Difficulty getting or keeping an erection is one of the most common sexual problems for men. If a guy can’t have intercourse as a result, it’s called erectile dysfunction (ED).
There are many things guys can do to treat the problem. Lifestyle changes like getting more exercise or eating healthier can help some men. For others, signing up for relationship counselling or taking medication is the way to go.
Now a team of US researchers might have hit upon a new option, one that’s not only convenient and inexpensive, but also pretty flavourful to boot. Coffee has already been shown to have some health benefits, so the researchers got to wondering whether it could have an effect on ED as well. After all, many people drink coffee or some form of caffeinated beverage on a regular basis, so it could be a way to help the many men with ED, they figured.
The team turned to US data on over 3700 men aged 20 and older to see whether caffeine boosts more than just a guy’s energy levels. The men listed everything they’d eaten or drunk over the past 24 hours, including caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, pop and energy or sports drinks. They also told the researchers whether they had any erection problems that made it difficult to have intercourse.
Men who drink two to three cups of coffee a day have about a 40 per cent lower risk of ED, the researchers found. This was true even for men who were overweight, obese, or had high blood pressure, all of which are risk factors for erection problems.
Caffeine could work its wonders by relaxing the smooth muscle and arteries in the penis, say the researchers. This would lead to increased blood flow and harder erections.
Though the link between a cup of coffee and better sex was pretty clear, this study doesn’t mean guys who suffer from ED can just gulp down the drink and voila, expect to see an end to their erection woes. More studies need to be done before researchers can say whether coffee actually improves erections or if there’s another reason caffeine and low levels of ED are linked.
In the mean time, if you’re a guy who has difficulty getting or keeping a hard enough erection to have intercourse, your doctor can help you find out why and give you advice on how to treat the problem.
Source: Role of Caffeine Intake on Erectile Dysfunction in US Men: Results from NHANES 2001-2004, David S. Lopez, Run Wang, Konstantinos K. Tsilidis, Huirong Zhu, Carrie R. Daniel, Arup Sinha, Steven Canfield