Caffeine and Testosterone: Coffee Stimulates Testosterone Production, Possibly Due to Increased cAMP Activity
If you’ve been reading my older posts here, you already know that I’ve been somewhat of an anti-coffee guy in the past. That’s because research has shown time after time that caffeine consumption leads to dose dependent increases in cortisol secretion through stimulating the adrenal cortex…
…And elevated cortisol has been linked to lowered testosterone levels.
Here are the mechanisms of action behind cortisol’s testosterone suppressing effects if you’re not yet familiar with them:
- Your balls produce this enzyme called 11ßHSD-1 which normally protects your testosterone molecules from cortisol, but in the times of prolonged stress and chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone, there simply is too much cortisol for 11ßHSD-1 to handle.
- When cortisol levels are high for a long time, the body directs more of its available cholesterol into cortisol synthesis, which leaves less of the good stuff for testosterone synthesis.
Based on that it would make great sense that coffee – which increases cortisol – would also lower testosterone levels. However that seems not to be the case, at least if there’s any truth in the studies I managed to pull out yesterday when I was researching caffeine as a fat burner.
Just take a look at this:
Caffeine and Testosterone Levels
So like I said, I was searching around the internet for studies about caffeine and how it could be used to aid fat loss.
I did find a lot about that and you can read about those studies here…
…At some point however I found 2 very interesting studies. One where caffeine ingestion was able to increase anaerobic performance and muscle endurance, and another one where pre-workout caffeine increased maximum muscular strength on bench press and leg press when compared to placebo.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting that from a compound that stimulates cortisol release. Guess there’s a reason why the supplement industry uses caffeine as a base ingredient for most pre-workout supplements.
What I found next, was even more confusing:
Bottom line: Caffeine supplements or coffee taken pre-workout once in a while might be a good idea. It seems to increase testosterone levels, despite the fact that it also raises cortisol. This could be due to the cAMP activation, or something completely different. Anyhow, it seems to work.
Even though caffeine increases cortisol levels – and cortisol is linked to low testosterone – caffeine still has a testosterone boosting effect when taken pre-workout (possibly due to cAMP stimulation).
So caffeine might not be that bad after all.
If you’re not that big on coffee, there’s plenty of caffeine supplements on the market for you to choose from.
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