Male enhancement supplements are a variety of natural and sometimes synthetic compounds designed to enhance the performance and pleasure of sexual encounters – often either by directly stimulating the penis or increasing dopamine sensitivity in the brain. As well, supplements or herbal remedies that increase energy levels may also contribute to improved sexual performance and male enhancement.
In the following sections, these male enhancement entities are explored in more detail and in relation to scientific studies and proof. In addition, this article will outline side effects relating to these foods, herbs, and supplements, as well as provide cautionary info in the concluding section.
1Potassium may help boost one’s sexual performance and act as a male enhancement entity. It is theorized that this effect is due to the high level of potassium in bananas. A 1997 study defined this relationship through a cause-and-effect style trial. 33 random control trials were performed using potassium supplementation. The results showed reduced diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels in the groups that consumed potassium supplements. It was suggested that potassium may benefit the cardiovascular system and normalize blood pressure levels (1).
It has been found in other research that high blood pressure and other cardiovascular or blood flow issues have been related to an individual’s decreased sexual performance, including maintaining an erection (4).
Thus, by improving these factors, male enhancement is possible.
2Capsacin from chilis and peppers – or other spicy foods – may also increase blood flow, reduce hypertension, and decrease inflammation; therefore, aiding in male enhancement and sexual performance. It’s been noted in various studies and research that spicy food may contribute to increased blood flow (5, 6).
Some studies have indicated that this may be due to the higher salt content in spicy foods. It was also found that higher spicy food consumption may reduce high blood pressure (7).
In turn, this again may enhance male sexual performance. Other scientific articles have noted that improving hypertension and other cardiovascular markers may increase male enhancement and sexual performance (8).
In fact, one study even indicated that around 46-47% of males have erectile dysfunction associated with their hypertension issues. It indicated that there is a higher prevalence of erectile dysfunction in individuals with hypertension than individuals without hypertension (9).
3Omega-3 fatty acids may help increase blood flow, adding to male enhancement and sexual performance. A 2000 study treated participants with large artery endothelial dysfunction with 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day. Researchers saw significant improvements after 4 months.
The abstract of the study concluded by saying, “Marine omega-3 fatty acids improve large artery endothelium-dependent dilation in subjects with hypercholesterolemia without affecting endothelium-independent dilation.” In other words, omega-3 fatty acids have the potential to improve cardiovascular outcomes and thus help with male sexual performance (10).
A 2006 study assessed the use of omega-3 fatty acids when it comes to brachial artery dilation and blood flow during forearm contraction. Two omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), were taken by the subjects in the study for 6 weeks. They took 2 grams of DHA and 3 grams of EPA per day.
The subjects’ blood pressure, heart rate, brachial artery diameter, and blood flow were all assessed before and after supplementation. The group that received supplementation had significantly increased blood flow and brachial artery diameter. This study suggested that omega-3 fatty acids do indeed improve blood flow and cardiovascular function (11).
Again, this may contribute to increased male enhancement when it comes to sexual experiences and performance. And supplementation isn’t the only way to get more omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, tuna, and other foods also offer an abundance of these fatty acids.
4Onions can improve overall blood flow. Onions are proven to have antithrombotic effects, meaning they prevent blood clots from forming. In a 2001 review, published in The Journal of Nutrition, showed that onion may inhibit platelet formation and response, which may help in cardiovascular disorders and improve blood flow; thus increasing male enhancement (1).
A study in 2000, also published in The Journal of Nutrition, studied the effects of onions on rats and their cardiovascular systems. Researchers found that the rats that consumed raw onion had antithrombotic effects (2).
5Vitamin B1, also known as Thiamine, may improve neural pathways and function, improving the function and sexual response of the male genitalia. The Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine published an article related to this topic in 2011. It highlighted the importance of B1 in the nervous system. The authors stated that B1, or Thiamine, is important for the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, as well as reducing oxidative stress (12).
6Nitric oxide allows the penis to fill with blood by relaxing the structures involved in this process. L-citrulline, an amino acid, increases nitric acid in the body. By increasing this amino acid via supplementation or food, it may improve male sexual performance. And in one study in 2011, it was found to improve erection hardness in men who had a history of erectile dysfunction.
The participants in the study took 1.5 grams of L-citrulline per day. It was found to improve the erections in these men, as well as proven to be tolerable and safe by the researchers and scientists involved (13).
