There are two unavoidable things on the internet: radioactive comment sections and advertisements for male enhancement products. Often, these ads promise to make your penis harder and your sexual performance better, but many fly-by-night companies are willing to take advantage of people's anxieties around sexual inadequacy and sell you costly sugar pills.1 As /men get older and their sexual performance fades, they can become susceptible to companies promising a fix.
Male Extra claims their product can help you achieve harder erections more easily and perform at a higher level during sex, and there is some evidence that certain ingredients in Male Extra can increase blood flow and promote healthy testosterone levels. Our thorough assessment will help you decide if this product is the right choice for you.
Male Extra may help men achieve longer-lasting, harder erections and boost sexual performance and general energy levels. It's not a pharmaceutical product like Viagra, and it's pricier than either generic Viagra or other non-prescription male enhancement pills. But research indicates that its ingredients can improve sexual health, making it a reasonable choice for anyone wary of pharmaceutical drugs or those without insurance that could help pay for them.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles. One of the areas where we’ve spent an immense amount of time is men’s sexual health, focusing on supplements just like Male Extra.
Male Extra’s ingredient list lands in a sweet spot among similar supplements, without either too few or too many components. All told, we’ve spent nearly 200 hours researching these specific ingredients and pored over several dozen clinical studies. Throughout the process, we’ve seen how certain ingredient combinations can complement one another to maximize efficacy while minimizing side effects. To be clear, our team members did not consume Male Extra for themselves. Still, our compiled knowledge of the ingredients and doses in Male Extra, especially as compared with the litany of similar supplements we’ve studied, should give you confidence in our recommendations.
Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
In various research studies examining Male Extra’s individual components, there were modest improvements in a few parameters of male sexual health. This puts it in line with much of its most direct competition in terms of efficacy. Still, these effects were insufficient to replace prescription-strength drugs for men with moderate-to-severe ED or psychological problems like depression or anxiety that contribute to sexual dysfunction.
Here's a deeper look into each of our key evaluation criteria and how Male Extra performs in all of them.
In Male Extra's case, you're dealing with seven ingredients with multiple studies indicating both efficacy and safety. It's also worth noting that the doses used in studies and the doses provided in Male Extra don’t always line up. L-arginine studies, for example, often use several grams per day, and Male Extra’s formula contains just 600mg.2 By contrast, several zinc studies use doses ranging from 5-30mg, while Male Extra provides 45mg of zinc citrate — roughly equivalent to 15mg of elemental zinc. That puts its zinc quantity right in line with those studies.
Zinc also presents an interesting point about effectiveness. Deficiencies in certain nutrients can result in symptoms of various sexual dysfunctions. If one of the ingredients in Male Extra could address that deficiency (i.e. zinc citrate for a zinc deficiency), then its effects would be significantly more pronounced than in men with normal zinc levels.
Male Extra's price is pretty average among male enhancement supplements. It certainly isn't the most expensive option out there, but there are cheaper brands. However, Male Extra’s cost per bottle at its highest bulk purchasing level is lower than its top competitors.
Here’s a quick comparison:
|Cost||Lowest cost per bottle with bulk purchase||Money-back guarantee|
|Male Extra||$60||$30||100 days|
|VigRx Plus||$70||$41||67 days|
|Volume Pills||$60||$33||67 days|
Of course, we consider more than just price when evaluating a supplement like Male Extra. Ingredients, supply, and dosing all play a role in determining a supplement's overall cost. To that end, Male Extra provides an admirable value for its product and price. And the fact that you can use bulk purchasing to reduce your total cost per bottle allows regular users to get a good product at a fair price. The only downside is that you'd have to have that much capital to spend if you wanted to make a bulk purchase. Depending on which bulk offer you choose, that could cost you anywhere from $120-$360.
As with our effectiveness evaluation, we rely on both clinical research and available personal experience when considering a supplement's safety. Most of Male Extra's ingredients perform well, with minimal adverse effects in trials. And trials that result in adverse reactions almost always involve significantly higher doses than what you'd find in Male Extra.
