The sexual theme is considered delicate. However, everyone knows what is sex for healthy life is. Therefore, an abundance of scientific research in this area can not be found. A number of sports experts believe that sexual intercourse during the period of responsible competitions is contraindicated in athletes. This point of view is shared by a large number of national football team coaches who prohibit their wards from reflecting their sexuality in preparation for competitions.
“There are two possible mechanisms by which sex before a competition can affect the performance of a sporting performance,” says Professor Ian Shrier, a sports medicine specialist at Canadian McGill University in Montreal in an editorial note by the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. “Sex can act through physiological factors, and it can also change the athlete’s psychological state.”
Physiological factors include the hypothesis of trainers and athletes, which claims that sex for healthy life reduces the level of testosterone in the blood of an athlete, and this, in turn, affects the athlete’s aggressiveness.
“Abstinence from sex is the policy of the head coach and the doctor. Of course, the athlete needs to monitor his regime. Although with age, you understand that abstinence in sexual terms is not the main thing in sports mode. Better than a week two before the competition from close communication with the girl to abstain. The point is not so much in physical factors as emotional ones. You become less aggressive and calmer. But sports anger should be present, which gives an incentive to fight for victory, ”says Alexey Volkonsky, honored master of sports in canoeing.
“For men, testosterone after sex decreases and their muscles contract more slowly,” said Uwe Hackus, trainer of the German men’s athletics team, in an interview with the German edition of Fit for Fun magazine.
In several literary sources, mention can be made of a certain German study of the 70s, during which it was found that in men after sexual intercourse, physical functions are reduced by 20%. Probably this study gave rise to the “myth of testosterone,” but the primary source of this study could not be found.
Also, physiological factors include allegations that sex for healthy life takes too much strength and energy, which is necessary for high athletic performance.
“I do not need sex before the competition. After all, it takes a lot of energy, ”says Svetlana Feofanova, Honored Master of Sports in pole vaulting, silver, and bronze medalist of the Olympic Games.
The group of psychological factors includes opinions that sex interferes with the athlete’s psychological mood and deprives him of the desire to win. Mohammed Ali said: “Refraining from sex, for a while, you become a great warrior.” Sex for healthy life, he said, relaxes the will and reduces concentration. Abstinence creates the necessary prelaunch state. According to some reports, the great boxer refused sexual pleasures six weeks before crucial matches. They also often quote the famous athlete Marty Likuori, the champion in 5000m running, who said: “Sex makes you happy, and happy people do not run five and a half kilometers”.
However, scientific studies of recent decades refute most of these hypotheses.
Athlete sex for healthy life and strength
According to Gabe Mirkin, MD, sex is not a very energy-intensive exercise. The most active lovers are able to burn about 250 calories per hour or 4 calories per minute. On average, a person actively makes love only for 5 minutes and, therefore, energy consumption will be less than 25 calories, which is equivalent to climbing two flights of stairs. Of course, this cannot have a significant impact on the sports results of the next day.
Studies of physiological indicators of sports performance have not confirmed the theory of loss of strength and endurance in the morning after sex.
Fourteen married athletes were tested for maximum wrist grip strength the morning after copulation, and the same test after at least six days of sexual abstinence. The results showed that sex the night before the study does not affect the strength and endurance of the palmar muscles.
In 1995, the work of American researchers from St. Scholastica College in Minnesota was published, in which 11 men with a sedentary lifestyle performed cyclic physical work 12 hours after or without sex. During the exercise, maximum aerobic capacity, oxygen pulse, and myocardial oxygen consumption were measured. Oxygen pulse – this is the amount of absorbed oxygen divided by the heart rate – is an indirect indicator of systolic volume. Myocardial oxygen consumption was determined by multiplying the heart rate by the mean arterial pressure (double product or rate-pressure product), which correlates with coronary blood flow. All these indicators reflect the stamina of a person during physical work. The results showed that the presence of sex 12 hours before the test or its absence did not affect the physiological parameters studied.
Swiss authors report on the results of a study of 15 professional male athletes – 8 team sports players, five endurance athletes, and two weightlifters. The subjects performed a test with a dosed (gradually increasing to maximum) physical load on a bicycle ergometer with simultaneous recording of an electrocardiogram (ECG), as well as an ECG test with a load of one hour with simultaneous monitoring of mental concentration. The results showed that after 10 hours after the copulation, all the studied parameters come to the starting points, which means that sex on the night before the competition does not affect sports performance.
Sex for healthy life and Testosterone
The hypothesis of a decrease in testosterone levels after sexual contact has also not been confirmed in scientific studies. In the same Swiss study, testosterone indices were also studied – the results showed that it did not change after sex.
The Italian professor of endocrinology Emmanuel Giannini, who deals with the problems of sexual dysfunction and its relationship with testosterone, found that constant sex increases the level of luteinizing hormone, which in the male body stimulates Leydig interstitial cells that produce testosterone, and long-term abstinence, on the contrary, reduces it. Several studies in humans and animals have shown that even a single sexual contact between a man and a woman causes him to temporarily increase testosterone concentration.
“After three months without sex, which is not uncommon for some athletes, testosterone drops sharply to a level close to those in children,” says Emmanuel in an interview with National Geographic magazine. “Do you think this will be useful for the boxer?”
Chinese researchers from Zhejiang University received interesting data – the level of testosterone in the blood does not change in the first six days of abstinence, after which it increases sharply (up to 50%), after which it begins to decline.
Moreover, according to the data of Barry Komisaruk, a professor of psychology, sexual activity can help in the fight against muscle pain or other sports injuries in women. He, along with colleagues at Rutgers University in Newark, found that sexual arousal in women has a strong blocking effect on pain. The effect, he says, can last throughout the day in case of chronic pain, such as muscle pain.
“At least one of the mechanisms by which sex reduces pain is to block the release of substance P, a neuropeptide that is a pain transmitter,” the professor said in an interview with National Geographic.
Athlete’s Sex and Psychology
The psychological side of the issue, according to Professor Shrier, is not well understood. Nevertheless, in a Swiss study, along with physiological and biochemical parameters, attention concentration was also studied. The results did not show any effect of sex on this indicator.
“If athletes are too nervous and anxious before the competition, then sex on the night before the competition will help them to distract and relax,” writes Shrier.
However, the results may depend on the partner. For example, heart rate and blood pressure are different for sex with a spouse who has been married for ten years compared to a new partner or new environment.
It should also be noted that an important aspect of the athlete’s psychological preparation is personal rituals and prejudices. These include sexual abstinence before the competition. For these people, the absence of sex has special psychological significance, which helps them achieve a special state.
Moderation is the key to success
Of course, all this refers to normal sexual relations with a regular partner. If instead of full sleep, an athlete has fun all night and arranges a whole sexual marathon, then this will certainly affect its results. The legendary sports manager Casey Stingel said: “Not sex drains these guys, but a search for sexual entertainment and sleepless night”.
All this is especially true for young athletes – they have physical activity, and sports increase sexual activity and sexual risk, probably due to increased success in women. In girls, physical activity, and sports, on the contrary, reduce sexual risk.
A 2000 Swiss study also showed that sex affects athletic performance if it occurs just before or 2 hours before physical activity. The results showed that after training, the pulse of the tested athletes is restored to normal more slowly than usual, that is, endurance decreases. In this regard, researchers do not recommend having sex in the morning before the competition.
Additionally, you can discover a world of supplements that will boost your muscle mass.