8

votes

Low Carb = Low Libido

Answered on September 23, 2014
Created March 12, 2012 at 1:17 AM

I'm a 23 year old 6'1 very athletic 190 pound male with 10% body fat. I've been following a paleo diet for the past year with great results. However my only complaint since starting paleo has been a major decrease in libido. On SAD I was had a awesome sex drive but I've been uninterested in sex ever since changing my diet to Paleo. I eat grassfed meats, veggies, fruits, sweet potatoes and coconut oil. I typically consume 150g-200g of carbs a day. I've searched paleo hacks for information regarding low libido and most posters recommend increasing fat intake. I've done this (eggs, cover veggies in ghee, more coconut oil) but have had no success.

Over the course of the year I've had some cheat days where I would consume a much higher intake of carbohydrates (ice cream, sweets, nachoes). I noticed that on those days my libido would be thru the roof!

I got me thinking to add back more paleo carbohydrates (300g-400g) in the forms of sweet potatoes, white rice and fruits. My libido has returned since the change :) . Has anyone else had a similar experience?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on June 11, 2012
at 03:36 AM

Yeah, obviously.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:55 PM

Very athletic, 23 with 10% body fat. I can see where you might need more carbs or not get enough calories without them. Starvation will cut reproductive functions right off. Just stick with the clean carbs rather than the junk, and be aware that as you get older, your metabolism may require less carbs. And check out the salt.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on March 14, 2012
at 02:03 AM

do it. more carbs, more salt.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 13, 2012
at 05:31 PM

Goat/sheep dairy is not "shit" as you put it. USA cow dairy might be "shit" (because of its different casein that creates problems to a lot of people), but where I'm from (Greece), goat/sheep dairy is PERFECTLY tolerable. When I was living in Greece I knew no one that was lactose-intolerant either, while it's common in the US. So I'm pro-dairy, my body can handle it just fine, and I'm careful to mostly eat goat/sheep dairy anyway. So please do not act like you know everything just because Robb Wolf said in a book that dairy is bad. Robb Wolf was speaking of US cows, I don't.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on March 13, 2012
at 02:21 PM

^ All of that shit is dairy.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 12, 2012
at 11:55 PM

Calories is a big one.

A96720eb77be29f27f198654fecd8f3c

(824)

on March 12, 2012
at 09:25 PM

I've been following Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. Been mixing up the volume and intensity.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 12, 2012
at 08:51 PM

No, much higher with rice. The fermentation of resistant starch in the gut should have no effect on cortisol levels except as it relates to fewer grams of carbohydrate available.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2012
at 08:02 PM

I lost a line after issues. If the rice day lowers your libido, than I'll buy you carbs theory completely.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:59 PM

I'm assuming your saying your libido lowers on yam(bloat)day and rises on rice day.? If this is so , it may just be a rise in cortisol (caused by digestive issues), notll buy the carbs theory.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:13 PM

My take is somewhat different. I think you have found a diet (low carb)that "calms you down". A high fat diet did that to me. mellowed me out to lot of "Me WAnt" fantasy.I think the correct diet helps cortisol regulation (up for some/doenw for others) even more than increasing testosterone.My tesosterone has increased on the Paleo diet and my cortisol levels have dropped. I just more satisfied with my life and my sex life (frequency, quality), so those "ME WANT" thoughts just don't appear of the radar screen anymore. Any thoughts on this twist in the theory?

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 12, 2012
at 02:36 AM

I don't do any kind of dairy. I do only hard cheeses and home-made lactose-free probiotic yogurt/kefir from goats and sheep only. From cows I only use butter and cream. Goats/sheep use different casein from cows, so most people who are intolerant to generic dairy can deal with these fine. Try them.

A96720eb77be29f27f198654fecd8f3c

(824)

on March 12, 2012
at 01:42 AM

I try to avoid dairy when eating strict. The few slip ups I have (nachoes) leave me with brain fog and a sluggist state the following day. I've always been single but have had various parters to whom i've been attracted but i've lacked the sexual drive.

