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Men's Health

How does alcohol affect you?

With the holiday season right around the corner, the temptation to overeat on candy, snacks and well, everything, is incredibly tempting. Often, during the holidays, we also over-indulge in the alcohol department too.

But while it might be fun (and merry) to neck back a drink or five, alcohol can affect your body in a number of ways, including your sexual health and testosterone.

Hangover aside, how else can alcohol make you feel? We take a closer look.

Important testosterone facts

Before we dive into the impact of alcohol, we first need to gain greater insight into the importance of testosterone.

By now, we should all be pretty clued up on what testosterone is, right? Although this crucial hormone is actually found in both men and women, we guys have a much higher concentration of T. This contributes to a number of factors, including muscle growth, a deepened voice, hair growth, sex drive, the list goes on.

As with most hormones, your testosterone levels can change. This can have both physical and emotional impacts, which you may not associate with your T levels immediately.

Also Read: The importance of healthy sperm

So, surely low T is a bad thing? Yep, you’re right. Low testosterone can cause a number of things, including:

  • Lack of, or lowered sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle loss
  • Depression
  • Low mood
  • Fatigue
  • Body hair loss

Now we know what low testosterone may look like, how does alcohol play a role?

Does alcohol reduce testosterone?

alcohol testosterone

Put simply, yes, alcohol can reduce your testosterone levels. However, it’s a little more complicated than that. While the odd beer every now and then won’t affect your testosterone levels significantly, long term, heavy drinking can increase its impact on your T.

But how does it happen?

When you’re drinking alcohol, your body metabolizes ethanol – a compound found in alcohol. In order for your body to produce testosterone, a number of things occur. NAD+, a coenzyme responsible for producing testosterone in the liver and testes is affected (and lowered) by ethanol metabolism.

Meanwhile, heavy alcohol consumption can also lead to increased levels of the female sex hormone – estrogen. As well as the amount of testosterone that converts to estrogen, and higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can sabotage testosterone.

Furthermore, excessive drinking can play havoc with your sleep, therefore having a knock-on effect on your body’s ability to produce T.

Alcohol and testosterone: The bottom line

When we talk about alcohol and testosterone, a small amount of alcohol consumption won’t necessarily damage your testosterone production.

Excessive drinking – which is tempting during the holidays – will, however. Over-indulging in alcoholic drinks can affect your T, therefore impacting your sexual health.

Also Read: How to Increase Sexual Stamina – 18 Tips for Improved Sexual Performance

If you do want to drink alcohol this festive season (and throughout the year!), always try and limit your alcohol intake where possible. One or two, paired with good hydration and food is acceptable, but if this increases significantly, you could experience adverse hormonal effects.

While the festive season is just around the corner, here are some ways to keep tabs on your alcohol consumption and keep your testosterone in working order.

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Here’s how to reduce your alcohol intake

alcohol affects testosterone

Nobody likes hangovers. Many of us drink too much as the festive season approaches, but we certainly feel it (and regret it) the next day. If you’re looking to cut back on the booze, here are some easy ways to limit your alcohol intake.

Drink water in between alcoholic drinks

As well as alcohol affecting your testosterone production, one of the biggest concerns is dehydration. Drinking water in between alcohol will not only help slow down your alcohol intake, but will also keep you hydrated.

This should also mean you’ll have less of a hangover the next morning!

Opt for smaller measurements

While it’s tempting to double up, only drink pints and indulge in cocktails packed with different spirits, these can cause more than a headache the next day. Instead, opt for smaller measurements, drinking single spirits, half pints and cocktails with only one type of alcohol.

Drink low-alcohol or alcohol-free drinks

There is plenty of low-alcohol and alcohol-free alternatives around, including beers, gins and low-strength wine. Plus, we’ve all heard of mocktails!

Opting for low-alcohol and alcohol-free alternatives can help you feel as though you’re not missing out, without a horrid hangover and impact on your testosterone.

Always eat a meal

This is often a trick we all implement in our teens in order to maximize our drinking, but it can actually be pretty bad for you. Drinking on an empty stomach can make you very sick, causing dizziness, headaches and nausea. Plus, the likelihood of a horrid hangover the next day is even higher.

Also Read: How to Increase Blood Flow to the Penis to Get Stronger Erections

Always eat a decent meal before drinking alcohol to limit these side effects and stop your body from absorbing alcohol at a dangerously fast rate.

Don’t cave to peer pressure

When you’re out with friends or family, it can be incredibly tempting to join in when others are drinking heavily. But there’s no need to feel pressured by others drinking a lot of alcohol. If you’re feeling unsure, take yourself out of the situation early.

Or, of course, be a little more selective about who you choose to drink with!

Have a budget

Drinking heavily can damage your health, testosterone and of course, your bank balance. Save money and avoid the horrid hangover by setting yourself a budget before you head out drinking for the night.

Keep some cash left over for a taxi if needed, but otherwise, leave your card at home if you feel as though you might be tempted into drinking more.

Be mindful of your mental health

We all drink for different reasons, but often, feelings of anxiousness can lead us to over-indulging in alcohol. While it might seem like a great idea at the time, it can actually make matters worse.

If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, look for other ways to relax, and limit your alcohol intake.

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