One year ago, executive Rahul Sharma had very little to complain about. He had a job with a reputed MNC, had just got married, and bought a house. But slowly, as his responsibilities at work increased, Sharma began to work long hours, skip meals, cut down on his sleep and find excuses to avoid going to the gym. Very soon, apart from feeling drained and tired all the time, he found that his sex drive too had vanished, forcing him to consult a doctor.
According to health experts, a loss of sex drive is one of the inevitable consequences of ill health. What we eat, what time we sleep and lack of exercise all affects our sex drives. Says leading sexologist and author Dr Prakash Kothari, “Sexual potency is inseparable from the total vitality of the body. Whatever is good and healthy for the body is good to maintain one’s sex drive.”
Right diet for a good drive
What one eats does affect one’s sex drive. It is imperative to have a healthy, balanced diet to get the energy to have sex. Low energy results in bad sex, which in turn further diminishes desire.
The food one eats has a direct connection with one’s mood. “Overly fried and spicy food makes one irritable, uncomfortable and causes one to experience a turn-off. For a person to achieve desire, you need to be in a calm state of mind,” says Dr Richa Anand, nutritionist, Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai. Dr Anand also advises eating according to the season. Have melons during the summer and warm food like almonds in the winter, she explains, adding that one should avoid eating maida and fermented food too often as they are difficult to digest. Dr Anand also points out, “If you stuff yourself at night, your body will not be comfortable and you will not get into the desired mood.”
Dr Kothari adds that it is a good idea to “go slow on Scotch, smoking, stress and sugar. These four have a negative effect on the big ‘S’(sex),” he says.
He recommends foods rich in testosterone for men and estrogen for women to increase their sex drive. “Men below 40 should try and have black lentil (urad dal) once a week, while men above 40 should try and have it thrice a week. Women should try and include soya, which is rich in estrogen, in their diet. Having ghee made of cow’s milk is also great. It calms the mind, reduces acidity, does away with constipation, and aids in having a healthy sex drive,” says Dr Kothari.
Exercise for your libido
Exercise is not just essential to be fit, it’s also a great way to boost your sex drive. “Include a half hour of exercise daily in your routine. Exercise releases feel-good hormones, and these make one feel better and in the mood for sex,” explains Dr Mahesh Jukar, fitness consultant at Hiranandani Hospital. Stress, as mentioned earlier, is the biggest reason why even young people complain of “not being in the mood” often.
Exercise, add doctors, is a great stress buster, and also ups one’s confidence and contributes to the development of a positive body image. A person high on confidence will have a good sex drive and will not have performance issues.
Dr Kothari points out that walking is a great way to have a healthy sex drive and do away with stress: “Walking every day for 45 minutes at a reasonable speed helps one breathe better, improves the blood flow, reduces stress and results in good sleep. All these things are directly and indirectly related to one’s sex drive.” Yoga also works wonders to calm one’s body and mind and paves the way for a good sex drive.