Research links healthy sexual activity to everything from better sleep patterns to improved brain function. But why do some of us struggle with our libido?
Surveys consistently show that as many as 13-28% of men experience a loss of sexual desire. Moreover, only about 23% of men with a low libido report feeling very happy about life in general.
More pronounced in older people, low libido can affect young men as well.
15% of American men between the ages of 18-59 reported persistent complaints of little sexual desire.
Those are troubling figures, but it’s essential to understand that low libido isn’t a lifelong sentence. There are many things you can do to regain your libido and improve your outlook.
This article is your one-stop-shop for information about libido and how to boost it.
The first part will focus on how low libido is defined. The next section will be about practical ways to increase it.
Before you skip directly to the ways to increase libido, consider that there are psychological factors involved and merely knowing enough about it can help manage the condition.
And it’s important to draw a few distinctions. Erectile dysfunction, libido, and sexual stamina are all linked, but they’re not the same.
It’s useful to think of them in similar terms, but they each merit individual attention.
This article also covers causes of low libido that you have little control over. For instance, genetics plays a role, as does your environment.
With the causes and symptoms outlined, we’ll move on to how to get your libido back if it’s low.
In addition, we’ll also cover a variety of natural ways to increase desire and hopefully get you back to your best self. But most importantly of all, you’ll learn about many plants, such as horny goat weed, with proven libido-boosting effects.
WHAT IS LIBIDO
In short, libido is a person’s desire to engage in sexual activity.
That’s simple enough to grasp, but it leaves a lot unsaid. The word desire makes it seem as if all you have to do is will yourself to have an increased libido.
Sadly, that’s not the case. Many factors affect libido levels, and each can have an important impact.
Libido can be rooted in mental problems as well as physical ones.
It’s also important to note the distinction between the desire for sexual activity and the opportunity to act on that desire.
A person might have a healthy libido but no opportunity to act on it as a result of social pressures.
From a purely physical standpoint, a series of biochemical functions govern libido. Those can be present in varying degrees as a result of your genetic makeup and lifestyle.
In psychological terms, the story gets a little more complicated, but we’ll get to that later in the article.
BODILY FUNCTIONS THAT REGULATE LIBIDO
Since libido relates to desire, it makes sense that most of it is governed by brain activity and neural reactions.
The trigger for all these reactions can be a visual stimulus as well as touch, or even verbal communication.
Neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, regulate libido. Dopamine, in concert with other neurotransmitters and sex hormones such as testosterone, modulates libido.
Testosterone is another particularly powerful component in the equation. As a result, increasing serum testosterone levels typically leads to an increased libido.
Furthermore, there seems to be a feedback loop in play. Reduced sexual activity was found to result in lower testosterone levels and vice versa.
Dopamine pathways, sex hormone levels, and other brain activity can be affected by multiple proximate causes. If you’re wondering how to increase libido, those causes are a good place to start.
HEREDITARY FUNCTIONS – IS LIBIDO GENETIC?
Studies into inherited sexual desire have produced some exciting results.
A team of Israeli researchers found that subjects with a particular gene scored about 5% lower in sexual desire testing. Their results were compared against people with an alternative variant of the same gene.
Unsurprisingly, the gene in question (DRD4), partly modulates brain responses to dopamine.
So, what does that mean for your libido? Probably not very much – at least as far as we know now.
Although statistically significant, five percent isn’t a lot to go on. The effect exists, but it’s not very powerful.
The role of genetics in libido is more or less accepted, but its impact hasn’t been precisely measured.
It’s certainly true that there could be a genetic component to libido. However, “bad” genetics – if affecting you at all – aren’t impactful enough to overcome good habits and practices.
Before moving forward, it’s probably a good idea to distinguish between erectile dysfunction and low libido.
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION VS. LOW LIBIDO
Although closely related, erectile dysfunction (ED) and low libido aren’t the same.
Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is the inability to sustain an erection firm enough for sexual activity. It shares some causes with low libido, but also has some that are exclusive to ED.
The causes for erectile dysfunction correlate closely to those for low libido. Unsurprisingly, chronic ED can severely impact a man’s libido.
WHY IT MATTERS
If the causes are mostly the same, and the two are related, why treat them as two different things? In short, because erectile dysfunction is both a cause and a symptom of low libido.
