What to Eat Before Sex to Last Longer, According to Nutrition Experts

Updated: Feb. 08, 2024

If you're looking for an extra boost in the bedroom, experts share insights on why your heart health could be the key.

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It’s no coincidence that the month dedicated to celebrating love is also the one that reminds us to take care of our hearts. Exploring the connection between what to eat before sex to last longer and maintaining heart health reveals insights that are as enlightening as they are practical.

After seeking advice from a group of health experts, one thing became crystal clear: Gearing up for an extended rendezvous between the sheets starts with the choices you make in the kitchen. Why? One answer lies in the physical demands of sex, which, like any physical activity, requires cardiovascular vigor and stamina. (Though, let’s not forget the beauty of a relaxing love-making session.)

Supported by research indicating that sex can torch approximately 150 calories an hour, it’s evident that these intimate moments do more than spark joy—they ignite calorie burn. Kia-Rai Prewitt, PhD, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, enhances this perspective on the institution’s Health Essentials blog, noting that depending on the creative avenues couples explore, “you might work in different muscles,” she explains, asserting, “it definitely can be a form of exercise.” And a big way to keep your heart and blood vessels in top-notch condition (including those from the waist down) is through a healthy diet.

Continue reading for some inspiration from experts and researchers on what to eat before sex to last longer, with a little nod to aphrodisiacs towards the end.

What to eat before sex to last longer

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1. Whole grains

Embrace the power of whole grains like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, and barley before you head to the bedroom. These nutritional powerhouses are rich in complex carbohydrates, providing sustained energy essential for endurance, according to Natasha Bhuyan, MD, a family physician in Phoenix, AZ. The slow-release energy from these grains makes them a staple in a heart-healthy diet and a must-have for your sexual wellness.

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2. Healthy fats

Lean into the richness of healthy fats from avocados, nuts, fish, and olive oil. These ingredients are packed with monounsaturated fats, which bolster heart health and energize your body for prolonged intimate encounters. A 2020 study suggests that a diet abundant in these healthy fats, akin to the Mediterranean diet, may reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction, while the omega-3 fatty acids present help reduce inflammation in your body, enhancing your overall well-being.

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3. Fruits

Fruits are your secret weapon for igniting passion, as revealed by a 2021 study. This research spotlights that daily apple consumption can lead to enhanced vaginal lubrication and overall sexual function, thanks to their rich polyphenol and antioxidant content. Additional studies suggest that watermelons and berries improve sexual health by helping blood flow and circulation.

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4. Veggies

Alongside whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits, Dr. Bhuyan emphasizes vegetables’ essential role in enhancing sexual health. Vegetables such as spinach, arugula, and beets facilitate blood vessel dilation, boosting circulation, which is key for arousal, sustaining an erection, and enhancing vaginal lubrication. Their rich fiber content also supports overall physical stamina, paving the way for an enjoyable experience.

Additionally, Dr. Bhuyan suggests staying well-hydrated with water or opting for unsweetened coconut water before sex.

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5. Aphrodisiacs

Are you curious about aphrodisiacs—the foods rumored to kindle your sex drive? From oysters to dark chocolate to chili peppers, Julia Zumpano, RD, a registered dietician at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Human Nutrition, notes that while the science may be a little murky, these delights could still ignite some enchantment in your desire. It’s wise to approach supplements claiming aphrodisiac powers with caution, though, as they’re not FDA-approved and might clash with other medications.

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