Having a low sex drive or a lack of sex drive can cause problems for men. Therefore, it’s important to understand the causes of low libido in guys and how to increase it. You crave confidence in the bedroom and want a healthy sex life with your partner.
Pharmaceutical drugs, such as Viagra, can help men get an erection, but most people focus on natural alternatives that are discreet, readily available, and have few side effects.
Research shows that many supplements and foods can boost your libido and might even treat erectile dysfunction. We’re here to talk about the causes, options, and other factors that might help you have a better sex drive.
Click To View Table of Contents
Causes of Low Libido
Many men have a low libido, and some doctors say it’s one in five. Therefore, if you know five gentlemen, at least one of them will have a non-existent or lower sex drive. Women often find themselves in a relationship with such a man, and that can make it difficult to enjoy intimacy.
What causes a low sex drive in men? Many variables come into play, and it’s important to know the many reasons for a diminished libido. Let’s dive into them now.
Anxiety and stress in everyday life can bring about issues with libido. However, this is an umbrella term that includes family problems, mental disorders, and depression. Almost any strain in life can lead to a lower libido.
Often, men withdraw when they experience physiological problems. They don’t discuss their issues, and it’s important to open up to people you trust so that it’s easier to understand the condition and increase male libido.
Talking with a partner or seeing a therapist might help long-term, but you should also determine if the relationship is right for you and find other quick changes that might assist. Evaluate your situation and make notes!
Medical and Health Issues (Erectile Dysfunction)
Medical and health issues can lead to low libido. Things like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and more are all part of it. Likewise, certain drugs and hair loss products could negatively affect your libido.
It’s important to discuss these things with a medical professional. They can help you find alternative medications that don’t have low libido as a side effect. Likewise, they focus on getting your weight under control and working out appropriate treatment plans that meet your needs.
Women tend to be the ones with hormonal issues, but it happens to men, too! When you get older, testosterone levels change. This is the top reason why you have a high, low, or normal sexual desire.
After you turn 40, you will likely experience low testosterone. This hormone is produced in the body and assists with many sexual characteristics.
It’s important to know what your body lacks or needs to boost libido and have a better sexual performance each time. If you believe your testosterone levels are low, it’s wise to speak to a doctor to confirm those suspicions. There are various treatments available!
Decreased Dopamine Levels
A desire for sex starts in the brain, and that involves hormones and chemicals, including dopamine. If your brain doesn’t get enough dopamine, it isn’t triggered to have sex or want it.
Typically, low dopamine levels happen because of lifestyle issues and health concerns. Those who already take medications to stimulate dopamine production might need to find other options or raise the dosage. It’s wise to talk to a doctor before doing any of that, though.
Men can also find natural ways to increase dopamine in the brain. Dark chocolate, bananas, and avocados are high in tyrosine, which can boost dopamine. Likewise, you should get exercise often because that’s shown to raise dopamine (feel-good chemicals). It’s also crucial to get enough sleep because that can lower dopamine levels if you don’t.
Using Supplements That Work Like Viagra
If you want to boost testosterone levels, you may want to avoid medications like Viagra. In fact, we have a page about the 5 best male enhancement pills that offers a guide to safer options.
Most men prefer something more natural, such as a dietary supplement. These are generally safe to take and have few side effects, so they’re better and often more affordable. Here are the top choices to consider:
Tribulus Terrestris is the small leafy plant that’s popular in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. The fruit and roots are used most often. Likewise, it’s available as sports supplements and is often marketed as a way to improve your sex drive and boost testosterone levels.
Human studies haven’t indicated this, but it does appear to boost the sex drive for both sexes. A 90-day study of women showed lower sexual pleasure, but they took 750 mg of Tribulus Terrestris every day for three months to increase their sexual satisfaction. It worked in 88 percent of the participants.
However, the study didn’t include a placebo group, so it’s challenging to draw conclusions.
Likewise, studies of people who had erectile dysfunction showed mixed results when taking Tribulus Terrestris. An older study indicated that taking about 800 mg of Tribulus Terrestris each day for 30 days didn’t treat erectile dysfunction at all. However, another study showed 90 days of daily use of 1,500 mg improved sexual desire and erections.
Overall, it might help you, but there isn’t enough research to know for sure.
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) is a root vegetable that’s often used to enhance sex drive and fertility. You can easily buy the supplement as capsules, powders, or liquid extracts.
