Does Working Out Increase DHT Levels?

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about working out and DHT levels. Let’s set the record straight.


Dihydrotestosterone is a powerful androgen steroid hormone more commonly known as DHT. This hormone is found in both males and females, but naturally occurs in higher levels in men. It plays an important role in the development of male secondary sexual traits, such as facial and body hair growth, muscle mass, bone density, voice deepening and sperm production.

Studies have suggested that regular physical activity can influence the concentrations of certain hormones in the body, including testosterone and cortisol. Many people wonder whether working out has any effect on their DHT levels as this hormone is linked to many muscle-building benefits. In this article, we’ll discuss what science says about the effects of exercise on DHT levels and how exercise can benefit your overall health.

What is DHT?

DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a naturally-occurring hormone in the body. DHT is an androgen, a male sex hormone, and it is responsible for male sexual characteristics, like facial hair and body hair growth. It has been hypothesized that an increase in DHT levels can be beneficial for physical performance, such as increasing muscle mass. Let’s take a look at what DHT is and if working out increases DHT levels.

How is it produced?

DHT or dihydrotestosterone is a hormone made in the body and is closely related to testosterone. It’s a derivative of testosterone, with much more activity on individual cells. In men, it’s predominantly produced in the testes and adrenal glands. Women also produce small amounts of DHT in their ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone either binds directly to an androgen receptor, or is converted into DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This conversion triggers significant changes within the body, leading to physical changes such as facial hair growth, scalp hair loss, prostate enlargement, deeper voice pitch and other masculinity traits. Working out can increase the levels of testosterone in your body which can lead to increased production of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that leads to higher levels of DHT in your body.

What are the effects of high DHT levels?

High levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can have a wide range of effects on the body. In males, high levels of DHT can contribute to enlarged prostate glands, baldness, and even a rare condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Oilier skin and increased libido are common side effects associated with higher levels of DHT. In women, some studies show that certain types of increase in DHT could stimulate uterine fibroids and breast cysts.

It is not clear whether physical activity can directly impact DHT levels in the body. However, exercise does increase testosterone production by the adrenal glands and testicles, which can then be converted into higher concentrations of DHT depending on an individual’s natural hormonal balance. Testosterone itself is responsible for growth and development in both sexes; however, if an individual has higher concentrations of DHT than normal for their sex and age group, it could affect their physical (and emotional) health.

For this reason, it is important to consult a doctor before beginning any intense physical exercise regimen with the intention of increasing one’s testosterone or DHT levels. This will enable them to monitor individual hormone levels and provide personalized advice on how best to prevent negative health consequences associated with higher-than-normal concentrations of either hormone.

Does Working Out Increase DHT Levels?

There has long been an interest in the link between working out and testosterone levels, more specifically the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. This hormone occurs naturally in the body, and is believed to be responsible for factors such as muscle growth and strength. But does working out actually increase DHT levels? Let’s take a look.

Does exercise increase testosterone?

Exercise has been known to increase testosterone levels in the body, however, it is uncertain whether exercise increases levels of the more powerful androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is an important hormone responsible for male physical characteristics and sexual function.

Testosterone is an anabolic steroid hormone that works in the body as a main contributor to muscle gains and fat loss. Increasing testosterone upsurges natural muscle growth and leads to improved fat burning potential. Studies have linked increased testosterone levels with better physical performance, enhanced libido, enhanced sense of wellbeing, improved self esteem and a shorter recovery time from intense physical activities.

Regular exercise has been linked to increased circulating concentrations of testosterone in healthy adult men. Some common activities that can help boost testosterone production are aerobic exercises such as jogging or cycling for about 30 minutes at least three times a week; resistance training such as push-ups or free weight lifting; sprinting; and weightlifting for power output such as Plyometric exercises including jumping squats, box jumps and burpees.

Most research studies on exercise’s effects on testosterone have focused on total T levels rather than DHT, which only represents 2-3% of total T levels in circulation. The mechanisms through which exercise may influence DHT production still remain unclear but it does seem possible that intense bodybuilding type training could lead to an increase in DHT levels due to its stimulating effects on protein synthesis and follicular development – both processes known to help with increasing DHT activity. Further studies must be conducted before conclusions can be reached regarding this particular relationship between exercise and DHT concentration.

Does exercise increase DHT levels?

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone produced from testosterone in the body, and it can affect the development of male sexual characteristics. It is also known to play an important role in hair growth and loss. Although research studies have shown that there is a correlation between increased physical activity and increased DHT levels, the exact relationship remains unclear.

Excessive Exercise
Excessive exercise can lead to an increase in DHT levels due to excessive stress on the body. High-intensity cardio, long distance running and other forms of intensive exercise can cause an elevation of cortisol levels which can subsequently lead to an increase in testosterone production. This overproduction of testosterone then leads to elevated DHT levels within the body.

