Does Alcohol Affect Testosterone Levels?
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the male body, but a simple daily habit may be standing in the way of you getting enough of this crucial substance in your bloodstream. Excessive quantities of alcohol may have an adverse impact on how much testosterone your testes produce.
What is considered excessive and how does alcohol affect testosterone levels?
Body weight, height, metabolism, and food consumption before drinking all play a role in what is excessive for you. How much water you drink while consuming alcohol may also impact hormone production. If you weigh 120 pounds and have one glass of wine on an empty stomach, it will impact you more than a person who weighs 180 and just finished a big meal.
When the increased intake of alcohol affects testosterone levels, some men notice problems with achieving or maintaining an erection.
One way that alcohol affects testosterone is by slowing down bodily functions. This includes the production of testosterone in the testes. That is also why some males experience the signs of ED when drinking – blood flow to the penis also slows down.
Effects of Alcohol on Testosterone
One of the reasons why we see negative effects from alcohol consumption for testosterone production is the interference of the sleep cycle. Sure, you may pass out if you drink too much, but anyone who has done so will tell you that they do not wake up refreshed in the morning.
Why is that?
Alcohol creates sleep disturbances that interfere with REM sleep. The REM phase of the sleep cycle is where hormone production occurs. Alcohol shortens this phase, inhibiting testosterone and growth hormone production.
How long does alcohol affect testosterone production?
The impact can be long-reaching when you consider the amount of empty calories that you consume when you drink. The dreaded beer belly increases visceral abdominal fat – the type that produces the enzyme aromatase that converts testosterone into estrogen. The more weight you gain, the lower your testosterone levels.
Some types of alcohol also impact the body in different ways. Beer contains chemicals that increase estrogen levels while decreasing testosterone. These chemicals are prolactin and phytoestrogen – substances found in barley and hops. Wine and bourbon also contain phytoestrogens – substances derived from plants.
Does alcohol affect testosterone injections if you are receiving treatment for Low T?
Yes, alcohol use while on testosterone therapy can increase the risk of side effects. Since the calories in alcohol can increase your weight, you will find more of a conversion of testosterone to estrogen if you drink while using testosterone injections. Your liver may not process the alcohol and testosterone as well as if only one substance was in the body and the effectiveness of the testosterone treatment may suffer.
Is Moderate Consumption of Alcohol Good for Testosterone Levels?
Here is the good news – a few drinks from time to time (not a six-pack every day) will not cause a dramatic decline in testosterone production.
Moderate alcohol consumption can actually be good for you and your hormone levels.
How can alcohol affect testosterone in a positive way?
If you are under a great deal of stress at work, having an occasional drink can help reduce your stress level, and, in turn, the amount of cortisol in your bloodstream. Cortisol inhibits sleep, as well as the secretion of both growth hormone and testosterone. When you lower cortisol levels, you will be able to fall asleep easier at night, stay asleep longer, and increase both testosterone and growth hormone production.
Of course, as we stated before, too much alcohol can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
How does alcohol affect testosterone levels if you have only one drink in the evening?
One small drink can actually provide a slight increase in testosterone levels. Anything more than that and you may start to notice a decrease in testosterone production. If you can stick to no more than one regular size drink a day you may not only help your testosterone levels, but also offer potential benefits for reducing the risks associated with heart attacks, diabetes, dementia, and stroke. Of course, a glass of wine provides the most benefits for heart health based on current research.
Binge drinking – more than four drinks in one day – creates a problem. Now, if you do not drink at all during the week, but find that for one day on the weekend you like to let loose, you should not notice any problems. It is only the continued use of moderate to excessive amounts of alcohol that will create a lasting problem.
When does alcohol affect testosterone levels after you consume it?
The answer can be as soon as that same night if your sleep cycle is impacted by the alcohol consumption.
One interesting fact to note is that alcohol can have an opposite reaction for women – meaning that their bodies tend to increase testosterone levels after excessive alcohol consumption.
To find out more about protecting the level of testosterone in your body, contact Greenberg Health for a free consultation.