Are your customers looking to improve their sexual performance and health? At the heart of the issue is generally circulation—the penis works on blood pressure, so the healthier the heart, the better the circulation, the better the blood pressure, the better the sex. (For the latest on heart health, check outFebruary's Heart Health feature.) To support their libido, your customers should therefore consider exercise, stress, diet, and supplements.

1. Exercise.Activity keeps the heart healthy. The Mayo Clinic recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly. The goal: Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week; workouts can be broken up into three 10-minute sessions for the same effect (1). For those who live a sedentary lifestyle, the Clinic recommends taking a 5- to 10-minute break every hour to stretch and move. This is not a short-term fix—Mayo Clinic experts say it takes one to three months to see the impact of exercise on blood pressure. Offer your customers sports nutrition supplements that can help them get up to speed and stay there: ECS Brands has released a Hemp Fuel line with 14 products that can support muscles and joints; Nirvana Water Sciences sells water infused with myHMB Clear, which has been clinically shown to boost athletic performance; and Solabia-Algatech Nutrition are offering ingredients like AstaPure MAX, aimed at improving post-exercise muscle pain and fatigue. (For more, go to and register to view the Active Nutrition: Mastering the Market event for free on-demand.)

2. Stress.Stress can increase blood pressure, and can in and of itself psychologically affect a person’s ability to achieve erection or orgasm (2). If you partner with yoga or meditation practitioners, point your customers in that direction—it’s a great place to start, with wide-ranging benefits. An exercise routine may bring benefits in this area as well—exercise releases endorphins that can affect mood, stress, and sleep. Customers that need a boost may want to turn to ingredients such as Ashwagandha; KSM-66 Ashwagandha in particular is heavily studied, and can help support both sleep and stress. Reishi mushrooms, too, affect the sleep-stress cycle. Magnesium hits mood, muscle relaxation, and stress. (For more on stress, check outWholeFoods’ January 2022New Year’s Resolutionsarticle, or the August 2021 article Mental Health: The Next Crisis.)

3. Diet.Certain foods can help increase blood flow, according to Healthline (2), which lists:
  • Onions and garlic—perhaps not directly prior to sex, unless your partner ate them too, but they can help support blood circulation.
  • Bananas are rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.
  • Chilies and peppers—and other natural spicy foods—can help reduce hypertension and inflammation.
  • Salmon, tuna, avocados… and any other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help increase blood flow.
And of course, general heart-healthy foods—whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits and veggies—are always a good idea.

4. Supplements.Supplements are best used as a complement to a healthy diet and lifestyle, and, in this arena in particular, require caution. There are many products that claim to be just as good as Viagra or Cialis—and are actually spiked with sildenafil (Viagra) and/or tadalafil (Cialis), which should only be taken by prescription, and can interact with other drugs in a manner that could become life-threatening. Only stock products from known and respected companies, and warn your customers away from online-only brands and products that sound too good to be true. FDA’s Tainted Products Database is a useful resource for discovering spiked products, but as the agency can only test so many, it’s best to stick to reputable companies.

That isn’t, however, to say that there are no good options. A couple well-studied ingredients:

Korean Red Ginseng:One meta-analysis published inDrugsin 2018 considered five randomized controlled trials using ginseng performed on patients with erectile dysfunction (4). The analysis found that ginseng significantly improved erectile function, and concluded: “Encouraging evidence suggests that ginseng may be an effective herbal treatment for ED. However, further, larger, and high-quality studies are required before firm conclusions can be drawn.” (SeeFebruary's Adaptogens featurefor more on ginseng.)

Tribulus terrestris:This plant is found around the world, growing well in dry climates (5). Studies have pointed to a number of benefits, but chief among them is its ability to enhance libido. One randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, published inMaturitasin 2017, considered 172 men between the ages of 18 and 65 with mild or moderate erectile dysfunction, and with or without hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome (6). The trial used 250mgTribulus terrestris.At the end of 12 weeks, the International Index of Erectile Function improved significantly in the treatment group as compared to the placebo group (p<0.0001). Sexual desire and satisfaction also improved in the treatment group.

There are plenty of finished products from reputable brands. Bluebonnet Nutrition, for instance, offers an Intimate Essentials range, including LJ100, a brandedEurycoma Longifoliaextract from HP Ingredients that has been found to boost testosterone levels while supporting overall sexual health, and an Intimate Essentials For Him product containing zinc, Tribulus, LJ100, and more, all intended to help stimulate testosterone and libido levels. Now Foods offers a Panax Ginseng extract; a product called TestoJack, which contains LJ100, Tribulus, zinc, and magnesium; and a blend called Men’s Virility Power, featuring horny goat weed, maca, and Tribulus.

These tactics and products can help give your customers the safe, drug-free boost they’re looking for in bed.WF  

  1. Mayo Clinic Staff, “Exercise: A drug-free approach to lowering high blood pressure,” Posted 05/18/2021. Accessed 01/01/2022.
  2. Healthline Editorial Team, “9 Ways for Men to Improve Sexual Performance,” Updated 10/10/2019. Accessed 01/01/2022.
  3. Mary Ellen Ellis and Tim Jewell, “Korean Red Ginseng for Erectile Dysfunction,” Updated 12/23/2020. Accessed 01/01/2022.
  4. Francesca Borrelli et al., “Herbal Dietary Supplements for Erectile Dysfunction: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Drugs. 78. 643-673(2018).
  5. Rachael Link, “Tribulus Terrestris Supplement Benefits for Libido, Blood Sugar & More,” Posted 09/28/2018. Accessed 01/01/2022.
  6. Zdravko Kamenov et al., “Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of Tribulus terrestris in male sexual dysfunction—A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Maturitas. 99. 20-26(2017).