Alcohol and Testosterone -- Article
In a recent magazine with several articles focusing on male health i read that 'the consumption of alcohol decreases production/secretion of testosterone for 24hrs following consumption'.
I personally never drink alcohol, but most other riders do...and considering how important testosterone is in building muscle, i should probably just keep this to myself. *evil grin*
But i won't...haha..
Doing a quick search on Google for "alcohol testosterone decrease" brings up a good number of articles, a few of which i'll link to below.
As mentioned, testosterone(T) is essential in building and maintaining muscle, as well as burning fat.
I've read that one problem for body builders and other strength trainers is keeping the T 'flowing'. Our bodies will pump out a bunch when we first begin training, and so we see big gains the first few sessions after we start training...but after a while the tap shuts down, and gains aren't as impressive... Many factors play into this, including T levels.
What is often done by weightlifters is to 'shock' the body, by mixing up a weightlifting routine by lifting much heavier weights for a session. This almost 'kick starts' some body functions, including T production. (An example would be with squats, doing 2-3 lifts at 80-90%RM (one repetition maximum) and repeating several times with a very short break...very draining, but effecting in 'shocking' the body and increasing T production.)
Again, getting the T flowing helps encourage more muscle growth.
Alcohol plays into this by decreasing the amount of T secreted from the testes, or actual T production. The theory is that the alcohol actually disrupts the chemical process in which T is synthesized in the testes.
All this would suggest that avoiding alcohol would be a good idea (well, duh, when isn't it), but especially if you're trying to build muscle. You can try this yourself by cutting out all alcohol for several weeks, and see if there's any difference in muscle gains...you might be surprised..!
Good luck, and below are a couple items with more info:
- Article outlining many of the effect of alcohol (athletics.uscd.edu) including:
Alcohol, when consumed in amounts typical with binge drinkers (most common among college athletes), can dramatically decrease serum testosterone levels. Decreases in testosterone are associated with decreases in aggression, lean muscle mass, muscle recovery and overall athletic performance. This can also cause testicular shrinkage, breast enlargement, and decreased sperm development in males. In females, this may cause an increase in the production of estradial, (a form of estrogen) which may increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Large journal entry on the effects of alcohol on reproductive systems (niaaa.nih.gov)