Moreover, ED can exist independently of low libido and vice versa. Men with a healthy libido can suffer from ED.
So, what are the notable differences?
Testosterone, which plays a huge role in libido, doesn’t seem to have the same impact on erectile dysfunction.
There’s also medication-induced erectile dysfunction as a result of individual therapies and treatments. Typically, medical ED can be reversed by discontinuing the medicine in question.
Erectile dysfunction is a broad term and deserves an explanation exceeding the scope of this article. That said, it has a place in any discussion relating to low libido.
There’s no single reason behind erectile dysfunction just as there isn’t one for low libido itself.
Meaning that if a problem exists with libido, consider it from all possible angles. Don’t assume low libido is the cause of your ED.
REASONS FOR LOW LIBIDO
Before discussing low libido, it’s helpful to define what “low” really means. There are certainly no hard and fast rules about the appropriate amount of libido.
In other words, what’s a “normal” libido?
There isn’t a right answer to that. Libido is highly personal, and because it’s a function of so many intervening factors, a broad range is considered normal.
Moreover, libido naturally waxes and wanes. Short periods of low libido aren’t usually a symptom of a more significant problem.
If you feel that’s not very helpful, here’s a better guideline: if it’s a problem, it’s low. That is to say; if you wish you had a higher libido, then you have a low libido.
If it causes issues with your partner, you may want to know how to build your libido.
With that simple definition, here are some common physical causes of low libido in men.
What follows isn’t a comprehensive list of every physical cause of low libido. Only some of the most common and impactful issues are covered.
As you make your way through this article, you’ll start to realize that it describes a holistic system.
Causes and effects of low libido interact with and contribute to each other in complicated ways. And there’s no better example of that than obesity.
For starters, obesity is strongly linked with lowered testosterone. Libido is directly impacted by testosterone levels, as discussed previously.
Obesity has also been established as a cause of erectile dysfunction, which in turn contributes to low libido.
Generally speaking, obesity creates increased inflammation throughout the body. Over time, this damages blood vessels and makes it more challenging to achieve and sustain an erection.
Furthermore, obesity can create endocrine imbalances of many types.
And that’s without getting into the psychological impact of being obese in an image-obsessed society. Obesity often affects your confidence, too.
Being overweight also increases the likelihood of developing diabetes, which is the next point on this list.
A lowered libido can be the result of diabetes or even the medications associated with its management.
Diabetes causes a host of hormonal changes that can contribute to a low libido in men.
Men with diabetes are also more likely to suffer from low testosterone.
Diabetes is associated with depression, too, another contributing factor to low libido.
A condition called diabetic neuropathy, which causes nerve damage, also makes matters worse. Nerve damage in the genital area can cause numbness, pain, or a lack of sensation, leading to decreased libido in men.
Although rare, neuropathy can also inhibit, and even prevent orgasms.
3. IMPOTENCE AFTER SURGERY
Surgical procedures involving the bladder and prostate can cause erectile dysfunction.
Surgeons do their best to preserve erectile function in surgical patients, but that’s not always possible.
There are bundles of nerves that flank either side of the prostate, and if they become damaged, it can lead to erectile dysfunction. Furthermore, removal of the nerves is often necessary to prevent the spread of cancer.
Patients that undergo cardiac surgery can also have lowered libido.
In one study, sexual dysfunction in cardiac surgery patients at 12 weeks post-operation was as high as 47%. Loss of libido contributed to 32% of those.
The puzzling thing about cardiac surgery is that hormone levels aren’t affected significantly. Suggesting the problem is more psychological.
4. CHRONIC ILLNESS
One of the more intense contributors to low libido is chronic illnesses.
Conditions such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and others can contribute to low libido in several ways.
Fatigue is one of the most common comorbidities of chronic illness, and it strongly impairs libido.
Moreover, people suffering from chronic illness are more likely to develop depression. An absence of sexual activity can also feedback into depression and exacerbate chronic conditions.
Shortness of breath, pain, anxiety, and other symptoms of chronic illness all affect libido as well.
Hypertension also falls into this category, and it can wreak havoc on the libido. Often called the “silent killer,” hypertension weakens the cardiovascular system making sexual arousal more difficult.
Chronic illnesses can also have a more direct effect. Some types of cancers can interfere with hormonal and neurological functions.
