In Netflix doc The Game Changers, Dr. Aaron Spitz, senior delegate of the American Urological Association, performs an unusual experiment. He feeds three vegetarian burritos of American college athletes one evening and another of meat burritos, then measures their erections while they sleep. On average, men have erections that last almost five times longer after eating a vegetarian meal, and their erections are up to 13.5% firmer.
So, do vegans have better erections? Lorraine Grover, a London-based male sexual health nurse, says no: “I’ve never heard of it. Former MMA fighter James Wilks claimed that being vegan improves the quality of his erections. “We know that meat has been implicated in… the cause of erectile dysfunction,” he said, “but also in sperm quality, sperm mobility, energy and that sort of thing.” .
Grover says there is no evidence that veganism improves sexual performance, and lists the reasons men can struggle: diabetes, vascular problems and nerve damage. But there might be a reason for Wilks’ claim. “Your mental health has a big impact,” says Grover. “Veganism may have helped him psychologically, and it affected his sexual performance.”
Erectile dysfunction is often linked to a man’s broader mental health. “Everyone just wants to see if his penis gets hard,” Grover says. “But if there is any trouble in your personal life, it also affects your erections.”
Dr. Douglas Savage, an expert in male sexual health, points out that obesity is known to contribute to erectile dysfunction. “Any degree of obesity will make erection problems more likely. I should have thought that there are less obese vegans, in general.
High cholesterol levels can also affect sexual health. “Cholesterol clogs the arteries in general, but especially if you have a penis. You might be more likely to follow a meat diet if you have high cholesterol. If your fat drops on a vegan diet, you can lower your cholesterol levels.
Veganism – is this the answer to rock solid erections? May be. It certainly won’t hurt.