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Will Energy Drinks Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Updated 03/14/2024

Energy drinks: the student’s magic study tool, the truck driver’s Hail Mary, and the late-night gamer’s only source of nutrients. Energy drinks are a habit for some, a source of jittery fears for others and a useful “tool” for many. But what about your penis? Will energy drinks cause erectile dysfunction?

Aside from the horror stories of guys crushing 30 cans of energy drinks and giving themselves a heart attack, it might not surprise you to learn that there’s not a significant amount of objective research out there looking at the short- and long-term effects regarding regular consumption of energy drinks. 

Even less surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of studies of penile health through the lens of someone who mainlines Red Bull®, Monster Energy® or any of the other dozens of beverages in this category. 

What we have is a lot of circumstantial evidence about the beneficial effects and adverse health effects that you’ll be interested to learn. Let’s jump into it.

As we mentioned, energy drinks have been a relatively poorly studied category of stimulants, and that’s particularly important when discussing their side effects and negative health outcomes. 

A lot of what we know is based on relatively few studies. A lot of what the average person thinks they know comes from anecdotal news stories.

Evidence shows that energy drinks can be associated with or contribute to a lot of problems, namely:

  • Increased alcohol consumption and substance abuse

  • Mental health issues like stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts

  • Increased heart rate and heart palpitations

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Increased risk of obesity

  • Dental decay

  • Renal disease

  • Fatigue

  • Insomnia and sleep dissatisfaction

  • Risk of type 2 diabetes

  • Headaches

  • Stomachaches

According to one 2017 review, most of the existing research has been dedicated to just two ingredients: caffeine and sugar. 

And that’s bad because there’s a lot of other stuff in energy drinks, some of which we don’t know the risks of consuming daily.

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Erectile dysfunction has a lot to do with things like blood supply and blood flow — specifically, the flow of blood to the vessels in your penis

ED is actually an important canary in the coal mine for some underlying medical issues (like heart disease), though it can also be a result of nerve damage, hormone fluctuations, vascular problems or other malfunctions downstairs. 

So, will an energy drink make your penis seem less energized? That’s harder to say, especially without looking at the specific ingredients of the drink in question. 

Certain ingredients — and sugar, specifically — can have serious and detrimental effects in excessive amounts. After all, one of the “other” related conditions in erectile dysfunction is diabetes.

Choose your chew

In fact, some ingredients in energy drinks may do the opposite. 

A 2011 study found that daily niacin (also known as vitamin B3, a popular ingredient in many energy drinks) supplementation by itself can improve erectile function in men with high cholesterol who were also experiencing moderate to severe erectile dysfunction over a period of 12 weeks. 

That’s part of why we call it one of the top four vitamins for erectile health.

And taurine, which is also found in some energy drinks, improved erectile function in rats with diabetic erectile dysfunction, though we haven’t seen any human tests since that 2016 study

Most interestingly, a 2015 study of caffeine consumption actually found that two to three cups of coffee per day (caffeinated coffee with roughly 170-375 mg/day of caffeine) actually reduced the odds of prevalent erectile dysfunction. 

The study analyzed more than 3,000 men to get this data. The reduced odds were seen in people with hypertension and obesity, though men with diabetes did not show similar results.

So, will energy drinks cause erectile dysfunction? It depends. Certain ingredients may go on the “risk” pile, while others might belong on the “prevention” pile. 

A single energy drink, however, is very unlikely to wreak havoc on your erectile function. 

And likewise, it’s unlikely to be a source of your daily intake of good-for-your-penis ingredients, either.

Instead of worrying about energy drinks, focus on the bigger picture. 

After all, there are plenty of other factors for risk of erectile dysfunction (and you can read about the causes of erectile dysfunction on our other page).

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What you put in your body matters, and putting the wrong things in it can have negative effects. 

Some things may give you wings, while others may, over time, give you diabetes. How much you consume, how often you consume them and how they fit into the bigger picture of your health choices will inform the outcome. 

As for your penis, there are some things you can do to promote its health. Stay healthy, exercise, keep your heart health in focus, keep your blood pressure low, and keep your weight down. Most of all, avoid heart disease.

If you think you have ED or are seeing signs that it may be starting to happen, the best thing you can do is talk to your healthcare provider.

They may suggest the same lifestyle changes we mentioned, or they may suggest medications like sildenafil or tadalafil (which you know as Viagra® and Cialis®). Other treatment options for ED are available too.

They certainly won’t recommend energy drinks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them in moderation. Whether they need to be part of your sex life is, well, another question.

5 Sources

  1. Sooriyamoorthy T, Leslie SW. Erectile Dysfunction. [Updated 2022 May 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562253/.
  2. Lopez DS, Wang R, Tsilidis KK, Zhu H, Daniel CR, Sinha A, Canfield S. Role of Caffeine Intake on Erectile Dysfunction in US Men: Results from NHANES 2001-2004. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 28;10(4):e0123547. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123547. PMID: 25919661; PMCID: PMC4412629. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4412629/.
  3. Ruan Y, Li M, Wang T, Yang J, Rao K, Wang S, Yang W, Liu J, Ye Z. Taurine Supplementation Improves Erectile Function in Rats with Streptozotocin-induced Type 1 Diabetes via Amelioration of Penile Fibrosis and Endothelial Dysfunction. J Sex Med. 2016 May;13(5):778-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.02.164. Epub 2016 Mar 24. PMID: 27017070. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27017070/.
  4. Ng CF, Lee CP, Ho AL, Lee VW. Effect of niacin on erectile function in men suffering erectile dysfunction and dyslipidemia. J Sex Med. 2011 Oct;8(10):2883-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02414.x. Epub 2011 Aug 2. PMID: 21810191. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21810191/.
  5. Al-Shaar L, Vercammen K, Lu C, Richardson S, Tamez M, Mattei J. Health Effects and Public Health Concerns of Energy Drink Consumption in the United States: A Mini-Review. Front Public Health. 2017 Aug 31;5:225. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2017.00225. PMID: 28913331; PMCID: PMC5583516. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5583516/.
Editorial Standards

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. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

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.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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