Buzz Kill: Booze and Erectile Function

By: Dr. Gary Huber

Posted 12/21/2022

Booze kills erections

Do you enjoy the occasional adult beverage? Not a problem but for some this becomes a nightly habit and sometimes several per night. “Takes the edge off. Helps me sleep”. Be careful with this trend. Regular intake of alcohol in excess can damage erectile function in several ways. First it has an effect on hormone production. Secondly it alters blood sugar regulation which reduces testosterone production. Third it will reduce the quality of your sleep and make it harder for the brain to get into deep REM sleep. Without sleep your ability to repair is compromised and stress hormones can rise. Lastly, there is that word again, “stress”. Are you drinking to ease “stress” from work, family or life? A stressed body will divert energy towards survival and away from reproductive activities like sex drive and erectile function.

Impact testosterone levels

Alcohol may get the party started by allowing you feel less inhibited, but it can reduce sensitivity of your nerve endings. In the longer term, excess alcohol can have a major impact on your testosterone levels and even lead to shrinking of your testicles. In fact 26% of men have experienced erectile dysfunction after drinking alcohol. A survey of 2,000 men revealed that beer came out on top as the worst alcoholic beverage for erectile dysfunction issues, with 48% admitting that beer caused problems when trying to maintain an erection. This was closely followed by spirits (37%) and wine (32%).

Have A Plan

Fear not. Have your fun and enjoy your beverage but simply engage some common sense. Avoid drinking EVERY night. Select two or three nights of the week and plan ahead. Can you savor one really good drink and start it with the knowledge that this is my ONLY drink tonight? Any reduction could be prudent and helpful to your body’s health. 

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