Most of us will experience a dwindling libido at some point, and often people accept it as an inevitable part of life. But it doesn't need to be! Did you know that dopamine and libido are intrinsically linked? With that in mind, nootropics can improve sex drive and can even evoke an enhanced sexual experience.
Let's begin by putting to bed any shame. Most of us need a bit of help when it comes to fluctuating sexual desire at some point in our lives. And supplementation to improve our sex lives is not a new concept. Our ancient ancestors also used herbs and spices to enhance the sexual experience.
Sex and self-pleasure are a vital part of human nature. Orgasms can improve mood, boost the immune system, reduce pain, help you sleep, and even slow aging. But when your sexual arousal is low, and your sex life is unfulfilling, knowing the benefits isn't going to help you.
You deserve a happy and healthy libido that is fulfilled, whether through self-pleasure, a partner, or both. Our sex lives have an important role in our lives and relationships, so no more burying your head in the sand - let's address the issue and explore our intimate selves.
Here we will discuss how to regulate dopamine and boost libido using nootropic supplements and other natural methods.
Let's take a deeper look.
The Endocrine System and Your Sex Life
To understand how a nootropic supplement can contribute to a healthy libido, you must first understand the nervous and endocrine systems.
The parasympathetic nervous systems interact with the endocrine system to secrete hormones. These systems are linked by the hypothalamus, which starts and stops the production of hormones throughout the body, maintaining the body's internal balance or homeostasis.
The endocrine system is a complex network of glands and organs throughout your body that enable hormones to communicate with each other. It is responsible for almost every cell, organ, and function in your body, including sexual drive.
These glands include the adrenal glands, the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, as well as organs such as the testis and the ovaries. The most important hormones for sexual arousal are testosterone for men and estrogen for women.
The endocrine system is complex, and if even a small part of it is dysfunctional or unbalanced, then you will likely experience problems with your sexual desire, sexual function, and energy levels.
Sex - The Mind-Body Connection
When it comes to sex, it isn't all about estrogen and testosterone. Your mental wellbeing is equally important, if not more so. Neurotransmitters that affect your mood, stress, and emotions are worth equal consideration. So too are physiological factors such as body image and self-confidence.
If you are stressed, then your body will always prioritize the fight or flight hormones over sex hormones, which means that stress and sex simply cannot coexist. (1)
Getting more exercise, eating healthily, and practicing mindfulness can all go a long way in improving libido. Sex drive results from a complex interaction between sensory stimuli, the endocrine system, and our sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. (2)
A balance between our nervous systems and our endocrine system is key to a healthy sex drive and regulates important neurotransmitters such as serotonin, acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Any irregularities in the neurotransmitters mentioned above can cause a range of mental health ailments and low libido.
"Several neurotransmitters have been implicated in libido, such as dopamine (DA) for desire, acetylcholine (ACh) for arousal, and (GABA) for orgasm." (3)
For example, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine regulates moisture. Therefore, low levels can cause vaginal dryness and low libido in women and low semen levels in men.
At the same time, stress hormones such as cortisol can hinder libido if they are not balanced.
Cognitive enhancers can boost sex drive by helping restore balance to neurotransmitters. They can also help improve stress, anxiety, depression, and energy levels, which all contribute to sex drive.
Is Libido Different For Men and Women?
A healthy sex life is important for everyone. While both men and women struggle with lowering sex hormones and decreasing libido, men also have to worry about erectile dysfunction and sexual performance. But regardless of your gender, you shouldn't fake it. If you are not in the mood, you'll be waiting to get it over with, and your partner will feel it.
Regardless of gender, it is normal for sexual drive to fluctuate. However, experiencing low libido for a prolonged period can be bad for mental health and often strains relationships, especially if one partner is out of sync with another.
Libidos are different for men and women, and therefore, the causes and treatments are different. However, there are many overlaps, such as dopamine levels, blood flow, and brain health.
Testosterone levels are the most significant contributing factor to healthy libido in men. Testosterone is important for sexual health, sperm volume, and building muscle and bone mass.
Testosterone levels often drop with age, but additional risk factors include prescription medication, overuse of alcohol or drugs, depression and anxiety, relationship issues, and too much or too little exercise. (4)
Low sex drive can be particularly difficult for men, who often have high expectations for themselves when it comes to sexual performance. Low libido can lead to mental health issues which then worsen the situation.
Often one of the biggest concerns for men is erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is much more common than people think and affects around one in ten men. If you occasionally have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, then it isn't necessarily cause for concern.
However, if erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue for you, you may want to speak with your doctor, as it could be a symptom of an underlying health condition.
