Erectile Dysfunction

10 Tips for Getting Stronger Erections

September 25, 2020

Erectile dysfunction is a common issue, and many men will find themselves wondering how to get a stronger erection sometime during their lifetime.

Though ED can be disconcerting, it isn’t the end of your sex life. In fact, some of the best solutions are really simple, and there are some well-researched approaches to avoiding ED. The steps you take to regain a rock-hard erection will also make sense for your overall health.

Your current health is the first thing to assess if you’re dealing with a weak erection or ED. Countless research studies have confirmed that your physical and mental health are the most important determinants of whether you’ll be affected by ED. 

Erections are all about blood flow to the penis. If you’re dealing with a condition that affects your blood flow in addition to ED, you’ve got some pretty obvious warning signs already. 

You might think about treating erectile dysfunction from three angles: lifestyle changes, nutrition changes, and medications. All three can help you to get your mind and body healthy so that you can get hard (and stay hard) again.

How Do Erections Work?

To improve the quality of erections, it's essential to understand the process behind it. 

It all starts with stimulation and arousal, whether through physical touch or mental fantasies. When a man becomes sexually stimulated, signals in the body trigger the release of a chemical called nitric oxide. This chemical instructs blood vessels to expand and muscles to relax, facilitating increased blood flow into the penis. 

As the two tube-like structures fill with blood, the outflow of blood is restricted, resulting in an erection. 

After orgasm, certain chemicals called phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and serotonin are released to restore the penis to its relaxed state. 

This is followed by a refractory period, during which the body is less responsive to sexual stimulation. The duration of this period varies from person to person, typically getting longer with age.

Obviously, an erection is as much a mental process as much as it is a physical process. Having confidence and a stress-free state of mind can also facilitate getting and maintaining an erection. 

If you’re struggling to get stronger erections, Rex MD is here to help. Here are 10 tips (and a few bonus tips!) that can help you improve your health, so that your time in the bedroom is improved, too. 

Tip 1: Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure 

One of the highest risk factors for experiencing erectile dysfunction is high blood pressure. Eating heavily salted foods and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to elevated blood pressure. Making the adequate changes to your diet and exercising more (two tips also on this list) can help to lower your blood pressure and improve your erections. 

 Talk to your doctor about getting your blood pressure checked to see if it’s high for your age.

Tip 2: Manage Your Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial, especially as you age. By following a proper diet and exercising more, you can shed excess pounds – and keep them off. 

Excessive body weight is strongly linked to erectile dysfunction. Studies show that men classified as "overweight" (BMI 25-30) have a 1.5x greater risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction. For those with a BMI over 30, the risk is three times higher than those with a healthy body mass. 

To achieve optimal erections, focus on maintaining a healthy weight through nutritious eating and physical activity. Losing weight can significantly reduce your risk of experiencing ED – depending on where you fall on this scale.

Bonus tip: exercise regularly

Exercise is not only good for your heart and overall wellness, it’s great for tackling ED and its underlying causes. Erections rely heavily on blood flow, controlled by the cardiovascular system. Getting more exercise will strengthen the muscles involved in blood flow, reducing strain and increasing overall stamina. Aerobic exercise is great for cardiovascular health, while weight-lifting has been linked to boosting testosterone production. 

The CDC recommends 150 minutes of physical activity each week for preventing and reversing health issues. This won’t complicate your life. It’s as easy as regular speed-walking and some simple weight lifting. 

Bonus Tip: exercise your pelvic floor muscles

Speaking of exercise, start adding pelvic floor muscle exercises to your daily routine. More commonly known as Kegel exercises, this simple workout has been associated with improving sexual function in men. 

There are several muscles located in your pelvic region that play a role in erections. Just like with lifting weights, the more that you work these muscles the stronger they become. By strengthening these muscles with Kegel exercises, you may be able to improve erections. It’s a fairly simple exercise that can be done laying down, sitting, standing, or even walking. 

