A sudden mental alertness and energy boost give caffeine its worldwide fame as a daily stimulant. But if you plan to intake something daily, you should know its long-term effects on your health. Lucky for you Gent, we’ll reveal how caffeine affects your hormones (such as testosterone), so read on!
The Short Answer About Caffeine’s Effects On Hormones:
YES, a strong relationship between blood hormone levels and caffeine exists. Our hormones affect our energy levels, mood, and behavior, like caffeine. It either impacts production of specific hormones, or affects their receptors. Caffeine is also associated with higher testosterone levels in men.
Now, we’ll share exactly how caffeine affects your hormones, and what a hormonal imbalance feels like. So let’s jump to it!
How Does Caffeine Affect the Endocrine System?
The first thing you should know about caffeine’s effects on your endocrine system, is that there are both negative and positive effects. Since the circadian rhythm mainly controls hormones, imbalances can affect your:
- Sleeping patterns,
- Stress levels, and
Here’s a list of hormones that are directly affected by caffeine:
Caffeine increases the production of cortisol in the blood.
Caffeine gives adrenaline a temporary spike that later goes down.
Caffeine slows down dopamine’s absorption in the blood.
Excess caffeine intake can deplete serotonin’s levels in the blood significantly.
Caffeine is often associated with higher levels of blood testosterone.
Stress: Does Caffeine Release Stress Hormones?
You may have heard the term ‘fight-or-flight response’, but did you know that cortisol is one of its main controllers?
Cortisol is a stress hormone in the blood. It decreases inflammation, boosts your energy levels, controls your sleep patterns, increases your blood glucose, and much more! You’d be surprised by how it impacts your life and performance.
However, cortisol is a double-edged sword; both high and low levels of it can be unhealthy. High levels slow down your metabolism, increase your blood pressure, and cause an overall muscle weakness and fatigue. On the other hand, low cortisol makes you more anxious and emotional.
Beyond muscle-building, it’s crucial to have a clear and focused emotional state – to put the most into your days. This way, you can invest in yourself and get ahead in life.
Since caffeine increases cortisol levels in the blood, the exact effect depends on one’s tolerance. If you have low caffeine tolerance, and ingest it in large quantities, you’ll probably have high cortisol levels. Conversely, if you’re a regular coffee drinker but have a high tolerance for caffeine, you won’t feel much change.
As a result, you should watch your caffeine intake if you’ve been feeling more stressed than usual lately. You don’t have to cut it off completely, but you can reduce your daily intake.
Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is cortisol’s short-tempered cousin.
It has the same fight-or-flight effect, but doesn’t bring the long-term impact that cortisol does. Rather, adrenaline is short-termed. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure to make you feel either frightened or excited. It spikes glucose levels in the blood and enlarges (dilates) your pupils.
Caffeine’s main effect on adrenaline is that it increases its levels temporarily – leaving you more energized and excited. However, adrenaline doesn’t linger in the blood. Instead, it drops dramatically after a while, leaving you tired and a bit grumpy.
Since caffeine is an addictive drug, your body will get used to your usual consumption levels and demand more and more as time passes. That’s why, eventually, you won’t feel the same effects that you felt when you first started consuming caffeine.
This means that your daily coffee will turn into two coffees after a while, and then three. Consequently, it’s best if you watch your intake to avoid fatiguing your adrenal gland.
A Quick T.O.G. Caffeine Optimization:
To avoid run-ups in daily cups… you can simply make one, large portion (4-500 mg of caffeine) and consume it slowly throughout your work day.
This ensures a nice, steady drip of caffeine over a long period. Short spikes every so often give you focus and concentration, and stable energy levels. This also saves you from increasing your tolerance to unsustainable levels.
A balanced intake of caffeine should help regulate your hormones more effectively, rather than a huge rush within a short period of time.
This is especially useful for those Gents with online businesses, writing careers, or other work that requires deep focus for many hours.
Happy Hormones: Can Caffeine Make You Feel Happier?
