Coffee, what can't you do? It's been suggested the beverage may be able to lower your risk for multiple sclerosis, melanoma, and retinal degeneration, among other things. Now it appears the brewed beverage might also help men who are suffering from a decidedly sensitive issue: erectile dysfunction. A study published in Plos One by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston found that men who consumed more caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, soda, and sports drinks were all used in the study) were less likely to be impotent than subjects who refrained from or drank very little of it, CBS News reports. But although a variety of men (e.g., those who were obese or had high blood pressure) seemed to benefit from coffee's boost, there was one group on whom the caffeine had a negligible effect: diabetic men.
The study had 3,724 men take a health and nutritional survey that asked them about their caffeine intake and whether they suffered from ED, per the study. Two to three cups o' joe per day seemed to be the sweet spot in terms of helping with impotence: Men who downed that amount (about 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine) were 42% less likely to report ED than men who polished off the lowest amount of caffeine in the study (zero to 7 milligrams), CBS notes; meanwhile, guys who started to surpass that three-cup cap and finished 171 to 303 milligrams of caffeine were 39% less likely to report ED than their caffeine-deprived co-participants. So how exactly does coffee mitigate this problem? Researchers think that the caffeine may enhance blood flow to the penis by getting certain muscles and arteries down there to chill out and relax, notes CBS. (Coffee may be able to clean out a different set of pipes: your arteries.)