Alcohol and Testosterone: Are You Drinking Away Your Gains?
After a hard week of muscle-crushing, heavy lifting, there’s nothing wrong with a beer or two. But alcohol and testosterone don’t mix well – especially if you regularly drink to excess.
We all know that drinking too much isn’t a great idea. It can lead to inappropriate liaisons with the printer girl up on floor three, DUIs, divorces, alimony costs and an empty wallet.
If you’re the kind of bro that can’t say no and more often than not finishes a session face down in a ditch, you’re probably ruining your gainz bruh. If you regularly hit the bars on the search for some sweet ass but only find a sore head and a pocketful of beer receipts, it’s time to make a change.
Because your body will thank you for it.
In this article we tell you why binge drinking is the road to sh*tty progress and lacklustre muscle mass.
It’s time to put the glass down and start to take the lifting life seriously.
Alcohol and Testosterone
Given the right time and place, alcohol fits the bro life better than a 20 inch arm slides into a muscle fit shirt.
The odd drink is great for relaxing after a heavy week of balls-to-the-wall strength training and muscle-burning cardio. It also comes with additional cardio-protective and stress-busting health benefits.
Where the problems with alcohol and testosterone begin though is when an odd nightcap becomes something you rely on – whether that’s to get to sleep, reduce chronic stress or build up the confidence to talk to girls when you’re in the club.
Here’s why alcohol and testosterone don’t mix…
Alcohol has nearly as many calories as fat
Calories are a measure of energy. One kilocalorie (kcal) is the amount of energy it takes to heat one kilogram of water by 1 degrees celsius.
Some foods provide more energy than others and are therefore more ‘calorific’.
For every gram of protein or carbs you eat, for example, you get 4 kcal. For every gram of fat that makes its way into your gut, you get 9 kcal.
But did you know this – every gram of alcohol (ethanol) provides 7 kcal… only 2 less than fat.
And that’s without adding in the sugary carbs and fats that many alcoholic drinks provide on top.
Why do a few extra calories matter?
Weight gain and testosterone levels are inversely related. The more excess fat you carry, the lower your basal testosterone will be.
That’s just a fact.
And it’ll lead to a whole boat-load of side effects too, including:
Loss of muscle mass and strength
Higher risk of diabetes, heart attack, and other metabolic illnesses
Low mood, anxiety, and depression
Your libido and sex drive will disappear faster than the hunnies you’ve been chasing each weekend.
So unless you want to drag your sorry, fat ass to the doctors for some testosterone replacement therapy and a cure for bitch tits and a beer belly, it’s important to control your weight.
Does alcohol lower testosterone? According to research, it sure does
Sober up, shower down and grab some paracetamol ready for a cruise through the research into alcohol and testosterone.
Studies show that chronic drinking puts the brakes on testosterone production.
In the aptly named journal Alcohol, 8 healthy men were asked to consume 1.75 grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight – that’s more than enough to get your legs wobbling.
The men were then asked to stop dancing on tables (probably) for long enough for a team of scientists to monitor the effects of the depressant compound on their hormone levels.
And what did they find?
Testosterone levels were significantly lowered for as long as 12 hours after their drinking session. And it took a good 24 hours for levels to come back up to baseline.
This isn’t the only trial showing the negative results that alcohol has on androgen levels either. Another study found similar results, with hormone levels lower than normal right until the point that alcohol had been fully metabolized by the liver – a full day later.
Beer is estrogenic and could cause man boobs
A brewski straight out of the refrigerator after a hard day is sometimes all you need to keep you sane.
But this is what you need to know – beer not only contains alcohol but phytoestrogens too.
Men who drink too much often report signs of low T, poor sperm count, loss of libido and testicular failure too.
And it turns out that the root of these problems may come down to the feminizing effect of your drink.
Beer contains hops – the flowers of the hop plant used as a flavoring but also as a stabilizing agent.
Research has shown that the estrogenic properties of hops play havoc with hormone levels. Women who work in hop fields have to wear special uniforms to stop the phytoestrogen effects of hops affecting their menstrual cycles.
And men begin to exhibit female sex characteristics after prolonged exposure to hops. This can lead to the development of man boobs, loss of erections, mood swings, and low T.
Is this really what you want bro?
To be a whiny, moody lil’ bitch with huge tiddies and a dick that doesn’t work?
Or would you rather be the lean, muscular alpha in the room?
The choice is yours, my man.
Does alcohol lower testosterone permanently?
The bottom line here is that moderate alcohol consumption won’t leave your hormone permanently damaged. As you’ve seen from the research so far, testosterone levels do eventually begin to correct themselves.
But if you drinking excessively and more regularly than you should be, you won’t give your body time to bring androgens back to safe levels.
You’ll live a life that’s not only thick-headed and cloudy-minded, but low in testosterone too. [infobox]
Bro Point: Occasional alcohol intake is okay in moderation, but excess drinking will lead to high estrogen levels and a reduction in masculine dominant traits. [/infobox]
Alcohol could blunt glycogen re-uptake and muscle building potential
Once your workout has finished it’s time to go anabolic!
