The Best and Worst Drinks for Your Penis
The mood is set, you’re with your partner, and you’re both feeling good—really good. Even though you feel totally ready to go, your body suddenly isn’t responding to the surrounding stimuli exactly how you’d want or expect it to. In a perfect world, your penis and brain would always operate in perfect sync, and when you found yourself feeling a little frisky, everything would function according to plan down there. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, erectile dysfunction can get in the way of your sexual plans. However, what if we told you there are drinks for your penis that can both help—and hurt—your chances of getting this timing just right?
Erectile dysfunction is a complex issue that many people will experience every now and then. Still, if you’re experiencing it more frequently, there could be a deeper underlying cause, such as high blood pressure, heart complications, depression, intense stress, low testosterone, medication, alcoholism, or diabetes. It’s important to identify this underlying issue as soon as you can. But in the meantime, experts say there are certain dietary changes you can make that will help give your penis a bit more pep to its step.
“Nutrition, including not only what we eat, but also what we drink, plays an important role when it comes to sexual health,” says Amy Pearlman, MD, co-founder of Prime Institute and a South Florida board-certified urologist specializing in male sexual and hormonal health, as well as genital reconstruction. “The penis becomes erect when arousal leads to the release of nitric oxide, which then causes blood vessels in the penis to enlarge. More blood flows into the penis, resulting in tissue expansion and erection. Inflammation, which can result from consuming certain foods and drinks, can speed up the destruction of nitric oxide and can contribute to issues getting and maintaining an erection.”
When it comes to the beverages in your daily diet, the best drinks for your penis are the ones that can help increase blood flow, prevent damage to cells that release nitric oxide, and help you maintain overall health and vitality. Conversely, the worst drinks for your penis are the ones “that decrease levels of nitric oxide (and, therefore, may worsen erectile function), which include those high in fat and sugar, as well as alcohol used in excess,” says Pearlman.
Read on to learn more about the best and worst drinks for your penis, according to doctors, dietitians, and research. Then, for more help in making your sex life as exciting as possible, check out 7 Aphrodisiac Foods To Boost Your Libido & Get You In the Mood.
6 best drinks for your penis
When it comes to drinking your way to a good time, let’s start with the basics. To improve your sexual health, as well as the health of your entire body, you’ll first want to make sure you’re drinking enough water on a daily basis.
“Water is crucial for overall health, including sexual function, and staying hydrated promotes proper blood flow, which is essential for achieving and maintaining an erection,” says Pearlman.
As Pearlman mentioned above, you maintain an erection by having the proper blood flow to your penis. Without that, you’ll be quickly disappointed. And even though watermelon is certainly not the sexiest of fruits, it happens to contain an amino acid that may help you stay hard when the mood arises.
“Juicing a watermelon results in a liquid that is packed with citrulline, an amino acid that may help improve blood flow to many areas of the body, including the penis—which may help people achieve an erection in certain cases,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and author of Fueling Male Fertility and The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook.
In fact, a small study published in Urology found that supplementing citrulline helped 12 of the 24 participants with mild erectile dysfunction improve to levels of “normal erectile function” over a 1-month period.
A cup or two of coffee may be able to wake up more than just your brain. According to Manaker, consuming caffeine “is linked to a reduced likelihood of developing erectile dysfunction, and these effects seem to apply to those who are overweight or obese and are best experienced with the equivalent of about two to three cups of coffee.
She adds that when you’re enjoying your cup of Joe, “Just make sure to watch the sugar that you are adding, as sugar isn’t the best addition to your diet when focusing on your sexual health.”
And as Pearlman noted earlier, drinks higher in fat and sugar can decrease nitric oxide levels, so try enjoying your coffee black or with just a hint of your favorite sweetener.
Foods like oysters and chocolate are commonly thought of as aphrodisiacs to put you in the mood, but no one is out here fantasizing about tomatoes, especially tomato juice. And even though tomatoes aren’t considered an aphrodisiac food, they do contain plant compounds that may help you stay hard longer.
Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene, which is the carotenoid responsible for their rich red coloring. But what many people don’t realize is that lycopene may play more of a role in your sex life than you realize. According to a study published in Andrology, those with lower levels of lycopene in their diet were actually known to have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction.
Another benefit of lycopene related to men’s health is the potential it has to help keep your prostate healthy. In fact, a meta-analysis published in Medicine found that lycopene can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
The benefits of smoothies depend on what you put in them, so to make the perfect penis-friendly drink, you can pump your smoothie full of antioxidants and vitamins.
“Drinks high in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, have been shown to improve erectile function by preventing damage to cells that produce nitric oxide,” says Pearlman. “Vitamin C can be found in fruits such as oranges and strawberries, and vitamin E can be found in plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, and fruits and vegetables like mango and avocado. So with these nutritious ingredients, you can make a refreshing smoothie.”
The intense earthy flavor of beet juice isn’t for everyone, but if you don’t mind this beverage, you can enjoy its surprising erectile benefits.
“Nitrates in beet juice can improve blood flow and boost erectile function,” says Katherine Gomez, RD, registered dietitian and medical reviewer at PsycheMag.
A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that nitrate supplementation helped increase blood flow during forearm exercises, while another study found in the Journal of the International Society of Sport’s Nutrition found similar results with nitrates and cardio exercise. In other words, whether you’re working out in the gym or the bedroom, nitrates are crucial in helping the blood flow to all parts of your body.
3 worst drinks for your penis
Now that you know caffeine can help you perform mentally and sexually, it may be tempting to go grab your favorite canned energy drink. However, Pearlman warns that “energy drinks may offer a quick pick-me-up, but their high sugar content can negatively impact sexual performance.”
And with some energy drinks having just as much sugar as a can of soda, Rockstar (63 grams of added sugar) or Monster (54 grams of sugar), you and your penis are much better off getting caffeine from a cup of black coffee.
Speaking of sugar, your daily can of Coke may be putting a damper on your sex life more than you even realize. According to Pearlman, “Excessive amounts of soda can contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED), and the high sugar content and artificial sweeteners used in soda have been linked to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues, all of which are risk factors for ED.”
More specifically, the Central European Journal of Urology states that characteristics of soda drinking, such as refined carbohydrates, high-fructose corn syrup, and high-calorie intake, are what can lead to an increase in erectile dysfunction. So, when you can, put down the can of soda. (You and your partners will be grateful in the end.)
The connection between alcohol and sex is a bit more complex. On the one hand, a drink or two can help you let loose, get in the mood, and according to the British Journal of Psychology, can even help you feel more attractive. But on the other hand, alcohol’s impact on your ability to perform is a very real concern.
“Excessive alcohol consumption can hinder erectile function,” notes Pearlman.
Worst of all, this can happen on both a short-term and longer-term basis. In the short term, boozing too hard can slow down the response between your brain and your penis, which, in turn, can lead to desensitization. Chronically imbibing excessive amounts of alcohol can have a longer-term effect on your sexual health. The journal Clinical Autonomic Research published a review that confirmed the connection between ED and regular alcohol use. As previously mentioned, alcoholism is a condition that can adversely hinder healthy penis function, acting as an underlying catalyst able to influence your ability to either get or sustain an erection.