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20 Foods That Increase Your Sexual Stamina and Sex Drive

Last longer in bed and boost satisfaction with these simple diet additions.
FACT CHECKED BY Jordan Powers Willard

There are certain things you definitely don't want to last very long—like dentist appointments, visits with the in-laws, and hangovers. However, something that probably doesn't top that list for most people? Sex. When you hit the sheets with your significant other or a new flame, the last thing you want is to finish too soon. Especially with your romantic Valentine's Day plans coming up just around the corner. Thankfully, there are plenty of foods that can actually increase your sex drive and sexual stamina.

Although no one wants to be a minuteman, research shows that you don't have to go all night to please your partner, either. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reports that the average time couples spend bumpin' and grindin' ranges from three to 13 minutes. Other research reveals that most women want "sexy time" to last between 15 and 25 minutes—not for hours like some people might think. Regardless, nothing bad can come from going at it a bit longer!

Believe it or not, there are a few foods that can potentially help you improve your stamina in the bedroom, as well as your sex drive. When it comes to sexual stamina, the foods you can benefit from are ones that increase blood flow, as well as ones that contain endurance-boosting vitamins. For your sex drive, vitamins and nutrients that are linked to better mental health, arousal, and blood flow will help.

Below, we've detailed 20 examples of these items, so you have plenty of options to work with. And after, make sure to check out The #1 Food To Eat for Better Sex.


sliced watermelon - how to increase sexual stamina

Watermelon is one of the richest natural sources of L-citrulline, a non-essential amino acid that your body converts to L-arginine, and it's the L-arginine that can help make your erection, well for lack of better words, harder. Like that little blue pill, L-arginine stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to the penis, strengthening erections.

5 Secrets To Choose the Best Watermelon

Chili peppers

chili peppers - how to increase sexual stamina

Get your mentality on the same page as your body by adding some serrano peppers to a stir fry, jalapeños to guacamole, or cayenne pepper to your eggs. Why all the pepper? Well, each fruit contains a significant amount of capsaicin, the compound that makes Tabasco sauce hot, releases chemicals that increase heart rate, mirrors signs of arousal, and releases feel-good endorphins, according to NPR. The bottom line? Munching on these spicy foods won't only boost your metabolism, they will get you in the mood for the evening's festivities and increase your duration in the sack, too. To rev your calorie-burning furnace some more, don't miss these best ways to boost your metabolism.


apples - how to increase sexual stamina

An apple a day doesn't just keep the doctor away; it may also help to extend your sexual stamina. It's all thanks to apples' high levels of quercetin, an antioxidant flavonoid that has been found to play a role in improving endurance. And since your body goes through many of the same physical changes during sex as it does during exercise—elevated heart rate, increased metabolism, burned calories, and muscle contractions—you can equate endurance with extending your time in bed.

According to nutritionist Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN, author of Schedule Me Skinny: Plan to Lose Weight and Keep It Off in Just 30 Minutes a Weekquercetin "can help to create new mitochondria in the body's cells and increase one's oxidative capacity, which signifies the maximum amount of oxygen your muscles can use." That's not all. Quercetin can also help prevent the release of cortisone, which causes muscle breakdown, meaning you'll be able to go at it longer without experiencing premature fatigue.


ginger root and powder - how to increase sexual stamina

If you like your food like you like your lovers—sweet and spicy—you're in luck. Ginger is another food that can improve your sex life by aiding blood flow and improving artery health. According to a study in the International Journal of Cardiology, consuming a mere teaspoon of the stuff a few times a week is all you need to reap the heart-healthy benefits. So, go ahead and place that second order of sushi this week—just don't leave the ginger on your plate.

