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The question on the table in this post is what impact does alcohol have on testosterone levels?
Here’s a common scene. It’s been a long rough day at work, and you come home and all you want you to do is forget about the day and get it behind you. You want to decompress from all the stresses and problems you may have faced that day.
For some guys, that may mean blowing off some steam at the gym, or doing some other form of workout.
For other others, it could mean a nice dinner with loved ones, and maybe that dinner includes a few drinks to really unwind and relax.
What could be better than a couple glasses of cabernet to go with a thick juicy steak?
How about a nice whiskey to go along with that cigar?
Is there anything better than a few ice cold beers to go along with some amazing pizza?
Can you drink any alcohol without having to worry about crushing your T levels?
Is there an amount that you can drink safely without feeling like you’re castrating yourself?
How much is too much where it really causes T level harm?
Why Are We Asking This Question?
We’ve been doing a series on the best ways to increase testosterone naturally. This includes implementing things that can proactively raise our testosterone levels, as well as identifying things that are causing our T levels to decrease so we modify our behaviors as it relates to those particular things.
That’s the category where alcohol consumption might fit, so that’s why I’m writing a post about it.
The real driving force or issue behind asking these questions and doing this series revolves around the fact that modern men of today are facing a pretty serious problem when it comes to testosterone.
The fact of the matter is that men today have less testosterone than men did just 20 years ago. How much less? This is the scary part, men today have over 20% less testosterone in their systems than men did on average in the 90s. That’s a huge delta and it’s a huge problem when you consider how important testosterone is to men.
It provides so many more benefits than just being the male sex hormone.
It affects mood, weight, muscle mass, heart, immune system, sex drive, energy, aging, and the list goes on and on…
Usually men in their 20s are in their prime when it comes to the amount of testosterone flowing through their bodies.
It used to be that doctors would typically treat men in their 40s, 50s, and up for issues related with low levels of testosterone.
Now they’re treating men in their low 30s and even 20s for these same issues, and it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change anytime soon.
Because we’re facing such a serious problem with issues around low T levels, we decided to hit this series really hard and provide as much information as possible for men to really understand what things are attacking their testosterone levels and what things they can practically do to protect and increase their testosterone levels naturally.
Testosterone Production And Alcohol
Let me cut to chase here and give you the info you’re looking for.
What we know is that alcohol reduces testosterone levels, and here’s a good physiological summary of how and why by Ali Kuoppala (Testosterone Expert):
- “The metabolism of ethanol lowers the amount of the coenzyme NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) inside liver and testes. NAD+ is essential part of the electron donoring process needed in the production of testosterone and various other androgens, hence why it’s believed that alcohol lowers testosterone in a dose-dependent manner.
- Alcohol stimulates the brain to release beta-opioid endorphins, which are the reason why you get really relaxed after few beers. Sadly those endorphins are also notorious for their negative effect on testosterone synthesis.
- Alcohol consumption causes oxidative damage in the testicular leydig cells and various other bodily tissues, which leads to local reduction of testosterone inside the ballsack, and also to the destruction of some testosterone molecules already in circulation, due to the effects of the stress hormone: cortisol.
- Chronically high alcohol consumption can significantly increase estrogen levels. This is due to the fact that it boosts the activity of the aromatase enzyme, which works by converting the male sex hormone: testosterone, into the female sex hormone: estrogen.”
The Good News About Alcohol And Testosterone
Here’s the good news when it comes to alcohol and testosterone.
Even though alcohol doesn’t increase testosterone and even though it’s been found to decrease testosterone, you’re actually going to be okay from T level point of view if you have a few drinks on the weekend or even have a couple of drinks a day.
What the research data reveals is that moderate alcohol consumption is really not going to negatively impact your testosterone to any significant degree.
So if you have a couple of drinks after work on a fairly regular basis or if you have some drinks over the weekend, you really don’t have anything to worry about.
The problem is when you start hitting 4, 5, 6+ drinks where you’re getting completely hammered and you’re doing this on a regular basis.
This is where alcoholics have been shown to have very low T levels (and high levels of estrogen) due to the amount of alcohol they are consuming. That’s the point here, it’s not the consumption of any alcohol that is the problem, but instead, it really matters how much.
Summary Of How Alcohol Impacts Testosterone
Here’s the bottom line guys, alcohol is not going to increase your testosterone, but it’s also not going to decrease it if you just drink it in moderation.
A couple of drinks per day or a few drinks over the weekend is not going to be a problem at all, and you’ll really have nothing to worry about.
It’s really binge drinking that becomes a problem from a testosterone perspective.
So keep it fun and keep it in moderation, and you’ll be good to go!
Mike is our resident personal trainer specializing in men’s health & fitness. He is an avid enthusiast when it comes to understanding and implementing the best strategies & tactics for optimal healthy living, and he is completely obsessed with how to achieve peak performance levels.