I’ve been jacking around with my diet lately, especially my final meal of the day, to test its impact on morning erections.
And while I’m not much of a fan of tasteless low fat eating, I am becoming a fan for this particular meal.
Because high fat just prior to sack time consistently leads to fewer erections the following morning…while a lower fat, high starch meal has the opposite effect.
Not only that, but I have more motivation to use the erection I get when I chose starch over fat for this meal.
Here’s why I believe this is the case…
First off, high fat, low carb meals increases cortisol, and cortisol spikes interrupt sleep. And there’s a very strong connection between deep sleep and nocturnal / morning wood (source).
Cortisol spikes also suppress testosterone…and less T means less nocturnal testicular growth and lower AM sex drive as well.
But when I eat high starch at my last meal of the day and and avoid the cortisol spikes, I sleep better, I get the testicular growth and the AM wood as well.
And this happens consistently.
Carbs before bed also increase production of GABA, a calming hormone that also facilitates sleep.
As a matter of fact, the circuits in your brain that control REM sleep actually contain GABA neurons that help put you into REM paralysis at night.
So here’s my plan these days….
Eat my higher fat meals before 3 pm and shoot for a total fat intake of about 35%.
Then fill up the rest of my diet with quality protein, clean sources of starch, fruits, veggies and vegetable juice.
This switch has had a clear impact on morning wood production and AM sex drive as well, so I suggest you try this out yourself and see how things go the following morning.
Now here’s Jason Brick with his take on the subject…
So, listen. Big Pharma will tell you that erectile dysfunction is just a thing that happens as you get older, and there’s not much you can do for it without taking a little blue, patented pill.
The less scrupulous of the herbal supplement dealers will tell you it’s easy to cure with the right Miracle Wonder Drug people have known about for thousands of years (but that’s only on the market now).
Our readers know we’re not either of those.
Sure, a variety of herbs can help your erectile health when properly applied to the right cause. I’ll even allow that (sometimes, rarely), pharmaceutical help might also be necessary in extreme cases.
But the real truth about erectile dysfunction is you can do plenty about it all by yourself with changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Take for example dietary fat.
A few simple changes in your fat intake can put a stop to a list of factors that could get in between you and a happy boner.
As a bonus, those same changes can help you lose weight and gain energy — two more factors that contribute to a better body image and healthier erections.
This is one of those “on the one hand, on the other hand” situations.
On the one hand, testosterone increases as fat intake goes up. Specifically, the Leydig cells in your testicles convert the cholesterol wrapped up in dietary fat into testosterone (source).
Usually they do this by absorbing the cholesterol in your blood, but they’re also capable of producing a little cholesterol if your blood levels are low.
All fats can add cholesterol to your blood stream, so eating a diet rich in healthy fats can help improve your testosterone levels…and thus many facets of your sexual health.
On the other hand, too much of any fat can decrease nitric oxide production. Regular readers of this blog already know that nitric oxide (NO) improves sexual and erectile health in two ways:
According to a study of serum free fatty acids and nitric oxide published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, high levels of fatty acids in the blood has a direct correlation with decreased nitric oxide production (source).
People with a diet (excessively) high in saturated fats experienced those high levels of serum fatty acids, directly impacting their erectile health.
This might sound like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation, but the solution (as with many things) is balance.
Aim for a diet of about 30-35% in fat.
This isn’t rocket science, though, so if one week you’re closer to 40% and another week you’re at 25%, don’t sweat it. Stress will take the lead out of your pencil faster than a little and occasional fudge on these numbers.
Omega fatty acids are essential to your health: they help you build healthy new cells, repair damaged ones, stimulate brain function and make your nerves able to work.
They’re also called “essential” (just like “essential amino acids”) because your body can’t make them on its own. The only way to get them is by eating foods that contain them.
There are two kinds of omega fatty acid:
Most western diets, because we eat fish a lot less than we cook with vegetable oils, have the omega-6 and omega-3 balance way out of whack.
Study after study have linked this imbalance with increased risk of a laundry list of health issues including type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, cancer and (you guessed it) erectile dysfunction.
Instead, aim to consume foods rich in the two kinds of fatty acids in roughly a roughly 2-1 ratio in favor of omega-6 fatty acids.
The better your intake of both is balanced, the better your sexual (and general) health. If you’re not a fish person, fish oil supplements are inexpensive and can boost your omega-3 intake easily.
A diet with lots of sugar and HFCS, along with too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3 is bad for a lot of reasons.
It reduces heart health. It increases weight gain. It hoses general health through chronic inflammation, high triglyceride counts, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity.
It also hoses your sexual health by directly impacting your body’s ability to produce testosterone and nitric oxide.
The worse news is this kind of diet is typical in modern society. It’s what you’re going to eat by accident unless you start doing some things on purpose.
Here’s a list of those things:
Shoot for a total fat intake of roughly 30-35 percent to keep the erections going, but don’t sweat things too much if you come in a little high or a little low.
Article edited by Mark Wilson. Mark currently owns 5 sites in the men's sexual health niche and has published more than 5,000 articles and blog posts on dozens of websites all over the world wide web.