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7 Science-Backed Ways To Improve Your Sperm Health

7 Science-Backed Ways To Improve Your Sperm Health

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When it comes to fertility advice, it’s hard to know what – or who – to trust. There is still a serious lack of research into male fertility, and so much we have to learn. However, there are some great studies out there that indicate the lifestyle changes that can really make a difference when it comes to sperm health – so we’ve rounded up how to improve sperm here.


Get enough sleep

Good quality sleep is essential for our overall health, and it’s really important for our fertility. In 2020 a Danish study found that guys who get 8 hours of sleep a night were almost 3 times more likely to have healthy sperm compared to men who got less than 7. However, it also found that too much sleep could have a negative impact on sperm quality – so 8 hours a night really is the sweet spot. The study also indicated an earlier bedtime (before 10.30pm) was better for your swimmers!

Read more about the impact of sleep on sperm health here.

Be careful of caffeine

When it comes to caffeine, you don’t have to cut it out completely – but it is worth thinking about where it comes from. A 2016 study found that energy drinks have a negative effect on sperm parameters including count and motility. A smaller 2010 study found that drinking Coke specifically (which is full of caffeine!) was also not great for fertility. For these drinks, the caffeine is partly the problem, but it’s also because they are full of sugar. The science indicates consuming less than 800mg of caffeine a day shouldn’t have a massive impact on your sperm health – so a couple of coffees is fine – but we’d recommend giving energy drinks a miss.

Learn more about caffeine and male fertility here.


Quit smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your fertility. There’s lots of research into the negative impact smoking has on sperm health. One study saw a decrease in sperm counts by 17.5% and in total motile sperm cells by 16.6% when they compared smokers to non-smokers. Another study that tracked over 2.000 men for 12 years, found that smokers had lower sperm quality and count than the men that didn’t smoke.

Learn more about the importance of quitting smoking if you’re trying to conceive here.

Maintain a healthy weight

BMI is sometimes seen as a controversial subject, but it’s hard to deny the research that links being overweight to poor sperm quality. Research has found that overweight and obese men are more likely to have low sperm concentrations and low total motile sperm count compared to men with normal weight. However, science also tells us that there is a risk of poor sperm quality if you are underweight – so maintaining a healthy BMI is the best route if you want to protect or improve your fertility.

Learn more about how to lose weight healthily through exercise here.

Reduce stress

It can be hard to stay calm on a fertility journey, but stress is definitely something you want to avoid if you’re trying to protect your sperm health. In a Danish study from 2016, the results showed that high self-reported stress was associated with lower semen volume, total sperm count, and sperm concentration. This impact seemed to increase with an increase in stress levels!
It’s not just sustained stress that can negatively affect your fertility. In another study where life events were evaluated, the researchers found that men who experienced two or more stressful life events within 12 months of each other had a lower percentage of sperm motility and a smaller percentage of sperm of normal morphology, compared with men who did not experience any stressful life events.

Learn more about stress and male fertility here.

Eat more nuts

Eating nuts for your nuts might sound like a snappy marketing strapline, but there’s quite a bit of scientific evidence to support the idea! In a 2018 study, men who were given 60g a day of nuts alongside a healthy diet showed significantly higher sperm quality compared to those who had no nuts. A 2019 study which tested the impact of walnuts on male fertility saw increases in count and motility in men that added walnuts to their daily diet. However, it’s important to remember that eating nuts alone won’t improve your sperm health – but they should be part of a healthy, balanced diet – the Mediterranean diet is thought to be the best one for fertility.

Learn more about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet on male fertility here.

Eat less sugar

More research that will impact the way you think about food, is the studies that have been done on the connection between sugar and sperm health. A scientific review from 2017 found that men who had a sugar-rich diet were more likely to have low sperm motility, with simThis link was supported by a 2014 study that examined the link between sugar and sperm motility, whilst another study found that men who drank high levels of sugar-sweetened drinks were more likely to have issues with sperm count.

Read more about the impact of sugar on your sperm health here.

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Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.


Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.


Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.


Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.


There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  


A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.


Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.