You want to shuttle some carbs into your cells to aid recovery and ramp up muscle protein synthesis to lay down some of those beautiful mass gains.
Alcohol puts the brakes on glycogen uptake because your body prioritizes breaking ethanol down in the liver. It sees it as being a threat, and therefore needs to do all it can to get rid of it from your system.
As far as your body is concerned it’s more about “sh*t, let’s get this poisonous compound eliminated. The carb thing can wait until later”.
Then there’s the muscle blunting effect of alcohol and testosterone.
Ethanol has a direct and negative effect on protein synthesis rates, raising levels of muscle inhibitor myostatin. It also reduces the speed at which post-strength training inflammation occurs.
And without inflammation, potent muscle building pathways such as mToR and IGF-1 aren’t stimulated.
Can you drink alcohol while taking testosterone boosters?
Testosterone boosters are a natural alternative to harsh and invasive therapies such as TRT.
Rather than flooding your body with synthetic testosterone chemicals, they use the power of natural and safe nutrients to force your body to trigger its own testosterone production.
They’re like alarm clocks for sleeping testosterone.
A little jump starter to get the ball rolling once again.
Alcohol won’t directly affect how well testosterone boosters work. But if you’re investing time in premium supplements you want to give your body the best chance possible to get results.
And that means training hard in the gym, eating right in the kitchen and sleeping well in your bed. Too much alcohol will impact all of these.
Testosterone boosters elevate testosterone and fight estrogen production, while alcohol elevates feminine effects and promotes masculinity.
Not only that…
Testosterone boosters destroy body fat and boost muscle mass. Alcohol promotes belly fat.
Again, alcohol is fine in moderation… but too much will have a negative effect on your whole lifestyle. [infobox]
Bro Point: The powerful effects on testosterone boosters are optimized with a clean and nutritious diet. Excess alcohol shouldn’t be part of this healthy lifestyle. [/infobox]
It’s Not All Bad… Red Wine Could Boost Testosterone Levels
Say that again!?!
Yep, you heard us.
Drinking red wine can improve testosterone levels when used in moderation.
But that doesn’t mean that more is better of course.
Forget all the hipster sh*t about notes of oak, musterings of old books and hints of squirrel fur or whatever those beard-wearing ass-hats say about the grape juice for adults…
Known as the French paradox, drinking up to 2 glasses of red wine per day has been correlated with lower incidences of heart disease.
Resveratrol boosts testosterone in scientific studies
Red wine contains the powerful antioxidant resveratrol – a natural compound found to have numerous health benefits.
And it’s this phytochemical compound that has been shown to directly stimulate testosterone levels. It also fights off aromatization – the process of extra testosterone converting to estrogen in the blood.
Some research has shown us that red wine can decrease the enzyme responsible for aromatization called P450. Not only did a glass of red reduce its chemical action but also decreased the production of man boob-causing estrogen at mRNA levels too.
One study found that when resveratrol was given to a bunch of subjects, testosterone levels went up by a muscle-bulging 51.6%.
And in another research project, a protein called steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) was found to increase after resveratrol supplementation. If you’re not familiar with StAR – it’s a protein that converts the cholesterol in your body to that all-important testosterone.
Even the great Arnold knew the benefits of red wine for building that Austrian oak physique.
Don’t know about you bro but we’d be happy to take part in a clinical trial where you got to drink red wine and make gains in the name of science!
So it’s not all bad.
Maybe it’s time to get down to the local 24-7 and stock up.
Just avoid going full-on baller bro and paying for a Cheval Blanc 1947 St-Emilion. Leave that shit to the experts. [infobox]
Bro Point: Ditch the sex on the beach cocktails and sh*tty light beer and treat yourself to a healthy glass of red each evening. Your testosterone levels will thank you for it. [/infobox]
Low doses of alcohol might boost testosterone levels too
According to one article published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, authors begin by stating that “Heavy acute alcohol drinking decreases blood testosterone in men due to an effect on the testicular level”.
And you know that at this stage yourself.
But it’s not all doom, gloom, and depression though.
Because in their study, scientists found that when a small group of dudes were given just 0.5 g/kg of alcohol, their testosterone levels went up. Not only that, but their androstenedione: testosterone ratio changed too, showing even further that the men had improved androgen balance.
Summary – The Alcohol and Testosterone Connection
Alcohol is nearly as calorific as fat. If you drink to excess you run the risk of not only obesity, but a load of metabolic disorders that come with it.
Alcohol directly blunts testosterone, but also raises estrogen too. This is a bad mix for anyone wanting to optimize hormone levels and build a jacked physique.
Drinking the odd glass of red is actually pretty good for you and may lead to elevated T levels. But drinking to excess will leave you depressed, fat, weak and lacking everything you should be as a man.