Many people around the world love coffee. It has gained its place in many cultures and has become an emblem of various countries. One of the reasons for its popularity is its caffeine content. Coffee is filled with caffeine, which helps give people that energy “boost” they’re looking for. However, caffeine can have other effects on the body than just greater alertness; caffeine increases cortisol secretion, which in turn impacts testosterone levels. This is a vital effect on male health as testosterone levels can have direct implications on other functions, like the male reproductive system. According to doctors, the Effect of Caffeine on Testosterone Levels is significant enough to try and understand it.
Based on how cortisol secretion affects testosterone, one would assume that caffeine has negative effects on testosterone levels. In fact, it is the opposite. While it is true that prolonged increases in cortisol levels can prevent the 11ßHSD-1 enzyme from shielding the testosterone from the cortisol (this would result in a decrease in levels), according to recent research this is not the case. It appears as though the high cortisol secretion from caffeine does not decrease testosterone synthesis.
Why does caffeine work the opposite to what is expected? This is because it is a non-selective PDE inhibitor (PDE-4) that stops an enzyme from breaking down an essential step for an increase in testosterone levels: production of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). As cAMP works between the hormones and cells to communicate important messages necessary for testosterone production, it’s increase in levels (and not a decrease because of enzyme breakdown) results in higher levels of testosterone.
Caffeine has been found to increase anaerobic performance for those who are exercising if it is consumed prior to the workout. In another study, they discovered caffeine to boost levels even in sleep-deprived men. Several studies were conducted on this topic, and many found similar positive conclusions. Caffeine consumption (up to 800mg) was linked with higher testosterone levels of up to 14% if taken before a workout; however, cortisol levels increased as well, with one study citing a 21.3% increase and another at 44%. Therefore, when it comes to increasing testosterone levels with relation to working out, caffeine can help. However, it must be stated that caffeine will have other effects, some negative, on the body as well.