One 12-week study in 2002 showed that 42 percent of men taking 1,500 to 3,000 mg each day had an increased sex drive.
In one research review, maca acted as a natural aphrodisiac, which increased sexual desire for men. It could treat erectile dysfunction, but there’s not enough research yet.
Additionally, the evidence does suggest that maca could combat a loss of libido caused by certain drugs, such as antidepressants.
Generally, most studies indicate that taking 1.5 to 3.5 grams each day for two to 12 weeks was enough to boost libido!
Red Ginseng for Sexual Function
Ginseng, and red ginseng, in particular, can improve sexual function and prevent low libido. One review of 10 different studies showed that red ginseng boosted sexual arousal in menopausal women.
Likewise, it can boost your production of nitric oxide. The compounds within promote blood circulation and help the penis muscles relax. Studies revealed that the herb is much more effective for treating erectile dysfunction than placebos.
There was also a review of nine different studies for about 600 men that had moderate or mild ED. Red ginseng was concluded to improve ED and sexual satisfaction more often than a placebo. Still, this effect is smaller, and the strength used was of lower quality. Therefore, more research is necessary.
Typically, red ginseng is well-tolerated by most people. However, it could cause side effects, such as an upset stomach and headaches. It could also interact poorly with blood thinners and other medications. Therefore, you may want to speak to a doctor before using red ginseng.
Fenugreek is another popular herb used in alternative medicine that could improve sexual function and enhance libido. It contains certain compounds that the body can use to produce sex hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen.
One 12-week study determined that using 600 mg of Fenugreek daily improved sexual function but also increased testosterone levels for 120 men that were middle-aged or older. However, it’s unknown if that increase was clinically significant.
Similarly, one eight-week study of 80 women with low libido found that taking about 600 mg of Fenugreek each day significantly improved their sexual arousal and desire when compared with the placebo group.
However, very few human studies examine libido and Fenugreek, so more research is necessary. It’s said that Fenugreek works by encouraging the body to produce more sex hormones. Still, it could interact with warfarin and other blood-thinning medications, so you should talk to a doctor before use.
Saffron is actually a spice that derives from the Crocus sativus flower. In fact, it has many traditional uses, such as being an aphrodisiac and reducing stress, especially for those on antidepressants.
Some studies indicate that saffron can improve a sexual dysfunction that’s caused by antidepressants. Likewise, a review of six studies reported that it improved erectile dysfunction, sex drive, and sexual function in men. However, there were flaws in the methods used to analyze the studies, so that weakened the findings.
Additionally, after reviewing five studies of 173 people, it was found that saffron improved many aspects of arousal, desire, and sexual pleasure. However, the results of each varied. Likewise, the effects of the supplement for those without depression and who aren’t taking antidepressants are mixed.
Ginkgo Biloba for Blood Flow
Ginkgo biloba is significantly popular in traditional Chinese medicine. Older animal studies and research indicate that it could treat many issues, such as low libido and sexual disorders. It works by raising the nitric oxide levels, improving blood flow, and expanding the blood vessels.
The nitric oxide-boosting effects of the supplement seem to be stronger in animals. However, humans with heart disease and other similar conditions benefit as well. When you combine it with other compounds, such as Tribulus Terrestris, zinc, and L-arginine, ginkgo biloba can improve sexual function and libido.
L-Citrulline for Blood Vessels
L-citrulline is actually an amino acid your body produces naturally. It gets converted into L-arginine, which improves blood flow from producing nitric oxide that dilates the blood vessels. Therefore, it could treat ED.
In a 2011 study of 24 men with erectile dysfunction and conditions associated with it (diabetes and high blood pressure), they took 1.5 grams of L-citrulline each day. Roughly 50 percent of the participants saw improved symptoms within one month.
Another study of 30 days saw men taking 300 mg of trans-resveratrol, 800 mg of L-citrulline, and their traditional prescription ED medication. They improved erectile hardness and function when compared to a placebo treatment. Resveratrol or trans-resveratrol is the plant compound that works as an antioxidant, so it has many health benefits and can help produce nitric oxide.
The supplement is found in powder or capsule form, but it’s also naturally present in nuts, dark chocolate, and watermelon.
Rhodiola Rosea is considered a medicinal plant and is often called Artic root, rose root, or golden root. It primarily grows at higher altitudes in the mountains of North America, Asia, and Europe. Doctors call it an adaptogen, which means it brings the body back to normal by regulating its biological stress response.
