Hydration and Testosterone: Drinking Enough Water Can Impact Hormones

We who live in developed countries tend to take water as granted, and we don’t often stop to think how vitally important it is to nearly all bodily processes. To say it lightly, all of our cellular functions depend on the substance.

Drinking more water – and making sure that you’re always well-hydrated – has a key role in helping the body to burn calories more efficiently, while it helps to utilize fatty-acids more effectively, water also improves cognitive abilities, increases aerobic training efficiency (duh), and even improves your mood.

People often think that they’re drinking enough fluids, but the truth is that most don’t. When the feeling of ‘thirst’ first hits you, your body is already in the state of mild dehydration. Not only that, but chronic mild dehydration is even more common among people who exercise. Men are also much more likely to dehydrate during exercise than women.

Why am I writing about hydration on a natural testosterone optimization website? Well, because your hydration status has a significant effect on your hormones too:

Water, Testosterone, Cortisol…

You could spend $40 buying a flashy bottle of ‘latest formulation’ tribulus terrestris in beliefs that it will raise your testosterone levels, making your workouts more anabolic…

…Or you could save the $40 and drink some water instead. And that’s because water – unlike tribulus – actually has some modest anabolic effects. 😉

In fact, before you even consider fiddling around with ANY supplements whatsoever, you should be making sure that you’re drinking enough of water.

Here’s why:

Hydration State and its Effect on Hormones
a) Even mild (1-2% of body mass) dehydration before and during exercise has been shown to significantly raise the levels of the stress hormone cortisol (study, study). Since cortisol tends to reduce testosterone levels and is made from the same ‘raw building material’ (pregnenolone), even mild dehydration at rest and/or during exercise likely has a testosterone suppressing effect.

b) In this 2008 study, the subjects all completed three identical resistance training bouts in different hydration states (hydrated, dehydrated by ~2,5% body mass, and dehydrated by ~5% body mass), while the researchers investigated various endocrine hormones at rest, during training, immediately post-exercise, and 60 minutes after the exercise. The results showed that dehydration increased cortisol levels significantly, while it also attenuated the normal exercise-induced rise in testosterone.

hydration effects on cortisol and testosterone production

c) There’s also some evidence that growth hormone levels get suppressed in the state of dehydration (study, study), which is just another reason to drink plenty of water during exercise.


Here’s a simple and cheap long-term solution for you to get the most out of your exercise sessions with nothing less than W-A-T-E-R…

Hydration and Testosterone: Drinking Enough Water Can Impact Hormones 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. Mindy Gugenheimer on 06/08/2015 at 16:11

    Is water from water fountains ok to drink?

  2. Jaekwon Ashby on 06/08/2015 at 21:09

    Just sucks when you have to cut 15 pounds of water weight every week for wrestling tournaments. :’)

  3. Jaekwon Ashby on 06/08/2015 at 21:11

    By the way I can vouch for this. I remember one time I cut 25 pounds in five days I woke up in the middle of the night almost collapsed on the floor, kidneys hurt, pounding headache. Kinda safe to say dehydration isn’t good for your health in any sense of the way.

  4. C. L. on 06/08/2015 at 21:16

    Ali, what do you do when you travel?

    (a) Airport security doesn’t allow you to bring your own water;

    (b) you don’t have access to a tap-water filtration system since you’re not at home anymore; and

    (c) almost all spring or filtered water when you’re out and about are sold in plastic bottles.

  5. Bob Riley on 06/08/2015 at 23:57

    How much water is needed for optimum testosterone production?

  6. Utopianfreeman on 08/08/2015 at 04:19

    I want to see what’s possible in terms of natural bodybuilding. Could you show us your physique and max lifts?

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