Resistance Training
Resistance exercise such as lifting weights has been known to induce acute increases in serum DHT concentrations in men. This increase is believed to be due to the mechanical stress placed upon muscles during periods of resistance training, which leads to increased levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates testosterone production within the body resulting in an elevation of DHT levels ultimately. It should also be noted that acute increases appear to last approximately one hour after resistance training ends, so any effect on DHT appears limited only during periods where physical activity is occurring.

In conclusion, while it may be true that exercising might increase your overall concentrations of dihydrotestosterone, it seems that this effect only occurs when performing intense exercises such as lifting weights or running for extended periods of time; meaning if you are looking for mild increases in concentration then exercising alone may not be enough. It would appear that other methods such as supplementation with precursors like zinc or magnesium may have greater effects on short term concentrations then simply exercising alone.

What are the benefits of increasing DHT levels?

One of the primary benefits of increasing dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels through exercise is improved muscle growth and strength. DHT is an important hormone that affects the metabolism of testosterone, producing greater amounts of it through activities like exercise. Since testosterone helps build muscle and increases strength, increasing its levels can improve your athleticism and strength training results. Additionally, research suggests that higher levels of DHT may be associated with better post-workout recovery, which can reduce muscle soreness and lead to faster progress in the gym.

Furthermore, DHT has been linked to lower fat mass and enhanced bone health. Thus, increased DHT could potentially aid you in your fat loss plan or help prevent bone loss with age. Another study showed that people who had higher levels of DHT experienced less fatigue during a generated work task than those with lower levels. This indicates improved mood, motivation, and focus resulting from increased DHT. Finally, DHT is also thought to play a role in male sexual behavior as it influences libido and erectile function in men. All these factors suggest that raising your circulating level of this important hormone via exercise could have significant performance-enhancing effects across different domains such as physical performance, recovery rate, emotional well-being etc

Other Factors Affecting DHT Levels

While working out can influence hormone levels, other factors such as genetics, diet, and lifestyle can also play a role in how much DHT your body produces. Eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and reducing stress can all help keep your DHT levels in check. Let’s delve into some of these other factors to determine how they affect DHT levels.


Age is a major factor when it comes to DHT levels. On average, men produce more DHT than women, and their levels tend to peak around the age of 30. After this point, it’s common for levels to gradually decrease over time. Additionally, testosterone production typically decreases too after age 30, meaning the ratio of testosterone-to-DHT will be lower in older men than younger men.

Age can also affect how sensitive the body is to DHT—which in turn can influence how much DHT is produced. One study suggests that people are more sensitive to DHT as they get older, and that higher levels of sensitivity may lead to an increase in DHT production. These findings may help explain why some signs of male pattern baldness begin earlier among some men, while others don’t experience them until later in life.


In addition to the factors mentioned above, your diet can also affect your DHT levels. Certain foods, such as deep-water fish and egg yolks, are good sources of biotin and zinc, which have been found to increase DHT production. Foods containing high amounts of phytoestrogens however, can block the body’s ability to produce DHT. Phytoestrogens are a type of plant-derived compound that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Diets high in processed foods and sugar may also lead to higher estrogen levels, which then reduce DHT production.

It’s important to monitor your diet when trying to balance your testosterone levels naturally. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats is key for proper hormone balance in both men and women. You should also limit your consumption of alcohol and drugs like tobacco; these substances negatively affect testosterone production in both sexes.


Genetics is a key factor in determining the levels of DHT in the body, as certain genetic capabilities predispose individuals to having higher or lower levels of circulating DHT. The way our androgen receptors work to bind testosterone and its derivatives together with the activity of our 5-alpha-reductase enzymes, which are responsible for converting testosterone into DHT, are all genetically coded. Thus, some people inherently have a more rapid conversion rate from testosterone to DHT whereas others may have slower conversion rates. Ultimately, genetics will affect an individual’s circulating DHT levels and could be a potential cause for someone to have persistently high or low levels of DHT in their bodies.


After reviewing the most recent studies and considering the other factors that have an impact on DHT levels, it is fair to conclude that regular exercise can influence levels of DHT, but the effects are likely to be mild. Specifically, it appears that the increase tends to be more prevalent in those engaging in intense activity over extended periods of time. Furthermore, the impact on your body’s overall testosterone levels is likely to be slight, since it appears that exercise primarily increases levels of free testosterone rather than total testosterone.

So while it’s true that working out can increase your DHT levels, the benefits may not always outweigh any potential risks associated with high DHT levels. The best course of action for anyone concerned about their DHT levels is to keep fitness from a holistic approach and consult a health professional if you’re worried about any changes or upsets.

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