A man’s sex drive is a vital component to a fully rounded, complete life. A healthy sex drive is vital for a number of reasons. It promotes better intimacy between men and their partners, it encourages them to seek out companionship instead of isolation, and it usually means living healthier in-general, as regular sexual activity is considered part of a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle for both men and women. But is it possible to increase the sex drive in men over 40?
As it turns out, more and more men are coming forward with problems related to a dwindling sex drive—and it is a problem that deserves a lot of attention. But in order to fix it, we have to talk about a vital component to the problem that not many men know a lot about.
And that component is Testosterone.
Testosterone is considered by many to be the ‘fountain of youth’ for males, and for good reason. It contributes to the male sex drive and obviously drives male sex characteristics… but it also affects bone density, muscle strength, fat distribution, and red blood cell production, among other things. It is not uncommon for men to reach a point in their early 40s where their testosterone may begin to decline—which can be not only physically problematic, by also psychologically challenging.
And this drop in testosterone can play a huge role in the problem of a decreased male sex drive.
For some men, testosterone levels remain relatively high throughout their entire life. But other men are not always so fortunate. For some, the age of 40 marks a cornerstone—the age when T levels begin to noticeably diminish, albeit slowly and over a pretty long period of time.
But it can still be a big issue—and solving this issue is usually the best first step to overcoming a low libido for men.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Low Testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, can cause a number of troubling and problematic symptoms in men. These symptoms may include a reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, and enlarged or swollen breast tissue. It can also lead to mood swings, general feelings of sadness, and even irritability.
If testosterone levels have been dropping for some time, a few other symptoms may become noticeable… namely; loss of body hair, loss of muscle bulk, an increase in body fat, an increase in bouts with depression, and a decrease in strength.
Many men describe low testosterone as a subtle, yet miserable affliction that has a pretty pronounced effect on their daily lives. They may describe it in a few different ways…
“I just don’t feel like my young, vibrant self anymore.”
“In the bedroom, I have such a difficult time keeping up and maintaining my stamina… not at all like when I was younger. I barely even have the drive to have sex anymore.”
“I wish I had the sex drive, and just the general ‘drive for life’ that I had when I was younger.”
“My energy levels are just so low. I feel like a potato that just slouches around. I feel weak and lifeless.”
You can confirm low testosterone levels by getting a test at your local general practitioner’s office… but there is also nothing wrong with pre-emptively making lifestyle changes that could help. And since the T dropoff for men tends to be gradual, even small changes can add up to really amazing benefits.
(Note: Be careful not to confuse a low sex drive with erectile dysfunction. These can sometimes both be caused by low testosterone, but erectile dysfunction is sometimes a completely different problem with a different cause.)
So how can you increase your testosterone naturally, aside from taking actual testosterone supplements prescribed by your doctor… and in turn, help you to revive and boost your natural sex drive?
Here are some answers that may work for you.
The Basics: Diet, Sleep, and Exercise
First of all, it is important to understand that sexual function is a fairly complex process that is affected by almost everything you do… and your testosterone levels play a huge role in how ‘driven’ you will feel sexually.
But your diet (what you put into your body), your quality of sleep, and what you do for exercise are going to have the biggest impact. So in this post, we are going to examine all three, and share some methods that you can use in each one of these categories to start producing more T and, hopefully, curbing that over-40-dropoff in sex drive that affects all-too-many men.
Changing Your Diet
By the time they’ve reached the age of 40, a lot of men have developed a routine and a way of doing things in life—and for some, that also means that they have fallen into pretty regular diet habits.
And unfortunately for their testosterone levels, these diet habits usually consist of copious amounts of beer, soda, pizza, wings, and milkshakes!
Believe it or not, making some simple changes to your diet can do a huge number on dropping T levels—and in some cases, you may find that this change alone is enough to make you feel like a new, younger version of yourself!
Keep in mind that diet changes can take a few weeks to really kick in—though in some cases, you can begin to feel the positive effects of better dieting habits within just a few short days.
To start with, it is important to eat plenty of protein, fats, and carbs. But no… not the kind of fat you get in a milkshake, and no… not the kind of empty carbs you get when you eat chicken parmesan or garlic bread!
Yes, protein and fats are important—but if you are making sure to hit the gym and get plenty of exercise (we will talk about that in a minute), then carbs are actually going to be your best friend.
As a general rule, you want to be careful about what carbs you eat. Staying away from white bread, white pasta, and pizza with white crust are going to be a lot more beneficial for you than you could possibly realize. Instead, try eating more foods like sweet potatoes, chickpeas, brown rice, natural oats (like oatmeal), and bananas.
For protein, nothing beats chicken… though healthy amounts of fish, and even a bit of red meat won’t hurt anything either. But it is also important not to overdo it on protein when you are trying to build up your T levels. To be quite honest, foods like oysters, tuna, grass-fed beef, and eggs are excellent sources of protein… but it is also important not to fill up on protein alone, as doing this will cause you to struggle a bit with the energy levels you need to get adequate exercise (this is why carbs are so important when trying to raise your testosterone levels).
