How Coffee May Improve Sexual Function in Older Adults
According to the National Coffee Association, 62 percent of American adults report drinking coffee every day. It’s a great start to the daily routine for many. Few people are aware, however, that caffeine is also a potent hormone regulator: Studies show it can increase testosterone in men while lowering testosterone and boosting estrogen in women.
These changes can be beneficial to sexual function, especially considering these sex hormones decline as we grow older. Stable testosterone and estrogen levels are linked to an increase in sexual health and activity for both sexes.
Coffee & hormones
A study published by Harvard Medical School found an association between coffee drinking and changes in sex hormones for both men and women. Researchers found over a four-week period that decaffeinated coffee and caffeinated coffee both reduced total testosterone in women, while men experienced a rise in testosterone when drinking caffeinated coffee. The study did not find any negative correlations between coffee consumption and unsafe hormone levels.
Coffee may potentially help women protect their sexual health as they age by keeping estrogen levels stable. When estrogen is at its optimum levels, fertility, regular periods and lubrication during sex occur without issue. Once a woman reaches menopause, these levels decline. Consuming coffee may help ease this drop and the side effects that come with it.
Benefits of hormone regulation
Libido naturally declines with age, as other sexual difficulties rise. More than 40 percent of women over the age of 60 report feeling discouraged about having sex, and almost 50 percent of men feel a reduction in self-confidence due to anxiety about sexual performance as they age. Menopause and low testosterone play a role in this pronounced lack of desire, but chronic pain and self-image can contribute, too. Lowered desire to have sex can often cause issues in relationships.
For men, testosterone levels begin to fall after age 30 and steadily decline thereafter. Coffee might help increase those levels. By keeping testosterone at a healthy level, men can avoid or reduce the symptoms of conditions like erectile dysfunction (ED) as well as stave off depression and low sex drive. Caffeinated coffee has a stronger effect on men than on women, as men start feeling increased alertness and positive shifts in mood about 10 minutes after consumption. Other research suggests two to three cups of Joe per day might be enough to reduce the likelihood of adult men developing ED.
According to clinical research, drinking coffee regularly could help adults maintain sexual function as they age by keeping hormones at healthy levels. However, individuals with heart conditions or who are on specific medications should consult with their doctor before they consume coffee or caffeinated beverages.
Though more research is needed to strengthen the association between coffee and sex hormones, contemporary evidence suggests regular consumption can help cultivate healthy hormone balances for older adults.