Secret Side Effects of Eating Ginger, Say Dietitians

Wild-caught Salmon

wild salmon - how to increase sexual stamina

Trying to heat things up after your dinner date? Be sure to order the wild salmon. This fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid nitric oxide production, according to a study in the journal Food & Function, helping you stay hard. Plus, additional research has found that cutting back calories and sticking to a Mediterranean-style diet rich in produce, fish, whole grains, and healthy fats (like omega-3s) can improve erectile function in men with metabolic syndrome, according to a study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research.

The same group of researchers found that similar results for improved sexual function in women when following a Mediterranean diet.


bananas - how to increase sexual stamina

The sexual innuendo of bananas may also help you prepare for evening festivities, but this tropical fruit is full of simple carbs to provide you with energy to help you keep going. Bananas are also full of potassium (about 9% of your DV), which is a muscle-relaxing mineral that can help reduce cramps and muscle spasms that would impede your sexy time. Plus, the American Heart Association says that potassium can help lower blood pressure, which can boost sexual performance by ensuring proper blood flow to certain parts of the body, including the genitals.


rolled oats - how to increase sexual stamina

If you want to go long enough to help your date reach the big-O (hint: you should), you may want to reach for some oatmeal. While not the sexiest food by any means, this popular breakfast grain offers the riches source of amino acids of any type of cereal grain, which is commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Plus, whole grains like oatmeal also help lower cholesterol levels, as shown by an American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine review. Having high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition that clogs and narrows arteries, impairing blood flow. This could eventually lead to heart problems, but you'll likely notice issues below the belt, too. Simply put: the better your cholesterol levels are, the better your erection will be, too. So, start your day with these overnight oats recipes.


garlic whole and cloves - how to increase sexual stamina

According to historians, ancient Egyptians used garlic to boost their stamina. A Journal of Nutrition study confirmed that consuming garlic extract can help stop the formation of new fatty deposits, called plaque, inside arterial walls. Yes, that includes the arteries leading to your penis, too. Keep your heart healthy and your erections strong by adding some garlic to your weekly dishes. But, bear in mind that garlic won't make your breath smell particularly seductive—so keep it out of your date-night diet.

The Absolute Easiest Way To Peel Garlic, According to a Chef


shelled pistachios - how to increase sexual stamina

To ensure you can last as long as you desire when the time comes, try adding some nuts to your diet. Pistachios, peanuts, and walnuts all contain the amino acid L-arginine, which is one of the building blocks of nitric oxide—a naturally-occurring gas that helps maintain erections. Nuts are also high in magnesium, which can boost energy and endurance.


quinoa - how to increase sexual stamina

Consider swapping out your dinner roll for a side of quinoa if you're looking for ways to last longer in the bedroom. Not only is quinoa one of the few plant-based sources of complete protein, but it's also a healthy high-fiber foods. Because it takes your body a longer time to digest fiber, eating these nutrient-dense foods provides your body with more long-lasting energy levels so you can go the distance.

Canned tuna

tuna fish - how to increase sexual stamina

For a quick energy boost, look no further than vitamin B12. The micronutrient is connected to optimal mental function and high energy because it helps maintain the health of your nerves, brain, and blood, making it a food that may help increase sex drive. According to a study published in the First International Journal of Andrology, vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with erectile dysfunction, which means that not getting enough of this vitamin may mean trouble in the bedroom.

Luckily, one of the best sources of this micronutrient is one you're likely already eating: canned tuna. One 142 gram can of tuna contains 3.65 micrograms of B12, which is 152% of the DV of this vitamin.

Pomegranate juice

pomegranate and arils - how to increase sexual stamina

A study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research discovered that pomegranate juice, which is rich in antioxidants that support blood flow, can help improve erectile dysfunction. Though this study was funded by POM Wonderful, animal studies have also shown that the elixir improves long-term erectile response, so it's definitely worth a shot–literally. Knock a shot back or water your juice down a bit to cut the sugar content.

