After working in the construction industry for 4 years, I was always told you have to have a couple of stubby’s after a hard days work, it's what men do and if I was going to gym after work, I didn’t work hard enough. These 'wise words' always came from the old blokes with beer guts, missing teeth and man boobs. So I thought I would write an article on the hormonal profile of a man to debunk this manly statement.
Before I start to lay down the facts of the effect alcohol has to testosterone the 'manly hormone'. I will start off with my experience of going to the gym v.s having beers with the boys after work. Don’t get me wrong I have had my fair share of beers but the choices I have made have now gotten me to where I am today. Out there (mining work) you really had 3 choices after work, to have beers with the boys, go back to your room and watch t.v, or go to the gym. It didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t want to sit around with the guys after work saying how crap it was working away, and drinking their way to having a beer gut and man boobs. Being the youngest on the crew I would get told at work that the gym was for guys that love themselves. As I have always been a sporty person I couldn’t not be active so the gym was an easy choice, I didn’t really care what the old fellas had to say. I now know for sure that being that guy that always went to the gym after work has paid off. I now do this for a living where I get to be at home with friends and family rather than being away for 4 weeks at a time. I get messages from the work boys asking for help because they feel like crap, getting fatter, lazier and finding it harder to get out of bed for work. Now how manly is that having boobs and struggling to roll out of bed because your beer gut is in the way.
This article will outline the effects of alcohol and what it does to your testosterone levels, and why it isn’t so manly to be drinking beers every afternoon after work.
The magic of alcohol is fairly simple: because it’s a depressant, it slows down various bodily functions, which in turn triggers the feelings of drunkenness. Alcohol also slows down inhibitions, which is why you might get the feeling of needing to hump everything and everyone around you after 10 beers or bourbons. Sadly, this mission of having sex with everything that moves can often become impossible, since 10 beers are enough to dramatically slow down your sexual functions (ie: the battle sword might not rise to the occasion anymore). The reason being- a dramatic drop in the male sex hormone testosterone mainly causes this negative effect on the sexual function.
And here is why…….
Testosterone production “the manly hormone” and alcohol don’t mix well together. Let's just start by saying you don’t need to give up drinking completely to have naturally high testosterone levels as a few drinks here and there isn’t enough to dramatically effect your testosterone levels.
However if you are an alcoholic and drinking on a daily basis you can be damn sure your testosterone will be tragic. If you are this person you probably already know this from the effects it has on your sexual functioning.
Here are some know reasons why alcohol reduces testosterone:
➢ Chronically high alcohol consumption can significantly increase estrogen levels “the girly hormone”. This is due to the fact that it boosts the activity of the aromatase enzyme, which works by converting the male sex hormone: testosterone, into the female sex hormone: estrogen.
➢ Alcohol consumption causes oxidative damage in the testicular Leydig cells and various other bodily tissues, which leads to the local reduction of testosterone inside the ballsack, and also to the destruction of some testosterone molecules already in circulation, due to the effects of the stress hormone cortisol.
➢ Multiple human studies have found that heavy alcohol consumption significantly reduces testosterone levels. It’s also seen that men who suffer from alcoholism have significantly lower testosterone levels, and higher estrogen levels, than men without alcohol problems, even if they have perfectly functioning livers.
➢ It’s also worth mentioning that beer is probably one of the worst alcoholic beverages to enjoy if you’re interested in not screwing up your testosterone levels. This is because the steps of which most beers are made from contain a very potent phytoestrogen called: 8-Prenylnaringenin. Another not so awesome compound in beer is called xanthohumol, which can impair hormone signaling.
As you can see drinking every day after work isn’t so manly and is actually going to make you girlier. I will save for another article the positive effects that weight training has on your testosterone levels and why you will be 'more manly'. It is safe to say that having a few drinks here and there won't ruin your testosterone levels but drinking every day will have a large negative effect on being a man. Enjoy :)
Ty Lucas is a certified strength coach, bio-signature practitioner and is currently studying naturopathy. He is a strong believer is having healthy body function and hormonal profile, then getting the body to optimal body composition and performance levels. Ty the owner of Myathletes coaching which is one of the leading contest prep and body composition businesses in Australia.