Nutritional value in a serving of semen

Hi Alice,

Today a girlfriend and I were discussing the nutritional value of sperm. While performing oral sex, if you swallow, I was told that it is very high in protein. However, I was also informed that it is very high in calories. This may seem like a weird question, but I would like to know what nutritional benefits are involved when "swallowing" and how many approximate calories are in a man's ejaculation? Thank you for your help in this matter.


Dear P,

A typical ejaculation fills up about one teaspoon; the actual amount is determined by a man's age (younger men usually make more semen), when he last ejaculated, and how long he's aroused before ejaculating, among other factors. Contrary to what you've heard, semen is not loaded with calories. Each teaspoon of ejaculate has about five to seven calories and some 200 to 500 million sperm. Since sperm make up only about one percent of semen, what accounts for the other 99 percent? Well, its other ingredients include:

  • Fructose sugar
  • Water
  • Ascorbic acid (a.k.a., Vitamin C)
  • Citric acid
  • Enzymes
  • Protein
  • Phosphate and bicarbonate buffers (bases)
  • Zinc

Can swallowing semen enrich a protein poor diet? Unless you're gulping gallons of it each day, it's no substitute for real nutritious cuisine! While it may be nutrition you're after, P, semen can also transmit sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It may be a good idea to keep in mind safer sex practices when considering whether or not to swallow.

Last updated Mar 09, 2015
Originally published Oct 29, 1999

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