Coffee drinks are amongst the most popular choices around the world. They have a stimulating effect on our bodies and minds, so we often rely on them to give us the necessary pick-me-up when we get fatigued.
Recently, coffee became a topic of conversation due to a totally unrelated reason to its primary benefits. The proposition is that coffee can actually positively impact testosterone levels, and we’re here to see if there is any merit to this claim.
Caffeine: The main ingredient of coffee
The primary active ingredient in coffee is caffeine. It’s a substance that is capable of stimulating the human nervous system, most notably increasing alertness and delaying fatigue. This is achieved through the speeding up of the neural pathways traveling from the brain to the body.
There are many benefits that come with the regular (but moderate) intake of caffeine. There are indications that it can help reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, coronary heart attacks, and kidney diseases. It also may promote and improve brain health, protecting you from degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's.
It has also been proven that caffeine may extend your life, help keep your liver healthy, reduce the risk of depression, help with controlling weight gain, and so on.
What other drinks contain coffee
The best thing about caffeine is that it’s so widely available. There are a lot of drinks out there that have caffeine as an ingredient. Here are some of them:
As you can see, there are plenty of sources of caffeine out there, but not all of them are good for you. Most soft drinks contain a lot of sugar, and when combined with caffeine, they do give you a lot of energy but are not good for your overall health.
We recommend you stick to teas and coffee, as they are your safest bet. When it comes to coffee, it’s hardly going to be good for you if it's stacked up with sugar, caramel, and other sweets, so keep this in mind. Supplements are a good option, too, if you have a need for such things, but make sure to pick a trusted brand.
The relationship between testosterone and caffeine
Research shows that coffee can indeed impact the levels of sex hormones, both male and female. Still, there is a difference in how caffeine impacts hormones in men and women.
In men, consuming caffeine raises total testosterone levels while decreasing free and total estradiol. In women, the effect on testosterone is reversed as it lowers total testosterone levels, while decaf coffee decreases total and free testosterone levels. Decaf has no effect on male hormones.
So, if you want to raise your testosterone levels as a male, coffee is the right way to go. If you are a female seeking testosterone boosting, you might want to try something else, as coffee will do the exact opposite of what you want.
When it comes to testosterone, we’ve heard a lot of anecdotal confirmations of its effects on testosterone. Apparently, L-arginine is supposed to promote the production of testosterone, but the medical research community has been relatively silent on the matter.
Are there any studies to back up these claims?
Well, we have to reference a study by Nutr J. from 2012, which figured out the difference between the effects coffee has on males and females. The study was conducted over eight weeks and had two groups, one of which was given coffee with caffeine and the other the decaf version of the drink.
While this study was a major breakthrough, this still doesn’t mean that coffee is a definite cure for testosterone deficiency in men. After all, there are men who drink coffee regularly and still experience testosterone deficiency. We often tend to think about testosterone deficiency as something that has one cause, but it’s not that simple. While in some cases, coffee can help, it is often best to see a doctor about this issue and figure out what kind of treatment would work best for your particular situation.
How does caffeine impact other hormones?
Testosterone is not the only hormone that caffeine interacts with. It actually impacts several of the major hormones in our bodies.
The dreaded stress hormone has several very positive functions in our bodies. Like with all other hormones, a proper balance is what we should be aiming for. Caffeine raises our testosterone levels but by how much will vary depending on the person. If you are a regular coffee drinker, you might get an insignificant boost of cortisol, but if you have a low tolerance for coffee, you might get the jitters.
The loved and sought-after happy hormone that gives our brains the feeling of euphoria. While caffeine does not increase dopamine levels, it definitely does prolong the time it’s active in our brains. This is partially why caffeine is viewed as addictive since we get used to this feeling and aim to prolong it.
This hormone is the primary and most potent “fight-or-flight” trigger. Caffeine interacts with it by temporarily spiking its levels and giving us a jolt of energy. Due to this, we may feel fatigued once the effects of caffeine dissipate, and some research indicates that caffeine abuse may damage the health of the adrenal gland.
Another hormone that makes us feel good while also boosting our sex drive, sleep quality, memory, etc. Overloading on caffeine over long periods may cause depression as the serotonin levels get depleted. It can also cause insomnia and other symptoms, so be careful when dosing your caffeine intake.
As we already mentioned, coffee can reduce estrogen levels in females but the study also showed that this drop in estrogen doesn’t necessarily mean that they will experience any adverse effects. The connection between estrogen and caffeine still needs a bit more research to be clear to both researchers and the public.
As you can see, caffeine can be both your ally and enemy, depending on how you use it. This is why we recommend you read through the following paragraph, which addresses caffeine overload.
Can I overload with caffeine?
You absolutely can, and you will notice it, too — if you pay attention, that is.
If you are aiming to raise testosterone levels with coffee, around 400 mg a day should be enough. This amounts to around four cups a day, but this may vary depending on what kind of coffee you are drinking.
Still, make sure that you moderate your intake, and don’t forget that most coffee drinks these days come with a bunch of sugar in them, so if you really want to have control, we recommend you brew your own. Also, caffeine is an addictive substance so try to give it a rest from time to time.
Well, there you have it, folks — caffeine indeed helps raise testosterone levels in men while it reduces testosterone levels in females. We don’t recommend it as a solution to testosterone deficiency — it can be a part of a mix you are using, but on its own, it won’t resolve your issues. There are many benefits that this substance brings to the table, but you need to use it in moderation as it can have some nasty side effects when abused and is also considered to be an addictive substance.
This would depend on the amount of coffee, the person consuming it, and his activity afterward. We have a study that shows that during resistance training, athletes who consumed the upper limit of caffeine, 800 mg, had their testosterone levels boosted to 21% compared to those that didn’t have any at 15%. Unfortunately, we still need more research to get a more precise estimate.
Coffee interacts with several hormones in our body. Those hormones are testosterone, cortisol, estrogen, serotonin, and dopamine. Each of these interactions is unique and should be thoroughly researched to ensure safe coffee use.
Coffee can lower total testosterone in female users but not in men. We know this based on a comparative study that analyzed and compared the impact of coffee on hormones in men and women.
Yes, coffee does cause a dramatic spike in your blood pressure, although it doesn’t last very long. The exact reason and spike levels are yet to be determined as there is not enough research to show the causes for this spike.