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The Link between Soda Consumption and Low T in Young Men

The Link between Soda Consumption and Low T in Young Men

By Mike Kocsis | 7 minutes read | Last updated: July 17, 2023
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

    Evidence Based Research

    In this fast-paced world, soda has become the first beverage choice, especially among young men. It raises concerns about its possible effect on their health, especially the male hormone testosterone.

    Testosterone, also known as the ‘life force’ for men, is an important player in physical, emotional and sexual well-being of men. It fuels muscle development, controls mood, and maintains bone density. But could an innocent can of soda that you grab every day be jeopardising this vital hormone?

    In this article, we will talk about the connection between soda consumption and testosterone production. We will also discuss ways to increase testosterone, including testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

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    The sugary seduction

    Soda, with its irresistible sweetness and bubbles, has won the hearts of millions worldwide. Its widespread availability and catchy advertisements have made it a popular choice among young men. However, what lies beneath this delightful façade is a bitter truth about the impact of soda on men’s hormone production.

    Most sugary beverages have high concentrations of fructose corn syrup and many other questionable ingredients that seem addictive and keep us coming back for more.

    Excessive soda consumption produces adverse effects on delicate hormone balance in men and overall health. Studies show that consuming sugar regularly increases the risk of the following health issues:

    • Low testosterone
    • Weight gain or obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Inflammation
    • Cardiovascular diseases
    • Metabolic diseases
    • Premature skin ageing

     

    Soda may not directly impact testosterone levels, but it does influence its production by causing health problems that lead to low T.

    Soda consumption is one of the key contributors to weight gain and obesity. Soft drinks have high sugar and calorie levels. When you consume more calories than you use, your body starts storing them in the form of fats, leading to weight gain or obesity.

    Obesity is a known factor for low T. It disrupts the normal functioning of the testes (that synthesise testosterone) and increases the activity of enzymes that convert testosterone into oestrogen.

    Furthermore, high sugar consumption can also make a person insulin-resistant, increasing his risk of type 2 diabetes which may disturb hormone regulation. Studies show that men with type 2 diabetes are twice more likely to become testosterone deficient than men who don’t have this issue.

     

    The nutritional void

    Soft drinks have a poor nutritional profile. They only offer you empty calories devoid of any meaningful nutrients. They lack antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. So when you choose them over healthier alternatives like milk and natural fruit juices, you actually deprive your body of essential nutrients.

    Your body needs several micro and macronutrients to create testosterone. Consistent soda consumption may make you nutrient deficient, hindering healthy testosterone production.

     

    The chemical culprits

    There is rising concern about the presence of harmful chemicals in plastic bottles used for soda packaging, including phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), that disrupt endocrine function. Phthalates make bottles flexible, while BPA makes them hard.

    Their rising levels in the body can interfere with hormone signalling pathways and may produce adverse reproductive effects. They may also mimic natural hormones and interact with their receptors present on tissues, potentially disturbing the delicate hormone balance.

    Although companies make efforts to reduce their levels in packaging, it is impossible to fully eliminate exposure to these chemicals because they are used in several consumer products.

    Know that soda consumption effects are not limited to young men alone. Men of all ages can experience them. However, the choices made during early adulthood can set the stage for long-term health.

    The current research on the impact of soda consumption on low T is limited; hence, more research needs to be done to draw a final conclusion. Many factors, including age, demography, lifestyle, and genetics, influence low T production, making it difficult to find the direct link between low T and soda consumption.

     

    What else can cause low T?

    Aside from soda consumption, many other factors can affect testosterone production. Low T is often caused by a combination of factors rather than a single cause.

    Enlisted below are the most common causes of low T.

    Sedentary lifestyle: Studies show exercise, particularly endurance resistance exercise, supports testosterone balance in the body. In contrast, a lack of physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle lead to low T.

    Certain medical conditions: Inflammation, type 2 diabetes, HIV, chronic liver disease, Klinefelter syndrome, and pituitary gland disorders are some medical complications that contribute to low T.

    Weight gain: Increased weight is responsible for low T in men. Fat cells have high aromatase enzyme levels that convert testosterone into oestrogen. Weight can also disrupt the HPG axis responsible for testosterone formation.

