14 Foods to Skip to Ensure Hot Sex Tonight
Pre-date, dairy is not your body's friend, says Tami Meraglia, M.D., author of The Hormone Secret
. "It's a big protein, so your body goes through a mild inflammatory process to digest it, making it a mucus-producing product." Translation? Phlegm—not to mention gas, cramping and other digestive issues. Line up, gentlemen. (Surprised? Then you have to read "6 Things That Happened When I Gave Up Dairy.")
Yes, even your precious Diet Coke can do you wrong. "Carbonated beverages such as sodas promote a distended belly, due to the added carbonation," advises Lori Shemek, Ph.D., author of How to Fight FATflammation!
In addition to the soda bloat, there's the less-than-sexy potential burpage hazards too.
Steer clear of white-flour carbs like breads, pasta, rice, and cereals. "White flour spikes our blood sugar very high and then it drops sharply, crashing and leaving us fatigued and sluggish," says Shemek. Meraglia agrees: "Bagels and donuts produce the same amount of sugar, which can reduce your testosterone levels by 25 percent within just a few hours." A zap in testosterone means a zap in female libido, which decreases your energy and causes low levels of depression (not exactly the mood you were hoping for!).
"The biggest influence on libido is fatigue," says Meraglia, and foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol—like heavy helpings of red meat—take longer for your body to break down and digest. All the energy and blood flow will be heading to the wrong nether region just to try and digest it, leaving you feeling real not-tonight-dear. (Make one of these 6 Boyfriend-Approved Vegan Recipes for date night instead.)
We all know the ditty about the magical fruit, but why do beans—and tofu, and leafy greens—sometimes cause ill-timed flatulence? When the microbes in your body interact with the indigestible fiber found in these foods, they produce sulfur, which promotes bloating and escapes your body via fart, Meraglia explains. And we're not talking about those ghost ones you can get away with, either—we're talking the room-clearing kind.
Hold the Doritos—that salty afternoon snack will not contribute to sexual healing. "Excess sodium in the diet from foods like pretzels, chips, and even frozen snacks creates water retention," warns Shemek. "The cells hold on to the water, which can result in a bloated belly." (Need to satisfy that salt-tooth? Try one of these 15 Smart, Healthy Alternatives to Junk Food.)
Forget the thought of Energizer-Bunny stamina—turns out, caffeine is sort of an anti-sex elixir: "Coffee is a diuretic, so that afternoon cup is going to dry you out and make you crash by 9 p.m., just as the fun's getting started!" says Meraglia. Also, its highly acidic properties zap your mouth of saliva, giving bacteria a breeding ground for bad breath. And it could make you more anxious, killing your sex mood entirely. Bye, Starbucks (till tomorrow, obviously).
Are we actually telling you to stop eating your vegetables?! Just these (and just for date night!): Leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach reduce your body's ability to absorb zinc and could give you a bit of extra bloat 'round the middle. "Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, or cauliflower produce the gas methane that causes bloating and gas," says Shemek. Definitely not helping when you're trying to feel your sexiest.
Energy bars boast a quick boost, but many of them are so packed with processed ingredients, they'll just confuse your body. Meraglia's rule: "If you're eating food with ingredients you can't pronounce, it's likely your body won't know what to do with it, either." This means your body will spend more energy breaking it down. (Take the mystery out and still score your pick-me-up with any of these 10 Easy Recipes for Homemade Energy Bars.)
Minty breath seems like a date must, but it turns out fresh breath may actually be the post-date downfall: Mints give you a lazy libido. "Peppermint is an anti-aphrodisiac," says Shemek. "The menthol in peppermint can send testosterone levels south." (Unlike these 10 Seductive Dinner Recipes Featuring Aphrodisiac Foods.)
We know—it hurts to be told that our fave social lubricant could be a frenemy. "Alcohol is a poison that, in small amounts, our body can tolerate," says Meraglia. "But large amounts can dehydrate you, making you feel lethargic and unfocused." Alcohol can also decrease sensitivity and, duh, inhibit decision-making (translation: bad, numbly-fumbly sex). If drinks are kind of the point of the night, Meraglia suggests no more than two rounds, and be sure to down a glass of water in between every drink.
Pre-almost-anything means the food is processed, which is a sex-drive sucker, Meraglia says. "Think about it: processed food means they took natural ingredients and added unnatural elements to it so that it can stay on the shelf so long that bugs won't even like it!" These foods are stuffed with unrefined sugar, salt, and oil for preservation—all of which can make your energy plummet.
"Women keep getting fooled by 'added fruit' yogurt," says Meraglia. "It isn't fruit; it's dessert!" These 'fruits' are packed with sugar and processed ingredients so that they won't rot in the yogurt—and as we've learned, sugar is a testosterone suck and processed food is an energy suck. Both just plain ol' suck. (It's also one of our 8 Healthy Foods with Crazy-High Sugar Counts.)
What? Another good food turned bad?! If you're getting it on soon-ish, then yes, says Shemek. "Soy depletes testosterone, which steals your sex drive," she warns. "Soy also promotes a sluggish thyroid, and that equals a sluggish metabolism." This means your body will be all-hands-on-deck just to digest your food—leaving no energy for your libido.