If your sex drive seems to be a bit low, there could many reasons behind this….
Testosterone is an important hormone. Many men know of testosterone as being the “sex hormone,” but it is about more than just sex drive and sperm production. This hormone can help with hair growth, bone density, weight management, muscle size, mood, and more.
There are several nutrients that are critical for testosterone production. Certain exercises can boost testosterone while others can bust it? Stress and sleep have everything to do with testosterone. Read on to discover how to get your drive back!
Libido is such an interesting (and complex) experience as it can be affected by so many things.
Although testosterone levels can have a big (yes BIG) effect on sex drive, there are a lot of subtle things that can be going on as well.
There are several key diet and lifestyle factors that have been shown to increase testosterone and libido.
Did you know that low testosterone is linked with high body fat?
Particularly visceral fat which is associated with a large waist circumference. An increase in fat drives up an enzyme called “aromatase” that converts testosterone to estrogen. This is the opposite of what you would want to happen- you want to keep that testosterone and not convert it!
Losing excessive weight and keeping it off has so many health benefits including increased libido!
Certain nutrient deficiencies can contribute to lower testosterone levels. Not only zinc and vitamin D but if you're not eating enough protein and healthy fats that can also have a negative impact on your hormone levels.
Consuming enough nutrient dense calories throughout the day is essential for balanced testosterone. Focusing on adequate protein and healthy fats will impact testosterone production.
Did you know that men can experience increased blood levels of testosterone after a bout of intense exercise? The type of exercise is what is important. Strength training as well as HIIT workouts show the most benefit on boosting testosterone levels, while endurance exercise may actually reduce the levels of circulating testosterone. Ditch the long runs and swap for strength and interval training for the most benefits.
Sleep is critical for all functions of the body, including hormone production. If you're not getting 7-9 hours each night, begin to prioritize your sleep to balance hormone production. Your testosterone levels increase as you sleep and decrease the longer you're awake. The highest levels of testosterone production occur during REM sleep, the period late in the sleep cycle that helps replenish the body and mind. That's why it doesn't take long for poor sleep to derail your testosterone production.
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 want to try to minimize that stress hormone cortisol. Stress and testosterone are not the best friends. For your body, testosterone stops being a priority when you’re under stress. When your life is in danger, your body reacts to flee and survive. It stops thinking about promoting secondary sexual traits and maintaining a healthy libido in order to respond to the stressors.
How to Boost your Testosterone Naturally
1. Include the following foods in your diet as much as possible:
- Olive oil
- Pumpkin seeds
- Leafy green vegetables
2. Strength training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
3. Prioritize sleep
4. Manage stress
5. Supplement with the foundational nutrients for testosterone production:
Product Feature: S-TRO
S-TRO contains a proprietary blend of adaptogenic herbs — including ashwagandha root, astragalus root extract, maca root, Masson pine pollen, and turmeric root — to support healthy estrogen and testosterone levels in both men and women.
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.
Maca is an antioxidant and seems to be protective of the prostate as well. 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
Libido-Enhancing Maca Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups almond milk (or any plant based milk)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 4 dashes cinnamon
- 1 dash sea salt
- 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
- Heat almond milk and coconut oil in a saucepan.
- Add all ingredients to blender and blend until frothy.
- Serve and enjoy a cup with your significant other!
Tip: Adding cayenne pepper is a traditional South American way to add a bit of spice to chocolatey foods and drinks.
Want to dive deeper? Book your appointment here with Dr Cobi
Ready to test? Purchase your Male Hormone Testing Kit here (include results appointment with Dr Cobi)