How beer affects your sex life
For many men, drinking beer isn't just a fact of life -- it's an important part of their sex life.
With the alcohol in their blood, relaxation begins, allowing them to enjoy the date conversation and possibly some physical intimacy later.
This makes sense if you think about it. Beer is a cheap, no-nonsense way to unwind. You can find it in almost every establishment that serves alcohol, you just need someone who can pour it to make it work.
But beer is far from a panacea, and depending on your consumption level, it can have countless positive and negative effects. Whether you drink one beer a week or six every other day, it's useful to know how beer affects your sex life.
So let’s dive in, shall we?
How Beer Positively Impacts Your Sex Life
If you've ever had a beer or two, you're probably aware that it has some effect on your overall mental state. This is because beer contains alcohol, a drug that affects your nervous system, causing you to think, feel and behave differently depending on how much you drink.
A major achievement? You tend to be a better talker, and given the importance of conversations in flirting and attracting, this can be a big plus for your sex life.
“Alcohol, in general, provides less social inhibition, meaning if you are talking to the potential partner of your dreams, you could be less nervous and more impressive in the social banter,” says Dr. John Jaquish of Jaquish Biomedical, based in Nevada City, California. “Of course, we all have friends who have taken this principle too far. Therefore, just one or two drinks are preferred if your potential partner may appreciate the intelligent conversation.”
Jaquish also notes that "beer is hydrating because it contains a lot of carbohydrates, and people keep 3 to 4 grams of water per gram of carbohydrates."
"This acts as a mild vasodilator, which means more blood is pushed throughout the body," he said. "When you're sexually aroused, you know where the blood goes. Think of it like a mild Viagra."
However, in addition to making you more interesting and sexier, beer can also physically improve your sexuality. How?
“For beer and other alcohol, there is actually an optimal amount,” says Dr. Koushik Shaw of the Austin Urology Institute. “A little can actually relax a man enough to get better erections.”
How Beer Negatively Impacts Your Sex Life
You might be thinking, 'Wow, beer sounds like the perfect drink to take my sex life to the next level,' but we also can't skip the downsides of drinking beer in this situation.
"Unfortunately, the vasodilation and cellular hydration effects of beer are a double-edged sword," Jaquish said. "Unlike Viagra or Cialis, which just dilate and open up blood vessels, the high-carb aspect of beer forces water retention. That means your skin swells, making your face look fatter."
More serious, however, are the effects of repeated beer consumption.
This, he explains, is the root of the concept of a "beer belly" -- when a person drinks a lot of beer, the gut gets bigger.
"The expression of 'beer belly' is not necessarily related to body fat, it is about chronic inflammation of the gut due to constant consumption of beer and the consequent inflammation of the gut," Jaquish said. "Inflammation from a beer can also have a huge negative impact on athletic performance."
Between the inflammation, the calories that come with it (many beers are in the 150-calorie-per-can range), and the fact that alcohol often leads to over-snacking and unhealthy eating, drinking a lot of beer can put you out of shape pretty quickly. You can imagine, which is bad news for your sex life.
Since sex is a physical activity that relies heavily on a variety of sports, the better you are, the better your chances of having high-quality and high-quality sex. If you drink a lot of beer, eat an unhealthy diet, and develop a beer gut, even a willing partner may be disappointed if you can't last long or struggle to perform in certain positions.
While a little beer does help you get an erection, drinking too much can have the opposite effect.
What to Do If Beer Drinking Is Hurting Your Sex Life
If you've been enjoying a beer-based lifestyle for a while, your body may already be starting to feel the effects, whether you've noticed them or not.
That said, the effects of beer on the body are not permanent and can be reversed by changing what you consume. In short, if you notice a beer belly, or are struggling to get or maintain an erection, it may be time to pass on the beer.
That's not to say everyone needs to cut beer out of his life entirely. Instead, it's more about realizing that high beer consumption can have certain effects on your body, and you have to weigh those effects against any positives that come with it.
"Nothing ruins a sex night like being drunk," Jaquish said.
If you want to restore an erection? As Shaw points out, when it comes to other drugs like alcohol and antidepressants, it may be about finding the right level.
"My commitment to my patients is to take the lowest possible/reasonable dose of these drugs and beverages," he said. This isn't to say you should stop taking the drugs you need for your sex life, but making sure you're not taking too much can benefit you in many different ways.
As far as beer is concerned, "men need to figure out what their minimum effective beer is," Shaw adds. That is the amount of beer that will allow you to relax and enjoy, but not make you unable to speak normally, unable to have an erection and slowly becoming deformed.
Like almost all good things in life, moderation is the name of the game.