How many milligrams of Testosterone do men naturally produce?
3-10 milligrams per day, with the average being 6-7 milligrams per day.
What Is A Therapeutic Dosage Of Testosterone?
When bodybuilders refer to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) dosages they’ll often state that 200 milligrams is a therapeutic dosage.
This is typically not a therapeutic dosage at all, and is more like a small supraphysiological cycle being used year round.
A therapeutic dosage of Testosterone is a dosage that would bring serum Total and Free Testosterone levels in the blood up to what you would produce naturally if you weren’t hypogonadal.
Delving into the clinical data, we can see that the true milligram equivalent is actually far less than that.
Before delving in deeper, keep in mind that ester weight and the milligram amount per milliliter stated on the vial of your prescription doesn't necessarily equate to how many milligrams of Testosterone per milliliter your product truly contains. Let me elaborate on that.
How Many Milligrams Of Testosterone Do Men Naturally Produce?
Testosterone is the principal circulating androgen.
In men, it is secreted primarily by the Leydig cells in the testes at a daily production of about 6-7 mg [R].
Other clinical data corroborates this as well.
A more broad and accurate range is 3-10 mg per day [R], but in general, the average daily production is approximately 6-7 mg per day in healthy men.
The difference between 3 mg per day and 10 mg per day is massive, as you would logically conclude.
However, this is not reflected in the “therapeutic” reference ranges you will see in your blood work.
The “Healthy” Testosterone Reference Range
Depending on the lab, the “healthy” range of natural Testosterone production could be as low as 240 ng/dL on the bottom, and 1000 ng/dL on the high end.
Some labs are even worse.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that a Testosterone level 4x higher will not equate to the same quality of life, muscle building potential, etc.
However, 90% of doctors still are so far behind the curve that they truly believe that a 250 ng/dL Testosterone level is just as good as a 1000 ng/dL Testosterone level.
Weekly Testosterone Production In Milligrams
Based on the daily average production in milligrams, we can calculate that weekly the average healthy male produces between 42 to 49 mg per week.
A ton of men using 200 mg per week probably think that number is far too low and isn’t accurate.
However, what a lot of guys don't consider is that the ester itself takes up a significant portion of the milligram content per milliliter.
After administering Testosterone, your body has to cleave the ester from the molecule to free up the Testosterone to actually be bioavailable in the body, and that ester accounts for a significant portion of that milligram/milliliter amount.
The only exception to this is Testosterone Base and Testosterone Suspension, which are just straight up Testosterone products with no ester attached, but you would never get a prescription for that as the half-life is so short it would require multiple administrations per day.
Testosterone Cypionate Ester Weight
The Cypionate ester has a high molecular weight and accounts for 30% of the milligram total stated on a TRT prescription.
For example, if your TRT prescription was 200 mg of Testosterone Cypionate every week, despite the vial being labeled as 200 mg/ml, the Cypionate ester’s molecular weight takes up 30% of that mg content, and cleaving the ester from the Testosterone molecule in the body leaves only 140 mg/ml, which is 70% of the stated label dosage.
What Dosage Of Testosterone Do You Really Need For Therapeutic TRT?
There are vastly different perspectives on hormone levels in the TRT community and the bodybuilding community.
There are many men (mostly bodybuilders) who believe that 200 mg per week is the bare minimum for high-end TRT, and dosages of 250 mg or even 300 mg per week are justified as within the realm of natural production still.
There are doctors who will corroborate this too, which to me is pretty baffling.
Very, very seldom does somebody actually need 200 mg a week to maintain the equivalent of healthy endogenous production.
Usually, those guys are essentially running a cycle year-round.
This is something I’ve been saying for a while now, as I used to actually believe that 200 mg per week was therapeutic (until I started really monitoring my blood work closely).
Micro-Dosing TRT To Maintain Stable Blood Serum Concentrations
My TRT is currently 125 mg per week, and even that is pushing into supraphysiological territory when you actually split that shot into seven micro shots to keep more stable blood serum concentrations.
