Historically, chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac. It's true that cocoa has active properties that can boost our mood, but don’t be fooled this Valentine's Day! Most of those heart shaped boxes don’t contain much — if any — cocoa at all. Instead, they’re filled with flavored sugar, and all that sugar can have a lasting impact on your sex life.
When you eat a sugary treat, your blood glucose shoots up. The pancreas kicks in to overdrive, producing excess insulin. This effort to manage glucose levels results in a drop in blood sugar. This sugar roller coaster disrupts the neurotransmitters in your brain, the hormone disruption combined with low blood sugar levels results in fatigue.
When you eat something sweet, your liver gathers the excess sugar and converts it into fat. The production of excess fat forces your liver to turn off sex hormone-binding globulin. SHBG is a gene that produces a protein. Estrogen and testosterone need that protein to function.
Your sex drive is heavily influenced by estrogen and testosterone, and if SHBG isn’t functioning properly, estrogen and testosterone stop working as well. This can cause a loss of sex drive, zap energy levels, cause infertility, cause erectile dysfunction and shrink testicular size.
High sugar levels frequently cause vaginal dryness. This not only decreases pleasure but can also cause intercourse to be painful. Lower your sugar intake and pick up an all-natural lubricant — make sure it’s sugar free!
Tiny little blood vessels feed your erogenous zones — especially your clitoris. Without adequate blood flow, erogenous nerves do not receive the nutrition or oxygen needed to function. In women, circulation damage can impair the ability to feel intimate pleasure and increase vaginal dryness. In men, circulation damage can cause erectile dysfunction.
Over time, high blood sugar levels begin to damage the nerves themselves. Neuropathy can cause numbness, tingling and pain in the extremities, which is the reason foot problems are so common in diabetes. It can also cause neuropathy of the pelvis, directly impacting sexual function.
High sugar levels create the perfect environment for yeast and bacteria to breed. An itchy, uncomfortable, painful infection is a sure-fire libido killer. High sugar intake also significantly increases the risk of developing a urinary tract infection or bladder infection.
When you eat sugar, your body produces the stress hormone, cortisol. Increased cortisol levels can cause decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction and an irregular menstrual cycle.
Levels of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins are altered by sugar intake. Initially, levels may spike in reaction to sugar, but over time, the body requires more and more to achieve the same response.
These hormones play essential roles in healthy sexual function, ineffective levels can damage intimacy. These hormones also play a role in healthy mood; irregular levels can cause depression, which further damages sexual function.
Energy levels, weight levels and mood all contribute to confidence levels. Curves are sexy, but if you feel lousy, you’ll never enjoy them. Don’t let sugar snare your sex appeal — eat it in moderation.
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