It is not only women that experience some down time in the bedroom. Men, too, find it difficult to get it up sometimes. This is not to say that they are impotent or suffering from erectile dysfunction, though.
Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Tayo Akinsanya, says if you have found yourself saying, ‘Not tonight’ more than usual, it might have to do with something you ate.
According to him, these days, more men suffer from a decreased sex drive, and some of the major culprits are as simple as what they eat.
Akinsanya says, “Foods can negatively affect your libido, especially as you age; so, it’s important to identify the wrong foods and cut them down, or cut them out totally.
“Some foods deplete testosterone levels – the hormone that boosts sexual desire. And anything that depletes these hormones in men can eventually zap their desire for sex.”
He notes that men who can’t seem to get sexually stimulated at night should check what they had for supper.
Akinsanya explains further that the food we eat can affect our sex drive in both a positive and negative way.
The nutritionist says that eating too much carbohydrate, especially solid foods, after 8pm can ruin a man’s ability to have an erection that day.
Akinsanya says, “The dinner many men eat in a typical African setting is just wrong for any form of physical activity. How can you successfully have sex on a full stomach?
“As your body tries to digest the Eba or Amala that you had for dinner, it will definitely find it difficult to send pleasure signals or hormones that will help you get an erection.”
It is not just solid foods, however, that affect a man’s ability to get it up. Rather, here are everyday foods that can wreak havoc on your mojo:
1. Beans: This depends on how you digest beans. For some, they will feel full of energy after a bean meal; for others, they may feel sluggish or, at worst, bloated and even an increase in flatulence. So, its best avoided for dinner if you plan to have sex that day.
It also gives many people heartburn. It is best to steer clear of beans and some other peas for dinner, just in case you are planning to pleasure your spouse that night.
2. Milk in tea: Dairy, generally, is a libido killer. For many, dairy is congesting and mucus-producing, so not the ideal way to feel before sex!
3. Sugary snacks: Any refined carbohydrates, such as those loaded with refined sugars, can still wreak havoc on a man’s intimate time. Excess refined carbohydrates (bleached white flour) can zap testosterone levels. Sugars from refined carbohydrates will not only make a man gain weight but can raise the level of oestrogen and deplete his testosterone levels.
4. Red meat: Foods that contain added hormones or antibiotics, such as some red meats, are a huge sex offender by unbalancing a man’s natural hormones when consumed in excess. The high saturated fat content in meat clogs up the vaginal and penile arteries, making this the least romantic hand-held treat around. All processed foods are a ‘no no’ for libido. They make you feel sluggish and low in energy — not good for feeling sexy.
For some, certain foods can even affect secretions like semen, sweat, urine and breath, according to experts. Some smelly culprits are asparagus, garlic, certain spice and dairy products, which can all lead to some not-so-pleasant scents and tastes.
“Sweet citrus fruits like pineapple and flavours like vanilla tend to make men and women tastier, although you may have to ingest a significant amount to notice,” experts say.
5. Overeating: Consumption of any food in excess leads to weight gain, which is the number one sex drive killer for any man, according to Corey B. Schuler, functional medicine nutritionist at the Metabolic Treatment Centre.
“The worst food that a man can have for his sex drive is too much of it,” Schuler says.
“Diet accelerates the ageing process. Anyone carrying extra weight from ages 35 to 60 is accelerating the aging process; as does anyone living a high stress, poor diet and no exercise lifestyle. Midsection increase is probably the number one reason for lost sex drive,” the expert warns.
A good diet equals good sex. Being overweight can affect not only your self-esteem and your feelings of sexuality, but you’re also likely to suffer from blood vessel diseases, which can reduce essential blood flow to the genitals.
Is your sex drive no longer what it used to be? If the answer is ‘Yes’, here are some natural libido boosters, according to Dr. Catherine Hood, which may put the spark back into the family:
6. Keep fit: Moderate regular exercise will help improve blood flow to the sexual organs. In addition, exercise helps you feel good about yourself. Anything that improves self-esteem will improve libido.
7. Drink in moderation: One alcoholic drink can lubricate a nervous situation. By reducing anxiety and stress, one drink can help get you in the mood for sex. But beware, alcohol is a depressant; too much booze and you can end up with quite the opposite problem.
8. Fruit and vegetable: Eating five to nine fruits and vegetables a day can provide the cornerstone to your health. The vitamins and antioxidants will help maintain good blood flow to the sex organs and prevent certain chronic diseases.