What Caffeine Can (and Can't) Do for Your Sex Life

Is your coffee habit interfering with your love life?

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I read somewhere that caffeine can dampen sex drive. True?

Worry not, java lovers! This is mostly a myth. You may have seen online that coffee messes with blood sugar levels, which stresses your adrenal glands and is said to tamp down hormones related to sex drive. Nope: While caffeine can raise blood sugar slightly in people with type 2 diabetes, it doesn't have this effect on healthy adults. So it's highly unlikely that caffeine will decrease your libido. In fact, one study performed on female rats found that caffeine increased sexual motivation.

Still, everyone reacts to a caffeine buzz differently, so there is a chance coffee could hurt your drive. For some, caffeine exacerbates anxiety, which can dampen the mood if you can't focus because you're worrying about other things. On the other hand, caffeine is a stimulant, so it may give you more energy to have sex! If you suspect java is blocking your pleasure, try cutting back to see if that revs things up.

Health's medical editor, Roshini Rajapaska, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.

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