How Sugar Is Killing Your Sex Life

If you ever needed a solid reason to stop bingeing on candy, it's this: It is screwing with your sex drive.

When you eat cotton candy or a pack of Swedish Fish, you get that dirty, wild high and momentary sweet-tooth satisfaction. And then you crash. This high and low is messing with more than your mood and waistline. Sugar has negative effects on many aspects of your adult life… including your sex drive. Here's how.

Sugar is destroying your dong

You need energy to keep up a healthy sex drive. If you're bogging down your bod with energy that doesn't last, you're not going to be up for sex, figuratively and literally.

"A sugar high is short term and not sustainable," says Dewayne Riggins, an elite trainer, mixed martial artist, and group fitness instructor. And the speed of the high and the low totally messes with your natural systems.

"Men with blood sugar imbalances have trouble getting or maintaining erections," says Mark Hyman, MD. So, if you want to know just how bad sugar is, research has even shown that sugar is a major cause of erectile dysfunction, mostly in diabetic men.

Riggins suggests you stick to "a well-balanced diet throughout the day with vegetables, protein, and good fats, which will maintain a consistent level of energy for our body. Avoid high-sugar, hard-to-digest foods like candy [and] dried fruits."

It seriously hinders your libido

Leptin is the hormone that tells your body when to stop eating and ALSO helps to monitor sexual behavior. Sugar creates leptin resistance in the body; which in turn leads to a decrease in sex drive.

"High amounts of sugar will create a spike and then result in feeling tired," Riggins says. "Your sex drive is negatively impacted if you are feeling tired and fatigued. Sugar can also affect the levels of testosterone in men. Decreased testosterone levels will directly impact your libido."

It is the crash that takes the life out of you (and your horniness). I am seriously sitting here wondering what I thought I was doing eating a family-sized pack of caramels last night.

Sugar leads to stress, which doesn't help

Yup -- it gets worse.

"Elevated levels of cortisol lead to a feeling of being 'stressed out' and will decrease your sex drive," Riggins says. So sugar = more stress hormones = crapped-out libido. That might be the most depressing thing I've ever heard. *Mentally cleans out candy drawer when home later*

You really might want to consider your sex drive the next time you're picking between a box of Milk Duds and a bag of nuts. Is eating a candy bar really better than having an orgasm? Not really.

More clean eating, more dirty sex

Better sex starts in the kitchen. "Keep your eating clean and consistent throughout the day to maintain your sex drive and your energy to have more sex," Riggins says.

Think of your body as a machine. You need to give it fuel in order to keep it running. Take this a step further and imagine your body is a really, really expensive machine that has SEX(!) -- and if you put the shitty discount gasoline in it, you'll mess the whole thing up.

And that means less sex.

"Each meal [should] be balanced and evenly spaced throughout the day in order to maintain a consistent energy level," Riggins says. "Removing or reducing sugar intake will allow you to feel balanced throughout the day and will remove the chemical reaction in your body which result[s] in decreased testosterone and increased stress."

Is sugar really worth it to you? Do you want to have LESS SEX because you wanted candy? Priorities, people!

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Gigi Engle is Thrillist's Sex and Dating staff writer. Sugar makes her cranky and not at all horny and maybe that's what inspired this research in the first place. Follow her lovable crazy on Twitter, iTunesFacebook, and Instagram @GigiEngle.