We have all been there – it's been a long stressful day, the sun is setting, and you reach for that glass of wine, beer, or pour of whiskey. Just one sip and you start feeling the relaxation go through your body. Excuse me while I go pour a glass…
Everyone has their vice of choice and we don't judge or endorse any of them. We just want you to be educated about how your choices effect your health. Whether that vice be alcohol consumption, sugary drinks, or anything else. In this article we dive into drinking alcohol and how it effects testosterone levels. A few questions we have been asked over the years regarding the effect of alcohol and consumption are:
Does whiskey increase estrogen levels? Does heavy drinking impact testosterone production? Does having a few drinks increase testosterone levels? Does too much alcohol consumption cause erectile dysfunction? Aside from the obvious immediate and short-term effects of alcohol, how are your alcoholic drinks impacting your health and fitness goals? Specifically, how are your drinking habits impacting your testosterone production?
There seems to be a new study every week telling us something different about the positive and negative impacts of alcohol on our health. What is true and what not? And what is the balanced approach so you can be social without causing too much damage to reproductive hormones and your testosterone levels.
HERE ARE A FEW OF THE DISCUSSED EFFECTS:
Alcohol lowers testosterone
Alcohol increases estrogen
Moderate drinking can help relieve stress and improve blood flow
Alcohol ruins your restful, deep sleep
So how do you figure out what is fact, what is fiction, or if the research is going to change like it often does? Oh, and who is funding the research and what is their relationship with this huge industry? All great questions.
Below is what we have found with our research regarding how alcohol intake is impacting testosterone levels for both men and women. The other health concerns surrounding alcohol would have to be another blog post!
FIRST, HERE ARE A FEW DEFINITIONS:
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, but both men and women produce it. Testosterone production is in the testes (specifically in the leydig cells) for men, and in the ovaries for women. Although small quantities are also produced by the adrenal glands in both sexes. Our bodies produce testosterone for sex drive & libido, muscle and bone growth, metabolism, fat distribution, and brain health.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption = 1-2 alcoholic beverages per day (12oz beer, 4oz wine, 1.5oz alcohol).
Excessive drinking = 3 or more drinks per day. Binge drinking falls into this category too.
ALCOHOL'S IMPACT ON TESTOSTERONE LEVELS
Most studies show that moderate alcohol consumption (1-2 drinks per day) has little impact on our overall health and lower testosterone levels. Now everyone is different, and your body reacts uniquely to the foods and drinks you consume, so listen to your body and how you feel. Alcohol is a toxin and should be used in moderation if at all. Also, alcohol is a bunch of empty calories, so if you do choose to indulge, just monitor how this will impact your daily caloric needs. Being in a calorie surplus can lead to weight gain and excess body fat.
Moderate drinking seems to be okay, but when you drink heavily (3 or more drinks per day) that is when the wheels seem to fall off. Not only do you need to question whether you have a substance abuse issue, but your health will be impacted negatively. Here are a few of the concerns we found from alcohol abuse:
Beer and wine contain chemicals that have been shown to increase estrogen levels – especially beers with high levels of hops. Hops are very estrogenic - meaning IPA's are some of the worst offenders! The problem with high estrogen is that it is a storage hormone. Meaning, with high levels of estrogen, you will find it very hard to loose fat and maintain a lean body.
Heavy drinking alcohol affects testosterone production by negatively impacting the endocrine system (hormone system)
For men, alcohol misuse causes testosterone levels drop – AND no one wants low testosterone!!!
For women, heavy alcohol consumption has been shown to increase testosterone; also not good. Prolonged raised testosterone levels in women lead to the development of masculine features!
Excessive drinking negatively impacts REM sleep – this is the restful, deep sleep cycle where the most benefits of sleep come from. Hormone production is negatively impacted with poor sleep, so it is easy to see how alcohol consumption and poor sleep lead to low testosterone levels.
One tip to follow if you do have a few drinks is to stop 2 hours before going to bed. This will allow your body to process the alcohol and increase your chances for restful sleep.
BOTTOM LINE: IF YOU CHOOSE TO DRINK ALCOHOL, TRY TO DO IT RESPONSIBLY. KEEP IT TO ONE GLASS INSTEAD OF FINISHING THE BOTTLE.
Like this article, then check out: Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone
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