The boxers vs. briefs debate has been going on for years. Most of it’s about style points; not many men can pull of tighty whities. Looks aside, though, you might be surprised by how much your choice in underwear affects your biology.
In The Better Baby Book, I talk about how switching to boxers causes a major increase your fertility and can help you have kids. Now, some cool new research shows that tight underwear have their own benefits, especially if you want to avoid going bald.
This article will talk about the pros and cons of boxers and briefs, and how each one affects your performance. Full disclosure: I’ll be talking a good bit about testicles, so if you’re at work, you may want to save this article for later. Let’s start by covering how boxers improve your sperm count.
Boxers increase your sperm count and boost fertility
If you’re trying to have a kid, you definitely want to start wearing boxers. Study after study has found that wearing tight underwear causes fertility problems for your testicles (medical term: “balls”).
Your balls function best at a few degrees below body temperature. When it’s warm out, they like to be away from your body, and when it’s cold, they shrink up to bring everything closer to your body heat and get warm. The male reproductive system is surprisingly good at regulating its temperature.
Tight underwear disrupt the entire temperature regulation system. They keep your balls close to your body at all times, which causes overheating. When things are too hot, your testes stop producing sperm properly. The difference is meaningful, too: men who wear tight underwear have a 25% lower sperm count, and their sperm is 33% less potent.[ref url=”https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article-abstract/33/9/1749/5066758?redirectedFrom=fulltext”]
So if you’re trying to increase your fertility, switching to boxers is one of the best things you can do. It’ll take about 10-11 weeks for your testes to make new, stronger sperm. Stay out of hot tubs and saunas while you’re trying for a kid, too. They’ll decrease your sperm quality as well.[ref url=”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17335598″] You’ll also want to buy some loose pants; hipster jeans are just as bad for your sperm count as tight undies are.
And while we’re on this topic, try getting some direct sunlight on your balls. Testicular sunlight exposure boosts testosterone 200-400%.[ref url=”https://academic.oup.com/endo/article-abstract/25/1/7/2772602?redirectedFrom=fulltext”] Just be sure to get back in the shade before they burn (here’s a full guide to boosting testosterone).
Briefs change your hormones and help prevent baldness
Researchers have known about boxers increasing fertility for a while now. However, up until now, studies have only looked at markers of sperm health. A new study took a broader scope, measuring men’s hormones as well as their sperm count. The results are pretty cool.
It turns out that men who wore briefs had about 16% higher follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).[ref url=”https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article-abstract/33/9/1749/5066758?redirectedFrom=fulltext”] FSH does a lot of different things for your reproductive system, including testosterone regulation and sperm production. And as its name implies, follicle stimulating hormone also stimulates your hair follicles. Low FSH is a hallmark of premature balding and male pattern balding.[ref url=”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14758568″]
If baldness runs in your family or you notice things are getting a little thin up top, and you’re not planning on kids any time soon, you might want to try switching to tight underwear. It could help you keep your hair. It’s also worth your time to read this guide to hair regrowth and preventing baldness. For more cool hacks, sign up for my newsletter below. In the meantime, stay Bulletproof!