Another study also had similar findings. In 2017, a study correlated nitric oxide with erectile dysfunction and found by boosting these levels, the men’s sexual performance significantly improved (14).
7Maca is considered a libido stimulant, and it may help in the male enhancement department. A 2008 study explored maca and its use in helping reduce sexual dysfunction while increasing the subjects’ libido. The 17 women who participated in this study had selective‐serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)‐induced sexual dysfunction. Researchers compared a low dose of maca, at 1.5 grams per day to a high dose of maca, at 3 grams per day.
The subjects in the high dose maca group saw significant improvements. It was well-tolerated and researchers concluded that it could, in fact, help with sexual dysfunction, as well as with increasing a person’s libido (19).
8Caffeine and energy supplements may also help improve sexual dysfunction or libido issues, thus providing male enhancement. Anxiety and other problems create issues when it comes to sexual performance. Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb in the Indian Ayurveda medical system that dates back thousands of years ago. Studies have shown that ashwagandha may help reduce stress and anxiety (20).
Scientific reviews state that stress and anxiety may play a role in sexual dysfunction and reduced sexual performance (21).
Thus, supplements and herbs – like ashwagandha – may help improve sexual performance, providing male enhancement, by reducing stress and anxiety.
A 2012 study involved 64 subjects with a medical history of chronic stress. The subjects took one capsule of ashwagandha, with a concentration of 300 mg, twice a day for 60 days. It was found that the group that took the herb supplement twice a day had decreased stress and anxiety. Researchers suggested it could have protective effects in such cases as well (22).
9Rhodiola is another herbal supplement that may help with mental and physical fatigue; thus aiding in improving male sexual performance. A 2011 review analyzed the effects of this herb, and concluded that it may have beneficial effects including improved physical performance, increased mental performance, and reduced mental fatigue (23).
This herb was also found to help alleviate depression and its symptoms (24).
Again, this could potentially contribute to male enhancement, depending on an individual’s health and mental conditions.
10Beetroot may act similar to nitric oxide in the body, helping with male enhancement. In fact, beetroot contains a high amount of nitrate, and is found in various supplements (25).
One study even found beetroot to increase exercise time of individuals by 25% compared to those that hadn’t taken it, proving it’s efficiency and effectiveness at boosting energy levels in the body (26).
Beetroot juice also has blood-pressure-lowering effects (27).
As aforementioned, reduced hypertension can have positive effects on sexual performance.
1Onions may cause stinging or irritation when contact is made with the eyes. They may also cause allergic reactions or skin reactions, depending on the person.
2Spicy food may cause stomach issues, such as serious indigestion, nausea, discomfort, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and heartburn. Heartburn is one of the most common side effects when it comes to spicy food.
3Too much potassium may cause burning and tingling, weakness, mental disorientation, paralysis, blood pressure problems, irregular heartbeats, and even death.
4Omega-3 fatty acids in some rare cases may cause high blood sugar, low blood pressure, diarrhea, bleeding, heartburn, stroke, vitamin A toxicity, insomnia, and more.
5 L-citrulline may not work as well as an erectile dysfunction supplement.
6Maca may be unsafe for those with hormonal sensitive conditions, such as if you are pregnant or have cancer affecting the sexual organs.
7Ashwagandha may cause stomach issues in some individuals, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
8In rare cases, allergies, blood pressure issues, chest pain, insomnia, and other effects may occur from the consumption of rhodiola.
9 Beetroot may cause your urine or stools to appear pink or red.
There is no standard dosage for male enhancement pills as each differs in makeup and amount. However, there are dosages recommended for individual ingredients.
For potassium, it is recommended to consume between 3500 and 4700mg per day from food.
Omega-3 doses vary per health concern however the recommended dose is between 200 and 4000mg.
To supplement L-citrulline for circulatory health or to alleviate erectile dysfunction, take 1,000 mg of citrulline, three times a day with meals, for a total daily dose of 3,000 mg. L-citrulline does not need to be taken with meals, however.
The optimal dose for medicinal use has not been established. However, the dosage of maca root powder used in studies generally ranges from 1.5–5 grams per day.
For ashwagandha, take 300–500 mg of a root extract with meals (with breakfast, if taken all at once). More research is needed to determine if higher doses can yield greater benefits.