Furthermore, the treatment for many of these conditions could be part of the problem as well.
For instance, chemotherapy is known to cause low libido in both men and women. In addition, medications used to treat hypertension, such as diuretics, can hurt libido levels too.
Overall, chronic illness complicates matters considerably for health professionals. Low libido treatment becomes exponentially more difficult with a chronic illness in the mix.
5. LIBIDO AND AGE
Many see the loss of libido as a natural consequence of aging.
However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be slowed or reversed. Even in old age, the body can respond to the right lifestyle changes, and you could regain some level of libido.
With the right supplementation, diet, and activity, there’s no real reason ever to lose libido entirely.
As we age, sex hormone levels start to drop, and we’re also exposed to a generally slower pace of life. Even so, most men maintain some degree of sexual interest well into their seventies.
So, before you attribute your low libido to a natural progression of age, consult your doctor.
If the drop in your libido was sudden, it could have something to do with hormonal changes or medication that you’re taking.
PSYCHOLOGICAL REASONS FOR LOW LIBIDO
With few exceptions, the focus so far has been on the physical aspects of low libido. However, that’s only a small part of the story.
In her book “The Ripple Effect: How Better Sex Can Lead to a Better Life,” Dr. Gail Saltz put it this way:
“Seeing sex in only physical terms is […] like treating tuberculosis with breathing exercises.”
With that in mind, let’s shift the spotlight onto the psychological causes of low libido.
At its core, sex is a nonessential function for humans. We don’t need it to survive.
That’s relevant because when we’re stressed, our body’s natural response is to suppress nonessential functions.
That would include sex and, by extension, libido.
Stress is regulated primarily by the hormone cortisol. In the right situations, cortisol is essential and helps us deal with dangerous situations.
For some people, though, daily stress can turn into a chronic condition.
Consistently elevated levels of cortisol can lead to not only decreased sex hormones but poor behavioral choices as well.
People with chronic stress are more likely to become depressed, smoke, and develop other habits detrimental to libido.
Chronically stressed people are also less likely to exercise.
That’s particularly dangerous because physical activity is a crucial way to flush stress hormones out of the body.
Lethargy also further exacerbates depression, which feeds back into more stress.
In a nutshell, stress contributes to everything you don’t want when it comes to libido. And, it’s often coupled with its bosom buddy, anxiety.
Usually occurring in conjunction with stress, anxiety is another contributor to low libido.
As Dr. Laurel Steinberg, a sex and relationship therapist, describes its effects:
“All anxiety is a distraction that limits sexual success.”
Anxiety can affect your life in many ways, but it’s especially heinous when it comes to libido.
Intense anxiety can be overwhelming, and even if your libido is healthy, it might scuttle your sexual performance.
It also makes communicating your needs and wants to your partner more difficult.
If that becomes a trend, you might start associating anxiety with libido. Then, just becoming aroused could produce a state of anxiety and ruin the experience.
Benzodiazepines are a kind of drug used to treat anxiety, among other things. The awful news is that they’re notoriously bad for the libido.
Again, you can see how everything starts to create a vicious cycle.
Any strategy for how to build your libido should always be a multi-pronged approach.
One of the central symptoms of depression is difficulty enjoying activities you previously enjoyed. Sexual activity is often on that list.
Major depressive episodes can lead to a host of symptoms that all contribute to lower libido.
Lethargy, feelings of inadequacy, and negative thoughts are all familiar to depression.
The good news is that depressive episodes tend to pass. And with their passing, libido tends to return.
If a low libido is part of a depressive episode, it’s important to communicate that to your partner. Otherwise, it can create resentment and the wrong impression about your mental state.
4. TRAUMA AND PTSD
Trauma and post-traumatic stress are well-documented causes of low libido in both men and women.
Previously, it was thought that sexual trauma could cause severe issues with libido but not trauma in a general sense.
However, numerous studies on the effects of combat trauma and many other types of traumatic experiences prove otherwise. It’s one of the more pronounced causes of a lower libido in younger men.
Research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine concluded that both PTSD and sexual desire compete for the same neural resources.
For instance, yohimbine is a substance known to promote the release of norepinephrine.
It’s present in Horny Goat Max because norepinephrine is linked to increased libido.
