Feeling like a flop in the bedroom lately? You might want to take a good hard look at what you’re putting on your plate. The link between diet and dick health has long been established. The food you eat, how much of it you eat, and how often you eat it can make or break a satisfying sex life.
Here are five ways your diet might be sabotaging your sexual performance — and a few of the foods that can supercharge it.
1. Too Much Junk Is Bad For Your Junk
If you want your junk to function properly, cutting down on the junk is a good place to start. Heart health and penis health go hand in hand, so what’s good for your ticker is good for your dick.
A nutrient-poor diet full of inflammatory food damages heart health and clogs arteries over time, constricting blood flow. Your penis needs a steady supply of rich, oxygenated blood to gain and maintain erections and flush away toxins so everything down south stays in tip top condition. Poor circulation can eventually lead to erectile dysfunction and other chronic health problems.
Start by swapping out inflammatory foods like vegetable oils, refined carbohydrates, sweetened beverages, and processed convenience foods for heart-healthy whole foods instead. These include:
- Fatty fish like salmon or tuna
- Dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, collard greens, or swiss chard
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Nuts, like walnuts or almonds
- Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, cherries or oranges
- Dark chocolate
2. You’re Trashing Your T-levels
Low Testosterone is a real libido killer, causing both a lack of sexual desire and response — and your diet directly affects how much of this hormone your body produces.
Some foods, like soy and dairy, have been shown to reduce T-levels, while others, such as wild-caught fish, have been shown to boost them.
Testosterone is also a driving force behind your metabolism, keeping you feeling young, trim and fit at any age. Inadequate amounts of it can lead to muscle depletion, chronic fatigue, and even depression.
Looking to top up your T-levels naturally? Research shows that selenium and zinc boost testosterone levels in men who are deficient in them. Foods like Brazil nuts, grass-fed beef, cooked halibut, yellowfin tuna or tinned sardines are rich in these two key minerals. As a bonus, selenium is also a known stress-buster, and zinc elevates energy levels.
3. You’re Abusing The Booze
It’s a cruel joke that the social lubricant that gives us a boost in confidence around sex partners can make sexual performance suffer. Alcohol is a sedative that dulls sexual response, numbs nerve endings, and constricts blood flow. This makes it a lot harder to get — and stay — hard when it matters most.
The more you drink, the worse the problem gets. Regularly consuming more than 14 units of alcohol per week is considered “high-risk drinking”, which can cause permanent damage to the testes and curtail testosterone production over time. Former heavy drinkers who have sworn off the sauce can experience ongoing sexual dysfunction long after stopping.
Although no amount of alcohol is safe for stiffies, the good news is you don’t have to lose out on the booze altogether. For peak performance between the sheets, limit yourself to no more than the recommended two units per day. (That’s about two shots of spirits or a pint of regular strength beer.)
4. You’ve Got an Insatiable Sweet Tooth
Sugary drinks and tasty cakes are not only dangerously addictive, but they can deliver a serious KO to your sex life. The extreme highs and lows you get from a sugar rush can cause your libido to crash just as hard as your energy levels.
Lower testosterone is another not-so-sweet side effect of sugar splurges. A 2013 study found that men’s T-levels dipped 25 per cent after eating double the recommended daily dose of sugar, and it remained suppressed for several hours afterwards.
Skip foods and drinks with added sweeteners and stick to naturally-occurring sugars, like those found in fruit and milk. The NHS recommends that adults get no more than 30g of sugar a day — that’s roughly seven sugar cubes.
5. You’re Eating Too Much
Does it feel like the number on your bathroom scale is about the only thing that reliably goes up these days? Packing on the pounds by overeating, mindless munching, and snacking on empty calories not only makes you sluggish in the sack, but it can be a self-esteem killer too. If you’re self-conscious about your body, it’s hard to get in the mood — and even harder to get hard in the first place. Overweight and obese men tend to have lower levels of testosterone, the driving force behind male sex drive and performance.
Too much fat is unflattering to the phallus, too. When your body is larger, it has a way of making your member look a whole lot smaller. In other words, when you tip the scales in the wrong direction weight-wise, it throws off the “scale” of everything else.
Feeling good about how you look helps you radiate that irresistible quality known as Big Dick Energy. When you feel sexier, it shows.
To avoid unhealthy weight gain, fill up on low-calorie, high-fibre foods to feel fuller for longer throughout the day. Your body digests fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains far more slowly than refined carbs. Don’t forget to drink plenty of H2O too, as it’s easy to mistake dehydration for hunger and reach for the nearest snack instead.