Erectile Dysfunction and Caffeine
How Caffeine Affects the Body
Caffeine constricts the blood vessels and can cause a temporary, but sharp and sudden, rise in blood pressure. In healthy people, blood pressure should return to normal as the coffee wears off. Regular coffee drinkers also develop a tolerance and may not experience the same rise in blood pressure. Caffeine also stimulates the central nervous system, causing a sudden burst of energy and alertness. According to the National Institutes of Health, the amount of caffeine in up to four cups of coffee is not harmful. Excessive amounts of caffeine can cause abnormal heart rhythms and gastrointestinal upset, as well as sleep disruptions, headaches and anxiety. Doctors recommend limiting caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is equivalent to two 12-ounce cups of coffee.
How Caffeine Affects Erectile Dysfunction
As of late 2009, no evidence indicated caffeine consumption as a cause of erectile dysfunction, and at least one study even suggests caffeine may be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. In 2008, Dr. Yutian Dai and his colleagues at Golu Hospital in Nanjing experimented on diabetic rats and discovered that caffeine has a positive effect on erectile dysfunction. Scientists have not tried human trials, and it is not clear if caffeine has the same effect on non-diabetics. However, since diabetes is a contributing factor in erectile dysfunction, the study offers some hope to the diabetic population. While there is no proof that caffeine causes erectile dysfunction, it does constrict the blood vessels. Men with hypertension or heart disease who also have erectile dysfunction may want to try reducing caffeine consumption to see if it has a positive effect.
Caffeine is not the only common drink that can cause erectile dysfunction. Wine, beer and other alcohol can effect men’s sexual performance.