But what about fats?
Yes, fats are super important to maintaining not just proper health and energy levels, but also for T production and a healthy sex drive. But it is also important that you eat healthy fats. Foods like tuna, egg yolks, shellfish, beans, salmon, extra virgin olive-oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds will help to give you the fats your body needs without filling you up with fats that are going to cause inflammation and drag you down.
And most importantly… avoid processed sugar like the plague! Numerous studies show that testosterone levels decrease after eating sugar. So all of those sodas, sugar-filled energy drinks, milk-shakes, and yes… pretty much any fast food… is just going to slow you down and sap your T levels even more.
If you want to go back to having young, youthful, vibrant sex… you should probably avoid the drive-through from now on.
It is also true that drinking alcohol can lower testosterone levels. A beer here and there isn’t necessarily going to do a lot of harm, but a LOT of excessive and/or regular drinking can certainly have a negative impact.
Getting More Exercise
It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you are experiencing low energy levels (either in-general or in the bedroom)—the first thing you should be doing is hitting the gym. Do some cardio and lift some weights. If possible, hire yourself a personal trainer to keep you motivated, and make a workout plan that you can stay consistent with.
At first, it will feel like hell—but as your diet gets better and you start to get into the swing of things, you will start to produce more testosterone and experience increases in energy levels.
Exercise is so important! If you want to feel vital and youthful again, you should really make it a priority to work out regularly. And this only gets truer as you get older!
Getting Adequate Sleep
Did you know that skipping just a little bit of sleep can significantly lower your testosterone levels? Yes, as it turns out, staying up late instead of getting a few extra hours of sleep can hurt not only your natural T levels, but also your libido, your mood, and even your ability to maintain energy at the gym.
Sleep is so underrated when it comes to testosterone that a lot of people don’t even realize how important it is. If you really care about your T levels and sex drive, then try to keep to a more consistent sleeping schedule as you get older. Yes, there is a point where it may make you feel younger to try to stay up and party… but at the same time, hitting the sheets at 9 pm and getting a few more hours of sleep will actually help to increase your testosterone levels.
And in the end, that is super important.
More Tips to Help With Testosterone Production And Sex Drive
Beyond adopting better eating, sleeping, and exercising habits, there are also a number of other things that you can do to help increase your sex drive.
First off, try to minimize stress. Stress triggers the production of Cortisol within the body, which quickly reduces testosterone levels. So as you approach the age of 40, it becomes more important than ever to avoid stressful situations, and to try to find more peace and happiness in your life. This could mean adopting more hobbies that you enjoy, spending time around more positive people, and/or finding a job or position within your current place of employment that doesn’t stress you out quite as much.
You can also take some vitamin supplements to help with natural T production. Vitamin D3 has been shown to have a very beneficial impact on T levels. And for older men (especially those over 50), it may also be important to take some calcium supplements as well. Vitamin B and Zinc can also be super beneficial. And of course, taking healthy levels of vitamins C and E won’t hurt anything either.
A healthy sex life can do wonders for keeping your testosterone pumping at healthier levels (in some ways, the old adage of ‘use it, or lose it’ is true when it comes to the sex organs and testosterone production). In fact, there are some studies that show that ‘males in captivity’ (males who live a family life, with a wife and kids) face a lot of circumstances that may significantly lower their natural T levels anyway.
And one of the best ways to help circumvent this problem is to keep the sexual partnership with the wife or girlfriend healthy, new, and fresh… so don’t be afraid to try new things and push the boundaries together! Sometimes, introducing some new ideas to the bedroom can do a lot to revive the spark and help you rekindle those youthful feelings of passion that you used to feel when you were younger.
Viewing pornography once in a while, either by yourself or with your partner, can also produce spikes in T levels as well… so that may also be something to keep in mind!
Note: Beware that excessive porn use has also been linked to erectile dysfunction—which is, in itself, a pretty difficult problem for some people to overcome, and certainly not something that you want to deal with if you are also suffering from a low sex drive.
It seems that moderation might be the key in such cases. Watching porn every day, or multiple times per day, may have an adverse effect—while watching it once or twice a week might actually be beneficial, etc.
Of course, every situation is a little bit different—so it is important to be aware of your body and what you feel on a daily basis. If you feel really sluggish or feel like something isn’t working right, try to reverse-engineer it to see what could have gone wrong. What did you eat? Did you work out? Were you stressed out that day? Did you not get enough sleep the night before?
Figuring out what kinds of things affect your negatively, and then weeding them out of your routine, can have a markedly positive impact on your life in the long-run… and it is this kind of self-awareness that will do you the most good. Because, after all, only YOU know how you really feel—so you are in the best position to affect the most positive changes for yourself.
Especially where your sex drive is concerned.
So all in all, sex drive in men over 40 is certainly a widely known problem so don’t be afraid to discuss it with your closest mates and/or your other half, or doctor.
Joshua Sigafus is an experienced writer trying to make the world a better place. You can reach out to him on Facebook.