Healthspan Blog

Long healthspans mean happy lives

MMA fighters and low testosterone

16th November 2011

A lot of people scoff at the idea that professional fighters, with all their muscle and fitness could possibly need hormone replacement therapy. According to WebMD, men’s testosterone levels start to drop after the age of 40, but then only about 1% to 2% per year. And as far as I know, Marquardt, Sonnen, Todd Duffee and Dan Henderson (all 40 or below) have received HRT during their MMA careers. It’s no wonder that people get suspicious, especially when the positive benefits of more testosterone could help a fighter recover from injury, prolong his career, etc.

But at least with Dan Henderson, it seems legit. The state of Nevada approved testosterone replacement therapy for Henderson for his second fight with Wanderlei Silva at Pride 33. In an ESPN interview, Henderson had this to say:

“My levels were so low they were off the charts. I was always tired and getting sick a lot. I couldn’t even tell you [how to abuse it]. I’ve never gone above normal ranges. All I know is that I’m not as tired and I don’t get as sick as I used to.”

Certainly if a man suffers from low testerone, he should be encouraged to seek treatment. As Henderson said above, if you want to be energetic and not be sick all the time, you need normal levels of testosterone. The question is, how can we be fair to guys like Henderson who need hormone therapy to be haelthy in a normal way while still calling out guys who might use it for an unfair advantage?

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