A96720eb77be29f27f198654fecd8f3c

(824)

on March 12, 2012
at 01:23 AM

Have you also done anything with salt consumption? -No, I don't add salt to any of my foods

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 12, 2012
at 01:20 AM

Have you also done anything with salt consumption?

  • A96720eb77be29f27f198654fecd8f3c

    asked by

    (824)
  • Views
    56.7K
  • Last Activity
    1399D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

14 Answers

2
5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on March 16, 2012
at 05:52 PM

My experience has been quite the opposite. I started when I was 30 and one of the first things I noticed was that I was much more randy. I would have considered my libido as "normal" pre paleo. But for me, going paleo turned me into one of the kids from Porky's!

I would tinker with some Maca, pumpkin seeds or Brazil nuts. That seems to help some folks.

2
1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on March 12, 2012
at 06:02 PM

Definitely, yes. Adding back significant quantities of carbs solved the problem.

2
A2b9075bd176ca2912743e4df1e4af49

(146)

on March 12, 2012
at 02:13 AM

Maybe try to boost your testosterone. Lift heavy one day at the gym, between 90-100% of your max..big muscle groups, squats, bench press, lunges, etc. it doesn't have to be a long work out or many rebs.

A96720eb77be29f27f198654fecd8f3c

(824)

on March 12, 2012
at 09:25 PM

I've been following Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. Been mixing up the volume and intensity.

2
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 12, 2012
at 01:32 AM

When I started the Paleo diet on Sept 2011 my libido decreased for the first 3 months, as my body was healing. I was doing about 70-150 gr of carbs at the time. Then, my libido increased to normal levels. I'm currently on the Paleo-ketogenic diet (up to 30 gr of carbs) and my libido is stable and high.

I eat dairy, eggs and fish though (maybe that's our difference?). When on plain Paleo I was eating fruits and nuts too. I think you cut out way too many foods, and you're instead thinking of adding more empty carbs instead, like rice. I suggest you add more nutritionally rich foods instead. Catalog what you eat at cron-o-meter.com so you can know which vitamins you're missing.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 12, 2012
at 02:36 AM

I don't do any kind of dairy. I do only hard cheeses and home-made lactose-free probiotic yogurt/kefir from goats and sheep only. From cows I only use butter and cream. Goats/sheep use different casein from cows, so most people who are intolerant to generic dairy can deal with these fine. Try them.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 13, 2012
at 05:31 PM

Goat/sheep dairy is not "shit" as you put it. USA cow dairy might be "shit" (because of its different casein that creates problems to a lot of people), but where I'm from (Greece), goat/sheep dairy is PERFECTLY tolerable. When I was living in Greece I knew no one that was lactose-intolerant either, while it's common in the US. So I'm pro-dairy, my body can handle it just fine, and I'm careful to mostly eat goat/sheep dairy anyway. So please do not act like you know everything just because Robb Wolf said in a book that dairy is bad. Robb Wolf was speaking of US cows, I don't.

A96720eb77be29f27f198654fecd8f3c

(824)

on March 12, 2012
at 01:42 AM

I try to avoid dairy when eating strict. The few slip ups I have (nachoes) leave me with brain fog and a sluggist state the following day. I've always been single but have had various parters to whom i've been attracted but i've lacked the sexual drive.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on March 13, 2012
at 02:21 PM

^ All of that shit is dairy.

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 12, 2012
at 08:31 PM

Not at all. The opposite, in fact.

Lowering my calories completely squashed my libido though.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 12, 2012
at 11:55 PM

Calories is a big one.

