Men are living, walking testosterone-filled beings. However, there are so many things that surround us that want to take away from our manliness. This makes a man’s life a tough life.
But do not fear, my fellow man beasts. Let us not be afraid of the testosterone killers that haunt us for we are Alpha Males and we are supposed to be the predators atop the food chain. Right now, allow me to shed light on some of the things that murder our beloved testosterone. Let me help you fight these killers with knowledge as your defense.
Admittedly, some of the things that kill testosterone are from our own debauchery. That’s okay. We were all probably just misinformed as kids and thought these things were cool. Actually, I believe that in moderation, some of our vices add to the quality of life but too much indulgence in these guilty pleasures could kill our testosterone.
Drinking too much alcohol can painfully drag down your testosterone levels. Suddenly, being shit-faced every Fridays and Saturdays doesn’t sound too inviting, huh?
According to this study on the effects of acute alcohol intoxication (AAI), getting drunk increases levels of prolactin and cortisol in adults of both sexes. If you didn’t know, prolactin is a female hormone that can drive down our manly testosterone and cortisol is the stress hormone that also does the same. Moreover, a decrease in testosterone in men was observed and the same study states that AAI may have an inhibitory effect on testicular testosterone.
In effect, this means that the more beer and tequila you put inside your system, the more you deplete your own levels of testosterone. A few glasses and shots on occasion should be fine but take your alcohol in moderation.
I’m not talking about those weeds you see on your front yard. No, I’m talking about marijuana. Cannabis. Pot. Joint. Ganja. Whatever these guys call it in the streets nowadays.
Cannabis may get you feeling relaxed and happy but it comes at the cost of your manliness. A lot of people are already aware that this can have negative effects on sperm count but recent evidence has shown that it can deplete testosterone levels, too.
In a study conducted on monkeys, the THC in marijuana caused a 65% drop in testosterone which lasted for about an hour and oh boy, I’m telling you – 65% is a big dip. The time table for these side effects seem manageable though but I’m not too sure if the same time frame still applies for chronic marijuana users.
If it’s hard for you to totally stop smoking pot, then just to be safe, I suggest you lay off a little bit.
Yup, you read that right. While I strongly stand for sex as being an essential part of life, busting too much nuts can actually be bad for your manhood.
Every time you “release” your “inner feelings” (if you catch my drift), you’re losing nutrients. Most of them are trace amounts so there’s really not much to worry about. However, with Zinc, you’re losing about 5 mg per ejaculation.
Let’s say you’re a single guy with internet access. Chances are when you get bored playing with your playstation, you tinker with your own organic joy stick maybe a few times per day. Or maybe you have an extremely hot and horny girlfriend who just makes it hard to say no. Let me show you some science that’ll maybe make you want to abstain from sex and masturbation.
According to this study, they investigated 28 participants who were willing to abstain from ejaculation (where’d they even get those volunteers though? I don’t know anyone who’s willing to do that, honestly). After the 5th day of abstinence, there wasn’t any significant change in testosterone. But on the 7th day, the researchers observed a 145.7% increase. That’s a lot! Maybe that’ll give you some strength to say no to sex and masturbation, aye?
Did you know? Smoking doesn’t seem to kill testosterone. Weird. I know. Considering that it’s one of the most common vices and it has correlations to a wide number of side effects and diseases, studies don’t seem to support the negatives of smoking with regards to testosterone.In fact, as this study states, “smokers and nonsmokers had similar mean values of androgens, gonadotropins and SHBG”. However, just because smoking doesn’t deplete testosterone, doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. Lay off the cigar and help yourself live a longer life.
Frankly, the vices I mentioned above could probably fit this category too but to me, they’re more guilty pleasures than just lifestyle choices. In this category, you’ll see some items that a lot of men deal with everyday for the rest of their lives and these things eventually lead to low testosterone.
I’m talking about strength training and cardio here. Both are staples in the world of fitness but both are very different things. Let me explain.
- Strength training – In terms of strength training, we have what we call “The Big Three”. This includes the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift. All of them are compound exercises that recruit multiple muscles so you can lift heavier for maximum gains. For testosterone, this study found out that after doing 5 sets each of bench press and jump squats, testosterone levels rose by 7.4% and 15.1% respectively.
- Endurance training – There are plenty of ways to attack endurance training but one of the most popular ways to do so is long distance running. While that may be good for cardiac health, it’s not necessarily the best for testosterone. According to this study, there was a significant negative correlation between total testosterone, “free” testosterone, and long distance running. More over, the researchers concluded that “with running volumes greater than 64 km a week, training was inversely related to testosterone levels”.
That said, I say you get your lazy ass moving, get yourself back in the gym, and pump some iron. It’s good for testosterone. Also, even with the negative effects of endurance training on test, no one can really deny the benefits it has for cardiovascular health so don’t just brush that aside, too. Do your cardio but don’t prioritize it over strength training.
This shouldn’t be any surprise to you. Technically, the more fat you gain, the lesser your testosterone will become. However, what you probably didn’t know is that obesity is linked to type-2 diabetes and this just makes matters worse.
As this study concludes, “many men with type 2 diabetes, especially those who are obese, have low serum total testosterone”. This brings us back to exercise.
Move your lazy bum and start doing some strength training. Lose the fat and kill your workouts before the fat and the sedentary life kills your testosterone.
Lack of sleep
If you’ve done too many consecutive all-nighters, you might not just be sacrificing sleep. You might also be killing your own manhood.
When you sleep, that’s where your testosterone is at its highest. In fact, according to this study, the increase in testosterone is sleep dependent and requires at least 3 hours of good quality shut eye. Of course, this includes REM sleep.
