Physiological and Psychological Effects of Testosterone on Sport Performance: A Critical Review of Literature

Submitted by: Mr. P.J. Vanny1*, Dr. Jordan Moon2*.

1* P.J. Vanni, M.S., NSCA-CPT

2* MusclePharm Sports Science Center Research Institute Director, Distance Learning Faculty member, Department of Sports Exercise Science, United States Sports Academy. 

P.J. Vanni is a third year Sports Management Doctorate Student at the United States Sports Academy, an Independent Distributor for Advocare Nutrition Company, and is also a faculty member in the Health and Physical Education Department at The Haverford School in Haverford, PA.

Dr. Jordan Moon is the MusclePharm Sports Science Center Research Institute Director, as well as a Distance Learning Faculty member for the Department of Sports Exercise Science at The United States Sports Academy. 


The emergence of testosterone (Te) use in sports has increased drastically since its inception, spawning a “cat and mouse game” between athletes and regulating bodies.  Once a means for detection is developed, scientists are developing new forms or compounds of Te which are undetected by current testing or mask increased Te in some way to make the testing inefficient.

Athletes that can improve their level of play through supraphysiological doses of Te are willing to risk getting caught because they believe the pros outweigh the cons (20).  If an athlete can avoid getting caught using Te, the benefits to their performance can include notoriety, increased individual and possibly team success, and increased salaries.

The endocrinology of Te release is based on homeostatic regulations.  A human will release Te based on the need to grow as during infancy and puberty, and based on exercise demands explained in the proceeding research. Increasing the amount of Te in the body will have an increased effect on the already potent and beneficial outcomes of natural Te.

As you will see in this review, the effects of Te use in athletes can improve their physical strength, stature, and possibly performance.  Much research has proven the effects of Te doping on an individual, whether they are an athlete or not; although, these benefits do not ensure success in certain sports.  This review will discuss the endocrinology and origins of Te, the physiology behind how Te works, the effects, the relationships of these effects to sports, the ethics of Te use in sports, and the relationship between Te and sports related skills.

Keywords: testosterone, supraphysiological doses, Te (more…)