The #1 Best Drink for Your Heart, Says Dietitian


beets - how to increase sexual stamina

Nitrates are found in beets, and they will help increase overall blood flow, which can be really helpful for you "down there." Not only that, but research shows that nitrate supplements can help increase endurance during exercise, which can also be helpful during sexual activity. So, if you like the earthy taste of beets, gather up a few to toss in a salad or make a soup. Or, if you're not a fan of the flavor, you can always juice this root vegetable with other produce to hide the taste.


raw spinach - how to increase sexual stamina

What is the secret to how spinach can increase your sexual stamina? The answer is its high arginine content. When this amino acid hits your system, it converts to nitric oxide, which helps initiate and maintain erections. Need another reason to add some green to your plate? Nitric oxide may also help speed muscle growth and recovery time, according to a Molecular Biology of the Cell study. So, if you're engaging in some pretty strenuous sexual activity, spinach can help you recover.


avocado - how to increase sexual stamina

Your anxiety about getting between-the-sheets could be elevating levels of stress—which plummet libido and may get in the way of a longer sex session. Also, a lack of B-vitamins—nutrients that keep nerves and brain cells healthy—could also be exaggerating your stress even further, says a Nutrition Journal study. The solution? Feast on some avocados. Not only are they rich in stress-relieving B vitamins, but they're also a source of monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to aid blood flow to the entire body—including the penis—by a Journal of Hypertension study.


asparagus - how to increase sexual stamina

Ever heard the adage that running is 90 percent mental and only 10 percent physical? Well, the same can be said for sex. To make sure your brain is mentally in the game, cultivate a keen sense of focus by loading up on folate. This B vitamin helps maintain levels of oxygen in our blood and produces healthy cells. It's known to aid in overall cognitive function, which can help you feel more alert and ready to go when you're having sex. Asparagus is a deliciously healthy source of folate in our diets—just six spears provides you with about a fifth of your recommended daily intake.

5 Best Vegetables for Your Heart


grass fed beef - how to increase sexual stamina

Now you have another excuse to order the steak. When it comes to boosting—and maintaining—your libido, niacin (vitamin B3) is especially helpful. A Journal of Sexual Medicine study found that men suffering from impotence who took a niacin supplement reported a significant improvement in their bedroom performance than men who took a placebo. Just four ounces of beef will serve up over 30 percent of your daily recommended intake, and it comes in as a helpful food to increase your sex drive.

Chia seeds

chia seeds - how to increase sexual stamina

The last thing you want is for your evening to be ruined because you're feeling hungry and fatigued. And thanks to their fiber content, chia seeds (9.75 grams of fiber per ounce) give you stable energy and feelings of satiety, and they won't cause spikes and drops in blood sugar or insulin levels. This is because fiber takes longer for your body to digest, making it helpful in stabilizing blood glucose levels, according to the CDC. To eat chia seeds, you can add them to yogurt, make a chia seed pudding, or incorporate them into a smoothie.

Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds - how to increase sexual stamina

Pumpkin seeds are nutritional superstars and the killer wingman. You can thank their levels of zinc and magnesium, which are two essential minerals shown to boost testosterone levels (especially when combined), according to the International Journal of Endocrinology. The magnesium, specifically, decreases inflammation in blood vessels, which then increases blood flow and, subsequently, arousal.

Dark chocolate

dark chocolate - how to increase sexual stamina

Stress and performance anxiety can account for many erection problems. Rather than letting you and your partner down because you're down in the dumps, consider eating foods that can counteract stress—like dark chocolate. According to researchers, cacao increases levels of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin. In one study, it was found that consuming milk or dark chocolate on a daily basis for two weeks helped reduce stress levels in women.

We hope this list of foods that increase sex drive and stamina can help you feel more confident and ready to go this upcoming Valentine's Day, or any other day that you're in the mood.

A previous version of this story was published on January 15, 2021. It has been updated to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, additional research, and updated contextual links.

Dana Leigh Smith
Dana has written for Women's Health, Prevention, Reader's Digest, and countless other publications. Read more about Dana Leigh
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