Reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
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!
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.
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:
Low or inconsistent energy levels
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.