But, excessive levels of the neurotransmitter create a generalized fear response.
In this way, PTSD can hijack your libidinal network and turn it against you. The review also concluded that PTSD interferes with people’s ability to trust others and feel connected.
5. BODY IMAGE ISSUES
Feeling unattractive doesn’t just cause problems with libido. It can make us feel less confident overall.
Believe it or not, confidence is one of the primary factors in both desiring and enjoying sexual activity.
Feeling confident can help you perform better and, as a result, increase your libido.
Women are more prone to have libidinal issues from poor body image, but men are certainly not immune to it.
It’s especially troublesome when we’re engaging with a new sexual partner. Expectations are still unclear, and there are no established “protocols” yet.
And, of course, poor body image can lead to the stress-anxiety-depression triangle discussed above.
If you’re working on increasing your libido, you may need to start with the man in the mirror.
THE EMOTIONAL TOLL OF LOW LIBIDO AND ED
It’s difficult for a lot of men to admit, but a low libido and ED can have a severe impact on our emotional health.
The story goes beyond just sexual activity. Masculinity and virility are often spoken of in the same sentence.
For some, even admitting their lack of libido is a sign of weakness. That’s a problem and only makes matters worse.
And yet, ED affects as many as one in four men under 40, according to research from the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Always remember there are many tools at your disposal to help you cope with the emotional consequences of low libido. You might try these and others:
- Couples counseling
- One-on-one counseling
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Whenever possible, combine treatments with lifestyle changes and proven supplements to increase their effectiveness.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR LIBIDO
This is the part you’ve likely been waiting for. In this section, you’ll find a breakdown of some of the best, proven ways to boost libido.
First, you’ll learn about food that can increase libido. There’s no panacea to be found there, but compelling evidence does exist about certain foods.
Then, you’ll find a list of natural ingredients that are known to boost libido and why they’re so effective.
All of these ingredients are present in Horny Goat Max by Bulletproof Naturals to provide a complete and systematic approach to increasing your libido.
Then, you’ll learn about the best exercise for men’s libido. Exercise can help boost your libido and overall health, so it should be a top priority.
And finally, it’s worth getting into some practices that you should avoid if your goal is a better libido.
FOODS THAT INCREASE LIBIDO
Each of the foods listed here is a libido-boosting star. They all have high levels of one or more active ingredients proven to help increase energy levels and mood.
There are no foods that increase libido instantly, but as part of a comprehensive strategy, the effects may surprise you.
1. PUMPKIN SEEDS
The humble pumpkin seed is among the top sources of the amino acid L-arginine.
L-arginine (or just arginine) is a semi-essential amino acid that metabolizes into nitric oxide in our body. Nitric oxide is an important neurotransmitter which takes part in blood vessel dilation and circulation.
A popular supplement, arginine’s effect on blood flow, may help increase stamina and improve ED symptoms.
Pumpkin seeds, and other seeds, are also a great source of zinc. This nutrient promotes prostate health and many sex functions.
Both arginine and zinc are discussed in-depth further down.
Avocados are great at improving overall energy levels. But they also provide a healthy dose of Vitamin B6, which helps in the production of male hormones.
Also known as Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in regulating prolactin levels. Increased prolactin in men has been linked to a host of problems, including low libido.
Rather than act as a direct libido booster for men, avocados can help you reach natural libido levels.
Avocados also contain many healthy fats and fiber. They can help in weight management, which indirectly impacts libido levels as well.
You probably don’t need too much convincing to eat more watermelon, but here’s another good reason.
In addition to being a refreshing treat, watermelon is an excellent source of citrulline.
Citrulline is another amino acid that plays a role in various metabolic functions. It’s nonessential, which means we don’t need to get from our diet, but research suggests it can be beneficial at higher levels.
Citrulline has become popular as a supplement due to its powerful vasodilating effect – meaning it helps expand blood vessels.
Some research shows that consuming citrulline increases arginine levels in the body even more than consuming arginine directly.
You might find it surprising, but surveys say that broccoli is America’s favorite vegetable.
And it’s no wonder, really. The little florets are so packed with nutrients that it’s difficult to choose which one is better for your libido.
But we’re going to anyway – Indole-3-carbinol. This compound reduces the number of estrogenic metabolites in the body.