There are two important caveats in Male Extra's safety, however. The first comes from L-arginine, which can act like a PDE-5 inhibitor (i.e., Viagra). PDE-5 inhibitors increase the body's production of nitric oxide, which widens blood vessels and, as a result, lowers blood pressure.3 If you have chronically low blood pressure or are on medication that lowers your blood pressure, supplementation with L-arginine can drop that pressure to dangerous levels.
The second caveat comes from the high dose of zinc in Male Extra. Zinc is a vital mineral, but too much of it can result in symptoms of toxicity. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the maximum amount of zinc someone should consume daily is 40mg.4 But that upper limit refers to elemental zinc. The zinc citrate in Male Extra contains approximately 34% elemental zinc, meaning that its 45mg dose delivers a little over 15mg to the body. Still, if you regularly get more than 20mg of zinc from your diet or a daily multivitamin, you could experience adverse side effects.
We consider several factors to determine the convenience of a given company or product. For a supplement like Male Extra, that starts as soon as we land on their site. Male Extra loses some points here for placing all the information about their product on a single long page. That means you've got to scroll all the way back up if you find yourself reading FAQ or examining ingredients. That's far from being a dealbreaker, but it speaks to a degree of disinterest in the customer experience.
That disregard for the customer extends to the purchasing process. Making a purchase is quite simple, but without an auto-ship option, you lose both the potential for added savings and the assurance that you'll never run out of product. With the current setup, you have to recognize that you're getting low on capsules and reorder in time to keep up with your doses.
Then there's shipping and customer support, both of which are issues for Male Extra. We've had orders never leave the processing stage, forcing us to request a full refund, which we eventually received. We've also encountered days' worth of busy signals when trying to reach the company through their phone number. When we did get through, a prerecorded message told us that all of their operators were in training and to use the site's contact form to get in touch. Our contemporaneous experience with other companies was better.
In the men's sexual health landscape, privacy is paramount. Companies must closely guard information about sexual activity or dysfunction for us to be able to recommend them.
Male Extra is a health supplement manufactured by Health Nutrition Limited. By promoting increased blood flow throughout the body, it aims to boost sexual performance and vitality in men who want to do so without relying on prescription drugs.
When taken for 5-6 weeks, Male Extra's blend of ingredients can help users maintain consistently stronger erections as well as promote vital, active sex lives and improved energy. While it can give your erections a boost in terms of firmness, it won't permanently enlarge your penis.
Male Extra contains the following ingredients, each of which we'll elaborate on later:
The company has increased the amount of zinc in its formula compared to several years ago. In earlier formulations, the zinc citrate was 14mg per daily dose, roughly a third of what's now included. For men with low testosterone that may be tied to a zinc deficiency, this higher quantity of zinc would likely be more beneficial; a study found that men who consume 30mg of zinc each day experienced an increase in circulating testosterone.5
However, 40mg of elemental zinc is often considered the upper limit of safe, daily zinc supplementation. A little over one-third of the 45mg of zinc citrate will be elemental zinc, which amounts to about 15mg. You should check for additional sources of zinc in your supplementation regimen to make sure you aren't supplementing for a total of more than 40mg of elemental zinc. This will help you avoid potential side effects of excessive zinc, such as:
Male Extra works for some men, particularly those with rather mild cases of ED. It can also help men who experience a drop in libido due to common nutritional deficits that prevent them from maintaining healthy testosterone levels. It won't work for all men with sexual performance issues because the ingredients of Male Extra can't address the broad spectrum of potential underlying causes of sexual problems.
As a supplement, Male Extra isn't eligible for approval from the FDA, but scientific research on its ingredients lends credence to the company's claims of improved erections and sexual performance.
Based on our research, you shouldn't expect to see any profound results within the first couple of weeks. However, some men do experience a noticeable (if modest) improvement in erection strength and libido after using Male Extra for about ten straight days. Consistent use over 5-8 weeks seems necessary to feel any of Male Extra’s noteworthy effects.
