As Christmas fast approaches, it can be incredibly tempting to start over-indulging when it comes to alcohol. While getting a little merry with a beer or two won’t do your body significant harm, excessive drinking can have side effects beyond a gross hangover the next day.
Of course, we all getting a little carried away around Christmas time. But it’s important to understand both your limits and the effects alcohol can have on your body.
So, what can you expect from a little too much to drink?
Testosterone: What you need to know
As men, testosterone plays a crucial role in our lives. It can affect so many different things, including muscle growth, energy levels, sex drive, and erectile function.
So what does that mean for your alcohol intake? How does alcohol affect testosterone levels? Well, in order to grasp the effects of alcohol on your T levels, it’s imperative to understand how testosterone works.
Also Read: Alcohol and Erectile Dysfunction: The Facts
Testosterone is an important sex hormone that is found in both men and women – although we men have much higher doses. Suffering from low testosterone could result in the following:
- Difficulty building muscle and losing lean muscle mass
- Feeling fatigued
- Loss of body hair
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Reduced sex drive
- Weight gain
- Low mood
But of course, what’s the link between too much booze and testosterone? Can alcohol affect your testosterone levels?
Can alcohol reduce testosterone levels?
In short, yes, alcohol can cause low testosterone. But it’s quite as straightforward as it may seem. Of course, the odd beer here and there isn’t going to cause significant harm, but excessive alcohol consumption can have serious effects on your testosterone.
Well, while drinking, your body metabolizes ethanol – a compound found in alcohol. While that may not seem like a big deal, a certain coenzyme (NAD+) responsible for testosterone production is altered, and lowered, by ethanol metabolism.
Alongside this, while men have a small amount of estrogen (much like women have a small amount of testosterone), excessive alcohol intake can increase a man’s estrogen levels. This also means that the amount of testosterone that converts into estrogen is higher, as well as heightening cortisol levels – aka the stress hormone.
Plus, drinking too much alcohol can also disrupt your sleep schedule, therefore affecting your body’s testosterone production.
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Alcohol and testosterone: Our conclusion
While we all want to enjoy ourselves over the holidays, drinking excessively simply isn’t worth it. Of course, a beer or two isn’t going to affect your testosterone levels considerably, but too much alcohol can have side effects on your T.
Low testosterone can lead to a number of things you’d rather avoid, including erectile dysfunction (ED), low libido, mood swings, fatigue, and plenty more.
If you do want to drink alcohol this festive season, or any time of year, try to keep tabs on how much you’re drinking. Always eat before drinking, as this will help to absorb the alcohol and keep you from experiencing a horrendous hangover.
Also Read: How to Get & Maintain an Erection Longer
Here are some of our top tips for reducing your alcohol intake to keep your testosterone in tip-top shape.
Drink plenty of water in between alcoholic beverages
It’s easy to get carried away, beer after beer. But if you’d rather avoid a hangover, and damaging your testosterone, drink plenty of water in between alcoholic drinks.
Dehydration is one of the biggest concerns with drinking alcohol, and keeping hydrated throughout should help your head feel less foggy the next morning.
Choose smaller measures
Instead of drinking doubles, pints or large glasses of wine, opt for singles, half pints and smaller glasses.
If you prefer cocktails, choose those that contain one type of alcohol, instead of mixing different spirits.
Always eat beforehand (or during!)
While it may have been your trick during college to avoid eating while drinking as much as possible, it certainly isn’t a sensible idea! Always eat beforehand, or while drinking (if you’re out for dinner, for example), to help absorb the alcohol.
Drinking on an empty stomach can leave you feeling pretty horrendous the next day, as well as leaving you with a headache, feeling dizzy and nausea.
Set yourself a budget
Going out with a few friends, but don’t want to drink too much? Set yourself a budget beforehand. This will help you to spread your dollar across the evening, with water inbetween.
Or, if you feel as though you might be tempted… Go out with cash only, and leave your credit card at home.
Steer clear of peer pressure
When the holidays hit, there’s often a lot of eating… Drinking… More drinking…
It’s not uncommon to feel as though you’re ‘being boring’ by not wanting to drink loads, but there’s no need to drink excessively, just because others are. If you feel uncomfortable, make an excuse to leave early, or simply be a little more selective about who you drink with.
Pay attention to your mental health
Many of drink when we’re stressed or feeling anxious. But often, alcohol can exacerbate these feelings and make things worse.
If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, look for other ways to relax, and limit your alcohol intake.
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