What drinks are putting you in the mood — and which ones are killing it?
You're on a first date with a mild case of the jitters — that's natural — so you order a glass of red wine along with dinner to loosen up a little bit. And that drink probably makes you feel more uninhibited — at first. But after you order a second glass (and then a third ... and then a fourth), don't be surprised if, a few hours later, you find yourself too sluggish for romance.
So what about ordering a virgin cocktail instead? Or a cup of coffee for dessert? Even if you avoid booze, you may still not be in the clear. To break it down for you, we've dug into the latest research to reveal the beverages that boost your libido as well as the ones that suppress it so you'll know what to order come date night.
These rosy red fruits have a pretty sexy timeline of history: Eve from the Garden of Eden couldn't resist taking a bite out of this forbidden fruit. Ancient Romans loved the juicy, red fruit (and they were known for some pretty crazy sexual rendezvous). And besides their anti-aging, cancer-curbing, immune system-boosting properties, apples also turn out to be quite a fruit boost for the bedroom.
The Verdict: With fall, there's a brisk breeze to the air and a natural craving to warm up with a cup of steaming hot apple cider. For an intoxicating date night drink, heat up some hot apple cider, and add a spoonful of cinnamon (a proven aphrodisiac for men) and a few clove sticks (another spicy, sexy stimulant).
That diet soda from the vending machine is doing more harm than good. According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that chugging these artificially sweetened drinks can cause dental cavities, diabetes, obesity and bone loss ... not sexy.
The Verdict: Step away from the soda! If you're opting for diet sodas, chances are you're consuming an artificial sweetener called aspartame. This sugar substitute is notorious for causing headaches and low libido (making the excuse "Not tonight, I have a headache" all the more likely). Still craving something sweet? Add small drops of honey to your drink — the golden nectar is a natural aphrodisiac that supports the production of estrogen and testosterone, stoking desire in men and women!
... which leads us to the lesser-known "G" spot: ginseng! The natural properties in this herb make it a surprisingly potent aphrodisiac. Researchers at the University of Hawaii found that women who took a ginseng supplement significantly upped their libido in a month. Similarly, a South Korean study found that the herbal remedy can help men combat erectile dysfunction.
The Verdict: Just think of ginseng as a natural alternative to Viagara — for you and your man. Boil a pot of ginseng tea over the stove and squeeze a lemon wedge or some drops of honey in for sweetness. And ginseng has also been touted as a protector against cold-weather colds, so you can be sure he'll be back for date number two!
If your guy has been less than interested in you after hours, his go-to date night drink just might be the culprit. This seemingly innocent cocktail is the ultimate mood-killer in a glass because of two main ingredients: One being gin, which like any alcohol, can inhibit your sex drive. And the other being quinine, the flavoring in tonic water, which is believed to lower testosterone levels according to research conducted by Germany's Institute of Reproductive Medicine.
The Verdict: This is one mixed drink to avoid at all costs!
It's no secret mojo: Cocoa beans have been putting people in the mood for hundreds of years. In fact, a study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who ate chocolate every day reported higher sexual function scores than those who didn't.
The Verdict: This reason (besides being delish) makes hot cocoa the date night drink, especially on a chilly fall evening. After dinner, heat up a pair of decadent hot chocolates and cuddle up together in front of a toasty fire. For a sexier version, add a dash of chili pepper (another secret aphrodisiac) for a potent, thick mug of Mexican hot chocolate.