Most curious guys have wondered at one point or another what their semen tastes like. But if you’ve ever given into your curiosity and actually tasted it for yourself (which is totally fine! We don’t judge!), you know that it’s not…how shall we put this…the most awesome taste in the world. Some have even compared it to laundry detergent or battery acid.
But are there ways you can actually make your semen taste better? The answer is yes — and specifically, pineapple juice has long been rumored to do the trick.
But does eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice actually improve the taste of your semen? Or is this just another sex urban legend? Keep reading to find out if pineapple juice can make oral sex more pleasant for your partner — and which foods actively make your semen taste worse.
So what, exactly, is in your semen in the first place?Contrary to popular belief, semen isn’t just made up of sperm. 80% of it is water, according to Nelson Bennett, MD, urologist at Northwestern Memorial.
“It also contains proteins and amino acids. It has fructose and glucose (both are sugars), zinc, calcium, vitamin C, and a few other nutrients,” Bennett says.
In fact, sperm themselves make up less than one percent of your semen. Fascinating!
How does your diet affect your semen?Putting the issue of taste aside for a second, what you eat greatly affects the quality of your swimmers. A 2012 Oxford study compared two groups of men following different diets. One group followed a diet consisting largely of red and processed meat, refined grains, pizza, snacks, high-energy drinks and sweets, while the second group ate more fish, chicken, fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
The group that followed the healthier diet reported “progressive sperm motility” compared to those that followed the less healthy diet, meaning their sperm moved faster and were thus more fertile.
How does your diet affect the taste of your semen?
“Anything that we ingest, whether it be food, drink, tobacco, etc., has the propensity to affect the taste and smell of our bodily fluids and secretions,” says Bennett. That includes sweat, saliva, and yes, semen.
It all comes down to the pH levels: sperm is alkaline, meaning it typically has a pH higher than 7. (Think back to your high school chemistry class.) There’s good reason for this: because the vagina is naturally acidic, the pH of your sperm helps protect it in that environment, thus ensuring reproductive success.
Because sperm is alkaline, that means that semen is naturally bitter-tasting. Additionally, the quantity of fluid that you consume may play a role in how it tastes.
“Higher fluid intake also increases the amount of seminal fluid that a man produces,” says Dr. Bennett. The more hydrated you are, the more volume you can expect, and an improved taste.
OK, but does pineapple improve the taste of semen?
Well, yes and no. “The rumor is partially true,” says Bennett. While there have not been any scientific studies on the matter, any sugary liquid or food may skew the fructose and glucose content or the pH of the semen just enough to be perceptible.”
Because pineapple is pretty acidic, eating a lot of it or drinking a lot of pineapple juice can help cut down on the bitter taste of semen. That’s true for other acidic fruits like lemons and cranberries as well. “Cranberries help balance the pH levels in semen, making for a better taste,” says Dr. Bennett.
What other foods improve the taste of your semen?
As a general rule, fruit is your friend, since it will enhance fructose and glucose already present in your semen.
“Naturally sugary fruits like kiwi fruits, blueberries and stone fruit (plums, peaches, dates, nectarines) also improve your taste,” says Dr. Bennett.
Other spices and herbs can improve the taste of your semen as well. “Cinnamon, wheatgrass, peppermint, spearmint and parsley all sweeten the taste of your semen,” says Bennett.
One vegetable in particular may help as well: “celery is high in vitamin C, which will help flush out the salty flavor,” says Bennett.
What foods should you avoid?Though we don’t exactly know why this is, “coffee (caffeine), tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana can make the semen bitter tasting, and the by-products of these substances are excreted in bodily secretions like sweat, urine and semen,” says Bennett.
Additionally, red meat, dairy, chocolate, asparagus, broccoli, spinach can make the semen taste salty, strong and sharp. “Those of us who eat asparagus have experienced unsavory smelling urine a few hours later,” says Bennett. The same applies to your semen.
How long will it take to tell a difference?
If you want to try to improve the taste of your semen through your diet, be aware that the effects aren’t instantaneous.
“Changes in semen taste as a result of ingesting certain foods and liquids takes several days to weeks to manifest,” says Dr. Bennett. “The prostatic fluid that makes up a large portion of semen volume is made several days before ejaculation, so drinking a quart of pineapple juice today will not sweeten the semen tonight.” (It’s also not that great for your overall health to ingest that much sugar at once, so try to space it out a bit.)
Overall, while there are ways to hack your semen to make it taste slightly better, the effects aren’t going to be that significant. Still, if your partner makes a face every time they go down on you, first of all, rude, and second of all, it may be worth making these small dietary tweaks to see if they make a difference.