1
Medium avatar

on March 12, 2012
at 06:18 PM

I've noticed the same thing with a day of sweet potato and fruit vs. a day of rice, even if on paper it's the same exact number of grams of net carbs. I suspect that the difference comes down to resistant starch, since the sweet potato causes noticeable bloating whereas the rice doesn't at all. I also suspect that grams of fructose don't count in the same way, and probably shouldn't be considered carbohydrates in the same way.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2012
at 08:02 PM

I lost a line after issues. If the rice day lowers your libido, than I'll buy you carbs theory completely.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:59 PM

I'm assuming your saying your libido lowers on yam(bloat)day and rises on rice day.? If this is so , it may just be a rise in cortisol (caused by digestive issues), notll buy the carbs theory.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 12, 2012
at 08:51 PM

No, much higher with rice. The fermentation of resistant starch in the gut should have no effect on cortisol levels except as it relates to fewer grams of carbohydrate available.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 12, 2012
at 05:33 PM

If the sweet potato, rice and fruit came with a side of hot waitress I could see this working :P.....

1
79b187d791eae49070a90d6ca7ee5547

on March 12, 2012
at 11:26 AM

I have noticed the same about my diet. It's important to remember that everyone is different. Just because one thing works well for someone, doesn't mean that it will also work well for you. I'd suggest trying to increase your carb intake, in a good way and see what happens. Maybe you should try adding a few more sweet potatoes to your diet or even some white potatoes (just avoid the skin). You may find that by simply upping your carb intake, (not with processed foods) your libido will be restored.

0
E23363d46a6308c0990b478ac31d5eb4

on September 23, 2014
at 10:11 AM

Low carb diets seem to work nicely for older, sedentary individuals. They are absolutely horrible with regard to younger, active people. Carbohydrates are where energy originates from. Yes, you will suffer. They aren't worth the effort.

0
002861a13c7f83e6e164de8867730fac

on August 29, 2013
at 12:30 PM

If you are already reasonably lean, eat healthy and train regularly, give carb back-loading a try. The idea is to do resistance training late in the afternoon and consume almost all of your carb during the night. As counterintuitive as it may sound, it has gain some traction in the fitness world. You can search for John Kiefer in Robb Wolf's podcast.

0
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on June 11, 2012
at 03:27 AM

Are you eating enough saturated fat? If you are not and your cholesterol went down or is low, it could explain this issue (as your testosterone may be lower from low cholesterol).

0
Dc95d53b5b579a87afea573efc18d32f

(50)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Thanks for all of the discussion on this. I've been having the same issue. Used to be frisky all the time. After starting paleo, my libido went into steep decline. After two years of paleo, I'm finding I have relatively little interest in sex. (Can always be persuaded, but even then it's not as good as it used to be.)

Not sure if maca works for men the same way it does for women but, as a male, I found in the past that tribulus terrestris would make me randy as hell. Had to stop taking it at bedtime because I would end up waking my wife up.

I don't want to increase my carb intake above the 100g or so that I normally eat, so I'm going to give maca, tribulus, horny goat weed, etc. a try and see if that solves the problem.

0
7e808eb07359b946a7a16c470faf0169

on March 16, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I cannot recommend Maca enough. It's really incredible for libido, almost too powerful at times. The powder may be added to your smoothies and it tastes amazing, to boot.

Good luck...

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2012
at 05:38 PM

When I went Paleo my libido decreased I suppose. It didn't seem to me that I lacked interest in sex when it was available I just didn't find myself ...well...lusting after it. It wasn't like I couldn't get it up, but I just didn't feel the constant "Me Want" every time I saw a female. It might be that I'm naturally high-test and so decreasing carbs just knocked me down a bit.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:13 PM

My take is somewhat different. I think you have found a diet (low carb)that "calms you down". A high fat diet did that to me. mellowed me out to lot of "Me WAnt" fantasy.I think the correct diet helps cortisol regulation (up for some/doenw for others) even more than increasing testosterone.My tesosterone has increased on the Paleo diet and my cortisol levels have dropped. I just more satisfied with my life and my sex life (frequency, quality), so those "ME WANT" thoughts just don't appear of the radar screen anymore. Any thoughts on this twist in the theory?

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!