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Four Natural, Pill-Free Alternatives To Spending $9.52 On A Viagra Pill (And One Potent Libido Tip For Ladies).

Published on April 14, 2014

I won't lie. I've used Viagra.

I personally tried Viagra while I was in the throes of Ironman triathlon training. My free testosterone was rapidly falling (as happens in most extreme endurance athletes), my crotch was beginning to suffer a lack of blood from long periods of time on the bike saddle, and I was tired at night when I finally did collapse into bed.

So I was desperate. I wanted to want sex and I wanted to have sex.

And I must admit, Viagra not only increases blood flow and sexual performance, but it also gives you a nice little bump in libido.

But at an average of nine dollars and fifty two cents for the average brand-name Viagra pill from the US based pharmaceutical company Pfizer, is this little blue chemical road to pleasure really worth the cost? 

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What's Wrong With A Little Viagra Here And There?

The cost:benefit analysis of Viagra is a good question, and pops up quite frequently (groan).

After all, in clinical trials, common adverse effects of Viagra  include headache, flushing, heartburn, nasal congestion, loss of peripheral vision, extreme visual blurriness and impaired eyesight, ironically including seeing tinted blue colors (also known as cyanopsia).

Other Viagra induced issues include priapism (click here to see what that very unpleasant thing is), severe drop in blood pressure, myocardial infarction (heart attack), abnormal heart rhythms, stroke, and sudden hearing loss – resulting in a complete lack of ability to enjoy that Barry Manilow you have piping through the bedroom.

Despite that, the popularity of Viagra has skyrocketed over the past year. This marvelous little blue pill has brought passion and excitement back into people's sex lives. But the problem with a short-term solution such as Viagra is not just the price or the side effects – it is the ability for  people to forget about seeking treatment for the underlying issues behind erectile dysfunction or loss of libido.

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How Viagra Works

Before exploring four natural alternatives to Viagra, it would be helpful for you to have a basic idea of how this stuff actually works.

The actual active ingredient of Viagra (brought to market in 1998 by the US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer) is sildenafil citrate, which is also packaged and sold as Revatio (Canada), Kamagra (Ajanta Pharma), Silagra (Cipla), Edegra (Sun Pharmaceutical), Penegra (Zydus Cadila), and Zenegra (Alkem Laboratories).

Sildenafil citrate was originally developed by British scientists, and it acts by inhibiting  an enzyme called cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). PDE5 would normally cause degradation of a molecule called cGMP, which regulates blood flow to the penis. Now your body normally produces a molecule called nitric oxide (NO) that should increase cGMP naturally. But if you don't have enough nitric oxide going around, sildenafil gives you a hand up, so to speak.

Now that you understand how Viagra works, you should be asking yourself if there might be some other, more natural way to stop degradation of cGMP or to increase production of nitric oxide.

You should also be asking yourself how to fix the hormonal and chemical imbalances that inhibit libido, keep you from wanting to have sex in the first place, and create a nasty vicious cycle in which not having enough sex lowers the nitric oxide, testosterone and growth hormones that would normally be produced by having sex.

Ask no more. Here are four natural, pill-free alternatives to spending $9.52 on a Viagra pill. If you implement these four techniques, you'll increase slow degradation of cGMP, increase nitric oxide, boost testosterone and enhance libido, pill-free.

And ladies, there's several hidden gems in there for you too. Enjoy.

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Four Natural Viagra Alternatives

1. Eat Oysters, Peppers, Garlic and Chocolate.

Oysters have a well-established history as an aphrodisiac for both men and women. Ancient Romans were some of the strongest believers in the libido-increasing abilities of oysters, and Casanova once wrote that he ate 50 oysters for breakfast in “The Story of My Life.” Just look at that suggestive shape. These mollusks are jam-packed with the feel-good hormone dopamine, and also with zinc, a mineral that stimulates testosterone, and amino acids that stimulate testosterone and progesterone production (the progesterone part is probably why this food works so well for the ladies too).

