Coffee is one of the most popular beverages across the globe, enjoyed equally by both youngsters as well as aged ones. Coffee as a nerve stimulant is responsible for improving energy levels is helpful in building concentration and is rich in health-boosting antioxidants. But what role does it have on a man’s sexual wellness? Can caffeine help you in the bedroom? Or does it cause erectile dysfunction? Let us find out.
What is Erectile Dysfunction or ED?
It is a recurring problem of not being able to attain and maintain a strong penile erection to have intercourse and enjoy optimum sexual pleasure. It usually arises from some physical or psychological issues.
While psychological issues include a man’s mental health that encompasses stress, depression, performance anxiety, or even trauma from an injury or incident, the physical problems are the vascular (reduced blood flow to the penis) and neurological disorders (nerve damage from stroke, MS, or even diabetes).
Other factors include:
- Age (ED in 50s)
- Alcohol consumption
- Drug use
- Obesity or lack of exercise
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of sleep
- Poor cardiovascular health (high cholesterol or high blood pressure)
What is the relationship between Coffee or Caffeine and ED?
Moderate caffeine intake appears to have a positive effect on most people and does not seem to cause erectile dysfunction. It is often said that men who drink two to three cups of coffee a day have lower odds of developing erectile dysfunction. Two to three cups a day for men, even overweight and obese men without diabetes, lower the risk of developing erectile dysfunction.
However, excess caffeine can cause side effects such as anxiety, sleep disruption, headaches, and heart palpitations, which may have a negative effect on your overall well-being and interfere with sexual function.
How does Caffeine affect your sex life?
In addition to providing a boost of energy, drinking a moderate amount of coffee each day can affect men’s reproductive health in multiple ways.
Caffeine and Erection
Men who drink two to three cups of coffee per day may have an easier time getting and maintaining an erection. A study says that men who consumed between 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine per day were 42% less likely to experience erectile dysfunction. Those who consumed between 171 to 303 mg of caffeine a day were 39% less likely to report ED compared to those who didn’t consume caffeine. This may be due to caffeine relaxing the arteries and smooth muscle in the penis, allowing more blood flow and improving erectile function.
It is considered that caffeine triggers a series of pharmacological effects causing relaxation of both the penile arteries and the cavernous smooth muscle, resulting in increased penile blood flow. Interestingly, previous smaller studies of caffeinated drinks did not find this association.
Due to its antioxidant properties that aid with circulation in the body, coffee may improve blood flow to the penis, helping men get and maintain erections.
It is important to remember that erectile dysfunction can be of a multi-factorial origin.
Studies could not tell us how to treat erectile dysfunction, but rather that caffeinated drinks, especially coffee, lower the odds of the development of erectile dysfunction.
However, more recent research found no association between caffeine intake and ED.
Caffeine and Testosterone
In addition to boosting energy levels, caffeine may also increase testosterone levels in men. Research shows that men taking caffeine regularly have higher levels of testosterone than those who do not consume it.
One study found that consuming more than four milligrams of coffee prior to exercising boosts testosterone levels in athletes, while another study showed that even having caffeine gums may increase testosterone levels by up to 14%.
Caffeine and Heart Health
Coffee may help improve heart health as well. Yes, exactly! Research suggests that coffee can actually lower the risk of heart failure. Coffee is rich in antioxidants, which can protect blood vessels and may reduce damage to the heart caused by cholesterol, and only a healthy heart can offer you a good sex life.
Caution about Side effects
Despite its innumerable benefits, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); however, recommends consuming not more than 400 milligrams (about four to five cups of coffee) per day to avoid side effects as mentioned below:
- Increased heart rate
- Upset stomach
Probable Treatment Options for ED
- Lifestyle changes (losing weight, exercising, eating healthier)
- Oral medication such as Viagra and Cialis
- Penile implants
- Testosterone therapy
- Penile Injections
- Vacuum devices
How not to let it happen at all?
The best thing anyone can do is not to let erectile dysfunction happen by following a healthy lifestyle and managing any existing health conditions. Some simple/not-so-simple but crucial steps to follow:
- See your doctor for regular checkups and medical screening tests.
- Stop smoking, limit or avoid alcohol, and don’t use illegal drugs.
- Exercise regularly.
- Take steps to reduce stress.
- Get help for anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns.
- Treat or control your existing major or chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, etc, which become a major contributor to your ED problems.