Did you know magnesium is great for your sexual health?
Neither did we, until recently! Proper magnesium supplementation can boost testosterone levels, ameliorate some symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED), and lift libido.
Read on to find out how magnesium can boost your mojo.
Testosterone Levels & Low Libido
Many people experience lower sex drive at some stage of life. Low libido can be triggered by a range of health and lifestyle factors. Most commonly, libido simply dips lower with age.
Over time, the body’s production of key sex hormones such as testosterone declines (yes, in both men and women!).
We think of testosterone as the “male hormone” because men generally do produce it in higher quantities. After puberty, men produce about 20 times more than women. Yet, testosterone plays an equally important role in women’s health, including sexual wellness.
For men, testosterone is key in:
- Maturation during puberty
- Sperm production
- Muscle and bone strength
- Sex drive
For women, some of the same things apply, along with others, including:
- Maintaining other hormone levels
- New blood cell production
- Fertility and sex drive
Your body naturally regulates hormone levels, and as mentioned, low testosterone is common as we age.
For women, ovaries become less active around the time of menopause, and hormone levels swiftly drop when we stop ovulating.
For men, testosterone levels decrease more gradually. Starting at age 40, it is common for men to start seeing a nominal drop in testosterone, that averages just over 1% per year, making it not uncommon for men in their 60s and 70s to see much reduced levels of testosterone. With lower testosterone comes a lower libido.
While in many cases low testosterone is a side-effect of aging, any change in your hormone levels can also result from depression and anxiety, medications, or health conditions.
Magnesium for Libido: How it Strengthens Sex Drive
Testosterone exists in two ways in the human body.
It can be bound to one of two proteins (called sex hormone-binding globulin, shortened to SHBG, or albumin). When bound, testosterone is biologically inactive, meaning that it can’t be used.
Conversely, when testosterone is unbound and biologically active, we see the expected effects of the hormone. In this form, it is referred to as “free testosterone”. This useful form of testosterone only accounts for about 2-3% of the testosterone in the human body.
How can we increase free testosterone, so it’s available to spur on libido?
It turns out that magnesium can help.
Magnesium works by stopping testosterone from latching onto proteins, including SHBG. By keeping more testosterone unbound, magnesium increases the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream, strengthening sex drive.
Magnesium can’t bring back old levels of testosterone production, but it can helps keep testosterone levels in the blood higher.
In good news, studies suggest that magnesium plays a role in boosting levels for everyone, but especially athletes and active individuals.
Research on Magnesium to Boost Testosterone
As mentioned, magnesium allows for more of the body’s testosterone to be unbound and available in the bloodstream. What does the research say about supplementing with magnesium to boost testosterone levels (and libido)?
A study published in 2013 supplemented 12 men with magnesium, and 14 others with placebos to act as controls. Both groups were asked to complete a certain amount of exercise over the 7 week period of the study.
As expected, both groups showed improved strength and athletic performance, but those who had been supplemented with magnesium showed a marked increase in testosterone compared to the control group. These results suggest that magnesium indeed plays a notable role in testosterone production, particularly hand in hand with resistance training.
Additional studies have concluded that magnesium used in conjunction with other types of exercise, such as low resistance activities like Taekwondo, also shows increases in testosterone levels.
Other observations have found that magnesium has a connection to testosterone production, particularly in older men, however, the basis of that connection is still somewhat mysterious.
Sex Drive, Sleep & Magnesium
Magnesium is sometimes known as “the sleep mineral”. Although it is not a sedative, magnesium helps to relax tension and facilitates the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
If you think your sex drive is dampened by exhaustion (or even mild sleep deprivation), try magnesium.
Stress-Induced Low Sex Drive
Stress is a significant cause of low sex drive… and in good news, magnesium is the anti-stress mineral.
As with sleep, we understand intuitively that stress makes us feel less frisky. The science supports this thesis, in spades.
In response to stress of all kinds, our adrenal glands release neurotransmittors, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones prepare our bodies to fight, flee, or freeze. (All logical responses to stress, if you’re a caveperson.)
Glucose flows into our bloodstream for energy. Blood pressure rises and our bodies divert blood to the the most important muscles needed to fight or flee.
