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Does Coffee Lower Testosterone? Check Out Now!

Do you enjoy working out and going to the gym?

But are you also a coffee lover? Are you thinking, “Does coffee lower testosterone?” and looking for an answer?

Coffee is commonly associated with energy and alertness.

Do you believe caffeine will give you more energy in the gym? 

You cannot improve your strength, speed, muscle mass, weight, dynamism, and muscular endurance in the same training block.

So, How do they do it?

Well, there are some different approaches.

One of these techniques is to take the correct supplements.

For instance, testosterone supplements can promote lean muscle mass by increasing protein synthesis.

Also, they boost your energy levels, which leads to improved gym performance.

But what is testosterone, and how is it produced?

Are there any inhibitors or inducers?

Is coffee good or bad for athletes?

Plus, many other questions.

So, take a deep breath.

Make yourself a cup of tea or perhaps milk, which is, of course, a great source of protein.

All you have to do now is relax and try to read slowly.

Hopefully, you will find it enjoyable.

Let’s start now with basic definitions and general knowledge.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a sex hormone that is essential to the human body. [1]

It is believed that it controls sexual drive or libido.

This includes bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm in men. [2]

Men and women both produce testosterone, with the typical adult man producing about 5-10 milligrams per day and the average adult female paying at least 10-fold less per day.

Regardless of how it is produced in both genders, the compound from which all such androgens are derived is every nutritionist’s worst nightmare: cholesterol.

Men often produce fewer amounts of testosterone as they age.

Therefore, supplementing with testosterone has also been shown to improve the lives of men with low testosterone.

What is coffee made of?

Coffee is one of the three most popular beverages in the world, alongside water and tea. [3]

A coffee bean is a seed from a specific type of berries.

The beans are roasted and then ground into fine particles, typically steeped in hot water before being filtered out, producing a cup of coffee.

Whatever the actual origin of coffee, its stimulating effect undoubtedly made it famous.

In addition, Caffeine is an alkaloid substance occurring naturally in some plants, such as cocoa beans, tea leaves, and coffee beans are the most well-known.

Roasting does not alter the amount of caffeine in the bean but does give less caffeine when the beans are measured by volume because the beans expand during roasting.

This product dramatically impacts your body and hormones, leading us to today’s point.

Does coffee or caffeine affect testosterone or not?

And if it is yes, so how?


What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that increases the activity of your brain and nervous system. [4]

As mentioned, It is found in coffee, tea, and cocoa.

Synthetic caffeine is added to some medicines, foods, and drinks.

So that it is also found in chocolate, many soft drinks, gums, pain relievers, and over 60 other sources.

This product quickly but temporarily boosts your alertness and energy levels.

One regular cup of brewed coffee contains about 95-200 mg of caffeine.

Generally, these are the amounts of caffeine expected per 8-ounce (240-mL) serving of some other popular beverages:

  • A 12-ounce (340 gm) can of cola: 35-45 mg
  • An 8-ounce (226 gm) energy drink: 70-100 mg
  • An 8-ounce cup of tea: 14-60 mg

Stay with me through these scientific pieces of information.

We will soon explain the relationship between caffeine and testosterone for a bodybuilder or athlete. 


What is the mechanism of action of caffeine?

Once consumed, caffeine is rapidly absorbed via your gut into the bloodstream.

It then passes to the liver, where it decomposes into more minor compounds capable of influencing the function of various organs.

However, caffeine’s primary effect is on the brain.

It works by blocking the effects of adenosine, also created in the brain. [5]

Adenosine binds to adenosine receptors in the brain, which causes drowsiness by slowing down nerve cell activity.

To a nerve cell, caffeine looks like adenosine.

Therefore, caffeine binds to the adenosine receptor. 

However, caffeine doesn’t relax the brain and makes you tired like adenosine.

As a result, the cell no longer recognizes adenosine because caffeine occupies all of the receptors that adenosine would normally bind to.

Caffeine causes blood vessels in the brain to constrict, which contributes to increased neuron firing.

Thus, the pituitary gland detects this activity and assumes that an emergency is occurring.

As a result, it secretes hormones that instruct the adrenal glands to increase blood adrenaline levels and increase brain activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.

Adrenaline is well known as the “fight or flight” hormone.

Still, there is also the effect on other hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen.

What does caffeine do to your body?

The body absorbs caffeine well and tends to exert its effects quickly.

For example, the amount found in one cup of coffee can enter the bloodstream in less than 30 minutes and reach maximum efficiency in about an hour.

Some of the signs and symptoms of having too much include:

  • Dehydration
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Fast heartbeat (palpitations)
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevate the body temperature
  • Frequent urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Dependency, so you need to take more of it to get the same results
  • In the beginning, feeling energetic, but then I a more incredible feeling of tiredness.

