When it comes to spending quality time between the sheets, the last thing you need is your dinner ruining a pleasurable sweat sesh with your S.O. To our dismay, many foods that normally help you look your best naked can actually mess with your tummy or disrupt your hormonal balance, resulting in a serious lack of libido. That’s why Eat This, Not That! curated a list of foods you should never—ever—eat before sex. And if you’re the type to get caught up in an unexpected rendezvous, make sure to keep these 15 Foods For The Best Sex Ever in your kitchen. Always.
Before you reserve a table for two at that new Spanish tapas spot, consider this: beans contain oligosaccharides (indigestible sugar molecules that the body can’t fully break down) that more often than not result in abdominal cramps and excessive gas—two things that won’t help you or your date get in the mood.
Thanks to the raffinose and sulfate in cruciferous veggies, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli increase the need to pass gas and can leave you queasing in pain rather than pumped up to get freaky. “Humans don’t possess the enzyme to break down raffinose, a complex sugar commonly found in cruciferous vegetables,” says clinical nutritionist Jennifer Cassetta, CN, MS. “So when these vegetables get to the lower intestine, they’re fermented by bacteria and produce methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which leads to gas.”
Much like you wouldn’t consider a Netflix and chill invitation to involve just movie bingeing, don’t expect alliums (like garlic and onions) to make you more irresistible to your bae. These pungent veggies, along with coffee and spicy foods, have the ability to mess with your body’s odors—and not in a good way.
Non-Organic Soy Products
Since soy contains estrogen-mimicking isoflavones called phytoestrogens, consuming too much could disrupt both men and women’s hormone balance—which spells out a low libido. In one rare occurrence, a case study in the journal Nutrition discovered that after adopting a vegan diet based excessively on soy products, a 19-year-old male experienced loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. The Rx? Don’t eat excessive amounts of soy milk, edamame, tofu, and soy-based vegetarian/vegan meat alternatives—and always make sure they’re organic (which means non-GMO, too)!
You may crave a little buzz before you hit the sheets, but a beer-induced altered state of mind can also alter your libido. That’s because hormone-tampering phytoestrogens are present in the hops used to make beer. The moral? Crack open a cold one with the guys—not with your date.
Commercially Baked Goods
There are two grand sex saboteurs in your favorite sweets: trans fats and sugar. The artery-clogging fats can bring your O to a halt while the sweet stuff increases levels of the hormone insulin, which can cause you to store belly fat and lose muscle mass—which often results in lower testosterone levels. And if you’re a dude, the news doesn’t get any better: belly fat raises estrogen levels, causing you to experience low libido and erectile dysfunction. Sex > dessert, anyway.
Glycyrrhizic acid, the main compound in licorice that’s also responsible for the treat’s unique taste, can suppress testosterone production. In one study, seven healthy male participants consumed seven grams of licorice candy tablet that contained 0.5 grams of glycyrrhizic acid daily. Just four days into the study, the subjects’ total testosterone levels showed a 35 percent decrease.
Besides for many commercially-made dairy being full of hormone-disrupting antibiotics, about 65 percent of the population is lactose-intolerant. And stomach discomfort isn’t the best motivation to get you revved up. Wondering how else chomping on cheese affects your body? Find out exactly What Happens To Your Body When You Give Up Dairy.
If you’re an avid asparagus eater, then you’ve definitely noticed the green spears’ odd effect on your pee’s scent. With that in mind, avoid this healthful veggie before getting busy.
If you’re buying cold cuts from the supermarket, it’s likely that their plastic wrapping is made with PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which leaches into fatty foods and causes hormonal shifts—a total no-go for your sex drive. Besides for deli meat, processed hot dogs and hamburgers contain added hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics that can also cause a pesky hormonal imbalance. Grill up these 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss instead.