitamin D3 supplement as this form of the vitamin is the most potent and researched one.

Does Testosterone Make You Taller, wine and other alcohol being poured into glasses

5. Avoid Added Dietary Sugars and Alcohol

Most of you probably already know that excessive sugar and alcohol consumption is far from healthy.

Even though this is true, they’re also and for your androgen hormones, namely testosterone.

A study based on the relation between sugar-sweetened drinks and testosterone in young men concluded that sugary beverage consumption is significantly associated with low T levels (below 231 ng/dL). [27]

Studies show that excessive alcohol consumption reduces plasma testosterone levels in men. [28] [29]

Thus, staying away from sugars and alcohol might help bump your testosterone levels.

Conclusion

Testosterone is among the important sex hormones that play a role in making you grow taller in puberty.

This sex hormone helps promote bone growth and maturation during the period between childhood and adult age.

Even though testosterone supports growth, it’s the impact of estrogen that ultimately closes the growth plates.

It’s worth pointing out that testosterone’s effects on growth are only active during adolescence.

Once you’re fully grown (i.e. an adult), no amount of androgen hormones will make you taller.

People who continue growing throughout adulthood will have some sort of genetic abnormalities or conditions.

Now – have you ever managed to increase your height somehow?

And if you did – what method did you use?

Go on, leave a comment below with your answers!


References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319504
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC34445/
  3. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/growth-plates.html
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/traits/height/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11837509/
  6. https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/growth-hormone-deficiency/
  7. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-28038-7_4
  8. https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/327788
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1449545/
  10. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr122-508.pdf
  11. https://www.yourhormones.info/endocrine-conditions/male-hypogonadism/
  12. https://www.medscape.com/answers/945649-114931/how-does-klinefelter-syndrome-affect-growth-patterns
  13. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM198812153192402
  14. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/stages-of-puberty-what-happens-to-boys-and-girls/
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17051372/
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9660159/
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23310924/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10454175
  19. https://news.utexas.edu/2010/09/27/stress-hormone-blocks-testosterones-effects-study-shows/
  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6348068/
  21. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/teens-health/art-20046157
  22. https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_5j1k1sf1
  23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21632481/#&gid=article-figures&pid=figure-uid-0
  24. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
  25. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/vitamin-d/
  26. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21154195/
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6015465/
  28. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11912073/
  29. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/894528/
  30. https://www.endocrine-abstracts.org/ea/0005/ea0005p161
  31. https://www.familyeducation.com/life/growth-physical-development/has-teen-stopped-growing
  32. https://www.healthline.com/health/do-guys-keep-growing-until-age-25
  33. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327514
  34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1070801/
  35. https://www.ultracorepower.com/blog/does-testosterone-make-you-taller/
  36. https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/endocrine-disorders-in-children/male-hypogonadism-in-children
  37. https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/puberty.html

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