There are certain things you definitely don’t want to last very long—like dentist appointments, visits with the in-laws, and hangovers. Something that would never top that list? Sex. When you hit the sheets with your significant other or a new flame, the last thing you want is to finish too soon.
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 Journal of Sexual Medicine study 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!
Luckily for you, Eat This, Not That! is here with some simple foods to add to your diet that’ll help boost your lovemaking endurance. Scroll down, learn what they are, and start filling up your plate! With any luck, you won’t have to fight off the grand finale by thinking about baseball or your fantasy league ever again. Next up: Tone your abs and your bedroom performance with these 30 Best Proteins for Your Penis.
Watermelon is one of the richest natural sources of L-citrulline, an amino acid that can help make your erection harder. That’s because L-citrulline converts to L-arginine once it’s in the body. Like that little blue pill, L-arginine stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to the penis, strengthening erections.
Your mind is telling you no, but your body’s telling you yes? Get your mentality on the same page as your body by adding some serrano peppers to a stir fry, jalapenos to guacamole, or cayenne pepper to your eggs. Why all the pepper? 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 revs up your libido. 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 55 Best-Ever Ways to Boost Your Metabolism.
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 Nashville-based nutritionist Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN, quercetin “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.
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.
Trying to heat things up after your dinner date? Be sure to order the wild salmon. The fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid nitric oxide production, 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. Just make sure you’re ordering the right kind by reading this special Eat This, Not That! report on The 8 Reasons Why You’re Eating the Wrong Kind of Salmon.
Fitting, right? This sexual innuendo may be able to help you go go go! That’s because this tropical fruit is full of simple carbs to provide you with energy and potassium to help you keep going. The muscle-relaxing mineral prevents cramps and muscle spasms that may impede your sexy time.
If you want to go long enough to help your date reach the big-O (hint: you should), reach for some oatmeal. The popular breakfast cereal is a good source of l-arginine, an amino acid commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. Plus, whole grains like oatmeal also help lower cholesterol levels. 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 first. The arteries surrounding the genital area are narrower than coronary blood vessels, so they’re more susceptible to clots. Simply put: the better your cholesterol levels are, the better your erection will be, too. So, start your day with these overnight oats.
According to historians, ancient Egyptians used garlic to boost their stamina. Researchers have confirmed that consuming the plant helps stop the formation of new fatty deposits, called nano plaques, 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.
To ensure you can last as long as your partner desires when the time comes, add 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 guys maintain their erections. These nuts are also high in magnesium, which boosts energy and endurance. To top it all off, the healthy fats in nuts help reduce cholesterol levels. The less cholesterol you have in your system, the easier it is for blood to circulate throughout your body and down to your penis, which can help you maintain a firmer erection longer. Mix them into your yogurt, throw some on top of your salad, or toss some into a baggie to munch on at work.
Looking to make sex a marathon and not a sprint? Swapping out your dinner roll for a side of quinoa may do the trick if you’re looking to last—and last fast. Not only is quinoa one of the few plant-based sources of complete protein, but it’s also one of the top 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.
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 red blood cells. According to a Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, typical vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include a trio of ailments that spell out bad news for the bedroom: fatigue, low libido (including erectile dysfunction), and weakness. Luckily, one of the top five sources of the micronutrient is one you’re likely already eating: canned tuna. Pop open a can and top off a slice of whole grain bread or your salad with this cheap fish that ranks on our list of 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss.
Some scholarly minds believe it wasn’t an apple, but a pomegranate with which Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden—and it wouldn’t shock us if that were the case. A recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research discovered that pomegranate juice, 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: One cup of tart POM Wonderful packs 31 grams of sugar.
You know nitrates help will blood flow to your nether regions, but it also helps increase overall blood flow—which is also good for your mind. In a recent study, older participants were given a dose of beet juice, then hooked up to an MRI machine. The researchers discovered that the beet juice measurably improved blood flow to their brains. The secret power of these roots? Nitrates, which are found in beets and converted into nitrite in the body.
After taking a closer look at the science, it makes so much sense that Olive stuck with Popeye for all those years. The dude was a jacked, badass sailor who was obsessed with eating spinach, a veggie that helps fuel erections. The secret to its penis-enhancing power lies in 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. So not only will you perform better in bed, you’ll look hotter doing it, too. Now that’s a win-win!
Your anxiety about getting between-the-sheets could be elevating levels of stress—which plummet libido and could get in the way of a longer sex session. That’s not all. A lack of B-vitamins—nutrients that keep nerves and brain cells healthy—could also be exaggerating your stress even further. The solution? Feast on some guac. Not only are avocados rich in stress-relieving B vitamins, but they’re also a source of monosaturated fat, which has been shown to aid blood flow to the entire body—including the penis.
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 focus, energy, and alertness. Asparagus is one of the best sources of folate in our diets—just 6 spears provides you with a third of your recommended daily intake.
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 Health 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 3 ounces of beef will serve up 30 percent of your daily recommended intake.
This is for all you long distance relationship folks out there. If you’re looking to go all day, simply sprinkle these seeds into your yogurt or smoothies and you’ll feed yourself the energy you need to fuel your lustful day. Thanks to their prime ratio of protein, healthy fats, and fiber, chia seeds give you stable energy since they won’t cause spikes and drops in blood sugar or insulin levels, which would otherwise cause for a distracting rumbling tummy while your romping around in bed.
Pumpkin seeds are nutritional superstars and the killer wingman. You can thank their sources of zinc and magnesium: two essential minerals shown to boost testosterone levels, especially when combined. The magnesium, specifically, decreases inflammation in blood vessels, which then increases blood flow and, subsequently, arousal. The seeds are also a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids that have been shown to boost prostaglandins—hormone-like substances that play a key role in libido. You’ll find you’ll be able to keep your sexual stamina up if you’re not trying to fake it.
Experts estimate that stress and performance anxiety account for up to 20 percent of all 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 30-day trial, participants who consumed a daily chocolate drink reported feeling calmer than subjects who didn’t sip the beverage. (A Journal of Sex Medicine study also found that sexual desire and sexual pleasure increased in women after eating dark chocolate.) So next time you’re on a date, skip the calorie-laden ice cream sundae (as well as The #1 Worst Menu Option at 40 Popular Restaurants) and nosh on some dark chocolate and a plate of fresh fruit back at your place.