What does that mean in plain English? Essentially, it lowers estrogen levels. Lower estrogen may help boost libido in men.
Broccoli is also an excellent food for weight management and overall health.
The great lover, Casanova himself, praised the aphrodisiac qualities of this shellfish. According to his biography, he would eat more than 50 oysters every morning.
Whether that’s true or not, oysters do have some amino acids that contribute to testosterone levels.
They’re also rich in zinc, like pumpkin seeds.
It’s much more likely that the mere experience of eating oysters is what drives their popularity as a male libido booster.
There’s a suggestive quality to them, and ultimately, it’s your mind that drives desire, so it shouldn’t be discounted.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR INCREASING LIBIDO
As you can see, many whole foods have ingredients that can counteract reduced libido. But eating them regularly can become a chore.
What if you could zero-in on all these compounds and put them into a convenient male libido booster?
Well, the good news is that you can – and it’s been done. Natural supplements are a convenient way to get your daily libido-boosting compounds.
The key to increased libido is consistency. With a supplement, you can be confident you’re getting your daily libido boost.
It’s vitally important to get quality ingredients, though.
Horny Goat Max by Bulletproof Naturals uses only the most premium sources for each of its ingredients, starting with the eponymous horny goat weed.
1. HORNY GOAT WEED
The horny goat weed (Epimedium grandiflorum) has been used for a long time in traditional medicine to treat impotence.
Native to parts of Asia, epimedium grandiflorum benefits revolve around the presence of icariin.
Icariin is a flavonoid (plant metabolite) that has shown potential in promoting numerous bodily functions. One of the most salient icariin benefits is in boosting potency and increasing libido.
Without getting into the biochemical details, icariin promotes potency by widening blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
It has also been shown to increase reproductive function in animal models.
If that weren’t enough, rats treated with icariin showed increased levels of free testosterone.
The horny goat weed extract in Horny Goat Max is standardized to 200mg concentration of icariin, substantially higher than other supplements in the market.
But that only covers the libido-related effects of horny goat weed. In many tests, icariin displayed effectiveness in reducing stress, promoting bone repair, reducing inflammation, and other functions.
Discussed previously in this article, L-arginine is an amino acid that contributes to nitric oxide levels in the body.
It’s also active in helping heal wounds, removing waste products, and hormonal function. The benefits of taking arginine supplements go beyond just boosting libido.
Remember that libido is a systemic function, and it relies on many factors. The broad-ranging effects of arginine make it a powerhouse for libido boosting.
Arginine also promotes muscle growth, which can help with some of the psychological causes of low libido.
In studies, healthy people who consumed arginine were able to exercise longer without excessive fatigue. So, arginine could also help boost your stamina as well.
Also known as Peruvian ginseng, this family of roots has skyrocketed in popularity recently.
It’s in the same family of plants as horny goat weed.
Like it’s cousin, it has many health benefits in addition to libido boosts, such as reducing prostate size, increased energy, and mood enhancement.
Clinical studies confirm that consuming maca for extended periods improves sexual desire.
Moreover, some studies found that maca benefits also include better sperm count and motility in men.
As to how much maca root powder to take for libido, the answer varies. Widely considered safe, maca is unlikely to cause any adverse effects even in high doses.
You’d be surprised at how much can go wrong if you’re deficient in zinc.
It can lead to everything from loss of appetite to a compromised immune system.
But zinc is also instrumental in libido and sexual function. There is a clear relationship between healthy testosterone levels and getting enough zinc.
Moreover, in one study, zinc supplementation almost doubled testosterone levels in older men.
In animal models, zinc had beneficial effects on both arousal and erectile function. All this points to its effectiveness, and it should be a part of any strategy to boost libido.
5. GUARANA EXTRACT
You’ve probably seen this Brazilian plant as an ingredient in energy drinks.
Guarana probably won’t make you more libidinous directly, but it contributes in significant ways. It’s rich in tannins and stimulants that increase energy levels.
Guarana health benefits are also wide-ranging. It may also help with weight-loss and improved cognition.
Diehard fans of guarana claim that it also helps improve stamina and energy levels.
Known for a long time as an aphrodisiac, this plant extract has been used clinically to treat orgasmic dysfunction.
The effects of yohimbine are medically recognized, and it’s sometimes prescribed to treat ED.