Splitting a large dosage/administration of 125 mg per week into 7 administrations/micro-doses of 18 mg per day increases Free Testosterone more relative to a large weekly dosage, decreases the amount of aromatization to Estrogen occurring in the body, and maintains more stable Testosterone blood serum concentrations.
Often times, doctors will prescribe their patients 100 – 200 mg of Testosterone Cypionate every 7-10 days, and then advise them to administer it in one giant dosage once per week, or even once every 2 weeks.
This is insane and reflects on how completely inept the majority of physicians are when it comes to hormone management.
When you administer yourself with a large dosage at once, you spike your Testosterone levels to supraphysiological levels, often 2x or even 3x as high as they should be for a few days, which obviously has an equivalent amount of aromatization occurring in parallel to this.
Following this, levels slowly crash down as hormone levels decline in the body, and often times patients will fall back down to the low end of the reference range while waiting for their next shot.
The end result is a constant roller coaster of fluctuating Testosterone levels going from way too high, to way too low, over and over again, with far too much Estrogen aromatization occurring, resulting in completely unnecessary side effects.
These side effects often then need to be mitigated with an Aromatase Inhibitor, which doctors know even less about how to prescribe and mange correctly, and will often crash their patient’s E2 levels into the ground and leave them feeling like complete trash and ruining their lipids.
AI’s are not something you want to be on long term as they are not healthy, and E2 management can be done via lifestyle and diet changes more often than not in the context of therapeutic TRT.
High Dose TRT Vs Low Dose TRT
There are constant arguments about what the optimal replacement dose of Testosterone is.
There's a small camp of guys who believe that 10 milligrams of Testosterone Propionate per day is ideal for most men, and I'm inclined to agree with them far more than the guys who believe that dosages as high as 200 mg per week are necessary.
This will of course vary depending on a variety of factors, but typically 10 mg of Testosterone Propionate per day will put an individual at top end of the Testosterone therapeutic range.
I find that when men talk about ideal dosages being closer to 125 – 150 – 200 mg per week, the ester weight often isn't taken into account (Cypionate, Enanthate, Propionate, etc. all have different molecular weights), and they are often individuals who administer large dosages at once, let their levels spike way above the therapeutic limit up to supraphysiological levels for a few days, and slowly crash underneath that until their next shot.
If you get your blood drawn during a trough and the results show that you have a 850 ng/dL Testosterone level, you may not be accounting for the fact that right after you administered your fat weekly (or even bi-weekly) dosage, your levels probably skyrocketed upwards of 1500 ng/dL.
I found this statistic very interesting as 50 milligrams a week really is not much whatsoever in contrast to what most guys are injecting weekly believing they are just “replacing” their natural production.
Bodybuilders Maintaining Muscle On Only 200 mg Of Testosterone
There are a lot of massive bodybuilders, including IFBB pros, who maintain massive physiques in the off-season and in retirement with just 200 mg of Testosterone per week.
They're able to maintain physiques that are blatantly not maintainable naturally.
If top bodybuilders who are pros at 240 pounds plus are maintaining those physiques with just 200 mg per week, its pretty transparent that the 200 mg per week dosage is actually more than the therapeutic amount in most situations, and the clinical data backs this up.
Personally, I used to believe I needed 200 mg per week to maintain my physique, and I was SO wrong.
200 mg per week for most individuals is the equivalent of running a cycle year round, and certainly is not therapeutic in any capacity.
There are caveats to this, with SHBG, ester choice, body composition, diet, lifestyle factors, and many other things playing a significant role in how much Testosterone actually becomes usable in the body, consequently influencing how large of a dosage an individual would need to achieve healthy Free Testosterone levels.
But in general, true therapeutic TRT would be as simple as replicating the natural daily production of 6-7 mg with an exogenous source after factoring in the ester weight.
P.S. I do all of my daily TRT injections with an insulin pin now in my glutes and ventro glutes.
With such a low volume of daily oil, it’s something I can get away with daily without creating a lump of oil that doesn’t absorb properly, which would occur if you tried to jab a large amount of oil too shallowly with a short needle.
No more harpoons for me.