Sexual health, in both males and females, can be affected by what one eats and drinks. Experts have identified various types of drinks that have a negative impact on male sexual health, but these drinks tend to impact health when consumed with regularity over a period of time. Having one drink on occasion will not significantly impair sexual health.
Soda is widely thought to negatively affect men's sexual health, although experts disagree about why. According to a study conducted at Copenhagen University Hospital, men who regularly consume a litre or more of soda per day have a sperm count that is reduced by as much as 30 per cent compared to men that abstain from soda. Some experts believe it is the caffeine in soft drinks that lowers sperm counts. Others maintain that the sugar in soda reduces sperm count and leads to obesity, which impairs vitality and performance. A study published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility suggests that the bisphenol A chemical commonly found in plastic soda bottles and soda cans is responsible for lowering sperm count and sperm quality.
Coffee can affect male sexual health both negatively and positively. According to various studies, drinking a cup of coffee one to three hours before sexual activity can increase sperm activity and improve performance. However, according to a study conducted by the Medical Research Council, too much coffee can lower sperm count because it contains high levels of phytoestrogen. In particular, a type of phytoestrogen called isoflavone (which is like a female sex hormone) found in coffee is responsible for lowering sperm counts because it counteracts normal male sex hormones. Excessive caffeine consumption also leads to other health problems, such as headaches, tiredness and fatigue and possibly obesity, which can affect sexual health indirectly.
Alcohol affects male sexual health in various ways. According to a Kasturba Medical College study performed on male rats, alcohol caused sperm abnormalities and a reduction in sperm count. This study suggests that excessive consumption of alcohol (past the point of intoxication) can have similar effects in humans. Further, alcohol can cause social, mental and emotional changes that, in turn, can adversely affect sexual drive and impair performance. Interestingly, the impact of alcohol on male sexual health even extends to pregnant women who consume drinks. According to ErekAlert, Danish scientists found that the sons of women who consumed 4.5 drinks a week had lower sperm counts that the sons of women who had fewer than 4.5 drinks a week.
Despite the many benefits of tea, there is some evidence that mint tea may have a negative impact on the sexual health of men and women. According to Healthy Fellow, mint tea is responsible for hormonal shifts and a reduction in testosterone. In males, mint tea affects androgens (sex hormones). Androgens are responsible for masculine development, including hair growth patterns, vocal changes and fertility. By interfering with androgens, mint tea is thought to interfere with these features of masculine development.
- Fox News: Soda Bad For Sperm
- Columbus Dispatch: Evidence mounts that BPA bad for men's sexual health
- Jezebel: Drink While Pregnant, And Junior's Sperm Count Could Be Lowered
- Journal of Chinese Clinical Medicine: Use of Vitamin C on Effect of Ethanol
- Healthy Fellow: Mint Tea Warning
- The Telegraph: Beer, coffee and red wine may lower sperm count