The Link Between Dehydration and Erectile Dysfunction

We’ve all been bombarded with the myriad health benefits of drinking water: clear skin, more energy, etc. These things sound nice and all, but they don’t cause many people to go out of their way to drink those good ol gallon of water every day. But hearing that water could actually help your penis work better? Now that might just cause an international water-supply shortage.

So what exactly is the relationship between dehydration and erectile dysfunction?

Here’s what we know.

Dehydration & Erectile Dysfunction

Water is essential for survival. It is the fuel that makes sure your body is able to perform everything smoothly. Dehydration occurs when you do not have enough fluids in your body for your body to execute its normal functions (Mayo Clinic). 

Some symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Blood flow

An erection is dependent on proper blood flow. Blood is what swells the penis to make it erect and suffient for sex. To get and maintain an erection, blood must enter and exit the penis at the proper times. 

In a state of arousal, messages are sent to the brain that direct blood flow to the penis. This blood is directed into the corpus cavernosum, two chambers in the penis. This is what causes the swelling and erection. The blood leaves the corpus cavernosum after ejaculation, causing the penis to become flaccid (Medical News Today). Essentially, proper blood circulation is what makes a penis firm enough for sex.

What does hydration have to do with all this? According to Healthline, a hydrated body has a higher volume of blood cells and plasma, which allows blood to flow more effortlessly throughout your body. When you are dehydrated, your blood vessels compress, making it more difficult for you to maintain an erection because your penis is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. 

Essentially, improper blood flow makes it harder for you to, well, get hard.

Dehydration and mood

Dehydration has been shown to impact a person’s mood, which in turn can impact a person’s ability to have an erection. One study conducted in 2011 found a link between mild dehydration and tension and anxiety in men. The American Academy of Family Physicians has found that depression, anxiety, nervousness and stress can be contributing factors of ED. 

You are not able to put other things out of your mind instead of focusing on the moment at hand. Dehydration might just be the temporary mood killer that keeps you from enjoying the moment.

How much water should you be drinking?

The amount of water a person needs to drink every day depends on the individual. You need to increase the amount of water you drink if you are losing a lot of fluid, such as when you sweat from exercise or from hot weather (or other sweaty activities, if you catch my drift).

The Mayo Clinic recommends that men need 15.5 cups (124 fl oz or 3.7 liters) of fluid daily. This fluid can come in the form of water, other beverages, or even food.

To make sure you are drinking enough, the Mayo Clinic recommends drinking a glass of water:

  • During and between meals
  • Before, during, and after exercising
  • When you feel thirsty

Final thoughts

To be clear, further research is needed to determine if there is a causational link between dehydration and erectile dysfunction. Talking with your doctor is the best way to determine the best method of treatment if you are experiencing ED (click here to set up a telehealth visit with one of Viking Man’s doctors). But if you are experiencing temporal issues with ED, you might want to see if your problems might be solved with a simple and natural solution.

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