If you’re suffering from low Testosterone levels, you may not have considered that alcohol could be playing a part in your demise, but high alcohol intake and low testosterone levels have a closer connection than most people realize.
Alcohol wreaks havoc with your hormones thanks to its effect on the endocrine system, and your t-levels are one of the first hormones to take a hit. That’s not such a problem if you’re a woman of course, but if you’re a man hoping to bulk up, it’s seriously bad news.
Why Does Testosterone Matter Anyway?
If you’ve spent any time trying to grow muscle, and struggled to get far, it’s likely your Testosterone levels aren’t what they ought to be. Testosterone is the male hormone which gives us men our deep voice, facial hair, sex drive, and increased muscle mass. In essence, Testosterone is what makes a man a man.
The thing is, as a man gets older, his Testosterone levels begin to fall. That’s exactly why as a 30 or 40-year-old you can no longer double your arm size in a month with a bit of extra lifting. Suddenly, you have to put a lot of work in to achieve a little muscle increase. It’s an almost inevitable part of aging that left to its own devices, the male body will begin to suffer from low Testosterone levels, and your muscle growth will suffer as a result.
This is bad enough in itself, but then so many men go and make matters worse than they already are without even realizing the error of their ways. Their poison? Alcohol.
Alcohol has become such a normal way of life for most people, they probably never even consider that it could be having a detrimental effect on their t-levels. Sadly, it really does.
Fat Levels Go Up, T-levels Go Down
When you drink to excess, your blood sugar levels spike, which leads to your pancreas pumping out a load of insulin – and the bad news is this just so happens to be the hormone responsible for fat storage. Couple this with the fact that you’re 10x more likely to reach for the most calorie-laden food you can find and you’ll realize that one huge problem you face when it comes to alcohol is the fact that your body effectively switches to ‘fat storage mode’ – and that’s terrible news for your t-levels.
Alcohol contains 7kcal per gram, and every single one of those calories is completely void of nutrients. You can visualize this by imagining how glutenous it would feel to drink a glass or 2 of single cream every night – that has a comparable amount of calories per gram. The only difference is, cream has nutrients – alcohol doesn’t. When you look at it like this, it’s easy to see how drinking excess amounts of alcohol on a daily basis can and will lead to excess fat gain.
Testosterone contained within fat is converted into the female hormone Estrogen. So effectively, someone carrying more fat than they should will end up with lower levels of Testosterone than they should have. The more fat you have, the bigger the problem. And the worst kind of fat you can store if you want high testosterone levels is belly fat. And guess what? With alcohol, that’s exactly where your new layers of fat will be heading.
Other Ways Alcohol Destroys Testosterone
Aside from promoting the growth of new excess fat stores, alcohol impacts the endocrine system, which is responsible for the production of various hormones which impact many areas of the body.
When metabolizing the ethanol in alcohol, your body tends to lower the amount of some coenzymes which are usually present in the liver and testes. One particular coenzyme which is affected is NAD+, which is absolutely essential for the production of Testosterone, so less of it means less Testosterone. To add to this, the endorphins which make you feel so relaxed when you drink alcohol also cause issues with Testosterone synthesis. It’s a double whammy of t-level damage.
Think that’s not harmful enough? Long term drinkers will begin to suffer from an increase in the female hormone, Estrogen. This is because alcohol actually causes some of your Testosterone to convert to Estrogen. That’s not good news if you value your thick beard. Plus, if you really don’t want man boobs, you really don’t want more estrogen floating around in your system. And of course, if you’re hoping to build muscle anytime soon, you’ll need your t-levels as high as possible to make that happen.
Just How Much Does Alcohol Really Affect T-levels?
It’s clear to see that alcohol really does have an impact on Testosterone levels, but just how much of an impact it has really does depend on the amount you drink. Basically, the more you drink, the worse the effects will be. And in chronic, long-term drinkers, that effect could be pretty severe. This is true even if you ‘only’ drink a bottle of wine a night. Make no mistake, this is not a healthy habit, and not only will your Testosterone levels begin to suffer if this becomes a daily routine, but the rest of your health will too.
Cutting Back For The Good of Your T-levels
In an ideal world, alcohol would never enter your body. At the end of the day, it’s a drug – albeit a widely accepted, recreational one. It’s terrible for your body in general and it should only ever be used in moderation.
In reality, we know that this doesn’t always happen. But if you value your testosterone levels and want to keep them high, you do need to control your intake as much as possible. Every sip is detrimental to your health, and your t-levels. Bear that in mind before you binge.
Why not swap your training routine around and spend what would otherwise be a boozy evening in the bar, in the gym instead? If you’re heading out with friends, why not test your willpower and stick to the soft drinks. Not only will you save money, you’ll be able to drive home too. However you do it, every alcohol-free evening is a step in the right direction towards increasing your t-levels and improving your health.
How do you avoid alcohol in the evening? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.