09 Jul Soda Is Killing Your Sperm
Save them! Save the sperm!
It’s been nearly a month since my last post here, and much has happened both in my own life and in the world, but my not sharing stuff I think is important – my silence – isn’t making anything any better. So I think I’m ready to start creeping back out into the world to see what’s going on in places that aren’t my apartment or the gym.
I wasn’t out there in the world for even five minutes before I came across this distressing article from Australia, proclaiming that drinking soda (they’re really referring to both diet and regular caramelized beverages like Coca Cola or Diet Coke, not soda water or seltzer) can reduce your sperm count by a monstrous 30%! And it isn’t a totally bonkers amount of soda to do it, either. According to the study, drinking even three cans of soda per day with some regularity can cause this significant drop in baby materials.
But wait! It gets worse:
As if this news weren’t troubling enough, scientists at Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland, also found that in some cases cola addicts suffered from erectile dysfunction.
The study by doctors Jan Adamowicz and Tomasz Drewa suggested that a sweetener present in many fizzy drinks damages arteries and prevents blood flow to the penis. This can combine with other physical and psychological factors to prevent an erection.
The study drew attention to the sweetener High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is already considered a primary cause of obesity due to its presence in a variety of food stuffs.
Now. I’m not a big soda man myself. I used to drink between 6-10 cans of Pepsi per day in high school and early in college, but I’ve since given up the hard stuff in favor of my very favorite thing, La Croix Sparkling Water (it’s on my wish list if you ever need a last minute gift idea). Now I do about a case of LC every week or so.
It’s not that I’m especially worried about my sperm count (or that you need to be) but low sperm count is very often an indicator that some other stuff is probably going on with your important bits. If you’re damaging your sperm count, it’s likely because you’re damaging some other important stuff, too, so stop it.
Drop the soda, pick up your some sperm numbers:
Here’s some stuff you can be doing to undo some of the damage you may have done, once you get your soda habits under control. These are all tried and true methods, not just for increasing your sperm count, but also of increasing your overall output volume:
- Quit smoking. On average, smokers have 22% less sperm per ejaculate than non-smokers.
- Don’t cook your balls. Reducing the temperature of your testicles is known to boost sperm production
- Eat less crap. Diets that reduce fat intake and are high in protein, whole grains, and vegetables have been shown to improve semen quality.
- Save your spooge. Ejaculating too frequently can deplete your sperm concentration, decreasing your chances of conception. On the other hand, going more than a week between ejaculations can actually reduce sperm motility (old sperm). Making love (even to your hand) every 2-3 days is optimal for beefed up loads and higher sperm count.
- Sober up. Even though drinking can often induce the baby-making process, alcohol has been shown to reduce semen quality. If you do consume alcohol, experts recommend drinking only in moderation.
- Know your meds. Be informed about your medications, as certain drugs (including antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, and anabolic steroids) can reduce your fertility. Be sure to ask your physician for possible fertility side effects before taking new medications.
- Just say no. Avoid illegal drugs – narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroine are known to reduce male fertility.
- Take your vitamins. A number of substances are needed for optimal sperm production. If you have a nutrient deficiency, supplements have been shown to improve sperm quality:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin E
- Co-enzyme Q10
Even if you’re not trying to get somebody pregnant, you should be trying to keep your nuts as healthy as possible your entire life. I encourage you to find out as much as you can about how your body produces semen and what you might be doing to jam up the works, without even knowing it!