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Does Drinking Water Help Sexually?

Katelyn Hagerty

Reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Published 04/04/2023

If there was something easy you could do to improve your sexual performance, you’d do it — right? Whether you have erectile dysfunction or just want to boost your performance, there are a lot of things that could help you sexually. 

One specific thing that some people wonder is whether what they eat or drink can impact their prowess when it comes to sexual activity. More specifically, some wonder: Does drinking water help you sexually? And if so, is it as simple as drinking a glass of water?

It would sure be nice if it was that simple. After all, drinking water is a pretty easy thing to do. So, to find out the answer to this question, keep reading!

Does Drinking Water Help You Sexually? 

When it comes to seeking out things to help improve their sex lives, many men are specifically looking for solutions for erectile dysfunction (ED), which is defined as not being able to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sex.

This type of sexual issue is not uncommon — around 30 million American men deal with it. 

While ED can impact men of all ages, research has found that over 50 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 70 will deal with ED. 

So, what does drinking water have to do with getting an erection? 

Well, your body has to function properly in order to get hard. When you get aroused, your brain sends a signal to the blood vessels in your penis, which increases blood flow. Your blood then rushes into the corpora cavernosa (two long chambers in the shaft), which causes an erection. 

If your body isn't functioning correctly, getting an erection can become much more difficult. If you haven’t had enough water and your hydration levels are low, it may impact your bodily functions. 

All of this is to say, water probably isn’t a cure-all for erectile dysfunction. However, if you are dehydrated and it’s causing you to become a Limp Larry, drinking enough water so you are hydrated again could help.

Not only will this make you enjoy sex more, but it will also make any sexual partners you have happy too. 

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How Does Water Help With Sexual Dysfunction? 

To be clear, the answer to the question of whether drinking water can help you sexually is that it can — if you are dehydrated.

Staying hydrated by drinking water helps keep your blood cell and plasma volume high. You need these levels to be high to get an erection.

Even if you can get an erection, dehydration may cause you to experience certain symptoms that impact your sexual health and make it tough to get in the mood. These symptoms may include:

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Low or inconsistent energy levels

  • Dizziness

  • Dry mouth

  • Constipation

  • Chills 

  • Crankiness

  • Confusion 

  • Anxiousness 

When you drink enough water and are fully hydrated, you don’t have to worry about these dehydration symptoms. You also won’t have to worry about dehydration-induced ED

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How Much Water Should You Drink? 

Proper hydration is important for many reasons beyond stopping ED, and to avoid dehydration, it’s important to make sure you are regularly drinking water. But how much do you really need? 

According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, men should aim for drinking 125 ounces of water per day. This is approximately 16 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. 

However, this number should just be considered a general guideline. There are a number of factors that could alter how much water you should be drinking to avoid dehydration — and the dehydration-induced sexual dysfunction that could result. 

For example, how much you weigh could impact your daily water intake needs. If you are on the heavier side, you may need more than the above recommendation. Your metabolism, exercise routine, the type of climate you live in and any health conditions you have could also affect how much water you should drink. 

You may also need more water on certain occasions, like if you drink alcohol, are sick or are in hot weather.

In addition to drinking plenty of water, you could also try to incorporate foods that have high water content, like cucumbers, strawberries, iceberg lettuce and zucchini. 

If you’re ever not sure if you are hydrated enough, a good way to check is to look at your pee — yes, really. Darker colored urine with a strong odor is a sign that you need to be drinking more water.

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Other Ways to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Does drinking water help sexually? It could, if you’re dehydrated. However, there are a number of other proven ways to deal with ED, especially ED that occurs when you’ve had plenty of water. 

If you are dealing with any type of sexual dysfunction, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider. They can help you figure out what may be causing your ED and then come up with a treatment option that can help.  

A healthcare provider may recommend trying ED medication. One of the more common ED medications is Viagra®, also sold as a generic version called sildenafil. 

Sildenafil is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. They work by relaxing the muscles in the penis, so you can get adequate blood flow in that area when you are aroused. 

In addition to sildenafil, there are a number of other common ED medications. They include tadalafil, vardenafil and avanafil

If your ED isn’t caused by something physical (like low fluid intake), it could be a psychological issue. Research has actually found that up to 20 percent of ED cases are caused by psychological issues.

Depression and anxiety are two common culprits that can affect your sex drive and function. Going to therapy may help you with mental health issues causing your ED.  

If you are experiencing any type of ED — whether it is caused by not drinking enough water or by something else — you should make time to speak with a medical professional.

Living with sexual dysfunction is no way to live and it is important to get to the bottom of what is going on so that you can go back to a pleasurable sex life.

Hims offers online consultations, which makes it easy to work with a healthcare provider to assess what your ED needs may be.

13 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

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  2. Definition & Facts for Erectile Dysfunction | NIDDK. (n.d.). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts
  3. Erectile dysfunction - PMC. (n.d.). NCBI. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027992/
  4. Erection & Ejaculation: How Does It Work. (2020, November 27). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10036-erection-ejaculation-how-it-occurs
  5. Yafi, F. A., Jenkins, L., Albersen, M., Corona, G., Isidori, A. M., Goldfarb, S., Maggi, M., Nelson, C. J., Parish, S., Salonia, A., Tan, R., Mulhall, J. P., & Hellstrom, W. J. (2016). Erectile dysfunction. Nature reviews. Disease primers, 2, 16003. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027992/
  6. Dunning, O.N., Fulton, C.A., Tocci, N.D., Mauney, E.L., King, M.H., Morgan, J.E. and Rogatzki, M.J. (2019), Effect of Hydration Status on Plasma and Serum Volume. The FASEB Journal, 33: 593. Retrieved from https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1096%2Ffasebj.2019.33.1_supplement.593.10
  7. Dehydration: Causes & Symptoms. (2021, February 16). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/9013-dehydration
  8. Fight fatigue with fluids. (2013, November 21). Harvard Health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/fight-fatigue-with-fluids
  9. Report Sets Dietary Intake Levels for Water, Salt, and Potassium To Maintain Health and Reduce Chronic Disease Risk. (2004, February 11). National Academies. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2004/02/report-sets-dietary-intake-levels-for-water-salt-and-potassium-to-maintain-health-and-reduce-chronic-disease-risk
  10. Sildenafil. (2018, January 15). MedlinePlus. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699015.html
  11. Tadalafil. (2022, February 15). MedlinePlus. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604008.html
  12. The Well-being Institute, University of Cambridge - Psychological and other risk factors for Erectile dysfunction and Male sexual dysfunction. (n.d.). Cambridgewellbeing.org | The Well-Being Institute. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from http://www.cambridgewellbeing.org/psychological.html
  13. Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction | NIDDK. (n.d.). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Katelyn Hagerty, FNP

Kate Hagerty is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over a decade of healthcare experience. She has worked in critical care, community health, and as a retail health provider.

She received her undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Delaware and her master's degree from Thomas Jefferson University. You can find Katelyn on Doximity for more information.

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