With its blend of ingredients, Male Extra aims to increase blood flow in the body and stimulate the production of testosterone. The seven key ingredients are:
An amino acid, L-arginine increases blood flow by converting into nitric oxide in the body. Studies show that L-arginine in high doses can help men with ED due to insufficient nitric oxide levels.7 It’s worth noting that these studies often use doses as much as ten times higher than what Male Extra offers.
Also known as MSM, this compound may promote healthy blood flow and the replacement of dead cells. It's also Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, though studies into its efficacy are scarce.
With ingredients like zinc known to improve testosterone, it’s clear that Male Extra intends to benefit men who suffer from low T. But lots of men assume they have low T without knowing it, and it doesn’t make sense to supplement for low T if your testosterone levels are normal. Before spending your money each month on a supplement, we’d recommend testing your testosterone levels, which you can do through your doctor or using an at-home test. Since the best of those tests are fast and accurate, we made a comprehensive guide about all of them, along with information about discounts that can reduce the cost of convenient testing.
As with any supplement routine, you should always check in with your physician before starting treatment, especially if you have a history of cardiovascular issues. Male Extra should be safe for most users, although some have reported side effects such as diarrhea and stomach bloating.
There is no dedicated study looking at the efficacy or safety of Male Extra’s specific ingredient combination. You’ll find more evidence regarding potential side effects in studies of individual ingredients than you’ll get from anecdotal reports of Male Extra users. L-Arginine, for example, has been associated with:
Because each of these ingredients has a specific side effect profile and there is no research into how they interact at the dosages Male Extra provides, it’s crucial to talk to your doctor before you begin taking Male Extra, especially if anything resembling an adverse reaction occurs.
Issues with patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases or those on medications that affect blood pressure result from Male Extra's ability to widen blood vessels. That can reduce blood pressure, and anyone whose blood pressure is already low — due to medication or ailment — could put their life at risk.
Talk to your doctor use with particular caution if you:
In addition to the potential for side effects, there is a risk of over-supplementation for specific ingredients. If you already take a daily multivitamin or any other products aimed at improving male sexual health and vitality, Male Extra may push you into unsafe daily dosage levels. Though acute or chronic toxicity risk is relatively low, these increased daily concentrations can exacerbate the likelihood or intensity of side effects.12
Male Extra’s generous zinc dose is a selling point, especially for men who suspect — or know — that they have low testosterone levels. But if you also happen to take a daily multivitamin that contains zinc, you could end up above the recommended 40mg daily limit. Mention any other daily supplements to your doctor and go over your average diet to ensure you don’t risk taking too much zinc with Male Extra.
For maximum benefit, users take three pills each day with meals, either spread out or all at once. The ingredients build up in your body over an extended period. Be patient during the first couple of weeks; by and large, any positive results can take about 5-6 weeks to set in. It isn't that quick for all customers, though — some men require a little more than two months. We’ve heard from customers who said it took three months before seeing a change.
It’s important to note that these delayed results are the same with just about every male enhancement product on the market, so while the wait can be frustrating, it’s not exclusive to Male Extra. If it takes longer than three months for you to notice any improvement, you should check in with your doctor. In those cases, the erectile dysfunction may be too severe for supplements such as this to correct. Other underlying medical conditions could be causing your sexual performance issues as well.
Fortunately, Male Extra offers a 100-day money-back guarantee, so even if you don't see results after three months, you should be able to recoup your investment.
One bottle of 90 Male Extra capsules — a 1-month supply — costs $59.99. However, you can reduce that price by buying in bulk, and the largest bulk purchase effectively cuts the cost of Male Extra in half.
In addition to saving you money, bulk purchases also get you free bottles of ProErection Gel, a topical treatment that Male Extra claims can stimulate more blood flow for “enhanced size and thickness.”
