The Real Reason Drinking Coffee Can Hurt Your Sex Life

There's nothing that says "good morning" like a cup of coffee. The aroma alone is enough to wake people up. But for all the pep coffee gives us in the moments we need it most, it may be doing the exact opposite when we want to spend a little quality time with someone special ... and it goes beyond just embarrassing coffee breath.

Let's be honest, coffee breath is bad enough on it's own. Healthline tells us that the delicious signature smell of coffee is produced by sulfur released during the roasting process. When mixed with the natural acid contained in coffee, it can result in bad breath as well as the uncomfortable dry mouth feeling many people experience a couple hours after they finish their coffee.

Both of these side effects are incredibly common. According to the National Coffee Association, in the year 2020, seven out of ten Americans reported drinking coffee at least once a week, and 62% of Americans reported drinking coffee every day. That's a lot of coffee breath going around! Even with these numbers, however, bad breath isn't the only reason your morning java might be messing with your love life.

Stress is not sexy

Scientists have known for a while that both food and sex stimulate the same part of our brain. The University of Oxford released a report in 2009 further detailing this connection. Additional studies have found that consuming delicious food – and having good sex – caused the same parts of the brain to light up in an fMRI scan. This means that food cravings have the ability to affect libido. So if you skipped your beloved cup of midmorning coffee, your libido might tank as a result.

However, if your daily caffeine intake is excessively high, this could also lead to potential problems in the bedroom. A study published in the scientific journal, Psychosomatic Medicine, found that caffeine increases cortisol production in the brain. Cortisol is known as "the stress hormone" because our bodies usually produce it at higher levels when we're in a state of stress or anxiety. According to the Hormone Health Network, cortisol can also suppress libido. 

This is part of the reason why activities such as leisurely walks, yoga, and deep breathing exercises are sometimes suggested for people who suffer from low libido. Experts at the Mayo Clinic also suggest that therapy might be helpful. Stress is a mood killer, plain and simple. And it's possible your coffee intake may be causing a stress reaction in your body, possibly severe enough to ruin your evening plans.