Usage of rhodiola as a daily has been reported to be effective in doses as low as 50mg but can be taken as high as 680mg.
Beetroot tends to be dosed on the nitrate content, with around 0.1-0.2mmol/kg (6.4-12.8mg/kg) being the target for nitrate. This is about 436mg for a 150lb person, which is comparable to half a kilogram (500g) of the beetroots themselves (wet weight).
For healthy adults, up to 400 mg/day of caffeine is considered safe. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised to consume no more than 200 mg/day. People with cardiovascular health issues should also consider limiting their caffeine intake.
How long does it take for a male enhancement pill to kick in? For most ED drugs, you need to wait a while before you can expect them to start working. How long varies with the drug. Viagra and Levitra take about 30 minutes to work, and the effects last for about 4 hours after you take the pill. Some natural solutions might even require weeks as they need to build up in the system.
What vitamin is good for male enhancement? Folic acid (B12) is another B Vitamin that helps produce nitric oxide. In one study, men with severe and moderate ED (but not mild ED) had low levels of folic acid. In men with moderate to severe ED, folic acid supplements can help.
Does metformin cause erectile dysfunction? No, in fact, Metformin medication may help treat erectile dysfunction. New research suggests that the widely used type 2 diabetes drug metformin could double as a treatment for men with erection problems.
How long does the average man last in bed for the first time? The average (median) time before orgasm was about 6 minutes, and ranged from a blissful 6 seconds to a marathon-paced 53 minutes. The majority of men lasted between 4 to 11 minutes, with anyone lasting longer than 21 minutes being considered an outlier.
Can I take 20 mg of Cialis? The recommended starting dose of Cialis for use as needed in most patients is 10 mg, taken prior to anticipated sexual activity. The dose may be increased to 20 mg or decreased to 5 mg, based on individual efficacy and tolerability.
Does erectile dysfunction go away? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Finding the specific cause of erectile dysfunction isn’t always simple. A number of underlying medical conditions can trigger erectile dysfunction, and other factors such as stress, depression or anxiety can make it worse.
How can I improve erectile dysfunction naturally? Ginkgo may work as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction as it may increase blood flow to the penis. Some evidence suggests high doses of L-arginine improve erectile dysfunction by helping blood vessels to open wider, which improves blood flow to the penis.
Does fish oil help with erectile dysfunction? Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, which can improve cardiovascular health and lower triglycerides as well as possibly increase dopamine production and reduce the risk for depression, are all pluses for the libido.
Male enhancement products are a sought-after entity on the market. While there are prescription medications and drugs available to help with dysfunction, there are also various supplements and foods that may further enhance sexual performance in men.
Foods that may help with male enhancement include onions and bananas. Despite their claim to fame as causing bad breath, onions may contribute to improved blood flow, helping to enhance blood flow to the genitals. Bananas may help normalize blood pressure and improve cardiovascular function; ultimately aiding in male enhancement. Chilis, peppers, and other spicy foods are also thought to help improve blood flow, thus helping in the male enhancement department. However, more research may be necessary to further substantiate these claims.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also well-known for their vast improvement on overall health, in particular on the cardiovascular system, which also may improve sexual performance. Vitamin B1, on the other hand, helps improve neural pathways which may improve that when it comes to sex and sexual performance.
Substances that improve nitric acid cause dilation of blood vessels – which would help with male enhancement. Maca may further help improve one’s libido and sex drive. Energy boosters and other herbs may also aid in contributing to better health and ultimately, male enhancement.
It should be mentioned that diet and exercise are further an important part in improving one’s sex life, as a person’s overall health and well-being play a significant role in libido and sexual function.
Other experts further suggest getting a proper night’s sleep, reducing stress and anxiety in your life via stress management techniques or coping mechanisms, decreasing the frequency or eliminating bad habits like smoking or alcohol consumption, masturbating regularly, and seeking out help via a therapist or doctor when required.
As always, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor. Make sure you check with them before beginning to consume a new supplement or herb, as they know you and your health situation best and can help you make an informed decision limiting adverse effects.
In addition, make sure you read all labels of any product you consume thoroughly. Ensure that the ingredients will not have an adverse reaction with other medication you may be taking or that they may not cause an allergic reaction. Discontinue use of any product that causes negative health effects.