Japanese Study Suggests Listening to Music May Temporarily Lower Testosterone Levels

Many athletes like to train with music on their ears. However this research done by Hajime Fukui, a Japanese endocronologist might surprise you.

Back in 2001 Fukui did an experiement with 70 students aged between 19-25 (both men and women), at the Nara University of Education.

He took saliva samples from the students before the test, and then divided the students into groups that would listen various types of music for 30 minutes:

10 of the students listened their favorite music

10 listened to Cantatas by Gregorian monks

10 listened to hit music that was popular at the time

10 listened to Mozart’s Sonata in D Major, K. 448

10 listened to jazz music

20 didn’t listen any music at all

After the 30 minutes had passed, Fukui again measured the subjects saliva testosterone levels.

The results were extremely surprising…

…As Fukui found out that listening to all types of music increased saliva testosterone levels in women, but significantly decreased them in male subjects.

The image below shows how the male volunteers reacted to various music styles:

music lowers male testosterone levels
The important question is, why?

Fukui himself says that humans invited music to make working in groups easier. Testosterone on the other hand is a hormone linked to aggression and more or less continous sex drive, which obviously makes working in groups harder. That’s why Fukui believes that music triggers an evolutionary mechanism in the male brain to decrease the levels of testosterone when we hear music.

That’s a food for tough, but at least now we know that music during a workout isn’t beneficial at all.

As you can see from the graph above, the music that did most damage was the subjects favorite kind, and the one that did the least damage was the music sung by Gregorian monks. So if you want to listen to music with the least amount of damage to your hormones, go for Gregorian (who in the world would listen to this in a gym).

Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb05767.x/abstract;jsessionid=006226342D78281100272246B279AB7E.f04t02

Japanese Study Suggests Listening to Music May Temporarily Lower Testosterone Levels was last modified: March 27th, 2017 by Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala is the founder of Anabolic Men, and an Independent Researcher that has been credited with organizing the findings that have helped thousands of men reach hormonal balance.
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  1. disqus_sm1YBg94YT on 29/04/2014 at 20:29

    well all be damn. never really got into listening to music when working out, i always though it was a unecessary burden.
    i learned from wise man to do the complete opposite of what everyone else is doing or highly praised.
    That idea manifests itself everyday in some form

    • John Feehan on 08/06/2014 at 12:35

      Keep in mind the styles of music used in the test. And the “favorites” would be Japanese favorites – obviously a testosterone killer. What he didn’t test was some hard rock like Tool. That being said, I prefer silence in the gym.

      • Ali Kuoppala on 15/06/2014 at 14:44

        That’s a good point. If I do listen to music it’s most likely metal or something really heavy.

        Would of love to have seen how that affects testosterone response.

  2. PM on 06/07/2014 at 21:47

    well, listening to heavy metal like five finger death punch or even some hip-hop/rap really pumps me up, it surely does not decrease my test.

  3. Tommy Vercetti on 02/08/2014 at 03:45

    Who cares about testosterone when it’s all about the face?

    • Ali Kuoppala on 02/08/2014 at 10:41

      Not sure what you mean, but I’d like to see what a face looks like without testosterone.

      • Man of the Morning Star on 26/01/2015 at 17:30

        You don’t.

  4. dyhidrotestosterone fan on 26/12/2015 at 18:38

    haka and kapa o pango music increases testosterone levels

  5. […] einer japanischen Studie von 2001 konnte gezeigt werden, dass Musik unsere Testosteronkonzentration beeinflussen […]

  6. Hamingja on 15/04/2017 at 00:35

    Well that is very interesting.

    Now I know why I get a weakening/draining feeling when listing to popular music and have actually stopped listening to it for decades now.
    If I listen to classical I like I must stop what I am doing so I can listen. If I hear a song I like hearing it infrequently is optimal.

    I bet that been nagged has the exact same effect, in fact I recon that nagging and all other sorts of behavior that would be considered as unmanly would also lower T in saliva samples.

    It’s a pity he didn’t includes sounds of the elements, such as rain, wind etc and sounds from the woods.

    What about a saliva test after cold exposure.

  7. Guy on 29/07/2017 at 01:29

    Im assuming that study is a joke… as the authour has the same name as metallicas leader?

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