Know that euphoric feeling that gives you unexplainable joy? It can be attributed to dopamine. Dopamine is one of the ‘happy hormones’ in our blood, released excessively after exercise – that’s why you often have a mood boost directly after your workout.
But caffeine doesn’t influence dopamine levels directly. Instead, it slows its absorption in the blood, which means the hormone gets to stay in your brain for a longer time. As a result, we get to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and an improved mood!
Frankly, this is one of the main reasons caffeine is addictive. We get used to its effect on our mood and energy, and it gives us that momentary happiness we can’t get enough of. Accordingly, we always look for a way to increase our intake.
Serotonin is dopamine’s partner in crime. It gives us a good feeling that impacts our mood, appetite, sleep, sex drive, and more as men. It only differs by making us feel calmer and more focused, while dopamine makes us more productive and motivated.
Caffeine depletes serotonin levels in the blood, and habitually low serotonin levels can cause depression. Any disruption in its production also impacts our appetite and sleep patterns. Since those are daily routines, you’ll immediately notice it if your serotonin levels are affected.
Interestingly enough, in Robert Wright’s book, The Moral Animal, his studies revealed the link between serotonin and social hierarchy. In our evolutionary cousins the chimpanzees (and even Bonobos), higher serotonin levels are correlated with hikes in social status.
This isn’t an inborn, genetic quality though. His studies showed us that serotonin boosts occur when you receive reinforcement and evidence that your status is increasing amongst peers.
So as a man, when you build your physique, boost your testosterone, increase your HGH levels, confidence, acquire more resources (and continue to “win at life”) your serotonin boosts will also assist you in cementing a higher social position.
Remember, if you feel any disturbance in your sleep cycle or mood, consider the amount of caffeine you’re consuming and maybe cut it back a little.
Sex Hormones: Does Caffeine Increase Testosterone Levels In Men?
Though testosterone is found in both women and men, its main function is associated with men.
We’re looking at you, Gent.
Primarily, it’s responsible for sex drive and sperm production.
Secondly, it regulates fat distribution in the body, muscle mass production, and RBC (Red Blood Cell) production.
If you regularly consume caffeine, it’ll eventually regulate your blood testosterone levels. As a result, men who consume coffee, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages are more likely to have elevated testosterone levels.
Keep in mind, you’ll want to limit the added sugar, dairy, and other compounds associated with caffeinated drinks. These tend to contain estrogenic compounds, lowering your T, and unsustainably boosting insulin and encouraging weight/fat gain.
However, the fact that men who consume caffeine daily have fewer issues associated with testosterone levels, doesn’t mean consuming it will help if you have a T deficiency. This is a medical problem that requires a visit to the doctor.
Arguably, spending time optimizing your testosterone is one of the most worthwhile pursuits of our era, for men of excellence and ambition. It contributes to major improvements in lifestyle, health, happiness, performance, and more!
Related Questions On Caffeine & Their Effects On Hormones
Does Caffeine Affect Women’s Hormones Too?
Studies show that caffeine might have a slight impact on women’s ovulation. This is because consuming caffeine spikes estrogen levels (the main sex hormone in females), responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. So share this with your lady!
Can Caffeine Cause ‘Serotonin Syndrome’?
No, caffeine doesn’t cause serotonin syndrome on its own. Instead, it contributes to its development when consumed in large amounts (along with antidepressants and most serotonergic medications). So if you don’t consume those, you don’t have to worry about developing serotonin syndrome.
Does Caffeine Affect Hormonal Acne?
If you drink a lot of coffee daily, then yes, caffeine can have an adverse effect on your acne. This is mainly because caffeine changes hormone levels in the blood. Moreover, caffeine increases cortisol, which increases oil production in your skin’s glands.
The Wrap-Up On Caffeine & Hormonal Balance
Like the significant effects it has on your mood, caffeine can also affect your health – especially your hormones. It increases the two stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) and insulin release in the blood. Meanwhile, it regulates testosterone and depletes serotonin.
Remember Gent, keep an eye on your caffeine intake, and STAY OPTIMIZED!