For most men age has typically been the focus of, or the reason for erectile dysfunction, or ED. The rationale supporting this view is, age is considered by conventional medicine as the largest risk factor for ED sufferers.

As men age into their 40s, 50s, and 60s and beyond, they were more than three times likely to have obtained a host of other physical health problems contributing to their sexual performance problems.

Health conditions such as being overweight or obese, heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression are seen as inhibitors to being able to get and maintain a firm erection. Medications that are used to treat these health conditions are also believed to thwart sexual functioning.

Recently, however, The Washington Post reported earlier this year that college men as young as 20 are being diagnosed with ED. Former chairman of the psychiatric department at Duke University, Keith Brodie, who has counseled male college students for 25 years, commented that fifteen years ago almost no male students consulted with him on sexual performance issues, today he says they account for nearly 25 percent of his patients.

Clearly, ED has nothing to do with pre-existing health conditions in this age group of men. Quite possibly this problem has been around for a while but, with the advancement in modern drugs options, more young men are putting their embarrassment behind them like their older male counterparts in seeking answers.

Aside from a psychological factor of more aggressive and available females expecting sex more often, lifestyle choices or habits might be the main inhibitor to sexual performance in this age group of males.

They are more likely to be on a financially limited grocery budget, eating more fast and convenient foods, saving their money instead for more partying extravagances such as drugs and alcohol. Drinking excessively or using other drugs several nights a week, staying up late and short changing themselves on sleep, stressed about school performance are also powerful sexual performance stealer's.

Another thought to consider is more young people than ever before are using antidepressants to cope with their physical and emotional anxieties. Antidepressants have a notable reputation for affecting sexual performance in males and females alike.

Now while the newer male enhancement drugs like 'Viagra' may seem like a simple and easy solution to erection problems, they do nothing for bringing on desire, the drugs merely help sustain an erection. They are not the cheapest options either, at nearly ten dollars a pill.

Side effects of drugs like 'Viagra' range from mild to severe and include symptoms such as affecting color vision and mild to severe headaches. In older men increased risks of a heat attack and in younger men, who really don't need it for physical reasons and take it for recreational purposes, may end up with a dependency for the drug. Imagine not being to maintain a erection without a drug!

Safer, easier, and cheaper options involve techniques to improve lifestyles such as getting more daily physical exercise (maybe even specific targeted exercises of the male organ), better food choices, and the often overlooked diet improvement of adequate body hydration.

Younger men think they can drink heavily night after night and still perform like a stud. Alcohol is likely the main culprit of limp-dick syndrome, and alcohol dehydrates the body in a massive way.

To compound the dehydration problem even further, using a hyped-up expensive energy drink to pick yourself up the next day after a drinking binge, will do you no favors either. They are loaded with sugar and caffeine is the second most abundant substance in them that, like alcohol, causes water loss inside your body.

Water should be the last drink you give yourself before going to bed after an alcohol splurge, and the first thing you should give yourself when you awaken. You then begin replacing what your body has lost, and is crucial to being able to perform sexually.

ED is something no young male should have to worry about. Taking a few simple and easy steps now will help avoid this possible problem even as you get older. Taking preventive care now to protect your sexual performance should be at the top of every young man's priority list.

Poor lifestyle choices and bad habits are critical factors that could quite possibly cause you to lose what most men find as the most pleasurable experience of their lives, and so much more, their confidence depends on it. Take care of it now or risk losing it later.