It shouldn’t be confused with Yohimbe, the tree species that yohimbine is extracted from. The bark of the Yohimbe tree has dozens of active compounds, but none as intense as yohimbine.
Some brands of yohimbine supplements actually contained no yohimbine, according to studies. It’s crucial to pick a reliable and trusted brand, such as Bulletproof Naturals, when purchasing supplements of any kind.
7. GINKGO BILOBA
Popularized in Chinese medicine as a cure for numerous ailments, ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest species of trees in the world.
It’s been well-researched, and studies confirm that it can have beneficial effects in many areas.
In terms of libido, ginkgo biloba extract helps relax blood vessels. This function is mostly attributed to two flavonoids present in it.
With daily supplementation, participants in one study reported increased libido and an increased ability to orgasm.
It was also effective in reducing libido loss as a result of antidepressants significantly.
8. TONGKAT ALI
Another rockstar in Asian medicine, this root extract has numerous compounds that promote male hormonal balance.
A well-researched effect of this supplement is increased testosterone levels.
In men with low testosterone, taking Tongkat Ali daily over a month restored over 90% of participants to a normal range.
In addition to the libidinal boost from increased testosterone, sperm count and motility were also increased in some studies. This could be linked to the hormonal effects of the plant.
It’s also beneficial in relieving stress and anxiety, important enemies of libido. And, some studies show its effectiveness in improving body composition.
Niacin is more commonly referred to as vitamin B3, and it plays a crucial role in blood flow and inflammation.
Reducing inflammation and promoting blood flow are proven ways to reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
It’s also used to create sex hormones and other neurotransmitters.
Niacin also promotes healthy cholesterol levels. In a study examining the effects of niacin on cholesterol, participants reported significant improvements to their libido.
While present in many foods, it’s difficult to get enough niacin through diet alone. Horny Goat Max by Bulletproof Naturals provides 188% of the daily recommended value of niacin in a single serving.
10. SAW PALMETTO
Fiercely abundant in the southeastern US, saw palmetto plants have some amazing benefits.
Despite its origins, it has seen wider adoption in Europe than in the Americas. But the FDA still recognizes it as an alternative treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).
Compounds present in the saw palmetto fruit have proven effective in slowing down the rate at which testosterone breaks down in the body. So while it doesn’t directly increase it, it gives you more time to generate higher testosterone concentrations.
Some claim that it also prevents hair loss by the same process.
There are many other natural remedies to enhance libido.
For centuries, the effects of plants on sexual desire have been a topic of interest.
Claims about herbs, compounds, and foods that boost libido easily number in the thousands.
The key is to rely only on those ingredients that have evidence-based claims. Otherwise, it’s like pouring gasoline on a car and hoping some of it ends up in the gas tank.
Some of these proven ingredients are damiana powder, Muira Pauma powder, oat straw powder, and licorice root powder.
When in doubt, do your own research about an ingredient. Make sure that you’re taking something that’s helping and not hindering.
EXERCISES THAT CAN RAISE LIBIDO
If you could choose only one thing to boost your libido, it should be exercise.
Exercise addresses more of the causes of low libido than any other single thing. It effectively counteracts depressive symptoms, anxiety, stress, hormonal imbalances – you name it.
So, can exercise increase libido? Without a doubt, yes. Will it unequivocally do so? Maybe not.
It’s important to remember that a) it’s a long-term commitment, and b) some types of exercise are better than others at boosting libido.
The biggest impact of exercise on your libido will be from increased testosterone. Both physical activity itself and a healthy BMI are ways to achieve that.
Moreover, better body composition is strongly linked with increased confidence. And, the link between physical exercise and mental health is well established.
With that in mind, here are the most effective exercises if your goal is increased libido.
1. HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING
The preferred form of cardiovascular training of many athletes, HIIT is excellent at boosting testosterone.
Interval training entails short periods of high-intensity work followed by a rest period. Going back and forth until the workout is complete.
Interval training is much better at preserving muscle tissue than steady-state endurance training. More muscle tissue leads to increased testosterone and vice versa in a feedback loop.
Steady-state endurance cardio is probably best avoided in this case. In fact, some research shows that long bouts of endurance training could reduce testosterone.
Interval training is also excellent at burning fat. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption spike following interval training, which increases caloric consumption long after you’re done.
