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The scientific formula to make your erections stronger

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The scientific formula to make your erections stronger

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A healthy erection can be made stronger by certain factors (Picture: Getty Images)

Some erections are stronger than others. That’s just a fact.

But if you’re wondering how you can consistently have stronger erections, whether it’s during sex with a partner or masturbation, there are some scientifically proven methods to make things hard… in a good way.

For those who struggle with going soft during sex, or even if you just want to feel more rigid, Dr Jeff Foster, men’s health specialist and advisor to proven ED topical gel Eroxon, recommends some easy and natural remedies.

Half of men over 40 have some form of sexual dysfunction, so you certainly aren’t the only one. With a few simple lifestyle swaps, however, you can improve the strength of your erection in no time.

Going soft or having issues with maintaining an erection affects half of men over 40 (Picture: Getty Images)

Exercise

The first step is partaking in regular exercise – particularly certain workouts.

‘Muscles, especially those important in maintaining an erection, sometimes lose tone and strength,’ Dr Foster tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Exercise such as pelvic floor exercises may help to prevent erectile dysfunction.’

This is because they strengthen the muscles needed to get hard, but the true key is aerobic activity.

Dr Foster explains: ‘Aerobic exercise has been shown to improve ED as it improves blood flow. A 2018 systematic review of 10 studies found that those practised aerobic exercise of any kind four times a week saw the best results for ED.’

Essentially, the more aerobic exercises you do – any form of physical activity that increases your heart rate and how much oxygen your body uses – the more blood flow to your penis, and the harder the erection.

Think running, brisk walking, cycling, using a stair climbing machine, swimming, hiking and ball sports (but not golf – don’t get any ideas).

Diet

The saying goes, you are what you eat. And that’s certainly the case when it comes to getting healthy, hard erections.

‘A healthy diet may improve erectile function because difficulty in getting an erection is related to poor vascular (blood vessel) function (with similar risk factors as those for cardiovascular disease),’ says Dr Foster.

A 2018 study in Andrology, found that 18 to 40-year-old men who consumed dietary flavones (a compound in food found in fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee) had a positive impact on improving erectile dysfunction and soft erections.

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Dr Foster adds: ‘There is also some suggestion that protein rich foods like meat, poultry and fish may improve erectile dysfunction as they provide the amino acid, L-arginine, which widens and relaxes blood vessels improving blood flow to the penis.’

The main takeaway of the various research pieces on the topic, however, is that ‘an overall healthy diet will make you feel better and healthier and more motivated in general.’

According to Dr Foster, that means a combination of heart-friendly foods like ‘lean meat and poultry, salmon, whole grains, salmon, olive oil, nuts and legumes and tea, and plenty of vegetables.’

Aerobic exercise can help you get stronger erections (Picture: Getty Images)

Stress

If you’ve been going through a stressful period, you may find your erections are softer than before.

Stress and anxiety can result in a soft erection, or struggling to get it up at all, as Dr Foster explains: ‘When you’re stressed it can be hard to be in the mood for sex and be focused on it. You might you lose your sex drive and, if you fail to get an erection, this leads to a downwards spiral with ED causing even more stress.’

Unfortunately there’s not a magic cure for stress (although that would be nice). and tackling it depends on what is causing it.

‘It may be a case of waiting for the stress to pass or being proactive in tacking the cause of stress such as work commitments,’ says Dr Foster. ‘But if a stress and anxiety is a big issue for you, talk to your GP.’

Taking a break and going outside can also be more calming than you think. One study found that that just 20-30 minutes of walking in nature per day could cut your stress hormone levels by roughly 10%.

The more time you spend walking or even sitting outside the better, but those first 20 minutes have been shown to be the most effective.

Mental health apps and therapy could be effective options too, but if you aren’t sure on your next steps, consult a medical professional.

Sleep

‘Poor sleep can cause ED, or soft erections, either by causing reduced testosterone levels or simply tiredness,’ says Dr Foster.

A 2023 study of male students found that those with poor sleep quality had a 59.9% higher prevalence of mild ED and a 19% prevalence of moderate ED, compared to those with good sleep quality.

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The 3-2-1 rule is one way to help improve your sleep.

  • For three hours before bed, you’re not meant to consume any food or drink any alcohol. Water or a non-stimulating herbal tea is allowed during this time.
  • Then, two hours before bed is when you stop doing any work or strenuous exercise.
  • Finally, an hour before you go to bed, you stop using screens (yes, that means putting your phone away) and you also dim the lights in the room.

It’s also a good idea to cut out caffeine after 12pm, and to ensure your bedroom is kept dark and quiet.

Getting good quality sleep is beneficial for your erectile health (Picture: Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

Alcohol

It’s no secret that one too many beers can make it a struggle to get an erection.

So, you won’t be surprised we’re telling you to reduce your alcohol intake as part of this guide.

Dr Foster says: ‘Drinking excessive alcohol can make it hard to maintain erections – in fact, research by Eroxon shows that 57% of men think that alcohol causes their ED.

‘Alcohol interferes with the chemical messengers in the brain that tell the penis to fill with blood.’

A study in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry of men aged between 20 and 50, found that persistent alcohol use induced sexual dysfunction.

This included decreased sexual desire, aversion and avoidance of all genital contact, partial or complete failure to attain or maintain an erection until the completion of the sex act, difficulty orgasming and premature ejaculation.

There’s really no tips for this one, apart from trying non-alcoholic beers or mocktails on your next night out.

Smoking

If you’re a smoker, it’s likely the habit is contributing to a softer erection.

‘Men who smoke are twice as likely to suffer from ED as men who don’t smoke,’ says Dr Foster. ‘Smoking hampers circulation to all parts of the body including the genitals.’

While we know quitting isn’t always easy, there’s a chance you’ll see pretty immediate results: studies have shown there can be reduced sexual dysfunction symptoms within the first 24 to 36 hours of laying off the cigarettes.

‘The impact of smoking on ED is dose and time dependent, so the earlier you stop the better,’ Dr Foster adds.

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Quitting smoking can have very a very immediate impact on the strength of your erections (Picture: Getty Images)

Medical solutions

Obviously erectile dysfunction is a complex issue, and if you’re still finding that you’re softer than you’d like, or struggling to maintain an erection during sex, there are other methods you can try too.

Dr Foster recommends Eroxon gel, which can help you get an erection within 10 minutes and can be purchased from your chemist without a prescription.

Sildefinil – also known as Viagra – is another option which can be taken by most men over the age of 18, according to the NHS. You can get it on the NHS or via private prescription – but beware the latter means you’ll need to pay the full cost of the medicine – as well as from a pharmacy.

Alternatively, you can speak to your GP about your suitability for medications like tadalafil (brand name Cialis), vardenafil (brand name Levitra) and Spedra, as well as alprostadil cream.



Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking sildenafil if you:

  • Have ever had an allergic reaction to sildenafil or any other medicine
  • Are taking medicines called nitrates for chest pain (angina)
  • Have a serious heart or liver problem
  • Have recently had a stroke, heart attack or a heart problem – your doctor should carefully check whether your heart can take the additional strain of having sex
  • Have low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Have a rare inherited eye disease, such as retinitis pigmentosa
  • Have sickle cell anaemia (an abnormality of red blood cells), leukaemia (cancer of blood cells) or multiple myeloma (cancer of bone marrow)
  • Have a deformity of your penis or Peyronie’s disease (curved penis)
  • Have a stomach ulcer
  • Have a bleeding problem like haemophilia

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


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