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Foods to Eat and Avoid Before Sex

7 min read
Foods to Eat and Avoid Before Sex

Before we get into what you should and shouldn't be eating to get the best experiences from your sex life, we want to make it clear that there isn't one single superfood that has been shown to provide a direct route to longer-lasting, dynamic, successful, satisfying sex. If there were, it would be flying off the shelves, creating a likely world shortage.

The most common sexual function issues among men are erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, and if there were a simple dietary change we could make to combat those, almost every man on the planet would be loading up on them at a daily rate.

Despite there being no single super-sex food, the good news is that science shows certain foods can indirectly improve sexual function, giving us a positive plan to work towards improving our general and sexual health.

Sex is a cardiovascular exercise, so it's time to get in training if you want to improve performance and sexual satisfaction.

The male reproductive system is highly dependent on blood flow. To keep the blood pumping around your body, into your penis and prostate (yes, the prostate gland is vascular too, full of blood vessels that promote fertility and healthy sexual performance), and to ensure you can sustain the long-lasting energy required to satisfy your partner, the healthier you are, the more likely you'll hit those targets.

You don't have to be a professional athlete to have better sex; following the advice of nutritionists, dieticians, and positive health advocates, a balanced diet and regular exercise can help everybody achieve their sex life goals.

It might mean making a few sacrifices (but as with all diets, 'everything in moderation,' so you don't have to cut anything out completely), but adding some heart-healthy fats, cruciferous vegetables, bumping up your amino acid levels, and a few other simple switches can boost sexual arousal and testosterone levels, getting you 'match fit' for the big night.

Diet can make all the difference

For today's topic, we're taking much of our guidance from a comprehensive review of the data and nutritional factors that impact sexual and reproductive health. The review article, Food with Influence in the Sexual and Reproductive Health, appears in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and examines the nutrients and foods that positively and negatively impact sexual function and health.

Nutrients and food components for better sex

Plenty of nutrients support circulation and heart health; all of which can help improve erections, sex drive, and performance.

The following list includes a selection of the key elements, and we've added a few interesting studies that back those claims.

Complex B Vitamins Can help to combat erectile dysfunction.
Vitamin D Can help to improve erectile function.
Selenium Improves sperm motility.
Omega 3

Healthy fatty acids found in fish.

Omega 6 Healthy fats found in nuts, flaxseed oil, and chia seeds.
Zinc Boosts testosterone production and sexual function.
Ginko Biloba and Ginseng Both are thought to have a positive impact on erectile dysfunction.
Antioxidants Lycopene and carnitine, two potent antioxidants, can help treat erectile dysfunction and improve the movement of sperm.
Potassium Aids heart, nerve, and muscle function, all beneficial to erectile function
Flavonoids Found in leafy greens, whole grains, and legumes, and suggested to reduce erectile dysfunction.
L-Citrulline An amino acid that promotes healthy blood flow.
Magnesium Lowers blood pressure and is essential for testosterone production.
Nitric Oxide Facilitates blood vessel dilation and improves blood flow.

As interesting as our list might be, you can't walk into your supermarket and add those items to your basket. So, to help you track down the ideal additions to your diet, the following section will show the foods high in essential nutrients.

Foods you should eat to enhance your sex life

With a little common sense, adding healthy fresh fruit and vegetables to our diets is fairly straightforward: improving our fiber intake and lean meats and fish to boost healthy proteins.

Illustration of the Foods That Help Boost Sex Drive And Stamina

For the best chance of boosting sex drive and stamina levels, the following foods are high in the nutrients associated with optimum cardiovascular health that aid sexual performance.


Pomegranate Juice

Rich in Antioxidants, Nitric Oxide Combats oxidative stress and inflammation, boosts circulation, aids erectile function

Citrulline, Lycopene, L-arginine, Nitric Oxide

Improves blood vessel dilation and blood flow

Dark Chocolate Flavonoids Improves circulation and endurance
Spinach  Magnesium, Nitric Oxide Boosts testosterone levels and lowers blood pressure
Maca root Ginseng  Thought to improve libido, erectile function, fertility, and blood pressure
Fatty Fish Omega 3 Improves heart and blood health, respiratory and sexual function
Oysters  Zinc, Healthy Cholesterols Boosts testosterone and sex drive
Honey Natural Sugars Aids cardiovascular health and energy levels
Bananas  Rich in Potassium Beneficial to heart, nerve, and muscle function, supporting healthy erectile function
Apples  Quercetin (an antioxidant flavonoid) Improves endurance and energy levels
Blueberries  Rich in Antioxidants, Flavonoids, Zinc, and more Aids erectile function
Beets  Rich in Nitrates and Nitrate Oxide production Aids blood vessel dilation and circulation
Avocados  Healthy Fats, Vitamin E Promotes circulation, cardiovascular function, and metabolic function
Nuts  Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, Zinc  Supports healthy circulation and cardiovascular health

Foods you should avoid before sex

On the flip side of the 'you are what you eat' rule, there are foods you should avoid before sex; some, due to how they act on your sex drive and performance, but also their practical application and how they may interfere with successful and satisfying sex.

