ED Basics

How to Get Stronger Erections

September 25, 2020

How To Get Stronger erections

Stronger erections are all about physical fitness, avoiding detriments like alcohol and smoking, mental health, and the right medical intervention in many cases.

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, this 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 and regaining a rock-hard erection that make sense for your whole body too.

You might think about treating ED from three angles: lifestyle changes, food and nutrition changes, and medications. All three can help you in getting harder and staying harder.

Lifestyle Changes for Stronger Erections

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 probably the most important determinants of whether you’ll be affected by ED. 

Think about it. Erections are all about blood flow to the penis. If you’re dealing with hypertension (high blood pressure) or obesity in addition to ED (just for examples), you’ve got some pretty obvious warning signs already. 

Let’s start there: the things we know are bad for your body are also bad for your sex life

Avoid Smoking

Smoking raises your risk for ED, and avoiding cigarettes may improve your sexual performance and erection strength. How many cigarettes are bad for sex? Smoking any cigarettes isn't helping your health, but one research study demonstrated that former smokers and men who smoked more than 10 cigarettes/day had a significantly higher risk of ED. 

Cut out cigarettes or don’t pick them up in the first place to lower your ED risk and improve your sex life. You'll probably feel better too.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is also a major determinant of sexual performance and the risk of ED. Alcohol reduces blood flow and is a depressant, which is another known risk factor for ED (read more on mental health below). In one study, 72% of men with alcohol dependence complained of one or more problems with sexual function, and study after study have demonstrated that alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence are strong risk factors for ED.

If you're struggling with ED and alcohol abuse, talk to a doctor, and cut back or cut out the alcohol altogether.

Regular Exercise For ED

Exercise is not only good for your heart and overall wellness, it’s great for tackling ED and its underlying causes. Aerobic exercise improves your cardiovascular health, and the U.S. CDC recommends 150 minutes of physical activity each week to go a long way in preventing and reversing health issues. That could be as easy as regular brisk walking and some simple weight lifting, and with more vigorous exercise like running or jogging, the CDC says 75 minutes weekly may be sufficient.

One Italian study found that obese men who lost weight by reducing caloric intake and increasing their physical activity had improved sexual function.

More exercise = better health = better erectile function and a lower risk of developing ED

The connection is clear. Exercise can help with ED.

Sex Drive and Harder Erections

Another interesting determinant of erection strength and ED risk is sexual function earlier in life. One piece of research published in 2010 found that sexual function parameters “including arousal levels, frequency of ejaculation by masturbation and sexual thoughts as well as erectile function” during a baseline time period were predictive of erectile dysfunction in the future. 

Sexual thoughts, sexual arousal regularity, and frequency of intercourse are all predictive of future ED risk. Why exactly this happens is not perfectly understood: it may be that men who have lots of sex continue to have a high libido, or that some men have a predilection for sexual thoughts and thus more interest in sex. 

Can masturbation affect erections? The same study found that a high frequency of masturbation is also indicative of a lower risk for ED later.

What about pornography and ED?

However, that's not the whole story. Porn-induced erectile dysfunction is a rapidly rising concern among younger men and mental health professionals. Frequent or excessive pornography use has been linked to ED. It's understood to create unrealistic expectations around sex, and with the rise of easy cell phone access, it's more prevalent than ever.

Ultimately, these findings suggests that a healthy sex life now may reduce the risk of sexual dysfunction later.

Reduce 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.

Better Sleep

Again, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone, but getting the right amount of sleep is good for your health, and in the age of social media and entertainment at our fingertips, we’re getting less sleep than ever before. How much sleep do adults need? U.S. president Donald Trump famously gets just a few hours of sleep each night, but most adults need 7+ hours nightly.

Improve your sleep for a better sex life and stronger erections. You’ll feel more rested and capable, too.

Foods for Stronger Erections

What you put in your body, of course, affects your health, which is why improving what you eat is one of the best ways to get stronger erections naturally. Erections and sexual performance are directly affected by the foods you eat. Here are some things you can do to avoid ED, including some foods that may help. 

A Healthy, Balanced Diet

Step one in maintaining a strong erection is a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy and balanced diet. The best foods for ED are the best foods for your body generally (surprise surprise!), and while research studies continue to fluctuate on the perfect diet, we know that whole foods (like fresh fruits and vegetables), sufficient protein, and avoiding fatty, processed foods are simple ways to rapidly right-size your diet.

  • Focus on whole foods, meaning minimally processed and with fewer additives. Cook at home and avoid fast foods with unknown ingredients and extreme fat content.
  • Get enough protein, whole grains, and lower sugar intake so your body has the right fuel throughout the day.
  • The chocolate pastry that can sit in your pantry for two months might sound great, but there’s a reason it never needs refrigerated. Weird additives and preservatives probably aren’t great for your body...or your sex life.
  • Research hasn't yet confirmed that organic produce is actually any better for you than conventional, but eating more fruits and veggies in general gives your body more of the micronutrients you need daily.

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What about supplements for ED?

L-arginine for ED?

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. A study published in 1999 that looked at using 500mg l-arginine for ED daily found no improvement for men with mixed types of impotence, or ED, compared to a placebo. It was a small study, and another similar study from the same timeframe found that man receiving 5 grams per day of l-arginine reported improved sexual performance, though using subjective measures.

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 does help with ED.


Caffeine has shown some ability to improve blood flow in the body and penis, too, and some guys claim that a hit of caffeine helps them perform in the bedroom. Research is sparse on this topic, but a cup of coffee before intimacy probably can’t hurt.

Medications for Stronger Erections

If you’ve given good thought to your current mental and physical health, considered how you might improve your food intake, and are still looking for how to get harder erections, it may be time to talk to a physician about medications for ED. 

Affordable medications that can alleviate ED symptoms rapidly are easier than ever to get and use. 

The most popular ED meds are Viagra® (sildenafil), Cialis® (tadalafil), and Levitra® (vardenafil), and Rex MD carries all three. These are pills that can be taken in the 1-4 hours before intimacy, depending on the product, to alleviate ED for stronger erections. Others are designed for use daily, and a doctor can help you find the right medicine and the right dose to meet the needs of your sex life.

They work well for most men, and now it's easier than ever to do an online physician visit and get started quickly with Rex MD.