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These 7 everyday foods could destroy a man's penis

Not in the mood tonight? Or the night before? If you or your man friend are having trouble getting ready to get down, you might blame it on dinner. 

Yup, your entree choice (and drink order) could be messing with your Johnson. It all ties back to testosterone. 

For men, sex drive (aka libido) depends on one's level of testosterone, a sex hormone present in both men and women. Testosterone levels naturally decrease as men age, but diet and exercise also plays a large role in how the body produces this important hormone. 


That's not all: A man's baby-making skills are also at risk if he has a penchant for certain foods.   Each bite of food can help or hinder a man's ability to produce sperm. What men eat can impact the quantity and quality of a man's swimmers. 

Read on for the worst foods for the wiener. 

1. Soda

What it does: lowers sperm count

In 2010, researchers found that men who drink a quart of cola (roughly 34 ounces, or more than two 12-ounce cans) each day have sperm counts that are 30% lower than their peers who don't drink as much soda, Reuters reported.  While the low sperm count was still considered in the normal range according to the World Health Organization, Reuters noted that men with lower sperm counts are at risk for infertility. 

While the study demonstrated correlation and not causation, it's still probably not a good idea to chug Diet Pepsi on date night. Carbonated beverages can cause excessive bloating, Huffington Post noted. Unless your partner is into farts, drop the soda, stat. 

2. Deli meats and bacon

What it does: lowers sperm count

Bad news, bacon lovers. A 2013 study revealed a correlation between processed meat intake and poor sperm quality, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Men who ate large quantities of bacon and deli meats had lower sperm counts. Meanwhile, men who ate more dark fish (salmon and tuna) had better sperm counts. 

There were just 156 men in the study. Still, researchers found an alarming trend among bacon and sausage lovers: Just one piece of bacon or one sausage link per day was associated with 30% fewer normal sperm, the site What to Expect reported. Down with sausage fests. 

3. Soy

What it does: lowers sperm count

A 2008 study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that soy intake (think: edamame, soy milk and tofu) was linked to a reduction in sperm count. With just 99 participants, the study was fairly small. 

But the findings are slightly alarming if you or your man prefer cereal with a splash of soy milk. The study found that men who had the highest soy intake and the lowest sperm count only had a mean soy intake of half a serving, nutritionist Chris Kresser noted

Still, soy is a great source of protein for vegetarians since it contains all of the essential amino acids, according to the Mayo Clinic. Tofu with caution, folks. 

4. Sugar

What it does: lowers testosterone levels

You might want to quit adding sugar to your coffee, dudes. The sweet stuff isn't doing your ding dong any favors, for multiple reasons. 

One study from 2012 found that glucose (sugar) messed with the testosterone levels in 74 men. Nutritionist Mark Hyman wrote that sugar intake is linked to leptin resistance (when your brain doesn't get hormonal signals to stop eating). According to Dr. Hyman, research reveals high leptin levels, possibly due to leptin resistance, are linked with lower testosterone levels and higher BMI. 

5. Refined carbs

What it does: makes you sleepy and constipated

Do you fall into a carb-fueled coma after scarfing down a bagel? The drowsy feeling isn't just in your head. Carb-heavy meals increase tryptophan, a hormone that makes people sleepy, the National Sleep Foundation noted. So it's not recommended to pre-game your bedroom sesh with a big ol' plate of pasta. 

Plus, processed carbohydrates like white bread and white rice are stripped of bran and germ, two nutrients that contain gut-friendly fiber. Without all-important fiber, your digestion will crank to a halt, according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. You'll feel constipated — aka the antithesis of sexy time. 

6. Alcohol

What it does: causes erectile difficulties 

When a man has consumed a few too many alcoholic beverages, things down south won't be ready to rumble. Even Shakespeare was hip to whiskey dick, Thrillist noted. "It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance," quoth the Porter in Macbeth. 

What gives? Alcohol influences the way blood moves around the penis, Dr. Ashley Winter, urology resident, told Thrillist. While it's not clear exactly how alcohol hinders a man's ability to stay hard, Winter noted that poor coordination due to inebriation could be a factor. She said erectile problems are due to quantity and not the type or quality of alcohol. (So no, your cheap coconut rum isn't to blame. It's the number of shots per hour you were throwing back.) 

7. Pot brownie

What it does: Temporarily lowers testosterone, potentially lowers sperm count, could cause erectile difficulties

Research on marijuana and sexual function for men has mixed findings, and should be taken with a grain (er, gram) of salt because many studies are conducted on animals. Emma Kaywin, a sexual health writer, told Bustle that THC, the active component in marijuana, can potentially lower testosterone, according to several studies. But science reveals that this is probably only short-lived. As in, you or your man's T-levels will be back to normal in a day. If you only indulge every so often, there don't appear to be long-term libido-related consequences. 

Baby-making might be a different story. One 2015 study done on humans found that marijuana lowers sperm count by around a third, when men smoked more than once weekly. Plus, Kaywin told Bustle that studies reveal THC may prevent little swimmers from reaching the egg. 

And weed dick is real, too. Cannabinoid receptors are present in penile tissue, Kaywin noted. That means getting high will prevent your D from getting high. She said more research is needed on this subject. But if you have trouble staying erect, it might be wise to lay off the edibles.

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