Q: Can what you eat or drink cause erectile dysfunction?
A: When it comes to erectile dysfunction (ED), what you drink generally matters more than what you eat.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
Alcohol is one of the biggest things we ingest that impacts erections. In our society, we typically have a drink, go out to dinner, and then come home and have intercourse.
But medicines for ED don’t work as well with alcohol or on a full stomach. So I advise guys to do the opposite: take erectile medication at 4:30 p.m., have some fun at 6 p.m., then have a drink and go out to dinner.
Regarding diet, there’s a significant correlation between our BMI and erections. High-fat diets can lead to blockages in the coronary arteries, and decrease the size of the iliac and other arteries supplying blood flow to your penis.
So a heart-healthy diet is also a prostate- and a penile-healthy diet. Besides eating well, getting proper exercise to stay in good shape will help.
—Urologist James Ulchaker, MD