A Little Alcohol increases Testosterone – A Bit

arnold alcohol beer

So it’s Friday night and the boys are out for a good time – time to end the busy week with a blast; but off course, ONLY after paying their dues in the weight room!
Alcohol is a part of every (normal) man’s life. Surely only inept herbs fear even a little alcohol in their systems because they don’t have social life; but as all A-lifters know, good times don’t come without a price, which is:

Decreased T Levels

Yep there is no need to become OC with alcohol since real men drink, but at the same time becoming alcoholic and getting wasted every single day is also bad for your manhood since alcohol will start to “estrogenize” your system as multiple studies indicate(also check out What is Testosterone, pretty good article if you ask me).
But just to show you how “moderation” can be beneficial let us take a look at this study that shows just how little amount of alcohol can slightly increase testosterone levels in men:

Testosterone Increases in Men After a Low Dose of Alcohol
By: Taisto Sarkola and C. J. Peter Eriksson

Background:  Heavy acute alcohol drinking decreases blood testosterone in men due to an effect on the testicular level. An acute increase in blood testosterone levels after a low alcohol dose has, however, recently been reported in women. The objective of this investigation was to study the effect of a low alcohol dose on testosterone in men and further elucidate the mechanism behind the effect by using 4-methylpyrazole, an inhibitor of alcohol metabolism.
Methods:  A double-blind placebo-controlled interventional crossover trial in random order (n= 13).
Results:  After intake of alcohol (0.5 g/kg, 10% w/v), an acute increase in plasma testosterone (from 13.5 ± 1.2 nmol/liter to 16.0 ± 1.6 nmol/liter, mean ± SEM;p < 0.05), a decrease in androstenedione (from 5.1 ± 0.4 nmol/liter to 4.0 ± 0.3 nmol/liter;p < 0.05), and an increase in the testosterone:androstenedione ratio (from 2.8 ± 0.3 to 4.2 ± 0.4;p < 0.01) were observed. The effects were not observed during pretreatment with 4-methylpyrazole (10–15 mg/kg orally), which inhibited the ethanol elimination rate by 37 ± 3%.
Conclusions:  Alcohol intake affects the androgen balance in men through an effect mediated by the alcohol-induced change in the redox state in the liver.

So 0.5g/Kg of alcohol is a safe line which will not decrease your testosterone levels but will instead slightly raise your T levels.

But what the hell is 0.5g/Kg?

Some math told me that my 0.5/kg is 34g of alcohol. But since this is in units of “pure” alcohol which is contained in the drink, and according to this table, this would be around 2-3 bottles of regular beer.

arnold alcohol beer

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So the take home lesson here for y’all A-lifters out there is that it’s okay to chill out a bit this weekend. Even if you get wasted on weekends it will hardly have any permanent negative effects to your testosterone anyways. If you drink only moderately and only occasionally you will only average for around 2 bottles per day (even if you get wasted once a week), then again; don’t be OC about it!
Remember that the stress that being an OC brings will gradually reduce your T-levels more that drinking will!

A good rule of the thumb is the effect just before you get intoxicated, when your body starts to relax, you feel pleasant and your lips numb a little, but you are not yet dizzy – that’s your sweet spot right there. So will have that later some sooner it depends on your resistance and alcoholic threshold.

It is also worth mentioning that non-drinkers (people who NEVER drink alcohol) have it as bad as the alcoholics in the longevity department. The one’s who live the longest are those who drink, just a little or moderately (averaging a glass of wine or two bottles of beer a day):

Among regular drinkers mortality from all causes combined increased progressively with amount drunk above 21 units a week. Among British men in middle or older age the consumption of an average of one or two units of alcohol a day is associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality than is the consumption of no alcohol, or the consumption of substantial amounts. Above about three units (two American units) of alcohol a day, progressively greater levels of consumption are associated with progressively higher all-cause mortality…(source)

I admit to drinking every now and then and getting intoxicated on several occasions. I can also tell you that I have a very high (or above average to say the least) resistance to alcohol and you will have to be a drinking connoisseur to be able to beat me in a drinking contest.
So yes, I do drink and I am not worrying about it too much and neither should you. But I don’t drink everyday – only on days that start with a “t” (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Today, Tomorrow), JUST KIDDING!! Just don’t train when you’re hung over, it’s really, REALLY bad for T levels! And now can you see why being hung-over everyday could be really bad for your lifting progress?
So go on and drink up, you earned IT! Cheers and EAT YOUR EGGS, A-Lifters!

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3 thoughts on “A Little Alcohol increases Testosterone – A Bit

  1. Well you can talk about testosterone being ok with only minor amount of drinks but ethanol profoundly suppressed the pulsatile secretion of growth hormone. If you want muscle, you want growth hormone. It doesn’t matter how you twist or turn it, alcohol is NOT good for you no matter how much you want it to be.

    If you still want to drink, I suggest you stock up on adaptogenic herbs and stuff like theanine that helps your body detox it faster.

    1. systemic GH doesn’t mean more muscle growth.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2439518/

      Anyways it’s fine – avoiding alcohol certainly is a good thing for an athlete but not necessarily needed (as long as you don’t become alcoholic or get drunk everyday). I can assure you that even a top mr Olympia level physique can enjoy weekends dirking a few Martinis (or even beer) with some friends – certainly beats being stressed out, my point here is no need to be so over paranoid about things as being paranoid itself is bad for your growth
      cheers

  2. “Becoming alcoholic and getting wasted every single day is also bad for your manhood since alcohol will start to “estrogenize” your system.” – I tried explaining this to the guys at the bar but I got called and estrogenizer and got punched in the face.

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