In fact, one study found that pelvic exercises helped 40% of men experiencing erectile dysfunction to regain normal erectile functions. They also helped another 33.5% to significantly improve their erectile function as well. 

Here’s how you do it:

  • Locate the correct muscles of the pelvic floor by trying to stop your stream several times during urination. The muscles that you clench are the ones that you will need to focus on during the exercise.

  • It’s best to lay down at first when doing this exercise. Once you become more familiar with it, you can sit, stand, or even walk when you perform it.

  • Simply squeeze the accurate muscles, hold for five, then relax for five seconds.

  • Repeat this process 10 to 20 times, two to three times daily.

Bonus tip: eat a balanced diet

Making a few changes to your diet can go a long way toward reducing the risk of various cardiovascular diseases or diabetes, as well as improving the strength of erections. 

The best foods for ED are the best foods for your body generally (surprise surprise!). 

Find ways to incorporate more vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and fish into your diet. Try to reduce the amount of fried, fatty, and processed foods as well. Dietary changes will make some of the other tips on this list much easier to achieve, such as losing weight and lowering blood pressure.

Foods that have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health and blood flow are also beneficial to erections. Conversely, the opposite is true: anything harmful to your blood flow will also hurt your erection quality. 

For example, a diet that includes lots of fatty, fried, and processed foods can increase your risk of developing metabolic and cardiovascular conditions related to both sexual health and overall health. Diets heavy in these food types often lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which have been shown to be strong risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

Some specific foods that may have a positive impact on sexual health include:

  • Vegetables that are high in folate, such as spinach and lettuce, might help to increase levels of testosterone.

  • Foods that contain L-arginine, such as oatmeal, poultry, soy, and beans, might help to improve your blood flow by relaxing muscles.

  • Fruits that are high in antioxidants and anthocyanins, such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and cherries, can lower your risk for heart disease and various other heart conditions.

  • Foods that contain the vitamin B-12, such as liver, tuna, milk, and eggs, help to support various systems in the body that contribute to overall erectile health. 

Tip 3: Get Enough Sleep

During sleep, the body rests, repairs, and recharges. Not getting enough sleep or having frequent disruptions that prevent high quality rapid eye movement (REM) sleep can be unhealthy for just about all systems of the body, including sexual function. 

One sleeping disorder that's known to cause these types of issues, and has a well-documented history with erectile dysfunction, is sleep apnea. If you have a tendency to snore and you're constantly tired, you could have sleep apnea. Consider seeing a doctor about using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine in order to improve quality and duration of sleep. 

It’s also possible that lost sleep can play a role in plaque building up in your arteries, which may result in atherosclerosis. Not only is this a dangerous health condition, it may also have a significant impact on your blood circulation. This can make it more difficult to get and keep strong erections. The average person needs six to eight hours of sleep every night. 

Whether you have a sleep disorder or if something else is keeping you up, talk to your doctor about how to improve your sleep for a better sex life and stronger erections.  You’ll feel more rested and capable, too.

Tip 4: Quit Smoking

One of the healthiest things you can do for your body is to quit smoking. When it comes to erections, smoking is the leading cause of erectile dysfunction in men under the age of 40. 

The chemicals in cigarettes are highly dangerous and cause damage throughout the body, particularly to the cardiovascular system (which you already know is critical to erections). But this doesn’t mean you should switch to vapes. Nicotine is known to constrict blood vessels, as well. 

In general, the damage that smoke (whether it’s tobacco, vapes, marijuana, or even CBD) does to your body is extremely harmful and raises your risk of ED. 

If you want to improve your sex life, quit smoking. If weed or CBD reduces your stress or anxiety, look into non-smoking alternatives, like gummies. 

Tip 5: Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is also a major determinant of sexual performance and the risk of ED. Alcohol reduces blood flow throughout the body. Yes, you guessed it! That includes the penis as well. 

In one study, 72% of men with alcohol dependence reported one or more problems with sexual function.

Having a drink or two probably won’t have too much of an impact on your erections; however, the more alcohol that you drink the more likely you are to experience a sexual dysfunction in both the long term and short term.

