What Do Coffee & Viagra Have In Common?

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OK, so the ‘Uhummm’ throat clearing is obviously referring to erectile dysfunction, an issue that is the bane of many young and old men around the world. A recent study in PLOS ONE found that caffeine intake may reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction in men who drink between 2-3 cups of coffee per day. It is understood that poor diet, lack of exercise, diabetes, smoking and alcohol consumption increase the risk of erectile dysfunction, but it seems that caffeine may be able to help. Caffeine is quickly becoming less taboo in health, and especially in sport, and if more evidence comes out to back this study up then we could be seeing more of caffeine further still!

How caffeine might help

Caffeine is known to have some cardiovascular health benefits such as vasodilation, which is basically the relaxation of blood vessels. Researchers think that this may translate through to the vessels in the penis, specifically the penile helicine arteries, and the cavernous smooth muscle that lines the cavernosal spaces… all factors in increasing blood flow to this area. It is these cavernous spaces that we need to fill with blood in order to achieve an erection (and yes, it is an achievement in itself… stand tall and proud), so if the blood flow is improved due to the pharmacological effects of caffeine, then that has to be a win win, right?

Not all sources of caffeine are good though…

Be conscious of where you get your caffeine from though, although cans of stimulant drinks may contain more caffeine per serving, the do come with large amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners that you can probably do without. The caffeine content of some of these large cans of stimulant drinks far far exceed the daily recommendation of approx. 400mg for men and women, and just 200mg in pregnant women. An average cup of coffee delivers around 80- 110mg caffeine per day, so if you look to get in 2-3 cups of coffee a day then you will be fine (depending on your personal receptivity to caffeine), and you may be protecting your pecker too.

Get to know your caffeine sensitivity

Consuming caffeine to help with erectile dysfunction is one thing, but listen to your body and start to understand how you react to the stimulatory properties of this drug. If you find yourself dashing off to the toilet several times a day, feel palpitations, notice nervousness or anxiety and struggle to sleep, then the amount of caffeine your consuming needs to be addressed.

The thing with caffeine is that one person reacts differently to another, some people don’t get an ergogenic response from caffeine (enhanced performance), whilst others notice a marked improvement in energy, focus and alertness. I’m a good responder to caffeine from an ergogenic point of view, but at the same time the relaxing nature of a nice, hot cup of coffee before bed actually helps me to sleep. Strange right. So get to know your caffeine tolerance, weigh up the pro’s and con’s, and if the positives outweigh the negatives…then maybe consider incorporating 2-3 cups of coffee into your daily routine, it seems your sex life might thank you for it.

Source

Science Daily, (2015). Are A Few Cups Of Coffee Just As Good As Viagra? Retrieved 26th May, 2015, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/5292ff6fca1de88028baad97b0698f0f.htm

 

Forbes, (2015). Coffee May Perk Up More Than Men's Brains: It Could Stave Off Erectile Dysfunction. Retrieved 26th May, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/05/24/coffee-may-perk-up-more-than-mens-brains-it-may-ward-off-erectile-dysfunction/

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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