Ever heard of the “shaky bridge experiment”? In this experiment, men were asked to walk across a tall, shaky bridge, and then asked by an attractive researcher at the end of the bridge to fill out a survey. Compared to men who walked across a much safer bridge, the shaky bridge men were more likely to give the researcher a call later on. It was hypothesized that the men mistook the physiological arousal from the bridge (increased heart rate, feeling a bit warm, breaking a sweat) for actual sexual attraction and arousal. So how can you simulate the shaky bridge with food, and also stimulate increased nitric oxide and blood flow? You guessed it: peppers (or any other hot and spicy food).

Garlic, another provocatively shaped food, garlic is associated with increased blood circulation, resulting in greater arousal for both men and women. Garlic is also a traditional aphrodisiac in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, and is one of the five pungent roots monks were told to avoid because of garlic's effect on sexual desire.

And finally, there is of course chocolate. Chocolate contains a compound called phenylethylamine, which floods the body with feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins. It also boost blood flow, and one technique I used when I was bodybuilding to gain on-stage vascularity was to chomp on dark chocolate backstage due to it's nitric oxide enhancing effects.

But don't just eat any chocolate. Most is full of refined sugar, commercial dairy, soy and many other nasty fillers. As I discussed in the podcast episode “Which Chocolate Is Healthy For You?“, I'd go for sources such as Organic Cacao NibsUpgraded Chocolate Powder, dark chocolate truffles from EatingEvolved, and Vitamin D infused chocolate from ZenEvo (use 20% discount code BEN on those).

2. Go Shopping For These Spices

In his book “Healing With Whole Foods“, Paul Pritchford encourages both sexes to add the following into their diet to spice things up in the bedroom:

Cloves
Fenugreek Seeds
Fennel Seeds
Anise Seeds
Black Peppercorn
Ginger
Cinnamon Bark
Walnuts

Each of these foods has natural blood-flow enhancing properties. Need some inspiration to get started? I boil water, then simmer cloves, black peppercorn seeds, ginger and cinnamon bark for 20 minutes to make homemade chai. I keep fennel and anise seeds in the pantry to sprinkle over the fish on my lunchtime “big-ass salad”. And I drop a small handful of soaked and dried walnuts into my morning smoothie.

3.  Increase Testosterone

Low testosterone goes hand-in-hand with low libido and low blood flow to your crotch. Of course, this article is 100% pill-free, and you can naturally increase your body’s testosterone, without the use of fancy or expensive supplements.

-Lower sugar intake. Any time you eat sugar and starch, your pancreas releases insulin, and high insulin upregulate aromatase activity (which means more testosterone gets converted into estrogen) and also cause an increase in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin(SHBG), which binds to circulating testosterone and renders it ineffective. So stay away from processed sugar, candy, soda, and even high amounts of things like pasta and bread.

-Control stress. When you’re stressed out, you release high amounts of your body’s “flight and flight” hormone: cortisol. A precursor to cortisol is called pregnenolone. Unfortunately, pregnenolone is also a precursor to testosterone – so the more cortisol you make the less testosterone your body can make. Cortisol also increases that SHBG I just mentioned. A good place to start controlling stress is with my article “Top 7 Ways To Reduce Stress“.

-Lower inflammation. In the same way that insulin can lower testosterone, inflammation from lack of recovery, inadequate sleep, poor dietary habits, environmental toxins and pollutants, and many other common triggers can increase levels of  “cytokine” molecules, which cause reactions similar to those experienced when  eating a high sugar diet. My friend Monica Reinagel actually has a great website that thoroughly expands on the topic of food-based inflammation, and the most common inflammatory triggers I see over and over again in diets are vegetable oil, sugar, processed meats, personal care products, household cleaning chemicals, herbicides and pesticides.

-Exercise. Sprints, heavy lifting, doing hard leg exercises and avoiding very long cardio sessions can all help to boost testosterone, and you can read about many of these techniques in more detail in my article on this topic 6 Ways To Boost Testosterone With Exercise.

I wish more guys would stop popping pills as a bandaid and start using the techniques above to increase testosterone. And by the way, ladies, each of the techniques above will enhance your progesterone, a hormone that increases blood flow to the clitoris. So now are you ready to give up corn chips and start doing some heavy squats?