    Age: Testosterone levels decline naturally in men as they get older, which can lead to symptoms of low T.

    Sleep deprivation: A majority of testosterone is produced during sleep. Any disturbance to the quantity or quality of your sleep can lower your testosterone levels.

    Psychological factors: Depression, anxiety, and stress disrupt hormone balance by increasing the stress hormone cortisol level in the body.

    Testicular injury: Since testicles are involved in testosterone production, their injury can affect testosterone levels.

     

    Possible signs and symptoms of low T

    Low T can manifest in different symptoms that vary from person to person. Following are the most common low T signs.

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    Lifestyle changes to support testosterone levels

    Certain lifestyle changes can help maintain hormone balance. They may not significantly increase testosterone in men with clinically low levels but can optimise hormone balance.

    The following lifestyle changes can help support testosterone production.

    • First and foremost, reduce the consumption of sweetened beverages as they lack essential nutrients and only provide empty calories. Replace them with healthy alternatives such as fresh fruit juices.
    • Improve your diet. Consume vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. Your body needs a variety of nutrients to produce testosterone. Make sure you provide it with all of them.
    • Stress can negatively influence your testosterone levels. Do simple stress management exercises like deep breathing to manage it.
    • Get adequate sleep. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Avoid habits that can disturb a healthy sleep routine.

     

    Unleash your potential with TRT

    The above-mentioned methods may not be effective for men with very low testosterone levels. So, they need proper medical treatment like testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). It is an effective procedure that can unleash the power of healthy testosterone levels in low T men.

    When performed under the supervision of a professional, TRT can be a game-changer for men suffering from undesirable symptoms. It can bring their testosterone levels within the healthy range.

    Enlisted below are the potential benefits of TRT.

    • Improved libido and sexual function
    • Healthier bones and muscles
    • Reduced irritability and enhanced mood
    • Better cognitive function
    • Increased energy levels and productivity

    However, it is important to note that TRT is not a magic wand that can transform your health fully. You need to adopt healthy lifestyle habits as well to improve your overall health and enjoy TRT benefits. Open communication with a healthcare provider and close monitoring is also essential to ensure you get the best possible results with minimal side effects.

    TRT is an FDA-approved procedure prescribed only to individuals with clinically low testosterone levels. Despite all the TRT benefits, it may not be suitable for all. You should discuss your symptoms and medical history openly with your healthcare provider to help them determine whether you are the right TRT candidate.

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    Summing it up

    Soda consumption may not be directly linked to low T, but it contributes to factors like weight gain and nutritional deficiencies that, in turn, can disturb testosterone production and regulation.

    You should make informed choices about your beverage consumption and adopt a healthy lifestyle to regulate your testosterone levels.

    Men with low T should consider TRT if no other method is helping them increase their testosterone levels. It is a medically-proven treatment that has, so far, helped millions of men get rid of low T symptoms and feel better again.

    TRT is a lifelong procedure. It is crucial to work with a qualified professional to ensure your testosterone levels stay within the healthy range and you don’t develop serious side effects during the treatment.

     

    References/Further reading/Scientific studies/Bibliography

    Chen, L., Xie, Y.M., Pei, J.H., Kuang, J., Chen, H.M., Chen, Z., Li, Z.W., Fu, X.Y., Wang, L., Lai, S.Q. and Zhang, S.T., 2018. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake and serum testosterone levels in adult males 20–39 years old in the United States. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology16(1), pp.1-7.

    Nassan, F.L., Priskorn, L., Salas-Huetos, A., Halldorsson, T.I., Jensen, T.K., Jørgensen, N. and Chavarro, J.E., 2021. Association between intake of soft drinks and testicular function in young men. Human Reproduction36(12), pp.3036-3048.

    Adamowicz, J. and Drewa, T., 2011. Is there a link between soft drinks and erectile dysfunction?. Central European Journal of Urology64(3), p.140.

    Caronia, L.M., Dwyer, A.A., Hayden, D., Amati, F., Pitteloud, N. and Hayes, F.J., 2013. Abrupt decrease in serum testosterone levels after an oral glucose load in men: implications for screening for hypogonadism. Clinical endocrinology78(2), pp.291-296.

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    Evidence Based Research

    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

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    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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