In the short term, excessive alcohol consumption can have a desensitizing effect, reducing physical stimulation.

In the long term, it can cause permanent damage to a host of physiological functions, including testosterone production, liver damage, and nervous system signaling.

Tip 6: Try Caffeine

Good news for men who need a cup of coffee to start their day: caffeine can help to reduce the risk of ED. Drinking between 170 and 375 milligrams of coffee or tea is enough to help improve erections - just be careful not to overdo it with the sugars and sweeteners. 

Studies have shown that caffeine can help to not only improve blood flow, but it can also help with relaxing the muscles that are responsible for achieving and maintaining erections. 

It’s important not to overdo it with caffeine, but for the sake of erections, caffeine is much better for you than alcohol. Avoid sodas and highly sweetened or sugary caffeine beverages. Instead drink black coffee or unsweetened tea. 

Tip 7: Find Ways to Relieve Your Stress

This is a big one, as stress contributes to incident ED (meaning high one-day stress can make for a tough sex night) but also wears you down over time and can contribute to long-term ED symptoms.

Mental health is a big part of preventing and reversing ED. Depression and anxiety can make it challenging to get or maintain an erection, and this process can be cyclical. Anxiety about sexual performance or ED can also contribute to ED.

Can meditation help with ED? Absolutely. Mindfulness and mental health treatments in general can lower stress, combat depression, and improve those physical symptoms by extension. A few minutes of reflection and quiet can go a long way towards improving your wellness overall.

Stress is unhealthy for the body overall and can be detrimental to the creation of an erection. When you experience stress, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. This causes inflammation and forces the body into a “fight or flight” mode.

Being in survival mode means that sexual functions are non-essential and are largely deprioritized, lowering libido and possibly sexual function. 

Tip 8: Reduce Your Porn Consumption 

Porn is more accessible than ever. While research is inconclusive, internet porn addiction is one of the leading theories on the rise of erectile dysfunction in young and otherwise healthy men. 

Generally speaking, regular ejaculation (and thus masturbation) is good for maintaining sexual health. But consuming porn can lead to unrealistic expectations about sex and tap into fantasies that can’t or won’t be fulfilled in real life. Additionally, some men feel guilt related to their pornography use, again leading to psychological issues around ED.

If you're having difficulty sustaining an adequate level of stimulation during sex with a partner, and you consume porn frequently, they could be related. Try taking a break for a while and seeing if arousal is easier to maintain. 

Tip 9: Communicate with Your Partner 

There are tons of psychological issues that can contribute to erectile dysfunction. One is performance anxiety. By being open and honest with your partner, discussing likes and dislikes, concerns, and addressing problems early, you may be able to reduce the anxiety and pressure surrounding sex – and ED symptoms too.

Tip 10: Try Medications 

If you're experiencing trouble with erection strength or duration frequently, you may be dealing with erectile dysfunction. Prescription medications like Viagra®, Cialis®, or Levitra® can help to alleviate the symptoms of ED and get you back to your normal sex life. They're effective for most men and have been used by millions of guys in the 20 years they've been around.

Bonus tip: test out supplements

L-arginine is a popular approach to treating ED naturally because it’s involved in the production of nitric oxide – a recognized part of the blood flow and erection process. 

It is not, however, approved by the FDA for this purpose, though research has shown it may be effective in treating ED. Arginine is available in supplement form but also comes from proteins and fatty foods. 

Without an FDA approval for this setting, we can’t say that L-arginine definitively solves these problems, but there’s some evidence here that l-arginine may help with ED.

How Rex MD Can Help

If you want stronger erections, lifestyle changes including losing weight, stopping smoking, getting regular exercise, and more could help and the strength of your erections can improve. 

In the event that you're still not satisfied, popular ED medications like Viagra® and Cialis® are easier to access than ever.

Rex MD helps guys connect with licensed clinicians for online assessment and direct delivery of generic ED meds, if prescribed. It's hassle-free and can be done from anywhere - even your phone. Get started today