Those who have that sweet tooth, they know how difficult it is to fight off those sugar cravings, especially when there is something sweet and savory right in front of you and you are torn in two minds whether to take a third helping or not! But with today’s global consumption of sugar, having almost tripled, there is no doubt that sugar has become a significant public health concern, including causing sexual dysfunction. So next time you want the chocolate to be a part of your foreplay or pre foreplay mood booster, you better think twice because it may cause more harm than good!
Now what exactly happens is that to make glucose, our body releases the hormone insulin, which helps move glucose out of the bloodstream into the cells. When we consume a lot of free sugar, the sugar level in our bloodstream rises, leading to an increase in insulin levels. This leads to a ‘high sugar feeling,’ and then the sudden drop in sugar levels leaves us feeling fatigued. This feeling of fatigue leads to low libido. But that is just one of the ways how sugar affects your sex life. Here are six different ways in which too much sugar consumption can affect your sex life, the negative way:
- Effects SHBG Hormone: When the body produces more insulin, the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) gets suppressed. SHBG affects the function of the sex hormones testosterone, estrogen, and DHT. It carries these throughout the blood, and the inability to do so leads to low levels of sex hormone, which lowers your sex drive as well.
- Causes Erectile Dysfunction: Erectile Dysfunction is a man’s inability to get an erection firm enough for penetration. Around 75% of men who have diabetes, face problems in achieving or maintaining an erection. This is because diabetes usually damages the nerves and vessels that carry blood to different organs of the body, including your sex organs. This affects the penile blood flow, leading to erection issues.
- Genital Thrush: Men who have diabetes can experience repeated cases of fungal yeast infection, genital thrush. When you have excess sugar in your body, it gets passed through your urine, which leads to the development of yeast on your penis. This prevents you from having sex since any sexual activity can worsen the condition.
- Lowers your energy levels: Too much sugar can lead to excess production of the hormone insulin, which might lead to a sudden drop in sugar levels. This leaves one feeling tired and fatigued. As one knows, sex is a pleasurable activity that needs a lot of energy. Therefore, if you feel fatigued and exhausted, it would affect your performance in bed as well. To conclude, in simple words, the less sugar you consume, the more the energy you will be able to reserve for sex!
- Creates Leptin Resistance: Leptin is a hormone that tells your body to stop eating, rather in other words, it acts as a brake on your appetite. When you eat a diet high on sugar, your leptin stops working. Although the body keeps producing it, the brain becomes unable to respond to its calling. This makes the body leptin resistant. Now leptin also affects your sex life. In a survey, it was found that men with higher levels of leptin in their blood (most likely due to leptin resistance), not only had a higher BMI (body mass index) but also low levels of testosterone. And low levels of testosterone have always been linked to a low sex drive.
- Sugar triggers stress and anxiety: Stress and anxiety not only leads to lower libido or sex drive but also leads to problems in erections. As per research, blood sugar imbalances often trigger mood swings, depression, and anxiety. This is because with increased production of insulin when blood sugar crashes, it leaves one feeling depressed and unwell. Also, high levels of insulin, leads to elevated levels of cortisol, your stress hormone, making the overall combination not too good for your sex life.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP