Fact or Fiction? Steroids and Protein Powders affect male fertility?
With the boom in steroid and protein power usage with the rise of the #gym-bunny in the last decade, people are starting to wonder - do these supplements and stimulants reduce male fertility?
Steroids and Protein Powders remain a highly under-researched area with many being listed under dietary rather than medical supplements in order to avoid rigorous testing and having to list all their ingredients. Moreover, the impact of high levels of protein on young men also remains poorly explored.
A 2019 study found that a group of 20 subfertile men who previously took anabolic steroids and protein powders regularly but who were asked to abstain from them for 2-16 months saw their sperm concentration increase 2.6 fold. Moreover, sperm motility and overall fertility outcomes significantly increased.
Whilst this was only a pilot study meaning more testing needs to be done to confirm this link isn’t more than just a correlation, it is widely accepted that anabolic steroids disrupt the hormones needed for sperm production with the effects of this lasting up to several years. Whilst some men choose to take protein powders instead of anabolic steroids due to the risks associated, there is again a growing link between those who take protein powders and poor sperm quality. This is perhaps due to contamination of protein powders with anabolic steroids due to lack of regulation of protein powder contents.
You should still go and pump some iron in the gym but probably best to avoid taking anabolic steroids and protein powders altogether to protect your sperm health.