How To Stop Drinking Coffee and Alcohol to Boost Your Sex Drive

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Enjoy your daily cup of Joe or a nightly beer or wine? Your sex drive could pay the price. Here’s how to quit drinking coffee or alcohol and why you’d even want to think about giving them up.

Last Updated: 02/03/2023

Written by

Kimberly Wilkes

In part four of our 90-Day Challenge, we’re going to dive into how and why coffee and alcohol lower a man’s sex drive and how to stop drinking these two libido-killers. Each week of the 90-Day Challenge, we’re asking men to change one aspect of their lifestyle and in doing so, improve their sexual function. 

What’s the problem with alcohol and caffeine? Both of these beverages drive up your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.1,2 

The increased cortisol is due to the effect of coffee and alcohol on the adrenal glands, the main cortisol-producing glands in the body. That bottle of beer or cup of Joe can cause the adrenal glands to churn out too much cortisol. This extra cortisol steals from your production of testosterone, a hormone linked to sex drive and libido.3 

Does Alcohol Affect a Man’s Libido and Sexual Function?

According to research, the answer depends upon how much you drink. A review of the science on the topic found that light alcohol consumption—one drink per day in men who weigh less than 190 pounds—doesn’t cause low sex drive and may actually improve sexual function.4

The goal is to either stop drinking alcohol altogether or limit your intake. There’s a reason why abdominal fat is called beer belly. On average each beer is around 150 calories, so if you drink several it can really mess up your weight loss goals. Alcohol intake in general is linked to bigger waists because the liver burns alcohol instead of fat.5 

Does Drinking Lots of Alcohol Affect Your Libido?

Binge drinking or drinking heavily spells trouble for your sexual stamina and libido. In studies of men with sexual decline,  moderate to heavy alcohol consumption was linked to worse sexual function.6

Regularly drinking lots of alcohol is also associated with other factors that affect your performance under the sheets such as premature ejaculation and inability to ejaculate.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption and Low Libido 

In some men, even a moderate amount of alcohol could lead to low sexual desire. One study published in the Journal of Sex Research studied the effects of alcohol drinking on 24 men ages 22 to 34 who had a history of moderate alcohol consumption.6 This study defined moderate alcohol consumption as one to three drinks per week, consisting of 1 to 3 ounces of alcohol per occasion. 

The study found that orgasm was delayed in men whose blood alcohol concentrations were either moderate (.06%) or high (.09%) compared to men with a lower blood alcohol concentration of .03%. Men with higher blood alcohol concentrations found it harder to have an orgasm.

There was a definite connection between alcohol intoxication and a decrease in sexual arousal, less pleasure from sex, and reduced orgasm intensity.

Does Coffee Decrease Libido?

As mentioned earlier in this article, caffeine ramps up your body’s production of the stress-hormone cortisol.1,7 

This in turn causes your body to make less testosterone, and low testosterone spells trouble for a man’s sex drive.  

The biggest problem is drinking too much caffeinated coffee and drinking it too late in the day. How much is too much? This can depend on the person since everyone metabolizes caffeine differently, with some people taking up to 12 hours to get it out of their system. For most people, four cups per day is way too much, but some men might find the upper limit is much lower, such as one cup per day or less.  

Downing too many cups of Joe is linked to anxiety, sleep problems, headaches, and heart palpitations. Not getting enough sleep due to excessive caffeine intake will leave you too exhausted to have enough sexual stamina. 

How To Stop Drinking Coffee and Alcohol

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol can support your body’s natural cortisol rhythm and keep your testosterone levels high enough to promote sexual stamina. 

The best way to quit drinking coffee so that you reduce or eliminate coffee withdrawal symptoms is to avoid going cold turkey. In other words, cut back slowly and make sure not to drink any caffeine after lunchtime. 

If you drink more than one cup of coffee per day, drink one cup less for a few days then reduce your intake a cup at a time until you stop drinking coffee altogether. 

If you drink only one cup of coffee per day, start by downing one cup every other day, then every few days, until you give it up for good. 

Try the same strategy with alcohol. If you drink two beers or two glasses of wine every day, go down to one beer or one glass of wine. 

Men who drink every day can start by cutting back on how many drinks they imbibe daily, then start drinking every other day, then a couple of times a week. Eventually, you should be able to stop drinking altogether.

If you can’t stop drinking alcohol no matter how hard you try, you may need to seek the help of alcoholics anonymous and a therapist. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee and Alcohol 

Does alcohol affect a man’s libido?

It depends on how much you drink. Moderate to heavy drinking can cause decreased sexual arousal, less pleasure from sex, and reduced orgasm intensity or the ability to reach orgasm in the first place. 

Light drinking may not be as harmful to sexual health, but it also ramps up the amount of calories in your diet, putting you at risk of weight gain, which can affect sexual function. 

Even light drinking can raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn lowers testosterone, a hormone linked to healthy libido and sex drive. 

Does coffee decrease libido?

Like alcohol, coffee can raise cortisol levels and lower testosterone, which can reduce sexual stamina. Drinking too much coffee or downing it later in the day can also lead to anxiety and sleep problems, which may leave you too tired to have much fun in the bedroom. 

How do you stop coffee withdrawal symptoms?

Caffeine addiction can lead to caffeine withdrawal symptoms. According to a study by Johns Hopkins Medicine Researchers, which reviewed more than 170 years of caffeine withdrawal research, in some people as little as one cup of coffee daily can lead to caffeine addiction, although usually the more caffeine consumed, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms.8

Coffee withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Drowsiness

  • Depression

  • Irritability

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle pain or stiffness.

The best way to avoid coffee withdrawal is not to go cold turkey. Stop drinking coffee gradually while making sure you drink your last cup of Joe before noon. 

People who drink more than one cup of coffee per day can down one less cup for a few days then slowly reduce your intake cup by cup until you’ve given it up completely. If you only drink one cup per day, start by drinking it every other day, then every few days, until you give it up completely. 

Missed weeks 1 - 3 of the 90-Day Challenge? Check out the links below to give you some ideas of what you can do together with Li-ESWT to have the best sex of your life.

Week 1: Does Intermittent Fasting Work to Improve Men’s Sexual Performance? 

Week 2: Sugar and Sodas: Two Important Causes of Low Libido in Men

Week 3: Is Late-Night Eating Bad for Sexual Health?