Ketosex: how does keto affect your libido?
If you have been on Keto long enough, or you have been considering to try it for awhile now, this question may have already crossed your mind a couple of times. But just in case you haven’t, then this is something probably worth pondering about. Keto and Libido, are they connected? There must be a reason why Ketosis and Keto sex almost sounds alike, right? What does Keto really do with our Sex Drive?
I would have loved to jump on the answer to that right away but I feel like we need to have a better understanding first of what sex drive is all about in order for us to relate its effects with Keto.
what’s in a libido?
Sex Drive or Libido is simply defined as a person’s desire to have sex. And it is actually a part of the whole 4-part sexual response cycle namely, 1. Desire, 2. Arousal, 3. Orgasm and 4. Resolution. Now, sex drive is a part of the first phase of this cycle which is, Desire and subsequently, this first phase has a wide range of factors that may affect it. These include the following:
- Sex Hormones (estrogen, testosterone)
- Stress levels
- Relationship quality/chemistry with partner
- Conformity to Society
Now that we have already established what sex drive is and how it is affected by internal (sex hormones) and external (relationship quality) factors, it is much easier to relate it now with the Keto diet that we all know and love.
When you first try Keto, it is a possibility for you to experience a temporary plunge in sexual desire that may be attributed to a temporary period of adjustment the body undergoes as it slowly adjusts to a carb restricted diet. Do not fret! This is just a transitory setback. The good news is, once your body becomes more keto-adapted, the increased fat intake may increase sex drive subsequently. See, healthy fats, being the staple food of the keto diet, can recharge the libido by stabilizing and increasing certain sex hormones, namely the estrogen and testosterone.
estrogen and testosterone: the sex hormones
So, let’s talk about Miss Estrogen for a second to get a clearer picture.
Estrogen is that all-important female hormone responsible for enhancing feelings of intimacy, sexual motivation and receptiveness to your partner. It also encourages lubrication and better sleep that may prove to be beneficial to “set the mood”. However, studies show that consuming a low fat diet lead to a significant decrease in estrogen levels which can lead to a lower sex drive, vaginal dryness, sleep disruptions and mood swings. This is something to take into serious consideration specially for pre-menopausal women since estrogen levels are already plummeting at this stage. This just goes to show how important it is to stabilize estrogen levels and this is where the Keto diet comes into play. Eating a high fat, low carb diet like Keto will relatively activate heightened estrogen levels and relatively increase libido and sex drive.
Similarly, the same is true if we’re going to talk about the male sex hormone as well, Mister Testosterone. This key male hormone which is found mostly on men and less-so in women regulates fertility, muscle mass, fat distribution, sperm production and sex drive. Naturally, testosterone levels decrease as a man ages. Drops in testosterone levels will lead to a low sex drive, erectile dysfunction and even infertility over time.
Now, having discussed the 2 main sex hormones for both male and female and how it affects our body, it will now be easier to point out how the Keto Diet may benefit these hormones and ultimately, the sex drive. For both the Testosterone and Estrogen, their common denominator is the need to stabilize their levels in order to optimize their functionality. Studies show that a high fat, low carb diet like the Ketogenic Diet may be linked to increased sex hormones inconclusively and thus, may increase the sex drive.
keto and pcos
Another thing worth mentioning about is how glucose and insulin are linked to hormonal imbalance for both men and women. For women, an imbalance with their sex hormone may lead to that dreaded hormonal disorder called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). This condition affects the regular ovulation of the ovaries and manifests several symptoms in a woman’s body namely cysts in the ovaries, high levels of male hormones and irregular periods. This usually affects women during their child-bearing years (18-44) and is one of the most common reasons why it can be difficult for a woman to get pregnant. One reason for this is the high level of male hormones resulting from this condition as this is said to be preventing the ovaries from producing eggs normally. In addition, PCOS is said to cause heightened inflammation and obesity too. This is where the Keto Diet comes to the rescue. Fully committing to the Keto way of eating is known to decrease insulin resistance and lower body weight which is said to help to alleviate hormonal imbalance. In fact, studies show that a number of patients who resorted to a low-carb, Ketogenic lifestyle yielded an improved ovulation cycle and enhanced chances of conceiving a child. Thus, some women who have PCOS resorted to Keto and even got positive results.
keto and losing weight
This might be the most popular benefit of them all when it comes to the Keto Diet since this is the most obvious and visible effect. Losing weight can do lots of wonder with a person’s self esteem. Now if we’re going to relate that with sex drive, I think it almost goes without saying that having that reinforced sense of self worth can definitely do wonders, not just with your desire to have sex but also for your partner to develop that level of attraction with you too. Nothing is sexier than a person who knows his/her self worth.
Generally speaking , there is just a massive number of benefits that may come from embracing the Keto Diet. People may try it for different reasons but at the end of the day, what’s important is how it improves the totality of one’s complete well-being. Simply feeling good about your body by losing weight can be a formula for a better sex drive. But an improved overall health of mind and body can be a formula for a better life.