Caffeine and Your Sex Life
We drink around 4.4kgs each of it a year – that’s around 3 cups a day – and at those levels your mid morning coffee break is probably good for your health.
It stimulates the nerve endings so gives a better mood, less fatigue, clearer thinking and better attention. Your metabolism speeds up, heart rate increases, bringing more oxygen to the muscles and generating more energy.
But what about your sex life? There’s a confusing range of opinion about the impact caffeine has on sexual performance, from anecdotal forum comment from men saying they notice a distinct improvement when they drink less coffee, to recent research indicating that for diabetic men in particular, a daily cup of coffee or two can improve sex by making diabetic medicines work more effectively.
The secret it seems is in the level of consumption – below five cups a day it can be beneficial. Down five or more cups a day and you’ll be in danger of putting your sex life into reverse.
Coffee for Diabetic Men’s Sex Lives
Erectile dysfunction (ED) impacts between 35 to 75% of all male diabetic patients, three times the amount reported in non-diabetic males.
While medications have been developed for ED, diabetic ED remains difficult to treat and no single treatment has proven effective for all diabetic men with ED.
But a new joint Chinese-American study showing caffeine reversed ED in diabetic rats is giving new hope for a better love life for diabetic men.
How Coffee Helped Improve Sex
Erections are created by blood flow to the penis, and are dependent on what scientists refer to as the “NOcGMP pathway” (the Nitric Oxide pathway). In diabetic men, relaxation of penile arteries – allowing blood flow – is severely constricted.
ED has most often been treated with medicines that act as inhibitors to prevent constriction, and because caffeine is a non-selective inhibitor, scientists in this study hypothesized that caffeine could help elevate cGMP and reduce constriction.
Diabetic rats given caffeine for 8 weeks enjoy partially restored erectile function, and scientists predict a combination of caffeine and medication offers future treatment hopes.
As a result of the study, the scientists gave a big tick to moderate coffee consumption – but warned that high levels (500mg – or more than five cups a day) could have negative effects such as impaired sleep and increased anxiety, both well-known factors in ED.
Herbs for Sexual Performance
Coffee is not the only natural stimulant which effects constriction and relaxation of blood supply to the penis. The so-called PDE-5 inhibitors – found in herbs like horny goat weed – operate in a similar way. Some herbal treatments for erectile dysfunction like Herbal Ignite contain horny goat weed as part of their formula.
“Effect of Caffeine on Erectile Function Via Up-Regulating Cavernous cGMP in Diabetic Rats” appeared in the April 17, 2008 edition of the Journal of Andrology, published by the Department of Urology, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University, School of Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China ,and the University of Texas Medical School’s Department of Urology and MD. Anderson Cancer Center, both in Houston. Contributors included Run Wang, MD, FACS and Yutian Dai, MD, PhD with Rong Yang, Jiuling Wang, Yun Chen, and Zeyu, Sun.