There’s an old saying, “Everything good is bad for you,” which means that if something is enjoyable — beer, fried food, loud music, you get the idea — then it’s probably terrible for your health. Well, it turns out that your favorite vices are just as harmful to your baby batter’s health.
Even if getting a girl pregnant is your worst nightmare, scientists are warning of a worldwide fertility crisis among men, so it could matter someday if you’re shooting blanks. Here are 10 things you love that also happen to be drowning your swimmers by the billions — though, obviously, only an idiot would depend on them for alternate forms of birth control…
1. Red Meat
Bacon, pepperoni and other processed red meat lowers your viable sperm count by a quarter, according to a 2013 Harvard study of 18- to 22-year-old males. Although pregnancy isn’t much of a concern at sausage fests.
Nachos, pizza, just gnawing on a chunk of mozzarella…dudes love our dairy, but too many milk products (especially the high-fat kind) will ironically cause your dick to produce nothing but cheese.
Drinking too much can make you act like a testosterone-fueled jackass, but it actually messes with your pituitary system and decreases your testosterone levels; that can lead to impotence, infertility and even inability to ejaculate, according to endocrinologists at the Loyola University Medical Center.
A couple drinks a day won’t do much damage, but nearly 50% of heavy drinkers have “abnormal sperm shapes,” and 75% have something called “testicular atrophy,” which we’re honestly too afraid to Google.
While carbohydrates don’t affect sperm quality, they decrease quantity. Pretending you’re gluten intolerant is definitely breaking Guy Code, so which do you prefer: A longer orgasm or a longer hoagie?
It’s recognized as a medicine in 22 states, but there’s a side effect (aside from craving all the food items on this list): “Abnormal sperm,” according to research at the University of Sheffield in England. Then again, if you’re about to become a father, you probably shouldn’t be stoned as hell all the time anyway.
7. Your Phone
Smartphones are pretty much extensions of our hands at this point. And maybe they should stay there, because putting one in your pocket messes up 8% of your scrotum’s “wireless network.”
What guy doesn’t love hopping on a bike and enjoying some fresh air? Until that seat begins chaffing. Professional cyclists have significantly lower sperm counts than average, according to Spain’s University of Córdoba. (To be fair, Lance Armstrong’s uniball could be skewing the numbers here.)
9. Soap & Toothpaste
Last month, researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that ingredients in common bathroom products — unless you shop at the same organic store as your hippie cousin — are “possibly more dangerous than previously thought” for male reproductive systems.
(OK, maybe basic hygiene isn’t an “awesome thing” like the rest of this stuff, but B.O. will nix your chances with a lady, and that’s not awesome.)
10. Watching Television
By now you must think every pleasurable thing poses a danger to your testicles, so you sit down, turn on Netflix and refuse to budge. Sorry, bro, vegging in front of the TV for 20+ hours per week causes “44% lower sperm concentration.”
But there is one pleasurable thing actually improves these numbers: Having regular sex, according to Australian researchers, which reverses DNA damage by 12%. Want the best for your lil guys? Set them free.
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