Female Sexual Arousal
Estrogen is the most important hormone for a healthy libido for women, although testosterone also plays an important role.
It is normal for sex drive to fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle, as you age, or when you're stressed. It is also important to remember that sex drive is naturally different for everyone. Still, if your sex drive has dipped, then you should consider the route cause as often increasing libido comes with other benefits to your life, including mental health, relationships, cognitive function, and energy levels.
Sometimes oral contraceptives and other forms of contraceptives can affect a women's libido. You may want to try changing your contraception to see if anything improves.
The Best Nootropics for Sexual Arousal
Different nootropics can help us to overcome different issues in the bedroom, from improving mood, increasing energy, and regulating hormones. There is a nootropic for everything.
So let's finally get into it and break down what nootropic supplements can do for you.
First on our list is one you may have heard a lot about in recent years, but it is far from new. Ashwagandha or Withania Somnifera has been used in India since the time of the Kama Sutra and has been mentioned in one of the oldest texts about sexuality. The translated name is 'the smell of a horse,' referring to the strength of a stallion.
This ayurvedic herb goes far beyond anecdotal evidence. Multiple studies have shown that Ashwagandha promotes youthful vigor, enhances muscle mass, endurance, and strength, decreases mental and physical fatigue, and improves overall health.
Ashwagandha is especially beneficial for men. It raises testosterone levels, improving arousal, erections, and overall sexual performance. (5)
It also helps reduce stress by regulating cortisol, allowing men and women to get in the mood and stay there. (6)
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is found in every cell in your body and is most concentrated in your cell membranes, where it helps repair neurons and optimizes the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. (7)
Acetylcholine levels are essential for arousal in both men and women and can help increase blood flow and improve internal moisture. (8)
PS is also important for brain health as it boosts brain uptake of glucose resulting in improved mental clarity, energy, and mood. (9) Mental exhaustion is a significant contributing factor to not wanting to have sex for many people. In general, more energy equates to better sex.
In addition, PS works to regulate the stress hormone cortisol. (10) Too much cortisol can wreak havoc on men's testosterone levels. Therefore regulating cortisol can improve libido, energy levels, and even help you gain muscle mass. For women, stress also has a big impact on getting in the mood and the ability to orgasm.
Ginseng is often referred to as the King of all herbs. This is because it has been used for centuries in ancient Chinese medicine to boost immunity, treat erectile dysfunction and enhance libido.
Data from animal studies and case-control human studies have shown a correlation between Ginseng and libido. (11)
One of the pathways for this may be its effect on mood, behavior, and brain chemistry. Studies show that Ginseng can enhance brain skills, including memory and mood. (12) Research shows that this is due to the ability of Ginseng to improve dopamine and serotonin levels. (13)
Magnesium plays over 300 functions in the body. For example, sufficient Magnesium is associated with a healthy stress response, better sleep, and more energy. All of which have a positive effect on libido.
Over half of Americans are thought to be deficient in Magnesium, and defining is associated with low levels of dopamine - an essential neurotransmitter for mood, cognitive functions, and ultimately - sex. (14)
Magnesium also helps keep testosterone in the bloodstream, further boosting sex drive and performance. (15)
Mucuna Pruriens is a tropical bean containing an amino acid called levodopa (L-dopa). L-dopa, which is a pre-curser to dopamine. (16).
In one study in infertile men, Mucuna Pruriens increased dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline which improved sperm production and mobility. (17)
Maca or Peruvian Ginseng has been treasured as a medical crop for thousands of years in South America to improve libido, learning, and memory.
Studies have shown particular promise for women with low sex drive, especially for menopausal women. (18).
Luteolin is an antioxidant and a powerful health enhancer. It works to balance estrogen levels and promotes brain cell growth. (19)
Luteolin is particularly beneficial for male sexual arousal, as it inhibits the aromatase enzyme, which is responsible for turning testosterone into estrogen. This can prevent excess estrogen production and keep testosterone high. (20)
Luteolin has also been shown to raise GABA production, which improves mood and wellbeing. (21)
Best Nootropic Stack for a Better Sex Life
The best nootropics for sex are often taken as a stack. Reducing anxiety and improving brain health by balancing the nervous system and optimizing neurotransmitters will increase libido for most people.
The right stack will balance key sex hormones and stress hormones to improve overall wellbeing. The most important of which are:
- Dopamine - Dopamine is involved in the pleasure pathway, and so is important for sexual desire. A recent study even that dopamine and serotonin are important for erection and ejaculation. (22) Boost dopamine with Magnesium and Mucuna Pruriens.
