Risk factors for low sperm quality in healthy men involve: male reproductive age, environmental exposures to endocrine disruptors (e.g., pesticides and heavy metals), and lifestyle factors (e.g., tobacco/alcohol and exercise). Obesity—with associated pathologies such as diabetes—is also a strong risk factor.
The 3 most important dietary exclusions that I stress when treating infertility in both male and females is NO ALCOHOL, SUGAR AND CAFFEINE. I will do a full blog post to elaborate on each but here is a summary below:
Alcohol affects sperm count, size, shape, and motility. It lowers testosterone levels, follicle stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone, and raises oestrogen levels, which reduces sperm production. Numerous studies have indicated that alcohol consumption in men can cause impaired testosterone production and shrinkage of the testes. The reduction in testosterone levels occur after both one-time (i.e., acute) and long-term (i.e., chronic) alcohol exposure. So yes, even one drink can affect testosterone levels.
Sugar and caffeine intake is associated with sperm DNA defects. Studies have also shown a negative effect of sugar-containing beverages and caffeine-containing drinks on semen volume, count and concentration. High consumption of sugary drinks is also associated with low sperm motility. Sperm motility refers to the movement and swimming of sperm. Poor sperm motility means that the sperm do not swim properly.
If you are trying to conceive or not, remember these 3 are hormone disruptors so removing them from your diet will impact greatly on how long it takes for healing to take place.