What about the effect of drinking coffee or any other caffeine beverage on hormones?

Does caffeine affect hormones?

The answer is yes.

Many people consume caffeine to fuel their daily lives.

Unfortunately, they usually drink caffeine during stressful periods thinking it would help.

On the contrary, coffee intensifies stress levels, as studies show caffeine increases hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. [6]

Maybe you are wondering now, “What about other hormones?

This article will briefly explain the relationship between each essential hormone and drinking coffee.

  • Link Between Testosterone and Coffee

Small randomized controlled trials have suggested that caffeinated coffee is good for testosterone.

Caffeine has been shown to increase testosterone in men and lower estrogen.

However, it seems to decrease testosterone in women.

Women with low testosterone levels may experience muscle weakness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, reduced sexual drive, weight gain, fertility issues, irregular menstrual cycles, vaginal dryness, and bone density loss. 

This does not clearly show what’s happening because limited research exists. 

But still, other research on the health benefits of coffee. 

Many people take a pre-workout supplement or drink coffee before the gym.  

What kind of effect does this have on your body?

Researchers said that caffeine might act as an aromatase inhibitor that can activate testosterone production.

It has been shown that coffee improves athletic performance and aids in maintaining muscle strength in middle-aged men.

For instance, if you can increase the overall output of exercise you do, maybe you could do more sets and reps; this causes your body to produce more testosterone. [7]  

That increased workload, along with the caffeine, causes the tissues and hormone centers in your brain to increase testosterone production.  

However, the catabolic effects of caffeine and cortisol may counteract the increased testosterone effect.

Caffeine consumption may not always be aligned with your exercise goals.  

High caffeine levels may work against you if you aim to increase muscle because of the cortisol.  

If you’re trying to trim down and put on muscle, caffeine may help you with both.  

Higher cortisol has a catabolic effect, but increased testosterone from increased workloads has an anabolic effect.

While the findings are significant, coffee is not the final word in treating testosterone deficiency.

Any man experiencing symptoms of low testosterone levels should consult their doctor.

How Much Coffee is Good for Testosterone?

According to a study published in Human Kinetics, caffeine doses of 400 mg or less could enhance the beneficial effects of exercise by increasing bioavailable testosterone levels.

This amount is equal to four cups of coffee.

You must drink it in moderate amounts to get the desired results. 

Otherwise, you may experience unwanted side effects.

That should help you understand the effects of coffee and caffeine on testosterone.

Well, coffee has affected men’s and women’s bodies.

Now, let’s talk a little about women and the caffeine’s effect on their hormones too.


Previously, we have mentioned that caffeine has been shown to decrease testosterone.

On the other hand, it seems to have a different effect on estrogen in different racial groups.

One study showed that higher caffeine consumption was associated with higher estrogen levels in Asian women. [9]

However, the exact reverse effect was found for white women—higher caffeine intake was associated with lower estrogen levels. 

There was a slight rise in estrogen levels in black women, but it wasn’t statistically significant.

In other words, the differences in estrogen levels could be insignificant and random. 

Furthermore, estrogen is unique to each woman and varies throughout her monthly cycle.

There is also the issue of how fluctuating hormonal balances affect women’s mental health.

For example, caffeine is detoxified, which uses the same pathway that metabolizes the hormone estrogen through the liver. 

So women with hormonal imbalances such as PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, or a history of all these tend to be more sensitive to caffeine and tend to be slow metabolizers. [10]

Some studies suggest that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of breast cancer. [11]

Other studies, on the other hand, have found no difference. 

Since there are conflicting reports on how caffeine affects estrogen levels in women of different races, medical providers cannot predict the risk accurately. 

This could be because caffeine does not affect the risk of developing breast cancer.

Despite the evidence that caffeine affects hormonal balance in women, which may have an effect on mental health and lead to severe medical conditions such as endometriosis and osteoporosis.

Therefore, direct causation has yet to be proven. 


When there is an imbalance of these two hormones, it can have negative health effects for women.

Caffeine does not directly affect progesterone, but it has a significant impact on the estrogen-progesterone relationship. 

More investigation here is required.

What about the other hormones that circulate in our bodies, whether we are men or women?


They are also referred to as the stress hormone.

Specifically, cortisol is a steroidal hormone in the adrenal glands’ cortex. [8] This hormone raises blood sugar levels and improves the brain’s use of sugars.

Your body needs cortisol to perform several daily functions.

Excessively high or low cortisol levels, on the other hand, can be harmful.

Caffeine appears to elevate cortisol levels, particularly when combined with other stressors. [6]

Therefore, cortisol levels are more likely to rise when a person who does not normally consume caffeine consumes large amounts of coffee.

