Here are eight healthy things that give you better erections, plus two common items to skip if you want to avoid apologizing in bed.
There’s big news in the world of erection drugs. It involves glyceryl trinitrate (nitroglycerine), the stuff used to relieve angina and blow up bank vaults in old-time movies.
It seems that rubbing a 0.2% glyceryl nitrate topical gel onto the glans of the penis results in a formidable erection in as little as five minutes. (1) This stands in stark contrast to the oral PDE5 inhibitors like sildenafil and vardenafil (Viagra and Levitra), which take one to two hours to hit peak blood concentrations.
Alas, there are drawbacks. The effect wears off after a few minutes, and the side effects include a possible sudden loss of blood pressure, seizures, heart arrhythmia, and maybe even an itchy, bloody member. Those side effects may be transferred to your partner as well. Also, the FDA hasn’t yet approved it for ED, although a doctor may prescribe it “off-label” if you’re brave enough to ask.
If you’d rather not rub nitro on your wang, there are plenty of other things you can do (along with some things you should avoid doing) to strengthen erections.
One study on pomegranate juice found that it improved erectile dysfunction in 42 men. (2) Whether it does this by improving heart function (and anything that helps the heart and circulation is good for the penis) or some other mechanism isn’t completely known. To experiment, drink 6 ounces of 100% pomegranate juice daily. You’ll probably reap some of the benefits.
However, drinking pomegranate juice isn’t getting you close to tapping into its full pro-sexual potential. The problem? The plant chemical that does most of the heavy lifting for pomegranates is something called “punicalagins,” and the heaviest concentration is in the RIND or skin of the pomegranate, the part discarded by consumers and manufacturers of pomegranate juice.
So, to really get all the pro-sexual benefits of punicalagins, you either have to eat a lot of the dried peel or get a punicalagin-containing supplement like P-Well (on Amazon). Each serving contains 180 mg. of punicalagins and other pro-sexual and prostate-supporting ingredients. Take three capsules a day for a month. Pay attention to your erectile strength and frequency.
Without adequate testosterone levels, or more importantly, a proper free testosterone/estrogen ratio, you likely won’t get an erection, at least not from sexual stimulation. In fact, sex will probably be the last thing on your mind. If you have trouble getting an erection simply because you have no sex drive, you might be low on testosterone. Get yourself tested for both free testosterone and estrogen using the sensitive assay.
Yeah, women who’ve popped out a kiddo or two often do these so their bladders don’t cut loose at inappropriate times, but they’re also good for men to fight erectile dysfunction. Just flex your pelvic floor muscles rapidly 30 times in a row. It’s sorta the same contraction triggered when you’re trying to hold back urine flow. Repeat two or three times a day. No spotter necessary.
Popcorn comes into the picture because it’s a good source of the amino acid L-arginine (about half a gram for every 3 ounces of popcorn). Arginine is the biologic precursor of nitric oxide, which plays a prominent role in the birth and nurturing of erections. While it won’t replace erectile dysfunction drugs, popcorn conceivably helps optimize blood flow.
Deficiencies of this vitamin aren’t common, but if you’re a vegan, an old coot, or someone who takes the drug metformin, you’d best beef up on this vitamin or the result will be a tired, lackadaisical penis.
Like popcorn, this grain has high levels of arginine, along with high levels of glutamic acid. (3) These amino acids pump up nitric oxide levels.
This amino acid is a precursor of arginine, and, as mentioned, arginine increases nitric oxide production. For some reason, though, this amino acid works better than arginine. One study exploring its use reported a 70% increase in the number of times intercourse was performed.
Micellar Curcumin (on Amazon), ginseng, CoQ10 (on Amazon), and vitamin C either increase nitric oxide or keep nitric oxide from breaking down. If you try curcumin, use the micellar form, which has 95X greater bioavailability than standard curcumin with piperine.
Just about everybody knows most of the usual stuff that scares away erections, things like alcohol and drug use, smoking, being morbidly obese and out of shape, depression, etc., but there are also a couple of surprising things to add to the list:
Yep, excessive bicycling can damage the plumbing that sends blood to the penis. If you’re really into cycling, at least pick up one of those specialized seats that claim to solve this issue.
Nitric oxide is essential for proper erections, but 50% of our nitric oxide production comes from nitrates found in green, leafy vegetables. As soon as we chomp down on these leaves, bacteria in our mouth get to work converting the nitrates to erection-producing nitrites, but if we gargle repeatedly, we’ve put the kibosh on the bacteria and this chemical conversion. Granted, the effect is probably minimal, but why short-change your penis when you don’t have to?
- Ralph D et al. Efficacy and Safety of MED2005, a Topical Glyceryl Trinitrate Formulation, in the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: A Randomized Crossover Study. J Sex Med. 2018 Feb;15(2):167-175.
- Forest CP et al. Efficacy and safety of pomegranate juice on improvement of erectile dysfunction in male patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Int J Impot Res. Nov-Dec 2007;19(6):564-7.
- Saowanee K et al. Ecdysteroids from Chenopodium quinoa Willd., an ancient Andean crop of high nutritional value. Food chemistry. 2011;125(4):1226-1234.
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