The path of the male is never straightforward or simple. We are always told to eat healthily, consume more fresh food, and and and.. It’s enough to make you want to nip off down to the pub with your mates for a drink. But before you go, be aware, that Friday night at the pub, whilst making you feel better for a period of time, may have longer lasting implications for your health, especially your male health.
I don’t want to be the bearer of doom and gloom, nor spoil the pleasure of catching up with mates. But I do want to make you aware of a few things, and then look at the alternatives, so you can still go meet up, let off steam, have fun and still be the best you can be for the rest of the weekend.
THE BAD NEWS
Beer (I love a cool pint or 4 as much as the next bloke) is not the optimum liquid for male health. The term ‘brewers droop’ wasn’t coined for fun. It’s a genuine condition that brewers and farm workers suffer from, if they handle hops.
In The Natural Testosterone Plan, Stephen Harrod Buhner writes:
“Hops is best known for its use in beer. The majority of physicians and men overlook its potent chemicals and do not realize that beer itself can significantly alter the male androgen levels. German beer makers noticed long ago that the young women who picked hops in the fields commonly experienced early menstrual periods. Eventually, researchers discovered the reason – hops are perhaps one of the most powerfully estrogenic plants on Earth. Just 100 grams of hops (about 3.5 ounces) contains anywhere from thirty thousand to three hundred thousand IUs of estrogen, depending on the type of hops.”
Most of it is the very potent estrogen estradiol. Estradiol, as it is taken into the male body, causes a direct lowering of testosterone levels in the testes and an increase in SHBG levels, which then binds up even more free testosterone in the bloodstream.
The estradiol in hops has also been found to directly interfere with the ability of the testes leydig cells to produce testosterone. WTF?!
The presence of this highly estrogenic substance in beer is not an accident.
So, be aware, that long cold beer on a Friday night isn’t going to help you long term with your T levels. Yet if we believe the marketing hype, it’s a manly thing to do.
Bullshit! It’s not, and no amount of marketing hype will make those T levels rise if you drink beer on a regular basis.
MORE BAD NEWS
Pub food, like peanuts, pistachios, almonds and walnuts, crisps and the like, will only make things worse. Why?
Almonds and Walnuts have been show to increase the level of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) by 20%. This is the hormone that swims around the body and grabs testosterone / DHT and ushers it out of the body. Just think … 20% of your free Testosterone gets nabbed on its way to the male receptor cells. That’s massive!
Certain nuts also contain very high levels of Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA).The so called ‘good fats’ we should have more of in our diet.
What bullshit. PUFA’s have been shown to lower T levels and cause increased oxidative damage to T receptor cells, so why on earth would we consume them? In addition, most nuts, especially pistachios, are also dense in phytosterols – compounds that compete with cholesterol and reduce its levels in the body. Given that, under natural conditions, the body transforms cholesterol into male sex hormones, it’s not something to get rid of.
And the most popular nuts of all, that aren’t actually nuts – peanuts – are high in PUFA’s and also something called beta-sitosterol, which negatively impacts our DHT (male hormone ) levels.
So as you can see, that relaxing Friday night out, has taken a big turn for the worse (well in terms of being spunki).
Yet, fear not, as all is not lost.
There is some good news, and other alternatives to consider.
Instead of a beer, what about a glass of red wine, a margarita, a shot of vodka, or one of Jon Snow’s best, mead.
Studies have shown, that in responsible amounts, a glass of wine can stimulate your T levels. There have also been studies that show a shot of tequila or vodka after training will elevate the T levels significantly too.
So all is not lost, but as with everything, moderation is the key.
Too much of a good thing will mess up the liver, and a fatty liver cannot process the alcohol efficiently, nor deal with the sex hormone processing. Basically (in English), any testosterone processing is disrupted, and more estrogen hits the blood.
Being the designated driver or switching to water may not be the answer either. Most ‘plastic’ water is heavily contaminated with BPA, which is a massive hormone disrupter, and estrogen creator. So if you drink water, make sure it’s filtered, and not contaminated. Soft fizzy drinks, ladened with sugar, or possibly worse, artificial sweetener, won’t make your body healthy either. Massive spikes in insulin won’t help T production. It’s a maze, in reality.
There is some more good news.
If having a shot of vodka or glass of red wasn’t already enough good news, not all nuts are a detriment to T production. Some nuts are very helpful in the quest for Testosterone production and delivery.
Macadamias have a very high level of mono-unsaturated fat, and less than 2% of the PUFA’s. These nuts are the only Maca’s you should be consuming, if you get my drift? Avoid the late night munchies at all cost, as a trip to the Big Yellow M, won’t do a lot for your libido! Most fast food meat is heavily laden with estrogenic creating hormones, and won’t do you well in your quest for test.
Brazil nuts are great too, due to the high amounts of testosterone supportive minerals such as zinc, boron, magnesium and selenium they offer up easily. And to boot, they are low in PUFA’s.
So the Friday night out with your mates is not all that bad – it’s just a choice.
Drink responsibly, have fun, consume some healthy pub grub, and wake up fresh and full of life. Versus having a few coolies, bag of peanuts, nipping off on the way home for a burger, and feeling like shit the next day.
Shaun, co-founder of Be Spunki