Yet if they drink coffee regularly and have a high tolerance for caffeine, their cortisol levels are unlikely to rise.

  • Adrenaline

Another name for this hormone is Epinephrine.

It is also a stress hormone produced in the adrenal glands’ medulla.

Though some small amounts of adrenaline are also produced in the neurons of the central nervous system,

Like cortisol, adrenaline is also involved with the body’s fight-or-flight response. [8]  However, it’s more of a short-term hormone, whereas cortisol works long-term.

Caffeine can cause temporary spikes in adrenaline and have energizing effects. [6]  However, it may fall later in the day, leaving you tired.

According to research, too much caffeine can harm your adrenal glands and cause adrenal fatigue.

Besides, high adrenaline levels can also affect your metabolism and immune system.


Caffeine also seems to affect insulin, which makes sense since insulin and cortisol have shown effects on glucose.

Several studies have found that caffeine consumption reduces insulin sensitivity and causes an increase in insulin production.

One small study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. [12]

This study aimed to learn more about the relationship between caffeine and insulin.

Because it was a small study, the conclusions should be cautiously interpreted.   

The participants took 200 milligrams of caffeine twice a day for seven days, which is a reasonably large amount.

They examined the effects on glucose metabolism, serum cortisol, DHEAs, insulin, androstenedione, and bedtime salivary melatonin.

They found that serum insulin levels were significantly higher in those consuming caffeine than other parameters.

Glucose, androstenedione, DHEA, and melatonin were not changed.   

This may be a little tricky about the glucose not changing, but bear with me as I clarify the matter.

Glucose will not rise or fall as long as the body has enough insulin to keep it under control.

Insulin works by transporting glucose into cells and tissues.

Cortisol removes glucose from the tissues and transports it to the bloodstream.

So, if coffee raises cortisol, we can expect the body to require more insulin too.

This is what the scientists discovered.

Over time, the increased amount of insulin may lead to decreased insulin sensitivity and higher glucose levels, known as insulin resistance.


Dopamine, also known as the “happy hormone,” is responsible for feelings of euphoria.

It has a direct effect on neurological, cognitive, and behavioral functions.

Dopamine is always present in the brain, but higher levels improve your mood.

Moreover, after working out, the body releases these feel-good hormones.

This is why many exercisers experience a specific high after a gym session.

High dopamine levels can increase your concentration, your energy, your sexual drive, and your ability to focus. 

It can also lead to competitive, aggressive behavior and cause symptoms including anxiety, trouble sleeping, and stress. 

Then, does coffee drinking increase dopamine levels?

Caffeine doesn’t directly increase dopamine, but it slows the rate at which it leaves the brain, keeping you happy for a longer time. [13]

Heroin and cocaine manipulate dopamine levels by slowing down the rate of dopamine reabsorption. 

Caffeine increases dopamine levels in the same way.

Its effect is much weaker than heroin’s, but the mechanism is the same.

This is one of the reasons coffee can be addictive—you get used to this feeling and enjoy it, leaving you longing for more.


Serotonin is another “feel-good” hormone that is produced in our gut.

Serotonin levels affect a range of body functions like orgasm, sleep, memory, bladder and bowel functions, and mood.

When we have coffee on an empty stomach, it then decreases our ability to produce this hormone.

Furthermore, prolonged caffeine use can cause your serotonin levels to deplete.

The levels can manifest in changes in mental and physical health.

Mental health symptoms include mood instability, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, memory issues, sleep changes, sexual function, attention, and hyperactivity.

Physical health symptoms can include movement issues, premature ejaculation or orgasms, digestive difficulties, or incontinence.

Unfortunately, as this hormone affects several bodily functions, it is difficult to attribute changes exclusively to changes in serotonin levels with coffee.

Unfortunately, as this hormone affects several functions in our body, it is difficult to attribute changes exclusively to changes in serotonin levels with coffee.

Then, what about caffeinated drinks other than coffee?

Is there any way to boost your testosterone levels naturally?

Other methods for increasing testosterone:

We have already mentioned caffeine’s other sources, such as chocolate, gum, and soft drinks.

As previously stated, one cup of ground coffee has approximately 95–200 mg of caffeine.

On the other hand, these are the amounts of caffeine expected per 8-ounce or 240-mL serving of some other popular beverages:

  • A 12-ounce (340 gm) can of cola: 35-45 mg
  • An 8-ounce (226 gm) energy drink: 70-100 mg
  • An 8-ounce cup of tea: 14-60 mg

The most purchased beverages around the world after coffee are energy drinks.

This is logical, especially since we have just said they contain  70 to 100 mg of caffeine in one can.

But do they have the same effect on testosterone levels as coffee?

Due to their caffeine content, energy drinks, and other booster products can directly impact testosterone levels.