Overall, researchers believe it acts on the dopamine system within the brain, which is important for sexual function. Studies indicate that it reduces fatigue and stress feelings, which are the two largest factors of waning libido in both women and men. However, when searching for it, read the label to ensure it has one percent salidroside and three percent rosavin.
L-arginine is actually an amino acid found in the body and promotes several functions, such as repairing damaged tissue and immunity health.
When you take L-arginine as a supplement for sexual health, it increases nitric acid in the body and relaxes the muscles around the genital’s blood vessels. Therefore, more blood flow gets to the clitoris or penis, which improves sensation and arousal.
Since it’s an amino acid, L-arginine could help men keep an erection. The International Journal of Impotence Research published a study that showed taking 5 grams of L-arginine each day improved erectile dysfunction symptoms in about 31 percent of patients. However, 1.5 grams each day didn’t have better effects than the placebo.
Ashwagandha is primarily used in Ayurvedic Indian medicine. The herb is often called Indian ginseng. Just like Rhodiola Rosea, it is an adaptogen that reduces the physical and mental effects of anxiety and stress. Likewise, it’s been shown to decrease inflammation, increase muscle size and strength, and lower blood sugar levels.
There’s little research on Ashwagandha, but early studies indicate that it could raise fertility and testosterone levels in men. Fertility and Sterility published a study showing that these natural supplements improved motility and sperm count.
Zinc is crucial for testosterone synthesis and sperm production. In fact, it’s found in the body, but the highest concentration is in the prostate gland and testes. If you don’t get enough zinc, you might notice lower testosterone production, which results in erectile dysfunction and low libido.
One study showed that testosterone levels in young men decreased by about 75 percent after 20 weeks of not getting enough zinc. Traditionally, vegetarian diets, low-protein diets, and higher alcohol consumption could lead to a deficiency. However, some medications also cause the problem, such as stomach acid reducers and ACE inhibitors.
You will find many of these ingredients in a lot of the supplements covered on this website. Testogen pills seem to be the consensus pick to work the best.
Other Aphrodisiac and Treatment Options
The options above aren’t the only supplements and foods that can help with a decreased libido. Here are a few others, but they don’t offer as much supporting evidence.
Many animal studies have indicated that oysters could promote the production of sex hormones in men and boost sexual function. However, no human studies have been done yet.
Chocolate is one of those foods believed to boost libido, but it primarily focuses on women. Still, there isn’t much evidence to support the claim.
Some evidence does suggest that nuts can boost libido in men. Pistachios are the most notable ones. However, more research is still necessary.
Watermelon contains plenty of L-citrulline, and that can assist with ED. However, human studies haven’t examined watermelon intake and the effects it might have on libido or ED.
Some evidence indicates that chasteberries might ease PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms in women. However, there’s no indication that it can boost your libido.
Everyone seems to run on coffee anymore, but too much of it can be damaging to the body. It’s a popular beverage that contains polyphenols and caffeine. Some studies have linked it to a lower ED risk. However, there’s not enough research on caffeinated drinks to be sure it could help.
Horny Goat Weed
This herb has compounds within that increases blood flow to a man’s penis. It’s also been linked to better erectile functionality in animals. However, there isn’t much human research on horny goat weed.
While alcohol might help you get in the mood, it doesn’t boost libido. In fact, high intakes are linked to sexual dysfunction.
High levels of anxiety can deter sexual relationships. Men and women react differently to it, but more men go undiagnosed. Those who have significant responsibilities or a hectic work schedule can easily get overwhelmed.
It’s best to create a list of the things in your life that cause anxiety. Then, you can find ways to adjust your lifestyle. Making certain adjustments over time can make stress more manageable.
Getting Enough Sleep
One natural way to increase your libido is to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Go to bed each night at the same time and set an alarm to wake up. It will take trial and error to get it right, but it can improve your sexual health.
Typically, men need seven to eight hours of sleep a night, but that depends on you. Go to bed about five minutes earlier each night for a week until you’re getting enough rest. Likewise, you may need to set up a sleep schedule. Stop texting, put down what you’re doing, and hit the sheets! That will help you get into a rhythm.
Likewise, you need a relaxing bedtime routine. That might include putting the phone down an hour before bed, reading, stretching, or taking a hot shower. With time, this tells your body that it’s time for sleep.
Improving Relationship Issues
The quality of your relationships can impact your sexual desire. Some men find that they don’t get enough connection with their partner and should try and improve that.
