Caffeinated beverages are prevalent in our society with more than 85% of adults drinking caffeine on a daily basis. While caffeine’s benefits are hotly contested, coffee is often recommended as a quick solution for erectile dysfunction, while others tout the beverage as a direct cause of ED. So, what’s the truth? Below we’ll discuss whether caffeine helps stave off ED symptoms or not.
Does caffeine help with ED?
The short answer is yes, according to one study. This study found that men who drink about 2-3 cups of coffee everyday have a reduced chance of experiencing ED symptoms. Caffeine consumption studied included a variety of caffeinated beverages like soda, tea and sports drinks. Researchers surveyed 3,724 men and found that men who drank around 85-170 mg of caffeine every day were 42% less likely to have erectile dysfunction symptoms. Men who drank 171-303 mg of caffeine were 39% less likely to experience ED.
It was interesting to note that the positive effects of ED and caffeine consumption were present in men regardless of weight or hypertension levels. These results didn’t apply to diabetic men who participated in the study.
Why would caffeine affect ED?
Researchers explained that caffeine increases blood flow by triggering a series of effects that “lead to the relaxation of the penile helicine arteries, and the cavernous smooth muscle that lines cavernosal spaces” inside of the penis. Caffeine is understood to be a stimulant affecting everything from the body’s cognitive functions to its blood vessels, so the reasoning behind the study is grounded in scientific probability, however, more research is required to make any conclusive recommendations.
Is coffee a natural ED treatment?
Erectile dysfunction affects millions of men in the United States annually. It’s a common side effect for a number of additional ailments like diabetes or cardiovascular issues. These conditions reduce healthy blood flow which directly affect erections. Caffeine is known to have an effect on blood flow throughout the body, enhancing blood flow and contributing to erections by speeding along the flow of blood. When it comes to coffee in particular, additional benefits of the drink include added antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties present in coffee beans. Coffee also contains polyphenols which are considered erection-friendly because they’ve been linked to improving testosterone.
Can drinking coffee long-term cause erectile dysfunction?
Current caffeine drinkers might relish in the study’s findings but it is important to note that too much caffeine might have negative effects, including:
- Insomnia or disrupted sleep
- Muscle tremors
There’s no data to support negative effects of coffee on ED, however, the Food and Drug Administration recommends a maximum daily caffeine intake of 400 mg which roughly translates to 4-5 cups of coffee.
Caffeine beverages are not a cure. However, caffeine has been studied in many other conditions including colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases and there has been positive correlations between consumption and a decrease in these types of conditions. If you’re not a current caffeine drinker, you may not notice overnight or immediate effects. If you take heavy caffeine doses regularly, then you may actually contribute to some of the negative effects outlined above. As with most things in life, it seems moderation is key.
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