Let’s get straight to the point here. A study states that “males who were classified as high psychological stress had significantly lower testosterone levels than did their low stress counterparts”.
Stress levels on these men were computed by the parameters of trait anxiety, hostility, and depression. So if you find yourself feeling down, anxious, and malevolent, you might be too stressed and you could be losing testosterone in the process. Take a chill pill, bro. Relax. It’s good for you.
Ha! No wonder I see so many miserable married men!
Joking aside though, believe it or not, there’s actually a study that supports this. A journal article titled Marriage, Divorce, and Male Testosterone suggested that “testosterone levels are lower in married men than among those who are single or divorced”. Additionally, the same study also said that “testosterone is relatively high during the years surrounding a divorce, and testosterone level falls during the years surrounding marriage”.
Having read that, now I’m not too sure if I made the right decision to get married or if I should’ve just stayed a bachelor. But then I look at the picture of my wife that I have in my wallet and realize how lucky I am to have this insanely beautiful woman all to myself. Maybe losing a bit of testosterone isn’t so bad after all, aye?
If there’s food that boost testosterone, of course there’re also some that are bound to kill it. Personally, I’m not very keen about these foods but maybe some of you are.
Just a heads up, I got most of the information written in this part of the article from this study on Plant-Derived Anti-Androgen.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
- This separate study states that it studied the anti-androgenic effects of methanol extracts of 19 edible and medicinal mushrooms. Of the mushrooms that they examined, Reishi Mushroom “had the strongest action in inhibiting testosterone”. This mushroom is commonly used for tea.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Imagine the taste of sugar. Now, imagine that sweetness to be 50 times greater. That’s licorice. But the taste isn’t what brings down testosterone though. Licorice contains phytoestrogens that mimic the effects the estrogens – the female hormone counterpart of testosterone. Additionally, Licorice also contains glycyrrhetinic acid which has anti-androgenic effects that has shown to reduce testosterone.
Spearmint (Mentha spicata [Labiatae])
- According to the same study that I referenced to at the start of this part of the article, these are the negative effects of Spearmint to our manliness.
- Decreased levels of “free” testosterone
- Increased luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Increased follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Increased estradiol
- “Free” testosterone is the bioactive testosterone that our body uses for manly functions, LH is a known testosterone killer, while FSH and estriadol are feminine hormones. Overall, everything the study shows about Spearmint is degrading to our manliness.
These are the unavoidable things that’ll inevitably lead to a reduction in testosterone. I know I was being redundant when I mentioned unavoidable and inevitable in the same sentence but I did that on purpose because I had to stress that really, you can’t escape from these things.
Sadly, there is no fountain of youth or elixir of immortality. Those things only exist in mythology and we all have to grow older some day. No matter how hard we workout to remain strong and healthy, Father Time is a sneaky bastard that’s going to catch up to us one day.
As early as the age of 30, testosterone levels can begin to decline. As such, one study says that the effects of aging can constantly lower the levels of both bioactive and total testosterone. That’s sad. But don’t worry too much because science has built testosterone boosters to particularly counter the effects of aging.
The Dark Side
Every region in the world has day time and a night time. That’s just the way things go. As such, you can’t ever escape the dark. If that sounded like a line from a horror movie, you have every right to be afraid because without the light of the sun, our testosterone levels can take dip. And that’s horrifying.
The kind of Vitamin D that we get from the sun is the most bioactive form of Vitamin D there is and Vitamin D has been linked to testosterone for quite some time now. According to this study, Vitamin D showed a positive association with total and “free” testosterone. Also, Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to low testosterone.
If you’re stuck inside your house all day, you might not be getting the right amounts of this manly vitamin. Go out there and enjoy the sun.
The things found here don’t really fit into any of the categories I’ve already mentioned above. However, they’re still everyday things that all of us encounter on a day-to-day basis.
- Antidepressants – In this study about Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction, the researchers found out that “free serum testosterone levels in both men and women study subjects were found to be below the normal ranges in 75 percent of subjects”.
- Antipsychotics – There have been a number of evidences that point to Antipsychotics being linked to hyperprolactinaemia. As I’ve already said earlier, prolactin is a female hormone that can drive down levels of testosterone.
- Diazepam – According to this rat study, “diazepam was associated with a significant reduction in both the weight of the ventral prostate of treated rats and the serum testosterone levels”. Additionally, the same study also suggests that these negative effects on our manhood were “biologically induced via direct suppression of the interstitial cells of the testis”.
- Opioids – Out of all of these, opioid pain killers are probably the more commonly used but they are tied to side effects such as the reduction of testosterone. Similar to antipsychotics, these opioids have shown to increase levels of the female hormone prolactin, thereby decreasing the amount of testosterone.
To be more specific, I’m talking about Phthalate – a chemical that’s usually added in plastics to add to their flexibility, transparency, and durability.
According to this study, Phthalates are associated with significantly lower testosterone levels in both males and females. Also in both sexes, the strongest testosterone killing effects of Phthalates were observed in the ages of 40-60 years old.
These plastics containing Phthalates are found in everyday materials such deodorants, shampoos, and even your water bottles so it’s really very hard to steer clear from these bad boys. However, whenever you can, I urge you not to use plastic. It’s not only good for the environment, it’s good for testosterone, too.
I’ve given you knowledge on some of the most common testosterone killers that we as humans encounter and it’s up to you to use this information to shield yourself from the manhood depleting effects of these murderers. However, while I’ve given you a number of things to avoid, there are undoubtedly a whole lot more in this world that can negatively affect our testosterone.
Regardless, don’t let yourself be consumed by fear. Because we are men and as men, we endure and we fight back. If there are testosterone killers that we can’t avoid, one way of countering is through testosterone boosters.