With male testosterone levels dropping globally, there’s an increasing demand for libido and sexual performance enhancing supplements. Libido Max Red is a sexual support supplement targeting men, which claims “Satisfaction Guaranteed.”
In this review article we’ll analyze the formulation of Libido Max Red to determine whether we believe the supplement is likely to increase sex drive.
Libido Max Red Prop Blend Comments
We first want to note that there exist a few different supplements called "Libido Max Red," and it can be difficult to distinguish between them because there isn't a clear manufacturer with an official formulation. Our formulation review is based on the Libido Max Red product being sold on GNC at the time of updating this article.
The Supplement Facts label shows that this product is a proprietary, or “prop” blend, which we consider to be an indicator of a low-quality brand in the absence of published clinical trials proving the efficacy of said prop blend.
As we discussed in our Balance of Nature review (another poorly-formulated supplement which uses prop blends), we consider it deceptive for supplement manufacturers to list ingredients in a prop blend, because this format allows them to avoid listing the individual dosage of each ingredient. Only the total dose of all of the ingredients combined is required.
Because manufacturers don’t have to disclose the component ingredients in a prop blend, they can list exotic ingredients in trace amounts to “spice up” their labels.
As an example, Goli is an ACV gummies brand that highlights the health benefits of pomegranates in their marketing, but pomegranates are included at such a low dose in their formulation that it’s not even listed as an active ingredient, just an “Other Ingredient” with no listed dosage.
In the case of Libido Max Red, we believe that the inclusion of black tea extract may be one such "exotic" ingredient included at a low dose to make the formulation look more impressive and justify the price. We urge the manufacturer to list the dose of every ingredient for greater transparency and consumer safety.
Ingredient Review - L-Citrulline
The first listed ingredient in Libido Max Red’s prop blend is the amino acid l-citrulline. One of the proven citrulline benefits is improved sexual performance, but we don't believe Libido Max Red is likely to contain an effective dose.
The entire prop blend is only 1,620 milligrams (mg). Citrulline is one of four ingredients, which means that the average ingredient has a 405 mg dose. A clinical trial on l-citrulline for erectile dysfunction found that the effective dose was 1,500 mg/day
The mechanism by which citrulline improves sexual performance also has nothing to do with libido. The compound is a precursor to nitric oxide, which improves blood flow. Improved blood flow helps erection quality.
Ingredient Review - L-Arginine
We would consider l-arginine to be an ineffective ingredient choice for a libido-enhancing supplement, because like l-citrulline, this amino acid doesn't appear to have much research backing for its ability to enhance sex drive in men.
Arginine is another nitric oxide precursor, but a less effective one than l-citrulline. Therefore it would make sense just to replace any arginine with citrulline in this formulation. We don't understand why Libido Max Red contains both amino acids, and the brand doesn't appear to explain or cite any research explaining this decision.
Ingredient Review - Beet Powder
We cannot identify any medical research suggesting that beet powder increases libido in men.
Like the previous two ingredients, beets are a nitric oxide precursor which can improve blood flow at the right dosage. However, we would consider the dose of beet powder in this product to be ineffective, given that the entire prop blend is under 2,000 mg.
Most of the studies showing positive effects of beet root powder for blood flow (using reduced blood pressure as an indirect measurement of nitric oxide increase) use doses that would equate to greater than 100,000 mg.
Ingredient Review - Black Tea Extract
It's uncommon for black tea to be included in a libido formulation. This compound is not typically used for libido, or studied for that purpose. We came across one medical trial suggesting that black tea may aid libido, but it was an animal study and the dose was significantly higher than what could be included in Libido Max Red.
There are many other libido enhancing herbs which are well-studied in humans, so we don't understand the use of black tea extract, and we would consider this to be another sign of what we would consider to be incompetent formulators behind this product.
Questionable Additive Ingredients
Libido Max Red contains a number of ingredients we would recommend avoiding for health reasons. It contains two separate artificial food dyes: Red 40 and Blue 2. A well-cited medical review found artificial food dyes to be potentially toxic to humans, and we recommend avoiding these compounds entirely.
This supplement also contains titanium dioxide, which is banned for use as a food additive in the European Union (E.U.) over genotoxicity properties. This refers to the ability to damage genetic information.
Our Libido Recommendations
For male consumers seeking natural libido enhancement, there are some herbal supplements which have been proven in medical literature to be effective.
Panax ginseng, also known as “red ginseng”, improves human sex drive according to medical research. We recently published a research article on the benefits of red ginseng. The dosage used for libido enhancement tends to be around 3,000 mg daily.
Maca is another compound which is very well-studied for sexual enhancement. The dosage based on medical literature should be between 1,500 mg and 3,000 mg, according to Examine’s review of clinical research on maca. For consumers interested in maca, we recommend purchasing the gelatinized version, as raw maca can be hard to digest and cause stomach irritation.