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9 Foods to Avoid Before Sex

Just as people should properly hydrate and fuel themselves for a long run, some foods are better than others for pre-sex meals. No matter what you chose, wait at least a couple hours after a big meal for optimal results. “If you eat right before you have sex, now your body’s trying to digest its food and, at the same time, trying to perform,” says Brad Davidson, performance strategist, certified nutritionist, and author of The Stark Naked 21-Day Metabolic Reset. Some of the foods to avoid are obvious, others may be too tempting to resist, and a couple can help in small doses but hurt if you overindulge. Here’s your guide.


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They’re high in protein, have loads of fiber, pack tons of great vitamins and minerals — and contain a sugar called raffinose, which is difficult to digest. Hence, the flatulence. If you must, soak beans and discard the water before cooking them. A 2011 study found that people may be exaggerating their experiences of gassiness when it comes to beans, so it may help to practice a little mind over matter too.

Processed Foods

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The high levels of salt, sugar, and carbohydrates in processed foods can cause all kinds of ills. “I would avoid any processed foods, like hot dogs and sausages, because those can really bog your digestion down, make you lethargic, and slow blood flow,” says Davidson. Plus, processed foods tend to lack beneficial nutrients. It’s a lose-lose for your love life.


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Desserts are often associated with sex. They can be fun, sweet, and sensual but Davidson says to think twice about a romantic sundae date. “I would avoid any type of high-sugar dessert,” say Davidson. “That can cause an insulin rise and crash, and that can cause the hormone levels to drop a little bit.” One study from 2013 found that consuming glucose significantly dropped the testosterone levels of 73 out of 74 men for two hours.


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It’s all about the smell. Garlic gives people garlic breath, yes, but the smell can also come out of skin pores for days and, in women, it can cause a change in odor down below. On the flip side, garlic is also considered an aphrodisiac and health food because it may help reduce blood pressure.

Red Meat

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As with processed foods, red meat can draw too much attention to digestion, redirecting blood flow from other places a person might want it during sex. The act of processing itself can also make people feel a little funky. “It’s fine if you have good digestion but if you don’t have good digestion, it can bog you down and make you lethargic,” says Davidson.

Spicy Food

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Even ignoring the stomach issues that some people have when it comes to spicy foods, think twice about too much spice before sex. Oral sex plus a mouth that still has some spicy stuff in it, for one, can be a bad combination. However, there is a study from 2014 that showed a link between men who like hot sauce and higher testosterone levels but researchers were unable to say the direction of the effect.


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Like garlic, onions can create all kinds of unsavory smells in the body. Also like garlic, onions are thought by many — despite the lack of scientific evidence — to be an aphrodisiac.


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As is often the case with caffeine, how drinking it before sex affects someone depends on the individual. For some people, particularly those who don’t consume caffeine regularly, it can increase heart rate and cause upset stomach. Caffeine can also magnify anxieties, so avoid it if there are stressful thoughts lurking in the back of your mind. A small bit of caffeine, like a cup of green tea, is likely a better move if you feel you need a pick-me-up.

(Too Much) Alcohol

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Most men know what can happen if they drink too much alcohol. Booze can make it difficult for men to get it up, and delay orgasm in women. If you’re going to drink, a bit of red wine is probably your best bet because it improves blood flow. Davidson says to pair it with a bit of dark chocolate (70 percent cacao or more) for the perfect pre-sex snack, especially for women.

By Taylor Kubota

February 13, 2016
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