Not feeling up to it in the bedroom? These drinks and snacks may be the cause.
Courtney Anaya, C.P.T., for Muscle & Fitness 1 / 10
Has your sex drive gone M.I.A? Whatever's shutting down your engine, it may very well start with what you're eating. As we age, the foods we eat can have an impact on testosterone levels—and as you probably already know, testosterone is a key fuel for your sex drive.
To ensure that you don't go soft during your next romantic rendezvous, consider cleaning up your diet by tossing these foods to the wayside.
Forget “liquid courage." Overindulging on some alcoholic beverages can throw off your talent in the bedroom, making it harder to develop an erection or even orgasm. A few brews may also cause premature ejaculation. So when you're hoping to have some fun between the sheets—hello, date no. 3—stick with two drinks max and alternate with water.
What’s not to love about cheese? The answer is simple: Since it originates from milk, there's a chance that synthetic hormones can be present, and that can, in turn, negatively influence estrogen and testosterone levels.
Fortunately, there's a workaround: Try to get cheese from organic or untreated cows, or opt for organic cheese from other ruminants like goats or sheep.
Look, we know bad breath is a major turnoff, especially when you and your partner get close. But don’t turn to mint for the quick fix. The menthol in mint has been linked to lowering testosterone levels—and if you're conscious about not getting enough testosterone, then you may want to avoid it.
The same goes, of course, for menthol in cigarettes and e-cigarettes—but then again, you already knew to avoid those, right?
The vast majority of canned foods, particularly things like canned soups, are high in sodium. High amounts of sodium, in turn, can cause high blood pressure—ultimately reducing blood flow to your sex organs.
Of course, there are other reasons to avoid excessive amounts of sodium—high blood pressure isn't exactly something to strive for—but if a better sex drive is your main motivation, then by all means, stay away from the high-sodium stuff.
Most premade deli meat—including sausage, hot dogs, and hamburgers—contain added hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics, and also include mountains of sodium. These lower-grade meats can cause a hormonal imbalance in your body and, as mentioned previously, spike your blood pressure. (They also increase your risk for bowel cancer, according to the World Health Organization.) Opt for leaner and un-processed cuts like chicken or turkey to keep the mood alive.
Certain foods—like asparagus, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts—can create a funky odor in your bodily secretions like semen, sweat, urine, and saliva. So while some smelly breath doesn't necessarily kill your sex drive, it can overwhelm the senses—and that's not exactly the way you want to go when it comes to the art of seduction.
It’s date night. You’ve decided on dinner and a movie. Sharing a tub of popcorn is a foregone conclusion, right?
Not quite—it might kill the mood later. Microwaved popcorn contains perfluorooctanoic acid, which is found in the lining of the bag. It’s been linked to decreasing sex drive and causing long-term prostate problems.
If you have a thing for licorice but you're not holding up in the bedroom, it might be time to cut back on your favorite snack. Licorice contains the (virtually unpronounceable) ingredient glycyrrhizin, which has a range of nasty effects on your system, including headaches and lower testosterone levels, according to a study of the chemical.
Just because "diet" is in front of "soda" doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Diet sodas are loaded with artificial sweeteners, like aspartame. The jury's still out on artificial sweeteners—some research indicates they're better for you than regular sugar, while other studies aren't as clear cut—but there's a chance they can affect your levels of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter believed to as a mood stabilizer.