The problem is, our adrenal glands don’t differentiate between a true emergency and an everyday stressor. Traffic, work stress, kids… Any type of stress can activate the adrenal glands to secrete stress hormones.
These stress hormones suppress the main reproductive hormone, GnRH, driving down testosterone in men, an din women, suppressing estrogen, and progesterone. Your brain effectively tells your body to focus on survival and forget the sex.
If you live with chronic stress, it’s no surprise that your sex drive is low.
How Magnesium Regulates Stress Hormones (So You Can Feel Sexy Again)
Magnesium plays a very important role in regulating stress hormones.
It moderates the stress response, so that your body secretes less cortisol and adrenaline, among other neurotransmittors responsible for firing up yoru body’s alarm system
When you have enough magnesium in the bloodstream, your body will recover more quickly from moments of stress…
Your blood pressure will drop faster, and blood will flow into the parts of your body not strictly necessary for survival. Your metabolism will conserve glucose for when you really need that energy (wink, wink). And you’ll feel relaxed enough to spend some time on intimacy.
It’s a virtuous cycle. When you feel less stressed, you can have better sex, more often, and sex in turn reduces feelings of stress. To start that cycle of stress-relief, make sure you’re getting enough magnesium.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) & Conditions Related to Magnesium Deficiency
Up to 4% of men in their 50s and up to 17% of men in their 60s have ED. Johns Hopkins Medicine predicts that in 2025, the prevalence of the condition will be approximately 322 million worldwide.
Although low testosterone can contribute to ED, it is rarely the only cause. ED can be caused by depression or anxiety, drug use, or rooted in other causes. The condition can even be indicative of a more serious health concern such as heart disease or diabetes.
Because of the relationship between ED, depression, and cardiovascular disease, it is important that men are evaluated for all three conditions if you show the symptoms of one.
Although ED is a somewhat self-explanatory condition, the symptoms are as follows:
- Difficulty getting and/or maintaining an erection
- Avoiding intimacy/losing interest in sex
- Premature ejaculation
Risk factors include:
- Prostate problems
- Advanced age
- Use of pharmaceutical medications to treat medical or psychological issues
- Repeated and substantial use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco products
How Magnesium Helps Erectile Dysfunction
Although the direct connection between magnesium and ED remains somewhat enigmatic, we do know that magnesium is a natural treatment for low testosterone production (see below) and depression, both of which sometimes contribute to the condition.
Additionally, one study explored the connection between insufficient levels of magnesium and premature ejaculation. The results were inconclusive but sparked a larger-scale discussion in many online medical communities about the potential of magnesium as a treatment for ED.
Magnesium is also essential for blood pressure and the maintenance of healthy veins and arteries, which suggests a role in resolving ED:
“Under normal circumstances, magnesium helps blood vessels relax. Low magnesium can lead to blood vessel constriction and high blood pressure. Additionally, low magnesium may not allow the penile vein to fully relax leading to erectile dysfunction.” (The Care Group)
Getting Enough Magic Magnesium for Libido & More
A common misconception is that we get all the magnesium our bodies need from our diets, and while that is partially true, a whopping ⅓ of Canadians are still magnesium deficient.
Magnesium is found naturally in nuts, seeds, and dark, leafy greens, although in lower levels today than in the past, thanks to industrial agriculture and the leaching of magnesium from soils. Today, most people simply don’t eat enough of these foods to meet our significant magnesium needs.
Many people choose to simply take a daily supplement instead to stay healthy both in and out of the bedroom.
Get Excited! Choose Natural Calm Magnesium for Libido
Natural Calm magnesium is a fast-acting, great-tasting magnesium supplement backed by thousands of five-star reviews and awards.
Natural Calm magnesium citrate is highly absorbable, which means it’s a form that’s proven to be taken up into the bloodstream where it can be used by cells across the body. (Unlike less absorbable forms.)
We also include magnesium glycinate in Calm Sleep, a sleep-specific formula. In addition to magnesium for libido, Calm Sleep also includes melatonin, GABA, and l-theanine for a calmer, deeper, more restful sleep.
What you do before and after you doze off is your business! Have fun!