Salty. Sweet. Bitter. Metallic. Sharp. Sour. You name the flavor, and there’s a chance your semen will taste that way one day.

Why? Thank all of the chemical compounds. What you consume on a daily basis — from certain foods to other substances — can change the compound composition, which will have a subtle effect on the flavor of your semen.

That also means the taste can vary from person to person, so although semen is generally warm and salty, there will be unique differences in flavor.

Read on to learn more about what changes the taste and why.

Diet does affect the smell of sweat, saliva, and other bodily fluids such as breast milk, so it makes sense to assume that diet may affect the taste of semen. However, not enough research exists to show a strong link between diet and semen flavor.

The big offenders that reportedly make semen smell and taste musky and bitter include:

  • garlic
  • onions
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • leafy greens
  • asparagus
  • meat and dairy products

The alleged items that may make the flavor of semen a little more tolerable include:

  • celery
  • parsley
  • wheatgrass
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • pineapple
  • papaya
  • oranges

More tolerable does not mean your semen will taste sweeter. These foods are thought to cut down on semen’s natural acidity, which means there’s an absence of bitterness — not an added sweetness.

Alcohol can affect your sweat, which in turn can affect your scent and possibly the taste of your semen. Anecdotal evidence suggests that alcohol can create a bitter and sour flavor, but this will depend on the type of alcohol you drink.

Hard liquor, for example, is said to have more of an impact on flavor than beer or wine.

Generally speaking, heavy alcohol consumption can have a negative effect on your sperm motility, quality, and quantity.

As with alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and other substances like drugs are thought to have a bad effect on your sweat and possibly your semen. Consuming any of these substances can reportedly cause the flavor to be more acidic, bitter, pungent, or sour.

Tobacco and other substances can also potentially affect your sperm motility, count, and quality. Research also suggests that smoking cigarettes can affect fertility.

Hygiene is the real key when it comes to semen taste. If you don’t practice good hygiene, it’s not going to be great down there — regardless of what you eat, drink, or otherwise ingest.

You should make sure to properly clean the area around your penis and testicles. Odor from bad hygiene has the potential to make your semen — and everything else — less palpable.

To keep your private parts clean:

  • Invest in a gentle, nourishing soap that you can use to clean your groin every day.
  • Apply moisture-absorbing body powders or creams around the area to prevent odor and soak up any sweat.
  • Keep your pubic hair trimmed and maintained or remove all hair if that’s your preference.

Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise, is also thought to help enhance your semen’s smell and taste, though the effects may only be short-term.

Although semen flavor varies from one person to another, it’s generally warm and salty with a chlorine-like smell. While there aren’t any research-backed guidelines, proper hygiene practices, as well as a healthy diet and lifestyle, may slightly boost the taste and smell.

Adding more fruits to your diet certainly won’t hurt. Not only will certain fruits cut out semen’s natural bitterness, they can also boost your physical health. It’s a win-win.