More than one study shows that about 35% of men ages 40 to 70 suffer from moderate to severe erectile dysfunction, and another 15% may have mild erectile dysfunction.
Occasionally, erectile dysfunction is caused by serious problems like heart disease, diabetes, and testosterone deficiency. But sometimes it’s a simpler problem (e.g. poor blood flow) and an easier solution.
If you want to put a spark in your sex life and performance, one of the simplest ways to do this is to increase blood flow.
How Does Blood Flow Affect Your Erection?
Up until 1983, people thought that erectile dysfunction — the inability to achieve or maintain an erection — was “all in your head”. But this concept was debunked in 1983 when Dr. Giles Brindley discovered the role of blood flow in erections.
The penis contains two structures called corpora cavernosa that it uses to become erect. In a non-erect state, the arteries that transport blood into the corpora cavernosa are constricted, and the veins that drain blood from the penis are open. This prevents pressure from building up inside the penis.
When smooth muscles inside the penis relax, the arteries open up and the result is increased blood flow, increased pressure, and an erection.
To solve an erection problem caused by poor blood flow, the solution is to relax the smooth muscles and open up the arteries. And here are 5 ways to do that:
1. Take a Hot Shower
Standing in hot water quickly raises your core body temperature, which can improve blood circulation, relax tense muscles, and transport more oxygen throughout your body.
Stay in the shower for about 10 to 15 minutes. This is enough time to fully relax your muscles, but it’s not so long that you’ll become lethargic.
2. Get More Niacin
Niacin or vitamin B3 may help you overcome erectile dysfunction if you have high cholesterol, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Of course, it may also help you even if you don’t have high cholesterol.
Niacin helps the body process fats and studies show it reduces cholesterol. As a result, niacin helps increase blood flow. And for this reason, it’s frequently used in male enhancement pills.
Nutritionists generally recommend getting 13-17 mg of niacin in your daily diet. You can find the vitamin in red meats, fish, chicken, breakfast cereals, and nuts. If you want to a larger dose, the American Heart Association suggests getting a prescription for supplemental niacin from a medical professional.
As your muscles are exercised, they produce byproducts like adenosine, hydrogen ions, and carbon dioxide. These byproducts leave your muscle cells and cause the small blood vessels inside your muscles to expand (i.e. vasodilation). This increases blood flow and delivers more oxygen to your muscles.
The best exercises for increasing blood flow are usually aerobic, which are exercises that increase your heart rate and make you breathe harder. The increase in heart rate leads to improved blood flow throughout the body.
Jogging, cycling, and swimming are three of the best aerobic exercises. Aim for 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three to five times a week.
4. Use Herbs & Amino Acids
Researchers have discovered several herbs and amino acids that increase blood flow and help improve erections:
L-Arginine is an amino acid and a precursor to nitric oxide. When it enters your blood, L-Arginine is converted into nitric oxide, which increases oxygen delivery, blood flow, and the size of blood vessels.
Korean ginseng has been clinically tested and proven to improve blood circulation.
Cnidium naturally increases nitric oxide release and promotes better blood flow.
Xanthoparmelia scabrosa helps smooth muscles relax, which allows arteries to dilate.
Deer antler velvet is used to stimulate the circulation of blood and it increases red blood cell count.
Muira puama leads to a temporary increase in blood flow to the pelvic area. It is frequently used to promote erections in men.
5. Eat Spicy Foods
Capsaicin–the main heat ingredient in hot peppers–is proven to increase circulatory blood flow. It can also increase body heat production for up to 20 minutes after eating; which as you know helps relax smooth muscles, like those in the penis. So, if you want to spice up your love life, eat some spicy food.
Since poor blood flow is only one cause of erectile dysfunction, increasing circulation is not a cure-all. However, blood flow is a critical factor that influences a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
So, if poor blood flow is interfering with your performance, you now have 5 ways to increase blood flow and consequently improve your sex life.
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