From setting aside workout time in the morning to choosing what you eat for dinner, these little things can add up to major boosts to your libido. Dr Alan Pacey, lecturer in male reproduction from the University of Sheffield, estimates the potential improvement percentages if you add the following activities to your schedule.
0600hrs – Go For A Morning Run
You may already know that cardio kings reign in the bedroom, but researchers have now pinpointed the exact amount of aerobic exercise that will give the biggest boost to your sex life. “Testosterone levels are raised to their optimal with 30 minutes of daily cardio exercise, working at a perceived exertion of seven out of 10,” says Jay Schinfeld, head of reproductive endocrinology at Abington Memorial Hospital in the US. Go beyond this and things start getting counter-reproductive. “Train vigorously for more than five hours a week and you’re 50 per cent more likely to develop overtraining syndrome, bringing a significant drop in testosterone and libido.” So no gold medal in the bedroom, then.
Potential Gain: 15%
0600hrs – Swim When You’re Not Running
On your days off from high-impact running, hit the pool. “Swimming’s key sexual benefit is its emphasis on regular breathing and supporting your whole body, which are important during sex,” says Schinfeld. So – no sniggering – practise your breaststroke. The frog-leg kick tightens your inner thigh and pelvic floor muscles, proven by University of Texas researchers to give better control and stronger orgasms during sex. Another tip: “Swimming in warm water makes your muscles and tendons more pliable, giving a greater range of movement that is transferable to sexual positions,” says Schinfeld.
Potential Gain: 15%
0700hrs – Pack Breakfast With The Right Nutrients
Put some snap, crackle and pop into your sex life with Rice Krispies. They are packed with high levels of the B vitamins thiamin and riboflavin – vital for nervous system functions, according to Dr Allan Pacey, lecturer in andrology (male reproduction) at the University of Sheffield. Better nerve function means more sexual pleasure. “As you age, your body has a harder time absorbing these vitamins, so you need to increase your intake,” says Dr Pacey. Make breakfast a cereal thriller.
Potential Gain: 8%
1230hrs – Make A Rye Bread Sandwich
Ask for the contents of your sandwich to be packed in niacin-rich rye bread. The vitamin is essential for your body’s production of a protein called histomine. “And your body needs histomine to trigger explosive orgasms,” says Dr Pacey. Now make things even sweeter with a couple of pieces of dark chocolate offering a high cocoa-solid count (anything over 60 per cent will do the trick). The cocoa contains methylxanthines, which will prime your body to get even more pleasure from sexual contact.
Potential Gain: 12%
1600hrs – Eat Celery As An Afternoon Snack
Celery is packed with the pheromones that give you a sexual charge. A study in the journal Fertility and Sterility found it made men more aroused in social situations. “The pheromones stimulate your brain to make you feel more confident and attractive,” says Dr Alan Hirsch, neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in the US. Now reach for your nuts. The Brazil variety are the richest source of vitamin E, shown in the journal Reproduction to play a key role in boosting blood flow to the genitals. Now that you’re primed for Olympian sexual athleticism, it’s back to those spreadsheets.
Potential Gain: 7%
2000hrs – Meat For Dinner
The sexy choice is sirloin. “The protein in lean, red meat boosts levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, two chemicals that heighten sensitivity during sex,” says Sarah Brewer, author of Increase Your Sex Drive. Steak’s also stuffed with zinc – a mineral that boosts libido by reducing your body’s production of prolactin, which interferes with arousal. And red meat also boosts your testosterone levels while limiting your body’s production of sex hormonebinding globulin – a substance that prevents bloodflow to the penis and reduces male sexual stamina.
Potential Gain: 11%
2300hrs – Set Your Alarm
In sex, as in comedy, timing is everything. Testosterone levels peak at around 7am, according to research at Rutgers University in the US. “Regular orgasms at this time have been proven to boost your long-term levels of the libido-boosting hormones oxytocin and prolactin,” says University of Sheffield biomedical scientist Dr Roy Levin. And don’t stifle that yawn. Scientists from the University of Stuttgart found both yawns and erections are controlled by nitric oxide, and yawning can help prime the neurochemical pathways that make you rise to the occasion.
Potential Gain: 14%