That Nightly Beer Could Lower Sperm Quality

That Nightly Beer Could Lower Sperm Quality

Guys, it’s time to reconsider cracking open a cold one after a long day of work. It turns out that even moderate alcohol consumption could lower sperm count and quality in healthy, young men, according to a study. 

Related: What Your Semen Can Tell You About Your Overall Health

The large study, published in BMJ Open in 2015, recruited 1,221 Danish men aged 18-28 who underwent a required physical exam for military service. The men were asked about recent alcohol use, how much they drink in a typical week and how often they binge drink (that is, consume more than five drinks a day). Doctors also measured their sperm counts and levels of reproductive hormones, such as testosterone.

The verdict: The more the men drank, the worse their sperm, both in terms of quality and number. While the association was most pronounced in men consuming more than 25 units a week, an effect was also seen in men who had as little as five units a week. A unit is considered a beer, glass of wine or a shot of liquor. Interestingly, binge drinking or alcohol use in the preceding week didn’t appear to affect semen quality.

Related: Mid-Life Boozing Speeds Up Brain Aging

Sure, the usual advice from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans says moderate alcohol consumption is up to two drinks a day for men, but these findings suggest that if you want healthy swimmers, you should consume even less. Bottom line: If you’re interested in having kids, watch your alcohol intake.

Related: Male Fertility Improvement Plan to Increase Sperm Production

Medically reviewed in June 2019.

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