Drinks That Can Actually Make Erectile Dysfunction Worse

Erectile dysfunction is the last thing anyone wants to experience when connecting with their partner on an intimate level. Having erectile dysfunction can be detrimental to a person's self-esteem because it can trigger feelings of embarrassment, unworthiness, and unattractiveness, according to NIVA Men's Health. In addition, erectile dysfunction can negatively affect relationships and contribute to mental health concerns like depression and anxiety, as pointed out by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH). Approximately 30 million men nationwide have trouble with erections, so anyone who has experienced erectile dysfunction should know they're not alone in how they are feeling.

Symptoms of erectile dysfunction include being able to have an erection at some times but not others, not being able to sustain an erection, or the complete inability to have an erection. Some factors that increase the risk of erectile dysfunction are being older, having more weight, smoking, and taking certain medications. In particular, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, or ulcer medicines may induce erectile dysfunction in some cases, as reported by the NIH. Some medical conditions can also contribute to erectile dysfunction, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis.

It's believed that certain drinks, including soda and excessive amounts of alcohol, can make erectile dysfunction worse. Let's take a deeper look at why this might occur and what drinks you can consume to reduce erectile dysfunction. 

Drinks to avoid if you have erectile dysfunction

It's well known that regularly drinking soda is unhealthy, so it wouldn't be far-fetched to wonder if it contributes to erectile dysfunction. According to a 2011 article published in the Central European Journal of Urology, the high-fructose corn syrup found in soda can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can be a significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Diabetes can also be associated with excessive consumption of sugary drinks and food, which increases the likelihood of erectile dysfunction, as explained by Hone Health. In addition, obesity can lower testosterone levels in the body, which can play a role in problems having and maintaining an erection. 

You may also want to refrain from heavy drinking if you struggle with erectile dysfunction. As described by HSE, the brain sends signals to the penis prompting it to fill with blood, and alcohol interferes with this process. Furthermore, drinking alcohol can inhibit the natural production of testosterone. Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to an inability to ejaculate, decreased sperm production, and diminished sex drive. Alcohol consumption can additionally have long-term negative effects on sexual function and fertility. Drinking too much alcohol can also trigger or exacerbate mental health concerns like depression and anxiety, which can trigger psychological erectile dysfunction, as pointed out by Hone Health. Medications commonly prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction, like Viagra, also don't fare well when combined with alcohol. 

Drinks that could improve erectile dysfunction

Now that you know to stay away from drinking excessive amounts of soda and alcohol, you'll want to know what drinks actually help with erectile dysfunction. Some research has pointed to concentrated watermelon juice potentially being a natural substitute for Viagra, as explained by Medical News Today. Watermelon is an excellent source of the amino acid citrulline, which is believed to convert into arginine before converting into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide can improve blood flow to the penis by widening blood vessels, helping with erections. Along with watermelon juice, pomegranate juice and grape juice contain antioxidants that are believed to boost nitric oxide levels, according to Hims.

Milk is another beverage that may improve erectile dysfunction by supplying the body with nutrients, as described by Allo Health. Milk provides the body with vitamin D and calcium, two nutrients that can improve blood circulation and maintain healthy blood vessels. The beverage contains vitamin B12 and protein, which are also beneficial for sexual health. In addition, the zinc found in milk can help raise testosterone levels. 

When discussing what drinks promote optimal sexual health, we can't forget about water. Drinking water can improve libido by preventing dehydration, which can be linked to decreased sex drive in some cases, as shared by Hims. According to Preferred Men's Medical Center, men should strive to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to avoid dehydration.