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Updated: Aug 26, 2022

35 Best Foods to Eat Before Sex

35 Best Foods to Eat Before Sex
Published: Aug 24, 2022

Your libido fluctuates over time, and many environmental and personal factors contribute to this. While reducing stress, ensuring you get enough sleep, managing anxiety, and treating depression and any chronic health conditions are more likely to influence your libido than the foods you eat. There are some potential connections, and these foods are likely to improve your overall health, in addition to your sex drive and stamina. 

Sex involves a coordinated response between the nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems. Foods that are good for increasing libido, blood circulation, and stamina are the same foods that are good for your overall health. A healthy cardiovascular system is essential for getting and maintaining an erection, increasing blood flow into the genitals, and providing the energy needed for sex. 

Foods high in flavonoids

Fruits and vegetables are a key component of diets recommended by the American Heart Association and as part of the Mediterranean diet. Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants and flavonoids are associated with a decreased incidence of erectile dysfunction, likely due to their effect on the cardiovascular system.1 Consume a wide range of fruits and vegetables to get the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to function optimally. 

Fruits and vegetables rich in flavonoids include:2

  1. Kale
  2. Lettuce
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Onions
  5. Citrus
  6. Hot peppers
  7. Parsley
  8. Thyme
  9. Apples
  10. Berries
  11. Cranberries
  12. Grapes
  13. Pomegranate seeds
Fruits and vegetables

Foods high in zinc

Oysters are high in zinc, which may explain their reputation as an aphrodisiac. Zinc is an essential mineral for testosterone production.3 It is also needed for testicular development and sperm maturation.4 

Other foods high in zinc include:

  1. Red meat
  2. Crab
  3. Legumes
  4. Seeds (also boosts serotonin)
  5. Cocoa powder
  6. Nuts (also boosts serotonin)
  7. Mushroom
  8. Eggs (also boost serotonin)
  9. Milk

Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids may increase libido, reduce erectile dysfunction, and increase stamina by maintaining optimal cardiovascular health. Researchers in one study concluded that there is moderate to low certainty evidence that omega-3 fatty acids reduce heart disease and blood triglycerides. Any improvement in cardiovascular function could increase blood flow.5 

  1. Mackerel
  2. Salmon (also boosts serotonin)
  3. Cod liver oil
  4. Oysters
  5. Herring
  6. Flaxseed
  7. Chia seeds
  8. Walnuts
seafood

Foods that boost serotonin

Serotonin is a chemical messenger in the brain that plays a role in mood and emotions. It promotes feelings of happiness and well-being. Too little serotonin can cause depression, which can put a damper on libido and stamina. Tryptophan is an essential plant-derived amino acid that is transformed into serotonin, melatonin, and niacin.6  

Foods that may boost serotonin include: 

  1. Cheese
  2. Pineapple
  3. Tofu
  4. Turkey
  5. Dark chocolate

Other foods, according to a survey

Lifesum analyzed user data to determine which foods were most commonly eaten in the two hours prior to sex. User data came from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, and Italy. 

Most popular foods included: 

  • Chocolate
  • Tomatoes
  • Bread
  • Apples
  • Potatoes
  • Coffee
  • Bananas 
  • Wine
  • Cheese
  • Strawberries

While the science behind food and its potential use to improve libido, reduce erectile dysfunction, and increase stamina is spotty, the foods on this list improve overall health and cardiovascular fitness and, therefore, are an excellent choice to incorporate into your diet whether or not they improve sex. 

ffoods high in saturated fats

The following foods are more likely to decrease your libido. They are more likely to harm the cardiovascular system, increase body weight, and decrease stamina. Avoid the following foods:

  • Soy: Very high soy consumption can reduce libido and alter testosterone levels by increasing estrogen. Excess soy can cause hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction.7
  • High sodium: Foods and drinks high in sodium or added salt increase water retention and increase blood pressure. 
  • Refined carbohydrates and ultra-processed foods: Ultra-processed foods are high in sugar, fat, and cholesterol. Carbohydrates cause your pancreas to secrete a bolus of insulin. As a result, your blood sugar spikes and then rapidly falls, causing fatigue. 
  • Saturated fats: Foods high in saturated fats, such as fried foods, can increase cholesterol and fatty deposits on the inside of your blood vessel walls, which can reduce blood flow. 

While the evidence for foods boosting libido is not strong, that does not mean that your lifestyle choices don’t matter. There is a lot of scientific evidence to support other ways to increase male and female libido:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Managing stress
  • Exercising
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Managing your weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Moderate alcohol intake

Oxytocin is an amino acid that functions as a hormone and a signaling molecule. Oxytocin has been called the “love hormone” or “trust hormone” because of its association with relationships, whether romantic or social. Oxytocin levels naturally increase during physical contact, sexual arousal, and orgasm in both men and women. Oxytocin is now available as a pill or nasal spray. 

Start a treatment plan with Oxytocin today!

Disclaimer

While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice. 

References

1. Cassidy A, Franz M, Rimm EB. Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction1. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016;103(2):534-541. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.122010

2. Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute. Flavonoids. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/flavonoids

3. Fallah A, Mohammad-Hasani A, Colagar AH. Zinc is an Essential Element for Male Fertility: A Review of Zn Roles in Men’s Health, Germination, Sperm Quality, and Fertilization. J Reprod Infertil. Apr-Jun 2018;19(2):69-81. 

4. Ebisch IM, Thomas CM, Peters WH, Braat DD, Steegers-Theunissen RP. The importance of folate, zinc and antioxidants in the pathogenesis and prevention of subfertility. Hum Reprod Update. Mar-Apr 2007;13(2):163-74. doi:10.1093/humupd/dml054

5. Abdelhamid AS, Brown TJ, Brainard JS, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Feb 29 2020;3(3):Cd003177. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003177.pub5

6. Friedman M. Analysis, Nutrition, and Health Benefits of Tryptophan. International Journal of Tryptophan Research. 2018/01/01 2018;11:1178646918802282. doi:10.1177/1178646918802282

7. Siepmann T, Roofeh J, Kiefer FW, Edelson DG. Hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction associated with soy product consumption. Nutrition. Jul-Aug 2011;27(7-8):859-62. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2010.10.018

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