3. Don't Do Porn

A recent study of Italian men suggests excessive porn consumption can cause sexual anorexia – which is anxieties about sex or an intimacy-limiting fear of sex. Regularly looking at porn can also hurt sexual performance because people may begin to need stronger and more intense visual signals to become aroused. For some people who look at porn regularly, having sex may no longer even produce a physiological sense of reward. For more details on this growing phenomenon, read Greatist's article “Is Internet Porn Killing Your Sex Drive?” and the New York Times article “He’s Just Not That Into Anyone“.

But for the best web resource I've ever seen on biological reasons to avoid porn, check out “Your Brain On Porn” (subtitle: evolution has not prepared your brain for today's Internet porn).

The following video from that site offers a brief overview of the affect of pornography on the brain.

In case you didn't watch the video, here's the skinny:

In men, there are five primary chemicals involved in sexual arousal and response. The one that likely plays the most significant role in pornography addiction is dopamine, your brain's primary reward and pleasure neurotransmitter. Every reward you get increases the level of dopamine transmission in your brain, and a variety of addictive drugs and stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine, act directly on dopamine transmission.

Dopamine surges when you get exposed to novel stimuli, particularly of a sexual nature. Since erotic imagery like porn triggers more dopamine than sex with a familiar partner, exposure to pornography leads to something called “arousal addiction” and teaches the brain to prefer the image and become less satisfied with real-life sexual partners.

Jordan Gray and I also discuss this issue with porn (and a host of other libido-enhancing techniques) in Podcast #228: Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Libido (Possibly Our Most Explicit Episode Yet).

4. Watch The Alcohol

Alcohol has some pretty powerful diuretic properties, and dehydration from high alcohol intake decreases blood flow in men and makes lubrication more difficult in women. If you drink frequently in high volume (e.g. more than a glass or so of wine a day) this type of binge drinking adds up quickly, and can increase blood pressure (by shrinking blood vessels) and decrease blood flow, both of which can lower your sexual ability, whether you are male or female.

Immediate effects of a night of bar-crawling, multiple martinis, or even splitting a bottle of wine, can also include significantly lowered sex hormones and growth hormones in both men and women, and levels can remain depressed for 24-48 hours.

And while these hormone levels can bounce back, the unfortunate facts is that the ovarian and testicular cells that respond to these hormones are damaged or killed by binging, and much of this is irreversible, resulting in a gradual loss of sexual drive and stamina. It's no surprise that this is a top reason for erectile dysfunction in college males, but up to 30 percent of females in their 30's also experience sexual arousal disorder, and I suspect that – in addition to stress – the morning 2-3 cups of coffee and evening 2-3 glasses of wine are not helping.

However, as Shakespeare wrote in “The Tragedy of Macbeth“: “Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance…”

So in moderation, alcohol can lower inhibitions without the unfortunate side effect of decreased performance. A 2009 study conducted by the University of Florence also found that women who drank one to two glasses of red wine a day reported “higher sexual desire, lubrication and overall sexual functioning.”

This may all sound a bit confusing, so simply try these three rules: 1) drink no more than two servings of alcohol if you desire the socially and physically lubricating effects of alcohol without a decrease in performance…

…2) stick to something like red wine, which contains the Vitamin A that can assist with some of the damage alcohol can wreak on your gonadal cells…

…3) try not to plan sex around large meals or big dinner dates that include alcohol, since you'll need to drink far more of this performance-inhibiting beverage to feel the desire-provoking effect.

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What To Do With Your Leftover Viagra

OK, so let's say you already have some Viagra, and you've decided the deleterious health effects just aren't worth it. What are your options? This helpful anecdote from Wikipedia should get your creative wheels churning:

“Israeli and Australian researchers discovered that 1 mg of the drug dissolved in a vase of water can extend the shelf life of cut flowers, making them stand up straight for up to a week beyond their natural life span. The drug also slows down plant ripening; tests were done strawberries, legumes, roses, carnations, broccoli, and other perishables. Viagra increases the vase life of the flowers by slowing the breakdown of cGMP by cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5. The Viagra acts on the cGMP in a fashion similar to nitric oxide (which also slows down the ripening process), but was found to be easier to use with cut flowers.”

There you go guys. Go get her a dozen roses and pop some Viagra into the vase.

So there you have it: eat oysters, peppers, garlic and chocolate; increase testosterone, don't do porn, and watch the alcohol.

