Red light therapy, or photobiomodulation, is a very well researched and applicable method of accomplishing a number of things in the body. RLT is categorized as a “complementary medecine” but is speculated by many to hold a place in conventional medicine soon. It’s current uses are mainly for curing disease but as RLT has become more mainstream, it is being found that these kind of near-infrared wavelengths have multiple uses beyond just treating illness.
As lifters, we frequently concern ourselves with how to optimize our hormones. Specifically the androgenic hormones such as testosterone. By maxing out testosterone levels, you will feel better, make more gains, recover quicker, be stronger, and experience an overall higher quality of life.
One of the ways to do this is through TRT or steroids, introducing exogenous hormones to our bodies. This has its drawbacks and side effects and so other options are often considered as well. Other options for boosting testosterone are correcting nutrient and mineral deficiencies, improving diet, lifting heavy weights, taking adaptogenic herbs, reducing stress, and doing other lifestyle improvements.
The problem is, these methods of boosting testosterone are not always effective in all people, meaning a large number of people remain with the problem of how to best boost their testosterone with the least number of side effects and the most optimal results. For these people, red light therapy may be the answer.
What Does Red Light Therapy Do?
The exact mechanisms of red light therapy are complex. There are many things happening at a cellular level that are responsible for the impact of RLT on people.
The major things happening in the body after exposure to red light is the absorption of red light into cells. The cells respond to this red light and are stimulated to shed fat and increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In cells, the wavelengths from red light react with the mitochondria. This reaction rejuvenates and cleanses the cell, and ramps up energy production from increased ATP.
The increase of testosterone from red light therapy is theorized to result from this stimulation occurring in the Leydig cells, the cells which produce testosterone in the scrotum.
This increase of testosterone is believed to be similar to the increase in testosterone from lying out in the sun. There are several studies which back up the increase of testosterone, they will all be linked next to the testosterone levels increase benefit below.
The Proven Benefits of Red Light Therapy
In recent years there has been a scramble to publish studies on red light therapy. It is one of the most talked about health devices currently being sold and with every additional study done, there is more evidence that RLT is great for a variety of things. There currently are over 3,000 peer-reviews studies regarding the benefits of red light therapy.
There is evidence to suggest that red light therapy can do many things. The following is a list of the main benefits with the studies corresponding to the benefit linked. The benefit relating to testosterone is at the bottom of the list with the corresponding studies linked next to it.
- Decrease pain (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3, Study #4)
- Increase rate of fat loss (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3)
- Speed up the repair of tissue (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3, Study #4, Study #5)
- Stimulate upregulation of STEM cells (Study #1, Study #2)
- Improve mood (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3, Study #4, Study #5)
- Reduce cellular oxidative damage (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3)
- Reverse hair loss (Study #1)
- Increase overall energy levels (Study #1)
- Improve skin (Study #1, Study #2)
- Lower inflammation (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3, Study #4, Study #5)
- Higher amounts of DHEA (Study #1)
- Improve recovery after training (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3)
- Improve endurance during exercise (Study #1, Study #2)
- Reduce muscle soreness (DOMS) (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3)
- Help build muscle (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3)
- Help maintain muscle (Study #2)
- Increase levels of testosterone (Study #1, Study #2, Study #3, Study #4)
These are all benefits and effects from red light therapy that have been certified and proven in peer-reviewed studies. There are more studies and other reported benefits but these are the primary ones that will likely be of interest and have sufficient evidence for proof.
The stand out benefits from red light therapy are better athletic performance, lower inflammation, more energy, and higher testosterone.
Red Light Therapy For Increasing Testosterone
Red light therapy is proven to increase levels of testosterone. This study found that exposure to red light for 2 weeks increases men’s testosterone levels from 2.1 ng/ml to 3.6 ng/ml. This is a 170% increase in testosterone and has been backed up by further research as well.
For this increase in testosterone it is necessary to expose the scrotum to red light so that the Leydig cells in the testicles absorb the light. This may seem like a very weird way to boost your testosterone but when compared to other methods of boosting testosterone like eating roots of trees and injecting yourself with fluids, this method isn’t too far out there.
Red light therapy is a new kind of technology that serves as a modern and more convenient alternative to a lot of conventional medecine for things like skin health, inflammation, disease, wound healing, mood, hair loss, and tissue repair.
There are also benefits for weightlifters and these mostly are higher energy levels, improved strength, more ability to build and maintain muscle, reduced inflammation, and increased testosterone levels.
To buy a red light therapy device, the most commonly recommended source is from Joov. This is because they have pioneered the way forward with a lot of their technology and have the most research done for their devices. The drawback, however, is cost and there are less expensive alternatives like this one on Amazon as well.