Sexuality and Athletic Performance

Sexuality and Athletic Performance
Sexuality and Athletic Performance

Does sexual activity have an impact on the personal workout or athletic performance? “Yes,” say some. “No,” say the others. There have been many heated discussions and debates around this topic.

Some male athletes feel that having sex before exercising is a disadvantage in training or competition. They, therefore, remain abstinent – in the hope that the “sexual frustration” makes them more aggressive and persistent. For example, boxer Mohamed Ali believed that he had to be sexually abstinent at least 6 weeks before a fight in order to give everything in the ring.

The American football player Joe Namath has a completely different opinion. He reports having a lot of sex before an important game. Only then can he achieve his maximum performance in the game. Other regularly sexually active athletes have found that having sex before an athletic event makes them more relaxed and focused. You could concentrate better because there are no distractions.

Personal Workout
Personal Workout

The view of science

The scientific point of view: Today it is believed that sex before a workout usually has no effect on a man’s energy level or strength. However, it has not yet been found out what role testosterone levels play. Because what happens to a man’s testosterone when he is abstinent or sexually active is open. Will the level be lower or higher?

It is also questionable whether sexual activity a few hours before the competition could lead to a negative impact on the heart rate and whether it takes a longer time for it to stabilize again with physical exertion. One possible consequence: athletes, for example, soccer players, show signs of fatigue more quickly.

Worldwide unique: the studies of Prof. Sommer

Under the direction of Professor Frank Sommer, there have been studies in which the influences of sexual activity on various sports have been investigated. It could be shown that in boxing or taekwondo and in all other martial arts it was negative if the men had an orgasm a few hours before the competition. Her ability to concentrate and her aggressiveness suffered. There were similar results in the studies with track and field athletes, especially sprinters. Here Prof. Sommer was able to show that athletes in high-speed strength sports such as sprinting or shot put should be sexually abstinent 36 hours before a competition if they want to be maximally efficient.

In contrast, sexual activity shortly before the competition had a very positive effect on concentration sports such as archery or pistol shooting. Here the competitive athletes were able to achieve better performance after sexual activity.

A healthy diet and sleep are essential for athletes

The following has been found in international studies: It is more the circumstances associated with sexual activity that lead to a negative impact on athletic performance. For example, if the athlete stays up late or is partying, they usually don’t get enough sleep. Of course, alcohol consumption can also have a negative impact on athletic performance. The athlete has less energy and cannot concentrate as well. Many studies have found that Cannabinoids help in maintaining both athletic performance and sex life.

The bottom line, however, is that the fundamentally positive health aspects such as getting enough sleep and a sensible diet definitely have a positive effect on athletic performance.

Does sex make your legs limp?

This myth, which comes from ancient times, has now been refuted. Even so, some coaches forbid their athletes to have any sexual contact before important events. For example, national coach Berti Vogts banned women from the training camp at the 1994 World Cup: the US failed in the quarter-finals.

The studies by Prof. Sommer have shown that a sexual abstinence of 48 hours before the game is absolutely sufficient for footballers so that they can achieve maximum performance. Longer sexual abstinence could even negatively affect the game!

Athletes who do not comply with the 48 hours could have limitations in endurance performance. Further study results: Intimate intercourse 36 hours before the duel can lead to a deterioration in sprinting speed. And having sex 4 hours before the game can result in a drop in combat strength.

Are there sports that have been shown to increase the desire for sex?

Basically: All sports that lead to an increased release of testosterone also lead to an improvement in libido. So they make you want to have sex. In principle, these are mainly short and intensive sports and training units – be it intensive strength training in the fitness center or sprint training of 40 minutes. But interval runs in the forest also usually lead to an increase in testosterone levels.

Does weight training make you want to have sex?

Men like to do weight training. And if it works with exact, short intervals and its own weight, it is great for the synthesis of receptor-active testosterone. This also applies to a balanced full-body workout.

What about yoga and Pilates?

Types of exercise aimed at relaxation also increase pleasure. Because then the cuddle hormones serotonin and oxytocin come into play. In addition, yoga and Pilates have a strong effect on the pelvic floor, they ensure powerful circulation of blood and an overwhelming feeling in the body – thus, resulting in an enhancement in libido.

When is sport too much of a good thing?

We have done a lot of studies – with marathon runners, triathletes, or endurance athletes such as racing cyclists. It has been shown that in these athletes, some of whom are very well trained, the hormone production controlled by the head is damaged by the extreme endurance exercise. As a result, the testosterone level, the king hormone for the desire for sex, is reduced. Extremely long endurance units over weeks and months should therefore be avoided as much as possible, at least if the athlete wants to be “his man” in bed!

Is there a connection between exercise and impotence?

The good news: Those who exercise regularly three to four hours a week – and the type of sport primarily does not play a major role – have a lower risk of erectile dysfunction than “couch potato”.

On the other hand, there are sports in which so-called perineal pressure is applied. This leads to the blood vessels or nerves leading to the penis being “squeezed out” – which in turn is a common cause of erectile dysfunction.

Can sex be used to increase athletic performance?

The answer to this question is partially yes. Brief intense sexual activity can often lead to an increase in testosterone levels. This improves the whole (anabolic) building process and has a positive influence on the ability to regenerate after more intense physical activity. In this regard, however, science is still in its infancy. There are only trends that show this.