Illustration of the Foods That You Should Avoid Before Sex

1. Food with saturated fats

There are good fats and bad fats. The good ones, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are found in seeds, nuts, avocados, fish, vegetable oils, and some seeds. The bad ones are saturated and trans fats, typically found in animal products, palm, and coconut oil.

A good way to determine those unhealthy fats is if they're solid at room temperature.

Saturated and trans fats will increase your cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. As we know, anything that's bad for your heart is also bad for your reproductive system.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol increases the chances of erection problems and premature ejaculation. It inhibits the central nervous system required for orgasm and increases melatonin production, encouraging drowsiness. So, while a glass of wine or two is a nice addition to de-stress and get you both in the mood on date night, just be sure to limit your intake to make the most of your time in the bedroom.

3. Coffee

The caffeine in coffee raises cortisol levels (the stress hormone), making it harder to relax and lowering libido. Coffee also encourages digestion, affecting some drinkers' stomach acids, resulting in excess gas and acid reflux.

It also leaves the drinker with bad breath—not a great move for kissing and closeness.

However, coffee contains antioxidants and other nutrients that can help with sexual performance. Just make sure to stop drinking it in plenty of time before engaging in sex to avoid those negative outcomes.

4. Dairy

Dairy increases lactose levels, causing discomfort and excess gas. It can cause bloating and stomach cramps, so avoid cheese and cream sauces that are likely to contain a lot of fats when out to dinner on date night. This goes double for those who are lactose intolerant.

5. Fried food

French fries and other fried foods are loaded with oils that sit in the stomach and keep you feeling sluggish and full for longer. Feeling bloated and tired isn't conducive to great sex, so dodge those fried foods for the best bedroom fun.

6. Spicy food

Spicy food—such as curries, chilies, and other hot foods—impacts the gastrointestinal system and triggers acid reflux. Not only can it be uncomfortable, but it can also cause bad breath, another element to affect your partner's pleasure and satisfaction.

7. Cruciferous vegetables

Despite being a high source of fiber and an excellent addition to your balanced diet, some of these vegetables—Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, for example—can cause you to be overly gassy—something that's not conducive to satisfying sex.

8. Soy

Soy decreases testosterone and can lead to a possible hormonal imbalance. Testosterone is responsible for the sex drive, so dodging anything likely to reduce its levels is a good move.

9. Salty foods

Salty food increases bloating and water retention and also reduces blood flow. Again, it's another element that makes us feel bloated and to be avoided where possible.

10. Carbonated drinks

Fizzy drinks increase gas, leading to excess wind. Holding excess wind in will cause discomfort; letting it out will certainly ruin the mood!

Tips on eating before sex

1. Make sure you don’t overeat before sex

Feeling full and bloated won't help you or your body perform at your best. Keep meals light and avoid anything that will make you gassy and affect your breath.

2. An overall balanced diet will boost your performance

As much as you can hamper or ruin sexual performance with what you eat before sex, what you eat as part of your general diet can help raise your bedroom game. A balanced diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and healthy proteins will provide all the essential elements your body needs to function at its best.

3. Consider foods with aphrodisiac qualities

Some foods are suggested to act as aphrodisiacs, boosting libido and sex drive. Whether you choose oysters for your date night dinner or avocado toast as a pre-sex snack, picking a few luxury items to help get you in the mood can boost the desire associated with sex. 

Zinc is an important mineral for creating testosterone, which is why—containing more zinc than any other food—oysters are considered the ultimate aphrodisiac. Other foods high in zinc include crab, lobster, red meat, and pine nuts.

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Given there's no single superfood that will make you a sexual animal, it's a better practice to consider what you should and shouldn't put in your body every day, not just what to eat before sex.

However, there are definitely foods to avoid before sex that can seriously impact performance and partner satisfaction.

If you want to spice things up in the bedroom, consider it a long game, applying all the elements that deliver a healthy body and lifestyle.

And when you're ready to bring your positively fuelled body to the bedroom, enjoying stronger and longer performances, do it with sexual exploration, communication, and in all the ways you can build a deeper connection with your partner.

Eager to boost your sexual wellness and vitality?

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