(Article Medically Reviewed By Dr. Zach Hyde)
5 Ways Booze Damages Your Testicles
Since the dawn of man (and long before if you study animals eating fermented fruits), we have had a love-hate relationship with ethanol.
Though it is a powerful depressant, is toxic to our bodies, and has long-term effects on many important systems, alcohol remains the second-most consumed drug in the world – after caffeine.
In this article, we’ll show you how your drinking habit can ravage your hormones and leave you (and your sex life) in very bad shape.
Teetotalers Have More Testosterone
Testosterone and alcohol are like oil and water.
However, that doesn’t mean that one or two drops of “oil” will completely ruin your pool.
That is, if you’re the type of person who can have a few drinks per night one or two nights a week, you’re not going to put much of a dent in your body’s ability to produce testosterone.
However, if you’re binge drinking until you pass out from Friday to Wednesday, your T levels are likely already in the dumps.
So, while not drinking at all is best all around, the occasional cocktail or couple of beers with friends isn’t going to reduce you to a shell of a man.
That said, everyone is different. And if you’re noticing any sexual side effects (erection issues, ED, premature ejaculation, lack of sex drive), cutting out the booze should be the first step you take.
Alcohol and Testosterone Synthesis
Studies show that metabolizing ethanol drastically impacts the amount of coenzyme NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) present inside the liver and testicles.
Since this element is essential to the production of both testosterone and other hormones, large (or constant) doses of alcohol can keep your T factory operating at minimum capacity for years on end.
Alcohol has been shown to stimulate the brain’s production of beta-opioid endorphins.
These are some of the primary reasons people become addicted to alcohol in the first place, as studies associate these endorphins with feelings of deep relaxation.
Unfortunately, they are also known to hinder testosterone synthesis at the source, especially when present in high amounts.
That trash Mad Dog 20/20 and that $350 Islay Scotch both contain ethanol, and drinking either one will cause oxidative damage to the Leydig cells in your testicles, not to mention all of your other bodily tissues.
This reduces the production of testosterone in your gonads while simultaneously attacking the free testosterone moving around your body.
Not convinced yet?
Essentially, it converts your male sex hormones into female ones, which has been associated with a wide range of disorders, sexual dysfunctions, and undesirable physical attributes.
Alcohol and Testosterone Studies
I don’t want you to get the impression that science is just trying to beat up on your beer-fueled bro downs, but the research into how heavy alcohol consumption negatively affects men is both well established and widely known.
Here are just a few more reasons why you need to reconsider your relationship with the bottle:
- Rodent studies are a far safer way to test the effects of more extreme alcohol use on subjects. In one case, rats who were fed a diet of 5% ethanol displayed a 50% reduction in testicle size.
- Men who suffer from severe alcoholism don’t just display lower T levels but higher estrogen levels (see above). This seems to confirm why heavy drinkers often have problems losing weight, can’t gain muscle, and may develop “man boobs” as time goes on.
- Studies also prove that moderation can reduce the testosterone-shattering effects of drinking. In one study, around 1.5 glasses of wine only reduced free testosterone by 7%. In another, 1g of vodka taken right after working out was able to increase testosterone levels by 100%!
- Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows down bodily functions and hiders the production of happy chemicals. These can all contribute to an inability to get and maintain an erection, a lack of sex drive, and weight gain (which can impact your partners attraction to you).
Alcohol and Testosterone Conclusion
If you have a few drinks a night one or two nights a week, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Still, you aren’t doing any more damage to your testosterone levels than the occasional bowl of edamame or glass of soy milk.
I always recommend stopping at two drinks every time you go out.
This will give you a few of the positive effects associated with alcohol consumption while minimizing the negative impact on your testicles and your testosterone production.