Most guys think they are great in bed, but the majority fall far short. But have no fear – you can be a lion in the bedroom if you eat right, get fit, beef up your testosterone levels and lose body fat. The keys to better sex include improving metabolic health, increasing testosterone levels, promoting blood flow control, cutting body fat and increasing stamina. Each factor is related to the others. Metabolically healthy men have higher testosterone, better physical fitness, good blood flow to the penis and less body fat. You can improve metabolic health, and each of these other factors, through a combination of diet, exercise and supplements.
Here are 10 tips to help improve sexual performance and keep it going well into your old age.
TIP #1: TRY THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean diet promotes metabolic health, prevents free radical damage that impairs sexual function and gives you the energy you need to be a dynamo in the bedroom. It’s is high in olive oil, yogurt, cheese, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and includes moderate amounts of red wine, lean meats, fish, poultry and eggs. Dietary fat intake is about 30 to 40 percent of the total calories. Fat comes mainly from vegetable sources, which optimizes steroid hormone production and minimizes the risk of cardiovascular disease. Monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, increase testosterone. These foods are high in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation. The Mediterranean diet is a good choice for men who want to maximize testosterone levels naturally.
TIP #2: COUNT CALORIES
It’s a pretty simple formula – if you take in more calories than you burn (metabolize) through exercise and metabolism, you’re going to gain weight and body fat. Increased body fat, particularly if carried in the abdomen, is linked to erectile dysfunction, decreased sex drive, lower testosterone and reduced energy levels. You can get a general estimate of the calories you need every day by using the following simple equation. Multiply your weight by 10 and then add your weight multiplied by 3, 5, or 10, depending on your activity level. Caloric Intake for weight maintenance= [Weight (lb) x 10] + [weight (lb) x 3 (if inactive), x 5 (if moderately active), or x 10 (if extremely active)].
TIP #3: EAT ENOUGH PROTEIN
A high protein diet contributes to increased testosterone levels, while vegetarian diets depress them. The Mediterranean diet is high in protein, but men might benefit from added protein supplements. Consume 0.8-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight (depending on activity level). Couch potatoes need less protein, while athletes need more.
TIP #4: DON’T FEAR FAT
For many years, nutritionists have recommended that people eat fewer fatty foods and less red meat. Avoiding red meat and fats completely decreases testosterone and could slow down progress in your training program. A compromise is necessary — don’t give up meat, but try to eat leaner cuts. In general, tasty cuts, such as filet mignon and New York Cut steaks, have more fat and shouldn’t be mainstays of your diet.
TIP #5: DO AT LEAST 30 MINUTES OF MODERATE INTENSITY EXERCISE 2-3 DAYS PER WEEK
Regular exercise contributes to metabolic health, which optimizes blood flow control in the penis, increases testosterone and gives you the energy and libido for good sex. The time you exercise depends on your needs and goals: exercise longer if you need to lose body fat or improve aerobic fitness and less if you want to emphasize weight training or have limited time.
TIP #6: DO HIIT CARDIO 2-3 DAYS PER WEEK
Short-duration, intense muscular exercise is typically associated with resistance training that turns on cell biochemical pathways in muscle that stimulate growth and promote the release of anabolic hormones. Canadian scientists found that high-intensity interval exercise training (HIT) caused rapid cellular and cardiovascular changes that resemble traditional endurance training. HIIT did not, however, turn off signaling pathways that stimulate muscle protein synthesis and growth. Intervals are terrific for good sex because they increase testosterone, help build muscle mass, cut fat and promote metabolic health.
TIP #7: LIFT WEIGHTS
Weight training boosts testosterone, increases testosterone receptor density (so the hormone works better), helps control abdominal fat, increases muscle mass and enhances self-confidence— all critical for sexual performance. Higher testosterone levels help to manage body fat. Testosterone increases nervous receptors and enzymes (such as hormone sensitive lipase) that speed fat breakdown. It’s much like the old adage that the “rich get richer”— cutting fat increases testosterone, which makes it easier to cut fat.
TIP #8: CHOOSE THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS
Some research suggests that beet juice, nuts, omega-3 fatty acids (from supplements or fish), creatine monohydrate, horny goat weed, yohimbine, pycnogenol, green tea and arginine improve sexual health. Vitamins E and C may help maintain testosterone levels by preventing free radical damage to the hormone. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals produced normally during metabolism that promote aging and depress the immune system. Protein supplements may help you control bodyweight and maintain muscle mass when trying to lose weight. Soy protein may hamper sexual health in men. Soy contains chemicals called phytoestrogens that bind with estrogen receptors and may decrease sexual performance in men.
9. GET ENOUGH SLEEP, MINIMIZE HARMFUL STRESS
Excessive stress and lack of sleep depresses testosterone, increases cortisol (a catabolic stress hormone) and lowers sex drive. Learn to distinguish good stress from bad. Good stress makes you grow emotionally and physically, and perform at top levels. Bad stress grinds you down and impairs the immune system. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
#10: THINK LIKE A WINNER
Mental state has a profound effect on testosterone levels and sexual performance. Testosterone levels go up after winning an athletic contest but go down after a loss. Assertive behavior followed by a rise in status leads to an increase in testosterone levels. Developing a winning mental attitude sets you up for success in life and great sex.
BONUS: STAY SEXUALLY ACTIVE
The best advice for maintaining sexual health is to practice, practice, practice! Frequent good sex increases testosterone and improves metabolic health, which leads to more and better sex.
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