How to get a stronger erection without medication

How to treat your erectile issues the natural way.


Erections are the consequence of a well-tuned interaction between brain signals, hormones, heart function and the action of blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction therefore, is often a sign that one or more of these processes are disturbed. But before you reach for Viagra, there are lots of opportunities to strengthen erections naturally.


Erectile dysfunction causes

The causes for erectile dysfunction will vary from patient to patient, but can be due to an underlying medical conditions.  Conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease affect erections because they can disrupt healthy testosterone levels and lead to narrowing of blood vessels in the penis.  If blood is unable to reach the penis fast enough, erectile dysfunction is inevitable.

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Anxiety and depression are mental health conditions which lead to sexual dysfunction. Studies have found that higher levels of anxiety and depressive disorders are associated with erectile dysfunction.  Anxious people often direct their attention toward their thoughts or assessing a potentially threatening situation. Sex with a new partner, for example, could be perceived as a scary or threatening situation for some men.


Besides medical conditions, there are many lifestyle choices that can affect proper sexual function. For example, smoking has been tied to erectile disorders because it affects biochemical mechanisms which govern healthy neuronal signaling and also causes direct damage to the endolthelium (the layer of cells lining blood vessels). 


Strengthening your erections through diet

Eating plenty of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits as well as legumes has been shown to have a positive effect on sexual activity.  One review found that a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, healthy oils and fresh fish can reverse erectile dysfunction in individulas with type 2 diabetes.


Making changes can be particularly important if you are suffering from any metabolic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes.  Limit your consumption of red meats, dairy products, high sugar foods and alcohol as these can have a negative effect on erectile function.


Try to avoid a big meal before having sex as this diverts blood flow toward the digestive tract and away from the penis.


Getting stronger erections through exercise

Even moderate levels of physical activity have been shown to lower the risk of erectile disorders.  The Massachusetts Male Aging study found that exercise had a positive effect in preventing ED and improving erectile function.  But it’s not only healthy patients who benefit from the effects of physical activity.  In patients with hypertension, just eight weeks of activity for up to one hour per day can improve erectile function.


Losing weight, which is often achieved through a combination of physical activity and dietary changes, not only improves erectile function, but lowers the risk of associated conditions such as obesity and diabetes. In a study of 34 men and women, a weight loss program was shown to positively affect the sex life of participants. In another study, weight loss of just 10% improved testosterone levels and insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients.


Cut stress and boost sleep to promote healthy erections

Sleep is vital for general health. A lack of sleep raises the risk of heart conditions, immune system disorders and metabolic syndromes, all of which can diminish sexual pleasure. A single week of sleep deprivation (five hours per night) decreased testosterone levels by up to 15%. Poor sleep patterns tend to have an effect on libido, energy levels and concentration. Getting a good night’s sleep (between seven to nine hours) has positve effects on mental health too.


Erectile dysfunction in young men is often linked to stress. Stressful events at home or chronic work stress can disrupt vital neurochemical and hormonal processes in the brain. These events lead to a greater production of stress hormones which contract the smooth muscles in the penis. For an erection to occur, smooth muscles must relax. One research study found that mindfulness meditation had a positive effect on lowering anxiety and stress after eight weeks.


Avoid cigarettes and alcohol

If you are a smoker, your risk of erectile dysfunction is significantly higher than that of a non-smoker.  The good news is that the effects can be reversed once you stop.  Research has shown that erectile disorders improved within 12 months for ex-smokers.


Heavy drinking increases the risk of sexual dysfunction.  Among 100 men admitted for alcohol dependence, 72% had erectile dysfunction. But whether your sex life degrades because of alcohol will depend on the amount you consume.  Heavy consumption  will certainly lead to more severe ED.


There you have it.  By pursuing lifestyle changes, you can promote stronger erections and help prevent erectile dysfunction in the future.



  1. Maggi, M., Corona, G., Rastrelli, G., Filippi, S., Vignozzi, L., & Mannucci, E. (2014). Erectile dysfunction and central obesity: an Italian perspective. Asian Journal of Andrology, 16/4: 581.
  2. Mourikis, I., Antoniou, M., Matsouka, E., Vousoura, E., Tzavara, C., Ekizoglou, C., & Papadimitriou, G. et al. (2015). Anxiety and depression among Greek men with primary erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Annals of General Psychiatry, 14/1.
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  6. Esposito, K., Ciotola, M., Giugliano, F., De Sio, M., Giugliano, G., D'armiento, M., & Giugliano, D. (2006). Mediterranean diet improves erectile function in subjects with the metabolic syndrome. International Journal of Impotence Research, 18/4: 405-410.
  7. Feldman, H., Johannes, C., Derby, C., Kleinman, K., Mohr, B., Araujo, A., & McKinlay, J. (2000). Erectile Dysfunction and Coronary Risk Factors: Prospective Results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. Preventive Medicine, 30/4: 328-338.
  8. Lamina, S., Okoye, C., & Dagogo, T. (2009). Therapeutic Effect of an Interval Exercise Training Program in the Management of Erectile Dysfunction in Hypertensive Patients. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 11/3: 125-129.
  9. Kolotkin, R., Head, S., Hamilton, M., & Tse, C. (1995). Assessing Impact of Weight on Quality of Life. Obesity Research, 3/1: 49-56.
  10. Khoo, J., Piantadosi, C., Duncan, R., Worthley, S., Jenkins, A., Noakes, M., & Worthley, M. et al. (2011). Comparing Effects of a Low?energy Diet and a High?protein Low?fat Diet on Sexual and Endothelial Function, Urinary Tract Symptoms, and Inflammation in Obese Diabetic Men. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8/10: 2868-2875.
  11. Leproult, R. (2011). Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men. JAMA, 305/21: 2173.
  12. Cho, J., & Duffy, J. (2019). Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Sexual Dysfunction. The World Journal of Men's Health, 37/3: 261.
  13. Reed-Maldonado, A., & Lue, T. (2016). A syndrome of erectile dysfunction in young men?. Translational Andrology and Urology, 5/2: 228-234.
  14. Hoge, E., Bui, E., Marques, L., Metcalf, C., Morris, L., Robinaugh, D., & Worthington, J. et al. (2013). Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74/08: 786-792.
  15. Pourmand, G., Alidaee, M., Rasuli, S., Maleki, A., & Mehrsai, A. (2004). Do cigarette smokers with erectile dysfunction benefit from stopping?: a prospective study. BJU International, 94/9: 1310-1313.
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