Excessive fatty tissue can increase inflammation and create hormonal imbalances, as noted earlier in this article.
Conversely, healthy levels of fatty tissue can improve your endocrine response and make you more confident overall.
Not to mention, interval training is excellent at building stamina and endurance.
Lastly, interval training produces a flood of endorphins into the brain. This is true of most exercises, but interval training is particularly effective in doing so.
Endorphins promote a good mood and reduce stress.
2. STRENGTH TRAINING
Another overall libido booster with no real downsides.
Strength training is probably the best type of exercise for boosting testosterone. Research has found that it helps increase testosterone in both the long- and short-term.
Testosterone spikes directly after a strength-training session, so it might be the time when you feel most libidinous.
Great news for older men – strength training doesn’t discriminate based on age. Although more likely to spike in younger men, testosterone in older men can also spike after strength training.
Targeting larger muscle groups is more efficient, but smaller muscle groups shouldn’t be ignored.
Keep in mind that weightlifting is a skill, and it’s a good idea to start with a trainer to avoid injury.
Ultimately, strengthening your body will help you look and feel better, addressing many of the psychological causes of a waning libido.
Rooted in ancient Indian tradition, yoga has become nothing short of a global phenomenon.
Once dismissed as a second-rate physical activity, yoga now has proponents in the likes of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters.
Yoga is just as beneficial for men as it is for women, and Ayurvedic yoga practitioners claim it increases sexual desire.
Research into the effects of yoga did conclude that it might help with premature ejaculation and overall sexual function.
A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine examined the effects of yoga on men aged 24-60. The men showed improvement in all the sexual functions examined in the study after a 12-week yoga camp.
Much of yoga, in practice, is based around flexibility and relative strength. Both of these are key aspects of enjoyable sexual activity and may be another way yoga helps spark desire.
WHEN TO EXERCISE TO BOOST LIBIDO
If your goal is boosting testosterone, there’s some indication that timing matters.
Exercising in the afternoon spikes testosterone a little better than exercising in the morning. Moreover, most people report feeling stronger in the afternoon than in the morning.
However, morning exercise seems to be better at kick-starting our metabolism.
For the best of both worlds, try doing interval training in the morning and strength training in the afternoon. But remember the goal is to exercise; the “when” is far less important.
Realistically, the best time to exercise is whenever you can fit it into your schedule.
THINGS TO AVOID FOR A BETTER LIBIDO
Now that you know what causes low libido and what you can do about it, here are some things you might actively be doing that contribute to the problem.
It’s well-established that nicotine has deleterious effects on sexual arousal.
Many of the toxic compounds in cigarettes negatively impact circulation, a key part of arousal and erectile function.
It also affects stamina and energy levels and decreases lung capacity. Both of those lead to a decreased interest in sexual activity.
Professor of reproductive physiology and director of the Andrology Institute of America, Panayiotis M. Zavos sums it up like this:
“Smoking has a direct, negative effect on the sexuality of a man on every level.”
Alcohol has a reputation for making sexual activity easier, but it’s a dangerous crutch to use.
While it’s true that sparse use can lead to lowered inhibitions and increased attraction, prolonged abuse has the opposite effect.
Being heavily inebriated also separates you from the moment, instantly killing sexual desire. It also leads to poor erectile function in many men.
Furthermore, both chronic and acute alcohol intoxication tends to reduce testosterone production.
For a long time, anecdotal evidence has grown that links pornography to erectile dysfunction.
However, a large-scale study was conducted on 28,000 Italian men. Excessive consumption of pornographic material caused what the researchers called “sexual anorexia.”
The researchers found a “general drop in libido,” and some men found it impossible to get an erection.
Despite the need for more research, many professionals agree that a link between pornography and low libido does exist.
Luckily, in just about all cases, the effects were reversible. Through the right support and abstinence, libido levels seem to return to normal after a few months.
LIVE LIFE TO THE MAX
Healthy sexual urges are part of a fulfilled life. Our sexuality is a big part of who we are and how we relate to the world.
If you’re bothered by low libido and a lack of self-confidence, know that it doesn’t have to be that way. Through a concerted effort and the right attitude, you can make real changes to your libido.
But lifestyle changes are only one part of the puzzle, supplementing correctly can help push you over the finish line if you’re struggling.
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