The science is overwhelming – there is a direct link between the failure to have a successful sexual encounter and indulgence in alcohol. The title of this article should rather be “How little alcohol does it take to ruin you sex life?” Alternatively, we could ask, “does overindulgence in alcohol permanently affect your ability to achieve a full and sustainable erection?”
First, the science, in brief:
Achieving an erection requires a symphony of coordinated biochemical reactions and electrical signals. If all goes well, your brain releases a tiny signal that travels down nerve paths into the muscle linings of the large, hollow chambers (corpus cavernosum) inside the penis. This releases a unique chemical called nitric oxide (NO), which allows blood to fill the chambers, and it should become fully erect. But another biochemical process is needed to maintain the erection and allow you to achieve orgasm. It requires a complex positive feedback loop in the penile nerves that triggers waves of nitric oxide to keep the penis erect.
As reported by researchers in a report on Johns Hopkins Medicine website, they demonstrated the key role of nitric oxide as a neurotransmitter responsible for triggering erections. “Now, 20 years later, we know that nitric oxide is not just a blip here or there, but instead it initiates a cyclic system that continues to produce waves of the neurotransmitter from the penile nerves.”
How does alcohol affect the action of nitric oxide?
Alcohol can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to sexual activity. As William Shakespeare said in Macbeth, “… it provokes and unprovokes. It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.“
Now science has come along four hundred years after the Bard, proving him correct. In a study published on Oxford University Press website, the conclusion was that low concentrations of alcohol induce an increased release of Nitric Oxide from the endothelium due to activation and expression of NO synthase (NOS). However, administration of high concentrations of alcohol or its chronic intake impairs endothelial functions in association with reduced NO bioavailability
The study also found that chronic alcohol intake also impairs penile erectile function, possibly by interfering with the endothelial nerve.
How to combat Erectile Dysfunction
If the problem for you is not chronic, but rather an occasional failure to achieve and sustain a satisfactory erection all the way through to orgasm, then there may be a few easy steps you can take that will still allow you to have a reasonable amount of alcohol intake but still get it on:
- Alcohol acts as a diuretic, which will cause your body to lose liquid volume, and your blood to thicken and so make less available to fill the chambers in the penis. If you are going to drink before sex, don’t take “shots” of hard liquor, or at least match them with large amounts of clean water. Remember here that although beer is mostly water, it’s also a strong diuretic, so you should still match it with some water drink-for-drink.
- Alcohol in the blood negatively affects testosterone levels, an essential hormone in men that keeps your masculinity at its peak. If you are expecting a night out with more than the usual level of alcohol intake (or if you are regularly imbibing high levels of alcohol and not yet able to control it), then keep your testosterone levels high with simple products like TestoCream’s AndroForte 5% testosterone booster. This way, no matter how much of the hormone you lose to alcohol, your body will have a full tank in reserve to keep the required hormone levels.
- High blood pressure is a known risk factor for ED and sexual dysfunction. A 2018 study found that heavy alcohol consumption increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. You should regularly monitor your blood pressure, and speak to your doctor if you notice any tendency for increases especially after periods of increased alcohol intake.
Always remember that long-term erectile dysfunction could be caused by some deeper underlying condition. If you experience it often, or fail for a long time to achieve any satisfactory erections, then you should consult with your doctor. ED is nothing to be ashamed of, since it has nothing to do with your “manhood.” Millions of men all over the country experience ED from time to time, and help is at hand.