Libido and male performance

Let’s talk about it

A healthy sex drive improves your chances of conception and enhances your relationship with your partner. Sexual health and behaviour is linked to cognitive function, happiness, sexual pleasure and well-being, interpersonal relationships and quality of life1.

Sexual performance is both physical and psychological

Libido and erectile dysfunction are influenced by both physical and psychological factors. Erectile dysfunction is sometimes considered the canary in the coal mine of cardiovascular disease because it often precedes myocardial infarction and strokes and can also be impacted by diet and lifestyle choices2. Healthy lifestyle choices support the basic requirements of good sexual health, including the production of male hormones. Boosting stamina and testosterone levels may begin with basic health and good nutrition3 but being in the mood for high quality physical intimacy with your partner is not just a physical game. It is equally important to feel that you are in a loving, safe relationship and to manage stress and depression. In general, individuals who are more satisfied in their romantic relationships, who are healthier and have no trouble sleeping at night tend to have more frequent sex1.

What is a healthy sex drive? / Male performance – how do you compare?

The definition of a healthy sex drive for you is as individual as you are. Although one study that investigated sex therapist’s perceptions suggests that a desirable duration of intercourse is 7 to 13 minutes4, there is no hard evidence to support the ideal frequency or duration of sex that is always correct or normal, so performance is subjective. However, a quick Google search shows that the interest in boosting libido is perennial. Virility is about feeling your best and supporting both the psychological and physical aspects of men’s health, including a healthy sex life.

When men are looking to boost libido, it is likely because they are aware that something is lacking – maybe low interest in sex, or concerns about erectile dysfunction, or a partner who wants more sex than you do. Maybe nothing is wrong, but you are looking for ways to improve stamina and duration or quality of intercourse.

Ways to enhance male performance, libido and drive

  • Build stamina and endurance

One way to improve your sexual stamina is to improve your overall physical fitness, strength and endurance. Consider starting with the generally recommended minimum of 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75-100 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week plus muscle-strengthening activities that involve all the major muscle groups at least twice a week5.

  • Reduce alcohol consumption

A little may well help you to feel relaxed and confident, but too much alcohol contributes to erectile dysfunction6, so moderation is key.

  • Manage stress

Both physical and mental stress impact testosterone production. Cellular oxidative stress can be managed through a diet high in polyphenols and essential nutrients and there are various lifestyle factors that can improve your resilience to stress, including a high-quality diet, exercise and getting enough sleep7.

  • Treat Depression

Depression and anxiety are highly prevalent in men with erectile dysfunction8. If you feel chronically depressed you should seek help through a counsellor or your doctor, but there are also natural ways to boost serotonin and fight depression and anxiety. Following a Mediterranean diet has cardiovascular health benefits, and it has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression9. The key features of a Mediterranean-style diet:

    • High in healthy fats, including olive oil, nuts, seeds and fish.
    • High in whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
    • Emphasis on low fat dairy and minimum red meat consumption.
  • Nutrition to boost testosterone and stamina

Heathy hormone production depends on adequate protein, as well as essential fats. In terms of micronutrients, vitamin D, magnesium and zinc seem to be the champions for testosterone production3. Getting enough calories and B vitamins for energy production would also support endurance but beware of excessive refined carbohydrate and poor-quality fat as energy sources because visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome are associated with reduced testosterone levels10.

 Vital EnduramaxTM contains a combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbal extracts which support energy, vitality and the physical and mental aspects of sexual health and performance in men.

Designed to support libido, stamina and sexual health, EnduramaxTM contains the following ingredients:

B vitamins, amino acids and zinc

The blend of 5 B vitamins supports energy metabolism and stamina. Zinc and adequate amino acids are essential for managing testosterone levels.

Panax ginseng

Panax ginseng is a caffeine-free herb that is rich in antioxidants. It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve energy and endurance and to treat erectile dysfunction. It is considered an adaptogen – an ingredient that enhances the body’s resilience to stress11,12.

Horny Goat Weed

Horny Goat Weed is a herb that has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a remedy for low libido and erectile dysfunction. The legend is that it had an aphrodisiac effect on the goats that ate its leaves13.


Maca, otherwise known as Peruvian Ginseng, was revered in Incan culture. It was traditionally used as a nutritional supplement and treatment to enhance fertility, energy and sex drive. Maca is also referred to as an adaptogen14.

Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is a herb used in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for a variety of indications including blood glucose and cholesterol control. It has traditionally been used to treat impotence and sexual weakness. Research indicates that it may boost libido and sexual function in both men and women15,16.

We know that relationships, like men’s sexual heath and libido, are multi-dimensional, but if improved sex drive and stamina enhances the quality of your intimate experience, that would presumably have a positive effect on general relationship satisfaction, so we think it’s a good place to start.

If you are concerned about low libido or erectile dysfunction frequently over time, consider having a discussion with a doctor to rule out any serious health issues and to see what options there are to help.


  1. Herbenick D, Rosenberg N, Golzarri-Arroyo L, Fortenberry JD, Fu T. Changes in Penile‑Vaginal Intercourse Frequency and Sexual Repertoire from 2009 to 2018: Findings from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. Arch Sex Behav. 2022; 51:1419–1433.
  2. Ostfeld RJ, Allen KE, Aspry K, Reddy K, Ornish D, Freeman AM. Vasculogenic erectile dysfunction: The impact of diet and lifestyle. Am J Med. 2021 Mar; 134(3): 310-6.
  3. Zamir A, Ben-Zeev T, Hoffman JR. Manipulation of dietary intake on changes in circulating testosterone concentrations. Nutrients. 2021; 13: 3375.
  4. Corty EW, Guardiani JM. Canadian and American sex therapist’s perceptions of normal and abnormal ejaculatory latencies: How long should intercourse last? J Sex Med. 2005 May; 5(5): 1251-6.
  5. World Health Organization. WHO guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. 2020. Available from:
  6. Li S, Song J, Zhang K, Zhang C. A meta-analysis of erectile dysfunction and alcohol consumption. Urol Int. 2021;105(11-12):969-985.
  7. Wrzosek M, Woźniak J, Włodarek D. The causes of adverse changes of testosterone levels in men. Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab2020 Sep;15(5):355-362.
  8. Manalo TA, Biermann HD, Patil DH, Mehta A. The temporal association of depression and anxiety in young men with erectile dysfunction. J Sex Med. 2022 Feb; 19(2):201-6.
  9. Parletta N, Zarnowiecki D, Cho J, Wilson A, Bogomolova S, Villani A et al. A Mediterranean-style dietary intervention supplemented with fish oil improves diet quality and mental health in people with depression: A randomized controlled trial (HELFIMED). Nutr Neurosci. 2019 Jul;22(7):474-487.
  10. Tchernof A, Brochu D, Maltais-Payette I, Mansour MF, Marchand GB, Carreau AM, Kapeluto J. Androgens and the regulation of adiposity and body fat distribution in humans. Compr Physiol. 2018 Sep 14;8(4):1253-1290.
  11. Wee JJ, Park KM, C AS. Biological activities of Ginseng and its application to human health. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd ed. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011.
  12. Lee HW, Lee MS, Kim TH, Alraek T, Zaslawski C, Kim JW, Moon DG. Ginseng for erectile dysfunction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021 Apr 19;4(4):CD012654.
  13. Shindel AW, Xin ZC, Lin G, Fandel TM, Huang YC, Banie L et al. Erectogenic and neurotrophic effects of icariin, a purified extract of Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium) in vitro and in vivo. J Sex Med. 2010 Apr; 7(4 Pt 1): 1518–1528.
  14. Gonzales GF. Ethnobiology and ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a plant from the Peruvian highlands. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:193496.
  15. Neychev V, Mitev V. Pro-sexual and androgen enhancing effects of tribulus terrestris L.: Fact or fiction. J Ethnopharmacol2016 Feb 17;179:345-55.
  16. Chhatre S, Nesari T, Somani G, Kanchan D, Sathaye S. Phytopharmacological overview of Tribulus terrestris. Pharmacogn Rev.2014 Jan-Jun; 8(15): 45–51.


[S0] Vital® ENDURAMAX ™ soft gelatine capsules. Combination product – Western herbal medicine / Health supplement.  This unregistered medicine has not been evaluated by the SAHPRA for its quality, safety or intended use. APPLICANT: Vital Health Foods (Pty) Ltd, Reg. no.: 51/03081/07. Lavender Lane, Kuils River, 7580, South Africa. Tel no.: (+27) 21 900 2500. Please refer to the detailed professional information (PI) for full prescribing information.