The Question People Are Asking: Can Cocoa Flavanols Enhance Sexual Performance?

We’re hearing this question more and more. Could there be a correlation? We wanted to know, so we did a little digging…

Think about it. We know cocoa flavanols positively impact brain, heart and skin function by supporting the nitric oxide pathway and healthy blood flow. And according to Harvard epidemiologist and nutritionist Eric Ding, Ph.D., “erectile dysfunction is also fundamentally a circulation problem” (Nutraceuticals World. Web Sept 2012). We also know many medications for sexual performance work by increasing nitric oxide levels and blood flow to the genital areas of both men and women.

A recent study of over 25,000 men found those consuming the highest amount of flavonoids in their diet did in fact have significantly lower rates of ED (Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Feb; 103(2): 534–541). It’s the first of what we hope will be more studies, because theoretically and mechanistically these findings make a lot of sense.

So…should you consider cocoa flavanols to enhance sexual performance? Our thinking is that there are already so many life hacking, well-studied reasons (plus taste!) to motivate cocoa flavanol consumption. But hey, a boost in the bedroom might just be an additional bonus!