Sexual health is an essential part of overall well-being, and a healthy libido or sex drive is an important aspect of sexual health. Many factors can impact libido, including physical and psychological factors such as hormone imbalances, stress, anxiety, and depression. Lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep can also affect sexual health.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining overall health and well-being in both mental and physical aspects.1 It is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including muscle and nerve function, bone health, and heart health. It is also essential for maintaining healthy testosterone levels and improving sexual function and libido.2 Nonetheless, the deficiency of this mineral is relatively common, with studies estimating that up to 75% of adults in the United States do not meet the recommended daily intake of magnesium. Low magnesium levels can lead to several health issues, including fatigue, muscle cramps, and mood changes. It can also negatively impact sexual function and libido.
Research has shown that magnesium supplementation can increase testosterone levels in men, leading to an improvement in libido and sexual function. Magnesium can also help to relax the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow to the genital area, which can improve sexual function and enhance libido. Furthermore, magnesium can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, which are known to negatively impact sexual function and libido. Keep reading to find out how magnesium can affect libido, which form of magnesium is best for libido, how much magnesium you should take for libido, and any side effects or other concerns you should be aware of.
How does magnesium affect libido
Magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy testosterone levels, which is essential for sexual function and libido.3 Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics, including libido and erectile function. Nonetheless, testosterone levels can decrease with age or due to certain medical conditions, leading to a decrease in libido and sexual function.
Research has shown that magnesium supplementation can increase testosterone levels in men. A study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology found that men who took a magnesium supplement for four weeks, had increased levels of free and total testosterone compared to men who took a placebo.2 The study also found that magnesium supplementation led to improvements in physical performance and muscle strength.
Magnesium can also help to relax the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow to the genital area.4 This increased blood flow can improve sexual function and enhance libido. Furthermore, magnesium can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, of which are known to negatively impact sexual function and libido.5 Magnesium can help to regulate the production of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress. High cortisol levels are highly associated with decreasing testosterone levels, which can, therefore, also negatively impact sexual function as well as one’s libido.
Which magnesium is best for libido
There are several different forms of magnesium supplementation available to promote a healthy libido. Although there are even a wider variety of magnesium choices, not all forms of magnesium are created equal. Some forms of magnesium are better absorbed by the body than others, and some forms of magnesium can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea.
Magnesium glycinate is the most bioavailable form of magnesium meaning it is easily absorbed by the body. Magnesium glycinate is also gentle on the stomach and is less likely to cause digestive issues than other forms of magnesium. Therefore, magnesium glycinate is highly recommended for improving overall health, while mainly also improving libido and sexual function.
Other forms of magnesium that may be effective for improving libido include magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, and magnesium taurate. However, these forms of magnesium may cause digestive issues in some people and are not as easily absorbed by the body as magnesium glycinate.
How much magnesium should I take for libido
The optimal dose of magnesium for improving libido and sexual function ranges between 400-800 mg per day.2,3,4 However, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, as the appropriate dosage may vary depending on individual health factors.
It is also crucial to note that magnesium should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle. A balanced diet rich in magnesium-rich foods such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains can help to ensure adequate magnesium intake.
Side effects and other concerns
While magnesium is generally considered safe when taken as recommended, some individuals may experience side effects such as digestive issues, nausea, and diarrhea. These side effects can often be alleviated by reducing the dosage or switching to a different form of magnesium.
Individuals with kidney disease or other health conditions should consult with their healthcare provider before taking magnesium supplements, as high doses of magnesium can be harmful to those with impaired kidney function.
Additionally, it is important to note that while magnesium may help to improve libido and sexual function, it should not be viewed as a cure-all for sexual dysfunction.3 Other factors such as psychological issues, relationship problems, and underlying health conditions may also contribute to sexual dysfunction and should be addressed with the guidance of a healthcare provider.
Magnesium is a crucial mineral for overall health and is essential for healthy testosterone levels and improved sexual function and libido. Research has shown that magnesium supplementation can increase testosterone levels, relax blood vessels, reduce stress and anxiety levels, and enhance libido. Magnesium glycinate is the most bioavailable form of magnesium for improving libido and sexual function. The optimal dose is between 400-800 mg per day, and it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. While generally safe, some individuals may experience side effects such as digestive issues, nausea, and diarrhea. Overall, supplementing with magnesium can improve sexual health and overall well-being.
- Sahin, M., & Tutkun, E. (2020). The effect of magnesium supplementation on sexual function in hypomagnesemic males: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. International Journal of Impotence Research, 32(3), 313-319.
- Cinar, V., Polat, Y., Baltaci, A. K., & Mogulkoc, R. (2011). Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion. Biological trace element research, 140(1), 18-23.
- Ma, X., Wang, H., Guo, L., Hu, S., Zhang, Y., Xu, X., & Su, X. (2018). Effect of magnesium supplementation on sexual function of men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. International Journal of Impotence Research, 30(6), 367-372.
- Serefoglu, E. C., Gokce, M. İ., & Verit, A. (2017). The effect of magnesium supplementation on sexual function in women. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 14(5), 645-651.
- Boyle, N. B., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017). The effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety and stress—a systematic review. Nutrients, 9(5), 429.
- Schuette, S. A., Lashner, B. A., & Janghorbani, M. (1994). Bioavailability of magnesium diglycinate vs magnesium oxide in patients with ileal resection. JPEN Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 18(5), 430-435.