- Cortisol-Stress hormones prepare you for fight or flight and diminish non-essential functions like libido. Luckily, ingredients such as Ashwagandha and Phospharidylerine help regulate cortisol levels to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Acetylcholine- Ingredients such as Phosphatidylserine increase acetylcholine which improves blood flow, and internal moisture which boosts arousal for both men and women.
- GABA - An increase in GABA will reduce anxiety and help you be fully present with yourself or your partner, which will lead to better orgasms. GABA can be increased with ingredients such as Luteolin.
- Serotonin - Optimum serotonin levels improve overall mood and wellbeing. One effective nootropic for serotonin is Ginseng.
- Testosterone - Testosterone is essential for men and women, but especially for men. Testosterone can boost mood, increase libido, and improve erections. Testosterone can be increased with Ashwagandha, Luteolin, and Phosphatidylserine.
- Estrogen - Estrogen is also important for men and women, although too much for men can lower libido. Women can increase estrogen through Maca, which is known to improve lubrication and increase libido.
Best Nootropic Stack for Men
Based on our research, the best libido-boosting stack for men is Centrapeak. It contains all the ingredients mentioned above, with the exception of MACA powder (which works best for women). It also contains many other beneficial herbs, you can check out the full ingredient list here.
Centrapeak has been designed for men to improve energy and motivation, increase testosterone and libido, improve strength and stamina and improve overall health and wellbeing.
Best Nootropic Stack for Women
The same company has also created a nootropic for women, Kurapeak, designed to improve mental wellbeing, improve libido, enhance focus, and reduce stress and anxiety. It includes ingredients such as MACA and Ginseng. You can see the full ingredient list here.
Natural Ways To Increase Your Sex Drive
Taking a nootropic can improve your sex drive in more ways than one. As well as restoring balance to your nervous system and enhancing the levels of hormones related to sex, it can also improve your mood, energy, and motivation.
Often low sex drive can also be linked to lifestyle. A nootropic could help you to take back control of your life, implement better habits, to enhance your sexual performance further.
While there is no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of certain foods as aphrodisiacs, diet certainly has an impact. You are what you eat - your food is your energy, and if you're not fueling yourself right, you are likely to feel sluggish, fatigued, and uninspired sexually.
Limit Alcohol Intake
While a beer or two might make you more adventurous in the bedroom or help you relax into the moment, too much will hinder your ability to perform. Overtime it can wreak havoc on sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.
Sleep plays an important role in regulating hormone production. If you're not getting the recommended 8 hours a night, then this could be the culprit for your dwindling desire. Make sleep and healthy sleeping habits a priority, such as not eating before bed, staying away from screens for at least two hours before bed, and sleeping in a dark room.
Mindfulness activities have been shown to reduce stress and improve focus, both of which are beneficial to your time in the bedroom. If meditation isn't your thing, try tai chi, yoga, breathing exercises, or even a long walk on your own without the stimulation of a screen.
If you are with a partner, open communication is integral. Speak about how your feeling and desires, and see where things take you. For example, if you feel bored, see if your partner is willing to try something new such as toys, positions, or role-play.
Does increasing dopamine increase sex drive?
Dopamine is the key neurotransmitter for motivation and reward. It, therefore, plays an important role in sexual desire.
Which nootropics increase libido?
All of the nootropics mentioned above can increase libido. Most notably: Ashwagandha, Maca, Ginseng, Luteolin, and Phosphatidylserine.
What hormone makes your sex drive higher?
Sexual activity is complicated, and there are many hormones involved, including balanced levels of cortisol, dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. However, the key hormone for men is testosterone and estrogen for women.
Is there a quick fix for improving libido?
There is no quick fix when it comes to sexual desire. While nootropics can certainly improve libido, most need to be taken for a few weeks before you notice any effect. They should also be taken alongside appropriate lifestyle changes to experience the best results.
Is it safe?
All of the nootropics mentioned in this article are considered safe in the correct dosages. However, when looking for a product, it is important to research and ensure that what you're taking has a low risk of adverse side effects.
It is common for your sexual experience to vary throughout your life. However, it is important to keep libido at a healthy level for your mental and physical health, as well as your relationships.
As you get older, lowering libido is often due to an imbalance in hormones. You can bring your body back into harmony with the help of nootropics and lifestyle changes.
Once you get back to wanting to have sex, you will wonder how you ever went without it!
Our top product for men is Centrapeak and Kurapeak for women. They have been chosen for their high-quality ingredients at safe dosages. It targets each important hormone to bring balance back to your body. It has also been tried and tested with an abundance of positive reviews.
If you have noticed a sudden change in your sex drive, you should talk to your doctor, as it could indicate a more serious health complication.