10 Ways to Keep Your Penis Perfectly Healthy—Forever
Maximize efficiency below the belt with these easy lifestyle and diet changes.
Confidence. Gravitas. Laugh lines. Age can imbue older men with traits that women can't help but find attractive. Unfortunately, time's effect on the penis doesn't have the same broad appeal. When you hit forty, your penis begins to change color, lose sensitivity, stand at attention less often, and even shrink. (Truth: that's because of less blood flow, and then less testosterone coursing through what blood flow remains.) The good news is that there are many things you can do to ensure your penis ages at a slower rate than the rest of you. Here they are. And while you're tending to your member, don't miss the Ultimate Smoothie for Boosting Your Sex Drive.
Recent findings from The University of Texas suggest that men who drink two to three cups of java a day—or 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine from other beverages—are 42 percent less likely to have erectile dysfunction than those who consume up to seven milligrams of the stimulant daily. And those who throw back four to seven cups were 39 percent less likely to have the condition than their caffeine-free counterparts. The trend holds true among overweight, obese and hypertensive men (but not for those with diabetes, a condition that often causes the issue). So how exactly does drinking coffee keep things youthful downstairs? The researchers say that the stimulant triggers a series of reactions in the body that ultimately increase blood flow to the penis.
Lose your gut
Here's a great reason to banish that paunch: abdominal fat blocks testosterone, causing your johnson to seem more elderly that it is. An Italian study from 2004 demonstrated that overweight men with BMIs of 28.7 (that's about 195 pounds for a 5'9" male) have a 30% greater risk for developing ED than men of a normal weight. Additionally, dropping flab can effectively increase the size of your penis via a reduction of fat in your pubic area. What more motivation do you need for hopping aboard the elliptical machine? For a jump-start, check out these 30 No-Fail Ways to Boost Your Metabolism!
Use it or lose it
A 2008 study from Finland showed that having sex once a week cut men's chances of developing erectile dysfunction in half, compared with a more leisurely sex schedule of less than once per week. The study also suggested that the more often men had sex, the more their erections improved. Your move? Make a point of setting some things straight with your partner—or yourself—at least twice per week.
Hit the sheets … and sleep!
Poor shuteye is connected to a number of health issues that spark sexual problems as we age, including sleep apnea, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. A study of 8,000 adults by Stanford University researchers found that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from chronic, excessive sleepiness. If that sounds like you, change it tonight with these 10 Ways to Sleep Better — Guaranteed!
Drink more water
Hardly what we might think of as high-octane boner fuel, H2O is as integral to a youthful erection as it is every other bodily function you can think of. Water keeps things moving around the body, including fluids like the red blood cells and plasma that straighten out your penis during arousal. According to a study conducted by a French physiologist specializing in male sexuality, a sudden decrease in the amount of plasma and red blood cells circulating in the body can lead to disconcerting floppiness. The more hydrated the system is, the more efficient the circulation becomes. But there's a secondary reason why drinking eight glasses of water per day will likely pay dividends. In a dehydrated state, you produce a greater amount of angiotensin, a type of hormone that is commonly found in men experiencing having difficulty achieving collegiate erections. Feeling thirsty?
Make it spicy
A recent study by French researchers found that men who eat the spiciest foods tend to have higher testosterone levels than those with milder palates. Study authors attribute the T-boosting effects in part to capsaicin, a compound in chilies that previous research has associated with increased testosterone levels. Seriously spicy serrano peppers are also packed with quercetin, a nutrient shown to boost testosterone levels in the body by reducing the amount that's flushed out by the kidneys. Capsaicin, the compound that makes tabasco sauce hot, releases chemicals that increase heart rate, mirror signs of arousal and rev your libido. Peppers are only one of the 25 Foods That'll Keep You Young Forever!
If you're a smoker, a 2011 study has shown that quitting will result in thicker, firmer, faster erections. To test the study participants' erections, researchers used something called a penile plethysmograph, which measured changes in circumference and hardness while the subjects watched porn. During the 8-week study, the 31% of participants who had successfully quit smoking had fuller erections than before. And 75% of the quitters who suffered ED at the beginning of the study no longer did by the end.
Don't overdo it with booze
This is no surprise, but there's science behind it. Alcohol desensitizes you and slows reaction time, and binge drinking can affect hormone levels. Not only do you wind up with a beer belly, but according to a report in Strength and Conditioning Journal, guzzling the equivalent of five or more drinks appears to suppress the production of testosterone. But smaller doses (one to two drinks) appear to have little or no immediate effect on T. So keep things moderate: Two drinks a day. Maybe one of these 20 Cocktails Every Man Should Know How to Make?
Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that sedentary men were more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, while Harvard's School of Public Health also found that men who participate in vigorous activity for 20 to 30 minutes are about 50 percent less likely to have erection problems than inactive men.
If you're more confident about your penis, you'll be more cocksure in the bedroom. One way to get it looking its best and biggest is to trim down an excess of bush. You needn't go all Ken doll, but some modest manicuring may reveal an extra inch of shaft that's being unnecessarily obscured. Moisturizing is another way to give your twig-and-berries the patina of youth. Check out these 10 High-Tech Grooming Gadgets You Need Now!
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