No Sex Before Match?
Sexual abstention for a sportive is really necessary? And would it be valid only in the case of high performance athletes, or in any situation? What is the final balance between sex and sportive activity?
Between the myth and the reality, the true implications and scientific conclusions about the impact of sex over sport
The fact that an athlete should limit sex to give the best in a sportive competition is something that is know since Plato times and nowadays it is subject to a number of debates. Despite of the fact that science has recently shown that there are no evidences of the fact that sexual activity before a competition is harmful for the results of this latter, most athletes prefer to abstain from sex before a workout or a sportive event. Also, most coaches continue to recommend such abstinence.
It's about a myth which will be only disproved soon or later or there is something true on all this? In both positions we are right and wrong. The fact to avoid sex for a sportive only has temporal implications but it cannot make any effect in the middle or long term. Let study the matter in a greater detail.
The rate between sexual activity and physical performances is relative and may be beneficial for some aspect and harmful for others. We are talking about both physical and psychological aspects.
Negative and Positive Aspect of Sex in Sport
The reach of the orgasm favors endorphins production, which are the result of the body tensions releases and the typical doziness which occurs after a sexual intercourse. This is helpful for stress, but it contributes to reduce the capacity of resistance in a sportive practice. Anyway this effect only occurs during the two hours that follow the sex and it completely disappears the day after.
In compensation the sexual activity improves cardiovascular capacity, it favors a greater testosterone production in man (and all the endocrinologists are in agreement with this) and it reduces muscular pains in women, as Barry Komisaruk says, a psychologist from Rutgers University of Newark (New Jersey). Thus, sex don't work against sport, assuming that between the two you rest sufficiently. There is more: it was proven and a man who doesn't ejaculate for two months or more (which is a typical period for a boxer, for example), will decrease testosterone production to the point of a child levels. Sexual arousal and ejaculation instead favor this production, making muscular development and aggressiveness easier. Therefore between sex a sport it's only a matter of timing: you just have to choose the right moments to perform each thing and the combination reveals perfect.
Several studies have been made on the impact of sex over various sportive disciplines where aerobic strength, anaerobic one, resistance and resistance over strength came into play and these studies have revealed that neither athletes who had sex nor the ones who abstained from it, got any significant advantage over the others. This suggests that sex doesn't increase or decrease sportive performances, even if it remain true that sexual activity improves resistance to pain and favors hormonal production. But the difference is not so relevant, because if it was, people would have considered it like a sort of doping or something harmful and it would have been officially prohibited.
The General Advantages of Sex
According to what it has been said, sex is not to be considered like a mere waste of energy. Surely it must be avoided the same day of a workout or a competition, especially before. But between a day and another, it doesn't represents any energy lost.
Here we will introduce a list of some benefits deriving from a regular sexual activity.
- Before all, it helps reducing the stress and negative thoughts. In fact, orgasm releases oxytocin, an hormone which helps eliminating negative emotions temporarily, such as fear and anxiety.
- Endorphins, which are the only cause of temporary energy loss during the few hours after sex, reduce depressive feelings, favor euphoria, the sense of happiness and the good mood.
- Prolactin, hormone which is also released after an orgasm, improve the sense of smelling, stimulating the production of new cells in the olfactory bulb.
- Sex improves blood flow and strengthens the heart because it constitutes a complete sportive activity. It further tones various muscular groups, especially the back and the gluteus.
- Aside from the endorphins and the oxytocin, sex favors a greater estrogenic production, reducing in general the feeling of pain in women.
- It raise the immunitary systemInnalza il sistema immunitario. Soltanto un rapporto a settimana aumenta la risposta immune di oltre il 30%.
- The oxytocin released by orgasm favors and improves sleep quality, especially in men.
So, if sex gives so many benefits, including in sports, why it's not even prohibited by sportive organizations before important competitions? Simply because it's a natural activity that cannot be prohibited, it's not about an illegal trick. It's like a bodybuilder who before a context eats or doesn't eat meat. Falling to eat meat is a clear disadvantage, but it cannot be taken into account, because it's a persona choice that anyone can make, after all. It's just a matter of personal care or discipline. And the same applies with sex.
But From Where This Myth is Coming From?
The no sex before sport myth come from ancient Greeks, when it was believed that the semen was a source of life and energy and therefore people considered that, when ejaculating, a man lost all of his strength and vital energy.
There is surely something true at the end of these believings, but at this time, scientific knowledge was not as advanced as today is and it was not possible to know that the energy waste due to ejaculation is only temporary, that is, a man may lose his vigor during the few hours after a sexual intercourse, but this energy will be refunded or even empowered the day after, because at the awakening, after a rest, testicles will produce more testosterone and more efficiently.
The science has concluded that 10 hours of rest after sex are plenty enough to ensure a full recovery. Therefore a night of rest after sex is absolutely ideal.