Man reading for a mug of beer.

Sexual and Health Benefits of Cutting Back on Alcohol

The relationship between alcohol consumption and health is well-established. Excessive drinking negatively impacts the brain, cardiovascular system, and vital organs. Similarly, drinking too much can also take a toll on sexual health, resulting in erectile dysfunction (ED) and lowered sex drive.

Read ahead to learn more about the health benefits of reducing alcohol consumption.

Better Sleep

Although alcohol can cause drowsiness, it actually contributes to poor quality of sleep. The presence of alcohol in the bloodstream causes people to experience more restless sleep because it they don’t spend a sufficient amount of time in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This disruption to circadian rhythm makes people more likely to suffer from fatigue, irritability, and have trouble concentrating.

Mental Health & Mood

Mood disorders and mood swings can create conflict within intimate relationships, making it more difficult to maintain intimacy with partners. Though some people feel more relaxed while drinking, alcohol consumption can worsen depression and other mood disorders. Thus, it is recommended for those living with mental health and mood disorders to be mindful of alcohol consumption.

A Slimmer Waist

Man holding a scale and thumbs up.

It is no secret that alcoholic beverages can contain high levels of sugar and be loaded with calories. Simply reducing the number of drinks someone has each week can make a dramatic difference in efforts to maintain or lose weight.

Research demonstrates a strong link between weight gain and erectile dysfunction (ED). One study of men with ED found that more than 30 percent of those who participated in a weight loss program regained normal sexual function within two years. Engaging in regular physical activity, eating a balanced diet, and limiting alcohol intake can help men reach their goal weight and reduce their ED symptoms.

A Healthier Heart

Men with healthier hearts are more likely to have healthier erections, as poor cardiovascular health is a leading risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Frequent drinking can increase blood pressure and result in damage to the heart. Ceasing or significantly cutting back on alcohol consumption can help to lower blood pressure, reduce triglyceride levels, and improve overall heart health.

Improved Sexual Function

Couple laughing together.Alcohol consumption can alter the way the body produces hormones, including testosterone, which is important for sexual function. Altered testosterone levels can lead to changes in mood, decreased energy, and decreased sex drive. In fact, heavy drinking, or having more than five drinks within a two-hour period, is associated with reduced testosterone levels in men, increased testosterone levels in women, and fertility issues in both men and women.

Drinking heavily has been shown to cause both temporary and long-term erectile dysfunction. Research suggests that men living with alcohol dependence are 60 to 70 percent more likely to experience sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and limited sexual desire. Those looking to reduce their risk of ED and to improve sexual function may find success by reducing their alcohol intake.

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