It is important to note that energy drinks may also contain other ingredients that may negatively affect your body.

Some energy drinks, for example, contain much sugar, which can affect your insulin levels.

However, some different herbs and foods may boost your testosterone levels naturally.

We recommend eating oysters and shellfish because they contain a greater amount of zinc per serving, which is important for sperm health and reproductive function.

In addition to other fatty fish, which may be particularly beneficial due to their high omega-3 fatty acid content.

Several studies have found that fish oil can improve the quality of sperm and serum testosterone levels by improving their fatty acid profiles. [16] [17]

Eventually, there is also the impact of ginger and onions.

In a 2012 study with a rat model, researchers discovered that drinking fresh onion juice daily for a period of 4 weeks significantly raised serum total testosterone levels.

In another study, 75 adult male participants with fertility issues were given a daily ginger supplement for 3 months, and their testosterone levels increased by 17.7 percent.

Yet you like coffee.

As an alternative, especially if you enjoy the flavor of coffee but want to avoid its adverse effect, you may substitute decaffeinated coffee.

This will lead us to the next two questions.

What is the difference between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee?

Can they both have the same effect on our bodies?

What is the difference between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee? 

Can they both have the same effect on our bodies?

How is coffee decaffeinated?

Decaf is short for decaffeinated coffee.

Decaf coffee is not entirely caffeine-free.

It is just like regular coffee, except the caffeine has been removed.

Decaffeination removes about 97% or more of the caffeine in coffee beans. [14] 

There are many ways to remove caffeine from coffee beans.

Most of them include water, organic solvents, or carbon dioxide.

After washing the coffee beans, the solvent is removed until the caffeine has been extracted.

Caffeine can also be removed through the Swiss Water Process using carbon dioxide or a charcoal filter.

The beans are decaffeinated before they’re roasted and ground.

The nutritional value of decaf coffee should be almost identical to that of regular coffee, apart from the caffeine content. [15]

This means that a typical cup of decaf coffee contains approximately 2 mg of caffeine, whereas a standard cup of regular coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine.

However, depending on the method, the taste and smell may become milder, and the color may change.

This can make decaf coffee more pleasing to those sensitive to regular coffee’s bitter taste and smell.

Is decaf coffee excellent or bad for you?

Like all coffee, decaffeinated coffee is safe to consume and can be part of a healthy diet.

However, determining the specific health benefits of decaf coffee can be difficult.

Most studies assess coffee consumption without distinguishing between regular and decaf coffee; some even exclude decaf coffee.

Also, most of these studies are observational. 

They cannot prove that coffee caused the benefits, only that drinking coffee is associated with them.

Does it affect hormones differently?

SHBG stands for sex hormone-binding globulin. 

It’s a protein made chiefly in your liver.

It binds to sex hormones, or androgens, in your blood.

SHBG helps control the amount of sex hormones actively working in your body.

When the SHBG protein binds to hormones, your tissues can’t use them.

Another essential factor to consider when studying androgens and testosterone is the effect of caffeine on sex hormone-binding globulin.

SHBG is the substance that binds to and transports hormones throughout the body.

When there is more SHBG, there is less bioavailable testosterone and estrogen.  

Many studies have been conducted to investigate the effect of caffeine on SHBG.

One study found no difference in SHBG levels between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.

Several other studies, however, have found higher circulating SHBG levels in men who drink caffeinated coffee.

Well, it looks like caffeine does increase SHBG.

Finally, decaffeinated coffee decreased total and free testosterone, while caffeinated coffee decreased total testosterone in women.

The recommendation is that caffeine consumption in moderation is not considered harmful.

The bottom line

Caffeine may assist you in the gym by increasing your workload and allowing you to exercise more.

It’s challenging to advise on whether to drink or not.

This can boost your overall testosterone production.

Caffeine, on the other hand, increases cortisol and has a strong indication that it improves insulin.

It may eventually lead to insulin resistance.

Furthermore, if there is an increase in SHBG, testosterone will be ineffective.

It will not have an anabolic or androgenic effect on your tissues because it is not bioavailable.

Looking at individual hormones may give the impression of a single effect.

However, it is more likely that the effects of another offset the impact of one hormone.

If it increases your insulin output, it appears to hurt your overall metabolism.

Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise routine, and sleep schedule while drinking coffee in moderation (one to two cups daily) is probably best.

Watching what you put in your coffee is also a good idea. Cream and sugar contain a lot of calories, which can be harmful to your body.

Consult your provider if you have a medical condition or are experiencing unexplained symptoms after drinking coffee.

Finally, all of the studies conducted are small and insufficient.

As a result, more robust trials and research are required to demonstrate causality when trials are not statistically significant.

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