Most people know about the keto flu and how it can zap your gym performance as you transition into ketosis. Another area of performance that doesn’t get as much attention takes place inside the bedroom. Does the keto flu wreak havoc on your sex drive? Let’s take a look at what affects your libido and how the ketogenic diet plays into that.
What Affects Your Libido?
Before we discuss the impact of the keto diet on your libido, let’s take a look at the most common influences on your sex drive.
- Sex Hormones: Studies show that when your sex hormones – testosterone and estrogen – are elevated, you’re more likely to experience a higher sex drive. If you’re a woman with low estrogen levels or a man with low testosterone levels, you’re more likely to have a low sex drive. 
- Diet: No surprise here: diet has a huge impact on sexual health and function. First, if you’re overweight due to dietary choices, you’re at a higher risk for sexual dysfunction such as lack of interest or erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, some foods are better for your sex drive than others. For example, high-fat dietary choices tend to promote natural sex hormone production. One study found that urine-based excretions of testosterone were 13% higher for subjects on a high-fat diet. 
- Physical Activity Level: Exercise is just as important as diet for libido. Studies show that physical fitness and sexual health are connected, and those living sedentary lifestyles are more likely to be missing that spark in the bedroom. This stems from both a physical obstacle of excess weight and a mental barrier from low self-esteem and poor self-image. 
- Alcohol and Drug Use: While alcohol might be the thing that initiates sex, it can also work against you. Studies show that long-term and excessive alcohol and drug use led to a significant decrease in sexual desire and an increase in sexual dysfunction for both men and women.  
Does the Keto Diet Help or Hurt Your Libido?
For those following a well-balanced ketogenic diet, whether therapeutic or athletic, there might be an initial dip in libido (thanks to the keto flu) followed by a spike in sex drive. Here’s why:
- You Feel Better About Yourself: Once you get into ketosis, your head space will be clear and you’ll have a lot more energy. If your goal is weight loss, your confidence and self-esteem will get a welcome boost, which can support your libido.
- High Fat Means More Sex Hormones: As I discussed above, high-fat diets support healthy levels of sex hormones, which are essential for our sex drive. The keto diet is based on 65% to 80% of your daily caloric intake coming from fat, which will support proper estrogen and testosterone production.
Want to Boost Libido? Keto Diet and Exercise is Key
Sure, following a well-structured keto diet can help to increase your libido, but if you want to see faster and better results, don’t forget to take part in a weekly exercise program. Don’t have one? Check out one of our keto-friendly workouts.
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David James Sautter is a fitness writer with over a decade of experience in the industry. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education, he earned certifications as a NASM-certified personal trainer, NASM-certified fitness nutrition specialist, and ACE-certified sports conditioning specialist. Merging his two passions, he has been the driving creative force behind articles, e-books, and training guides that cover a range of health and fitness topics with an emphasis on the ketogenic diet.