Here’s a quick look at the ProErection Gel ingredients list:
Unfortunately, no credible research exists to suggest that a topical application of any ingredient in ProErection Gel will yield beneficial sexual results. And with so little research to go on, there’s no way to ascertain the erection gel’s safety profile. As such, we currently recommend against its use, but if you’re determined to try it, we’ve included it in this breakdown of how bulk pricing can save you money:
|Cost||Cost per bottle||Erection gels included|
Regardless of what amount you order, Male Extra provides free shipping on every package.
There's no shortage of male enhancement products on the market. You can walk into most gas stations and find shady pills by the counter that claim to grow your penis by six inches and give you the power to impregnate anyone just by looking at them hard enough. It's a landscape fraught with overblown claims, unrealistic promises, and — in many cases — dangerous products.
Whether Male Extra or any male enhancement product will work for you depends greatly on the underlying causes of your bedroom woes. If you have slight performance anxiety that snowballs the second your erection strength dips during foreplay, a product like Male Extra will likely seem like a godsend. The added blood flow and boost to libido will help you initiate and sustain an erection, even in the face of some self-doubt. And that can snowball in the opposite direction, giving you tremendous confidence in yourself to please your partner.
But those with deeper psychological issues or severe cases of ED caused by things like prostate surgery or other medications like SSRIs are likely poor candidates for treatment with male enhancement pills. Fortunately, there are still options for men in that position, and we'll talk about them in a bit. For now, let's look at direct alternatives to Male Extra that have similar ingredient profiles, prices, and intended effects to see if this is your best option.
Before we get into each of these products specifically, here's a quick look at their key differences:
|Cost||Money-back guarantee||Key ingredients|
|Male Extra||$60||100 days||Zinc, pomegranate extract, L-arginine|
|Performer 8||$65||Lifetime||Ashwagandha, ginseng|
|VigRx Plus||$70||67 days||Damiana, saw palmetto|
|Extenze||$50||67 days||Tribulus terrestris, horny goat weed, DHEA|
|Semenax||$60||67 days||L-arginine, zinc|
|Volume Pills||$60||67 days||Ku gua, zinc|
Performer 8 is one of the more expensive male enhancement pills out there, but it remains one of our favorites for its ingredient quality and lifetime guarantee. Each of its nine ingredients is well-researched and safe for most users. It contains fewer vasodilators than Male Extra, making it a slightly safer option for anyone with blood pressure issues, though you should talk to your doctor before taking Performer 8 or any male enhancement product.
Here's a quick look at Performer 8's ingredients:
Performer 8's use of ashwagandha is of particular importance. Studies show that ashwagandha can both improve sexual health by boosting testosterone and support mental health by reducing anxiety and elevating mood.13 That makes Performer 8 a better pick than Male Extra for men with mild depression or anxiety that may be affecting their sexual performance. Though ashwagandha has been shown to support healthy testosterone levels, the generous dose of zinc in Male Extra might better serve men with low T.14
Obviously, Performer 8 is a little more expensive than Male Extra per bottle, but buying a 6-month supply of Performer 8 brings your cost per bottle down to $32.50. Compared to the $35 cost per bottle at Male Extra's 5-month bulk purchase point, this is actually a slightly better deal.
But unlike Male Extra, Performer 8 doesn't have a 12-month supply option, which brings Male Extra’s per bottle cost down to $30. If your bulk purchasing capital is limited, Performer 8 might be the better option here, but if your ultimate goal is bringing the cost per bottle down as low as it can go, you might want to consider Male Extra instead.
One interesting thing you'll notice about several products in the chart above is that many have a very specific 67-day money-back guarantee. This indicates that the products in question actually come from the same parent company, Leading Edge Health. That should provide you with a little peace of mind if you choose one of those products, as Leading Edge Health has established itself as a relatively responsible manufacturer of men's sexual health products.
That said, 67 days for a money-back guarantee is actually on the short end of the market average. Some of the most common ingredients in male enhancement pills take up to three months for results to manifest. So while a 67-day period gives you two months to try the product, and another week to set up a return, it might not be long enough to know for sure whether a pill would have eventually made a difference.
