There’s nothing like a nice night out, drinking with the boys. Or that glass of wine (or two) with your lady. Unfortunately, when you drink alcohol, you impact your entire body. Since we’re focusing on testosterone here, I’ll cover low testosterone and alcohol, and how excessive drinking can affect your T levels.
You’re probably here reading this because you’re wondering if drinking alcohol affects your sex life. Yes it does. Excessive drinking has been proven to causes low testosterone and erectile dysfunction.
ALCOHOL AND YOUR HORMONES
Since men’s testosterone levels decrease 1% each year after the age of 30, it is important to make sure your T levels don’t go down any more than they should.
Researchers at the National Institute of Health has proven that excessive alcohol affects testosterone in four ways: 1) Oxidative damage 2) Cell damage from increased oxidation 3) Increase in the opioid beta-endorphin and 4) A reduction in testicular nitric oxide. All of these processes explain why alcohol is detrimental to testosterone levels, especially for those who drink heavily.
A study was done in the Netherlands in 2006 that showed even moderate drinking decreased testosterone levels by 7%. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1097/01.ALC.0000125356.70824.81
Another study was done in 2009 on men who were in the armed forces, and they found that they had lower free testosterone as well as higher estrogen levels.
Yes, I did say higher estrogen levels. Alcohol is a known estrogen booster. This happens when alcohol enters the liver and messes with the liver’s P450 enzyme subsystem in a very bad way. This causes the body to minimize the body’s ability to process estrogen, therefore building up estrogen in the bloodstream. When estrogen is present, testosterone is decreased.
WAYS ALCOHOL EFFECTS TESTOSTERONE
Excessive alcohol also causes chronic illnesses like kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and AIDS, which automatically reduces testosterone levels.
- Certain endorphins are released when you drink alcohol, which seems to feel good while you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, those endorphins cause issues with the way testosterone is integrated.
- Long-term drinkers can experience damage to certain tissues in the body, causing a reduction to the amount of testosterone traveling to the testes and can also destroy the testosterone that is already present.
- Your liver has a difficult time metabolizing the ethanol in alcohol, which lowers certain enzymes that are both in the liver and the testes. This enzyme, called NAD+ and is responsible for the testosterone production.
- Long-term alcohol use may also experience increased estrogen levels, when testosterone converts into estrogen. Yes, that is possible.
- Extreme drinking also interferes with sleep, which can also cause problems with the production and levels of testosterone.
- Excessive alcohol can cause men to suffer from low libido and sexual dysfunction.
- Since alcohol is a depressant, it slows down blood flow to the penis, causing serious effects of low testosterone, which causes erectile dysfunction.
CONCLUSION ON ALCOHOL AND TESTOSTERONE
Alcohol definitely has no nutritional value whatsoever, since it depletes your body of vitamins, zinc, magnesium and a few others.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, no more than one drink for women, and no more than two drinks for men per day. Here are the Alcohol Drink-Equivalents of Select Beverages.
Moderation is the key here. If you are a light or modest drinker, you may not experience low testosterone levels. Having 1-2 drinks per day won’t cause havoc to your testosterone, although if you drink more, problems will start to arise.
Cheers to happy and healthy testosterone!
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