Why Intermittent Fasting Could Be Ruining Your Sex Life, According To Health Experts

Bacon's back on the menu.

Why Intermittent Fasting Could Be Ruining Your Sex Life, According To Health Experts

Image: Alamy

Intermittent fasting has become all the rage in recent years, seen by many as the go-to hack for summer-ready weight loss. What if we told you, however, that there might be one particularly unfortunate male side effect that could be brought on by your insistence on skipping brekkie…

Given our endless dedication to all things that matter to men, we try to stay across all the most important news relating to your all-important nether regions: performance anxiety, the perfect penis size, and one man’s unforgettable injury have all featured…

But now, an unexpected crossover between nutrition and sexual health has been revealed that might change the way you approach your next diet and have you weighing up whether a summer six-pack is really worth the sacrifice.

WATCH: Ever wondered what the perfect penis size really is? Wonder no more…

Intermittent fasting is the wildly popular weight-loss tactic that involves reducing your eating “window” by skipping certain meals — or dramatically reducing the gap between meals — so that your body is encouraged to burn additional calories and fat in the longer overnight period between eating times.

Though it’s all the rage, new insights from Abbas Kanani, superintendent pharmacist at Chemist Click, suggest that skipping meals can have a number of effects on the body, including changes in blood sugar levels, energy levels, and hormonal balance:

“Though occasional fasting or skipping a meal is unlikely to cause erectile dysfunction (ED) on its own, chronic or severe dietary restrictions could potentially contribute to ED by affecting hormonal and metabolic balance.”

Abbas Kanani

New data reviewed by Kanani suggests that ED, sometimes referred to as “impotence”, is only becoming more commonplace as time goes on. In numbers that appear to be increasing at a rapid rate, ED is projected to affect 320 million men by 2025.

Breakfast is back on the menu, Image: The Kitchn

But how exactly does reduced calorie intake lead to ED? Well, let’s get into the science: What you eat—or don’t eat—can significantly impact your hormones, particularly testosterone, a crucial hormone responsible for sexual desire in men. Insufficient calorie intake and poor nutrition can decrease testosterone production, resulting in difficulties in achieving and maintaining erections.

How can you combat the likelihood of ED? Well, the first place to start is diet. Whether you’re a fan of intermittent fasting or not, you need to make sure that you’re getting a decent amount of calories in. However you spread them across the day, you need enough to keep you fuelled and keep your body’s basic functions ticking over.

A balanced and varied diet provides essential nutrients that promote optimal bodily functions, including sexual health. Inadequate calorie intake often leads to nutrient deficiencies, such as zinc, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients play vital roles in supporting cardiovascular health and blood flow, both of which are crucial for achieving and sustaining an erection. When these nutrients are lacking, it can impair blood vessel function and hinder the delivery of blood to the penis, leading to a tricky time in the bedroom.

Variety is key, however; this isn’t a greenlight for bottomless brekkie burgers. Image: Code Of Living

But there’s a mental health dimension here too: under-eating can also have psychological repercussions that impact sexual function. Feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression are far more likely if you chronically restrict your calorie intake. These psychological factors can further contribute to sexual difficulties, exacerbating ED.

While under-eating alone may not be the sole cause of erectile dysfunction — and intermittent fasting can, undeniably, give a massive boost to your weight loss regime — it’s clear that insufficient calorie intake can contribute to the unwelcome risk of ED.

So, gentlemen, consider this the all-clear: Eggs, bacon, and all that good stuff are back on the menu. If your missus calls you out, tell her it’s belly or the beast…