Let's quickly look at some of Leading Edge Health's top products to get a sense of your options:
Extenze is one of the most widely recognizable male enhancement products thanks to a popular commercial campaign some years back. Its inclusion of DHEA makes it particularly effective but is also the reason Extenze is a banned substance in Olympic competitions and the NFL.16
If you're looking for a more natural ingredient profile than some of these other products, Volume Pills is a good place to start. Most of its ingredients have more ties to Eastern and ayurvedic medicine than typical Western treatments.
As you can see, each of Leading Edge Health's top products has its own niche among men. This ends up being true of most male enhancement pills. We've got a complete guide to male enhancement pills that delves even deeper into the topic, but for now, let's consider a few scenarios to see who’ll be best served by each product:
If male enhancement pills don't quite cut it for your needs or you're a little wary of their promises, prescription pills for erectile dysfunction may be a better choice. These are extremely well-researched, making them generally safe for most men (after a doctor's consultation). Many can affect blood pressure, so men with cardiovascular issues should take extra caution.
Viagra and Cialis are probably the two most well-known brands of prescription ED medication, and their generic equivalents — sildenafil and tadalafil — are incredibly affordable and easier to access than ever before. Several online companies provide you everything you need, from a private doctor's consultation to a prescription and even free, discreet shipping.
You can also use many providers to access lesser-known ED treatments like avanafil, vardenafil, and apomorphine.
Here are our top providers for prescription ED medication:
BlueChew generally wins any category of medicine they choose to produce, mainly thanks to a high degree of convenience. Their medications are chewable tablets rather than pills, so you never need a glass of water nearby to take them. They’re also individually packed, so they’re exceedingly portable, making them easy to take with you for a night out that might take a romantic turn.
Innerbody uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Stanislavov, R., & Nikolova, V. (2003). Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 29(3), 207–213. https://doi.org/10.1080/00926230390155104
L-arginine. (2021, February 4). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-l-arginine/art-20364681
Zinc. (n.d.) The Nutrition Source. T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/zinc/
Brilla, L.R., Conte, V. (2000, October 4). Effects of a Novel Zinc-Magnesium Formulation on Hormones and Strength. Journal of Exercise and Physiology, 3(4), 26-38. Retrieved October 28, 2022 from https://www.asep.org/asep/asep/BrillaV2.PDF
Jiraungkoorskul, K., & Jiraungkoorskul, W. (2016). Review of Naturopathy of Medical Mushroom, Ophiocordyceps Sinensis, in Sexual Dysfunction. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 10(19), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.176566
Chen, J., Wollman, Y., Chernichovsky, T., Iaina, A., Sofer, M., & Matzkin, H. (1999). Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. BJU international, 83(3), 269–273. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.00906.x
Zhang, Z., Zhu, L., Jiang, S., Chen, H., Chen, Y., & Dai, T. (2016). Demethylation treatment restores erectile function in a rat model of hyperhomocysteinemia. Asian Journal of Andrology, 18(5), 763-768. https://doi.org/10.4103/1008-682X.163271
Prasad, A. S., Mantzoros, C. S., Beck, F. W., Hess, J. W., & Brewer, G. J. (1996). Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 12(5), 344–348. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0899-9007(96)80058-x
Ng, C. F., Lee, C. P., Ho, A. L., & Lee, V. W. (2011). Effect of niacin on erectile function in men suffering erectile dysfunction and dyslipidemia. The journal of sexual medicine, 8(10), 2883–2893. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02414.x
Forest, C. P., Padma-Nathan, H., & Liker, H. R. (2007). Efficacy and safety of pomegranate juice on improvement of erectile dysfunction in male patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. International journal of impotence research, 19(6), 564–567. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijir.3901570
Fosmire G. J. (1990). Zinc toxicity. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 51(2), 225–227. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/51.2.225
Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 34(3), 255-262. https://doi.org/10.4103/0253-7176.106022
Lopresti, A. L., Drummond, P. D., & Smith, S. J. (2019). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males. American Journal of Men's Health, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988319835985
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