fbpx

Libido is such an interesting (and complex) experience for every individual.

Because of this it can be affected by so many things. And we’re not just talking about the obvious stuff like the male sex hormone of testosterone here.

Yes, (yes, oh god yes!) testosterone levels can have a big (BIG) impact on sex drive but there are a lot of subtle things that can be going on too.

In this post, we’ll dive into a bunch of key diet and lifestyle factors that have been shown to increase testosterone and libido.

And these diet and lifestyle factors can actually affect both women and men. So, ladies read on…

Exercise:

Did you know that men can experience increased blood levels of testosterone after a bout of intense exercise?

For some reason this doesn’t seem to be the case after endurance exercise like a long run and in fact, endurance exercise may actually reduce the levels of circulating testosterone.

Nor does it seem to have the same effect on women whereby their free floating testosterone increases after a workout.

For a temporary boost or to increase fertility men can try some weight lifting or a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout.

Sleep:

Sleep is critical for just about everything our bodies do.

If you’re not getting 7-9 hours each night you’re going to want to prioritize that for your health (and sex drive).

Try it. You just may thank me.

Body fat:

Did you know that low testosterone is linked with high body fat?

Particularly visceral fat which is associated with a large waist circumference. You see, with more fat there is more of an enzyme called “aromatase” that converts testosterone to estrogen. Eepp… And, what you want as a man, is to keep that testosterone – not convert it.

Losing excessive weight and keeping it off has so many health benefits anyway so why not shed a few to increase your libido!

Diet:

Certain nutrient deficiencies can contribute to low testosterone. Not only zinc and vitamin D but if you’re not eating enough protein and healthy fats that too can also have a negative impact.

Not to mention eating way too few or way too many calories. These aren’t going to help you in the bedroom department either.

So, make sure you’re eating enough food to sustain your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and that you’re getting enough protein and healthy fats (which are hormone protective) and ensure adequate take of vitamins and minerals.

Side note: Did you know that zinc is the second largest trace mineral in the human body and is vital to sperm motility!

Stress:

No one can deny that your moods can affect your sex drive, right?

Too much stress, sadness, and worry can take over your mind and push that drive to reproduce right to the backburner. So, you may want to try to minimize that stress in your life and therefore the stress hormone cortisol.

How about some tips? Make time to do things you love, workout, spend quality time with your family and friends, meditate, relax with a great book, or take a long bath.

And don’t forget to laugh.

Consider Maca:

Have you heard of the Peruvian herb called “Maca” (Lepidium meyenii)?

It’s a plant in the cruciferous family (think broccoli) and its root has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. It’s usually ground into a powder and dried.

Believe it or not there are a few studies that show an increase in libido for those who supplement with it. Scientists don’t know exactly how it works, but it seems to work for both men and women and it doesn’t seem to impact your hormones (not even testosterone).

Maca is an antioxidant and seems to be protective of men’s prostate. New research suggests it may also be helpful for our brains and bones.

It has a bit of a “dirt” flavour so most recipes don’t call for the same amounts as in the supplement. But trust me, you’ll love the recipe below.

And if you are considering supplementing you should know a few critical things:

Maca (as do many supplements) interacts with some medications so be sure to check with your doctor, pharmacist or natural health

practitioner (that’s me) before taking Maca supplements.

Because it can affect your moods you should be very careful taking Maca if you have anxiety or depression.

It’s not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Check-out this week’s recipe for Maca Hot Chocolate