10 Surprising Foods You Should Never Eat Before Sex

Steer clear of these bites and beverages if you're hoping for bedroom blissBy Marlisse Cepeda

Hoping dinner paves the way for a naughty tryst? While nibbles like nuts and dark chocolate turn up the heat, other eats pull the plug on passion. While their side effects don't kick in immediately, spare yourself from so-so sex and avoid these lesser-known anti-aphrodisiacs pre-lovemaking. Photo by Getty Images

Hot Dogs
Although this festival favorite is certainly a suggestive treat, noshing on wieners isn't a good-time guarantee. The summer staple's high saturated fat content clogs the penile and vaginal arteries, creating not-so-prime circumstances for sexy time, says Jacqueline Richard, PsyD, a certified sex therapist in Santa Barbara, CA. For a healthier handheld treat, Dr. Richard recommends fish tacos. The omega-3 fatty acids aid the cardiovascular system, a boon for sexual arousal.

Peppermint
Bad breath may be a turn-off, but freshening it up might not help your situation in the sack. The menthol in peppermint has been shown to reduce testosterone levels, sending sex drive plummeting, says Dr. Richard. Chomping on peppermint-flavored gum means more bad news, since chewing brings air into your system, making you burp. While moans and grunts may enhance sex, belches are better left out of the soundtrack. If mint's a must before a romp, try peppermint tea. It's relatively low in menthol and it's better than gum for digestion, says Robyn Youkilis, a certified health coach and founder of Your Healthiest You.

Related: Try these 8 calming foods that ease stress.

Tonic Water
If your drink of choice is gin and tonic, you may want to save it for nights when nookie isn't on the menu. Bubbly beverages, including soda and seltzer, can make you gassy and bloated (not a sexy combo!), says Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD, a certified sex educator, sexologist and author of The Better Sex Guide to Extraordinary Lovemaking. Dr. Richard adds that quinine-the ingredient that gives tonic water its bitter taste-may temporarily lower testosterone levels and even sperm count, bad news for anyone trying to get pregnant. For a better beverage, turn to unsweetened tea, which boosts your mood, improves focus and promotes better blood flow throughout the body, an ideal set-up for sex.

French Fries
Do you want fries with that? If you're hoping to get lucky, your man's answer should be "no." As with hot dogs, the trans-fat in fries can negatively impact testosterone levels and circulation. Fries' high salt content also can make it trickier for men with high blood pressure to stay erect. For healthy folks, the sodium can bring on the not-so-sexy sensation of bloating. If you're craving potato, eat a baked one instead, suggests Dr. Richard. It releases the feel-good chemical dopamine, improving your time between the sheets.

Related: Indulge in 50 surprising foods under 100 calories.

Tofu
Consider taming your tofu habit, at least for tonight. With high amounts of plant-based phytoestrogens, a lot of the soy-based food can up estrogen levels, says Dr. Richard. And extra estrogen is a sex-drive stealer in men and women. As a vegetarian-friendly alternative, whip up some eggs. High in vitamins B5 and B6, the breakfast staple fights stress and balances hormones for a healthier libido

Canned Food
This simple solution for dinner is also one of the simplest ways to kill the mood. All canned foods' high sodium levels can make you gassy since the salt causes you to retain fluid, explains Dr. Fulbright. If you can't kick cans to the curb, at least wash the contents in a mesh strainer or soak the food in water for about 20 minutes to nix some of the salt, recommends Youkilis.

A Bottle of Wine

If a glass of Malbec sets the mood, a whole bottle should really get things going, right? Wrong-too much booze can turn that initial buzz into a buzz kill. Alcohol lowers your sensitivity to touch and weakens orgasms, says Dr. Richard. A 2008 University of Washington study also found that sober men maintained their erections better than their drunk counterparts. So if you're hoping to score, limit your liquor to two drinks each.

Bowls of Oatmeal
There's no doubt that this morning munch has a slew of health benefits. In fact, oatmeal helps your body produce the stress-reducer known as serotonin, a moderate amount of which is good for your sex drive. But Dr. Richard says bowl after bowl in a single sitting has the opposite effect, lowering sexual desire. Plus, oatmeal's high fiber content also can lead to that unpleasant, gassy feeling. Again, serving up eggs should up your chances for A.M. fun.

Related: Discover 8 unexpected health benefits of sex.

Fruit After a Meal
Sucking on strawberries sounds like a sexy post-dinner treat. Nope! Fruits digest pretty quickly when there's no slow-to-digest supper holding them back. This lag time can cause tummy troubles, like bloating, cramping and bowel problems, says Youkilis. A better idea: Wait at least two hours after a hefty dinner until you start a fruit-for-all.

Energy Drinks

Keeping you and your partner satisfied takes all the energy you can get. Even though energy drinks seem like stamina saviors, the hefty doses of sugar and caffeine pair up for only a temporary surge, resulting in a crash later, says David Zinczecko in his Eat This, Not That series of books. In other words, your energy may not last long enough to get you to the finish line. Too much sugar also can lower testosterone levels, zapping libido. Youkilis suggests sipping black currant juice, which nourishes the adrenal glands for a natural, enduring energy boost.

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