Leave your questions, comments and feedback about these natural alternatives to Viagra – or any other questions you have about Viagra, recipes that include a combination of oysters, garlic and peppers, favorite chocolate and red wine blends, or best sprint workouts, etc., etc., etc. – below.

And one other thing: my brand new Beyond Training book released this week. In beautiful hardcover format or Kindle (you choose) it has over 450 pages and 7 hidden chapters that take you on the deep dive into performance, fat loss, digestion, brain, sleep and hormone optimization. Click here to grab it now.

20 thoughts on “Four Natural, Pill-Free Alternatives To Spending $9.52 On A Viagra Pill (And One Potent Libido Tip For Ladies).

  1. Hi

    Fenugreek is use a lot for lactation to increase milk supply. Since this is possibly acting on prolactin for conversion or as a cofactor, I would exclude this one especially for women. The biochem effects in research might make it look like a good stack but since it is interacting with a slightly different part of the hormone cycle….. Women post childbirth can have some slight leftover milk production and I would not take fenugreek ever as I would not want to cause some production and the get a clog or mastitis.

  2. Thanks a million for this piece. Have had almost all the aspects of sexual disappointments a man can have on bed with a woman. I don’t have any idea what oyster is and how to get one to eat but I’ll sure try some of the other recommendations to see how they’ll fair in this evil that has fought so hard to rubbish men in their affairs and that have broken many homes and marriages. And any natural and safe solution to sexual dysfunction in men and women will. be considered one of the most welcome breakthrough in researches and knowledge. Thank you for the hope in your piece. Franklyn – Nigeria

  3. Out of the many products my husband has tried, the Dr Max Powers HGH Spray by far has had the best results. My husband is 35 years and we have noticed a casual decrease in energy the past few years. About 1 week in his first bottle he start feeling the extra energy as soon as he woke up. And in the gym there has been a definite boost in strength, also in the bedroom.

  4. Prematurely ejaculation and not holding an erection for long can be very frustrating for the wife, how can she help the dude. Is it possible to receive reply in my email .

    1. If you email [email protected] you will receive a reply via email

  5. in fact i have some premature ejaculation type problem erection is good during foreplay but when i insert into vagina i m discharge after 7 to 10 strokes please suggest accordingly.

  6. Very good write up.I am very elderly man and had been using Viagra like products made by Indian co’s Very good effect but started getting lot many problems with my eyes and vision Doubting illeffect of this product I stopped and I find that vision is improving fast

    Nothing is mentioned about ahrodasiac effect of some fruit like Promigranate etc

  7. Good read!! I am a woman wondering if this will work for women? I have had my blood takin I’m super low testosterone and high estrogen. I take DIM to help my body Exsorb it’s own hormones but it’s just not enough. They don’t want to give me a hormone pill because they are sacred of sending my levels crazy. I tried zinc I just throw up on it. Any input would be greatly appreciated

  8. Coo post Ben my best sex I ever have is after a squat day at the gym a cold shower and a bulletptoof coffee! Lol but I def need to make that tea you reccomend, and what's up with the oysters stuff I heard your podcast with Dr jack Kruse and you where kinda iffy on them as you should . I am oysters are one of the foods people are most allergic too and can even kill you, when consumed raw. I was at a restuarant and seen that disclaimer kinda scary , you also told Dr Kruse of the potential toxins oysters can have he reassured you by saying if your reddox potential is good you should be fine. So what's the deal with oysters??? What's the best way to cook them/ eat them??? What's the best time to eat oysters??? I want to get the benifets of this high nutritional food but just trying to find the best way. Also what's the best oyster to buy wild?? Frozen fresh what waters?? Which are less toxic?? Anything will help thanks Ben can't wait to get the new book!

  9. Excellent advice here. But I would like to point out something that so often gets forgotten about in pieces like this: the male libido enhancing power of ginseng. Having begun to consume ginseng at age 22, here I am at age 43 with the same libido that I had at age 19. I also became a father for the first (and only) time in the last year — and that’s afterr “drinking too much” for years and years. (I’m an Irish poet guy with a naturally high tolerance and energy level — energy so high that early this year I had to completely give up all caffeine.)

    So…any guys out there who want a “natural Viagra” without any negative side effects ought to try ginseng. I’ve proven its powers on myself for over 20 years now.

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