Have you found yourself saying, “Not tonight,” more than usual? It might be something you ate.
These days more men suffer from a decreased sex drive, and some of the major culprits are as simple as what they’re putting into their mouths. Foods can negatively affect your libido, especially as you age, so it’s important to find those ingestible perpetrators and cut them down, or out, of your diet.
Don’t worry about developing “man boobs” if you have small amounts of soy in your diet, but excess amounts of the legume-derived products (soy milk, tofu and sauce) can reduce the levels of testosterone in the blood and decrease your love drive, according to a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers found that men who consumed 120 mg of soy a day had a decrease in testosterone. And if you’re working on becoming a dad, make sure you cut down or delete it entirely from your diet; a 2008 study in the journal Human Reproduction found that soy can lower a man’s sperm count.
When Sylvester Graham created Dr. Graham’s Honey Biskets in 1829, he believed the graham meal would suppress any carnal desires (i.e. masturbation). Although this was never proven scientifically at the time, Graham may have been on to something.
Any refined carbohydrates, such as those loaded into graham crackers, can still wreak havoc on a man’s intimate time. Excess refined carbohydrates (bleached white flour) can zap testosterone levels. Sugars from refined carbs will not only make a man gain weight but can raise the level of estrogen and deplete his testosterone levels.
Alcohol in moderation never hurt anyone’s lust, but overindulging can bring things down by the end of the night. “Alcohol can take a toll on your sexual prowess causing erectile difficulties, trouble achieving orgasm and premature ejaculation,” says Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure. “If you have one too many, you’re likely going to feel less inhibited.” Work on having two to three drinks max if you want to be ready to go later.
“Too much alcohol, too much rich food—too much food in general—is going to make the person sleepy and not that interested,” says David Yarian, sex therapist. “The general guidelines about being healthy are what we need to know about sexual desire.”