There are a few things you can do. For example, you should be honest with each other and talk openly about any issues and problems.
Likewise, you should both be supportive. When you go through a tough time, she needs to be there for you and offer support.
Though it’s fun to be together, each person in a relationship deserves and requires alone time. That helps you both recharge and get refreshed. Going to work isn’t enough; you need specific moments that are yours.
One simple way to boost your libido is to find activities that increase your desire and interest in sex. This can include music, lubrication, toys, and other foreplay options.
Make sure each person is comfortable and keep the expectations low initially. Likewise, you shouldn’t assume you will have sexual intercourse after foreplay. That can help both of you learn about desire and achieve sexual satisfaction.
Change Your Eating Habits
A healthy weight can improve your sexual health and other areas of your life. If you’re obese or overweight, this could lead to health problems, such as a stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Likewise, a healthy diet will help you lose weight and improve your overall well-being.
Along with weight management, healthy foods offer other benefits. If you eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, you might lower your risk of cancer and even reduce your cholesterol levels.
Get More Exercise
Routine exercise can increase your sex drive in many ways. While you will lose weight and be healthier overall, workouts can boost testosterone production within the body.
Just 30 minutes of exercise each day can lower stress and boost your sex drive. Plus, you don’t have to lift weights or do things you don’t enjoy. Simply walking briskly can help you reduce anxiety and feel good about yourself.
Use Sex Therapy
Sex therapy can also help you increase libido. Generally, you pay to speak to someone about your sexual problems, and it’s not available everywhere. However, telehealth is becoming more popular, so you might be able to go online and get assistance.
Typically, sex therapy helps couples talk about their problems and connect on a deeper level. When things are working well in your daily lives, you’re more interested in sex. Both people can also work on their fears, anxiety, and depression.
Quit Bad Habits
Quitting your bad habits isn’t easy, and that can include many things. Smoking generally inhibits blood flow, and that plays a part in your erection. Often, decreased libido is because of lifestyle habits or erectile dysfunction. However, if you smoke, you will definitely have issues with your sexual desire.
Your alcohol intake could be a problem, too. Though it can get you in the mood, drinking too much makes you sleepy. Reduce your consumption of alcohol and use various supplements. For example, Vitamin E increases blood flow to the penis and has antioxidant properties!
When You Should See a Doctor
ED is often a symptom of another condition. These can include:
- Bladder complications
- Complications with sexual organs or the prostate
- Unmanaged diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
Factors linked to erectile dysfunction include smoking, heavy alcohol use, and using certain prescription drugs. If you don’t treat the underlying condition, it’s unlikely to improve, even with supplements.
However, you can start with:
- Avoiding drinking and smoking
- Incorporating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in the diet
- Increasing physical activity
Sometimes, ED doesn’t resolve with lifestyle changes alone. Therefore, you might want to see a doctor to rule out health problems and find appropriate treatment options. More testing and lab work might be required, as well.
What Foods Will Help You Get Hard?
There aren’t any foods that can make you get hard. However, if you incorporate more vegetables that are rich in nitrates, you might enhance blood delivery and nitric oxide to your penis. Foods such as beetroot, arugula, and spinach are great. Then, you’re ready and have a better sex drive when the time comes.
Watermelon might also do well because it has L-citrulline, which the body needs to produce nitric oxide.
What Beverages Can Help You Get Hard?
Just like no foods can get you hard on their own, beverages can’t either. However, you might increase your sexual performance if you create a smoothie of beetroot, spinach, and watermelon. Likewise, you can purchase beetroot juice and consume it, though most people say it’s strong and earthy.
What’s an Aphrodisiac?
Aphrodisiacs are any drugs, foods, and substances that can increase your sex drive, pleasure, desire, and performance. Common supplements and foods that have aphrodisiac effects can include Tribulus Terrestris, oysters, dark chocolate, Fenugreek, yohimbine, and others. However, the evidence supporting those aphrodisiac properties varies significantly.
If you want to boost your sex drive, you’re among countless men. Typically, you turn to natural supplements first because they have fewer side effects and often include other vitamins and minerals your body needs.
However, there’s not much research to back up the claims that various supplements will boost sexual function and give you a better sex life. It’s best to speak to a doctor before trying natural remedies. They could interact with your medications and cause problems.
Likewise, a doctor is the only one who can order tests to determine why you have ED or a low sex drive. It might be better in the long term to seek medical assistance to find out the cause.