The Best Supplements For Sex
For men, sex is a source of pride. Right or wrong, how much sex we have – or how good we are at it – is how a lot of men judge their masculinity. So it's only natural that we want to perform our best every time, right?
One of the biggest hindrances to good sexual performance is erectile dysfunction. According to the Cleveland Clinic, ED is an issue that affects over 50% of men; with 1 in 4 of those men being younger, according to the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
But ED isn't the only reason that you may look to supplements to help with sex.
More and more men nowadays are becoming concerned their sexual prowess as well. Increasing sex drive, performance, and sexual stamina have become a concern for men too; and turning to supplements can help increase these factors.
So, are there supplements that can help with all of the above? Yes.
But before we get into those, we need a quick overview of how and why they work.
How Sex Supplements Work
There are two main ways in which supplements can help improve erection quality and performance. The first is by increasing blood flow.
The precursor to a healthy erection is a good supply of nitric oxide (NO). When NO is released, it relaxes the muscles surround the blood vessels in the penis, allowing the blood vessels to widen, and more blood to flow through. After the initial arousal state, the body releases more NO to help you maintain an erection.
When the body can't release enough NO, this is when erection quality suffers.
The second way in which supplements can help improve performance is by directly influencing testosterone.
Low testosterone has been linked to a number of issues, including decreased libido, lowered sexual performance, and erectile dysfunction.
Certain supplements, like DHEA and fish oil, work by positively affecting the hormone production that are precursors to testosterone.
Similarly, zinc and magnesium have positive affects on testosterone, by decreasing the body's production of estrogen.
Other supplements, like the ones below, work to directly affect testosterone levels, while also positively impacting erection quality and sexual performance.
Now that we know the ways in which supplements affect our sex lives, let's take a look at some of the best ones out there that are going to help you improve your sexual health and performance.
The Ten Best Supplements For Sex
While L-arginine is one of the more popular natural sexual aid supplements out there, L-citrulline may actually work better; according to this study.
The reason? Well, as we talked about above, when nitric oxide is released, it helps you achieve an erection.
And while L-arginine is a precursor to NO, the study shows that supplemented L-arginine moves through your system too quickly to have much of a positive affect.
On the other hand, L-citrulline is the precursor to L-arginine, and sticks around your system longer, having a better effect on improving blood flow.
When supplementing with citrulline, the malate form is the best, because it assists with delivery and absorption.
2. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 can work to both help increase testosterone levels, and assist with blood flow.
In addition to its whole host of other benefits, D3 works to keep the cells within the blood vessels healthy, resulting in better blood flow.
Even if you don't have problems downstairs, D3 is too beneficial to not supplement with anyway.
3. Panax Ginseng
Ginseng has long been a powerful and popular supplement in Western medicine due to its aphrodisiac qualities. However, research suggests that it may go beyond simply increasing your sex drive.
There's also some evidence to suggest that ginseng could help increase fertility and delay ejaculation, but those affects aren't as well observed.
Still, ginseng has been used for many years for treatment of sexual performance issues, so the history is there.
4. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin helps increase blood flow and reduce inflammation, while also helping the body increase the production of sex hormones.
And because both ED and high cholesterol typically go hand in hand, taking niacin can also help improve blood lipid profiles, resulting in lower cholesterol.
See, better sex, better health.
Yohimbine is created from the bark of a West-African evergreen tree and has long been used to help improve sexual performance.
It works similarly to other nitric oxide boosting supplements by increasing the release of NO in the nerves of the penis.
Yohimbine also has other possible benefits, in that, it's one of the few supplements shown that can inhibits body fat storage, by blocking the receptors that signal the body to store fat.
Unlike most other supplements on this list, however, yohimbine can come with some negative side affects, including elevated blood pressure and increased anxiety.
6. Horny Goat Weed
Aptly named, horny goat weed has been used for centuries in China for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, and low libido; among other conditions.
While the benefits are still relatively untested, recent studies have shown promising results for the improvement of erections with horny goat weed. The active ingredient, Epimedium, blocks the effects of enzymes that restrict blood flow to the penis; similar to the way ED drugs work.
Those studies also show that horny goat weed likely provides few side effects than current ED drugs.
7. Folic Acid
Folic acid is another B vitamin that has been shown to improve the release of nitric oxide.
This study showed that men suffering from ED had significantly lower levels of folic acid than those who weren't; so it only makes sense that the two would be connected.
Folic acid can also be used to help treat and manage a number of other non-bedroom related issues.
While rhodiola was originally used for treating fatigue, in recent years there has been more evidence found of rhodiola helping increase testosterone, libido, and erection quality.
The reason for this is believed to be rhodiola's affect on the area of the brain responsible for receiving and controlling hormonal response: the hypothalamus. It may help with premature ejaculation, because of its affect on the sensory parts of the nervous system responsible for that.
Rhodiola is also fast-acting, so popping it before you start getting busy can help increase your performance.
9. Pine Pollen
This is exactly what you think it is: the pollen from pine trees. And while there's not a lot of science on this one, it's been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.
Pine pollen has tons of reported physiological benefits, but specifically to sex, it's been reported to increase libido and erection quality by those who've used it.
The reason being, pine pollen contains natural steroidal forms of testosterone, DHEA, androstenedione, and androsterone; all of which can help increase testosterone and libido.
10. Maca Root Powder
Another ancient herb that has been used by various civilizations for many years is maca root.
Though not many studies have been done on maca, a few have shown that it has positive effects on libido; including for those who take anti-depressants that reduce sex drive. Moreover, according to this study, maca may improve sperm count and sperm mobility.
No one is really sure why maca may improve these things, as most of these functions are related to hormones; which maca has not shown to affect.
Still, maca shows promising, yet limited, results; and when combined with other libido-enhancing supplements, can be a particularly effective option.