Sexual Health Q&A

Q&A
Male Sexual Health
Does engaging in sex affect personal workouts or sporting performance?

The notion that sexual activity before a sporting event affects performance has been a matter of some debate. Some athletes feel that sex before sports is detrimental. For example, boxer Muhammad Ali is believed to have abstained from sex for 6 weeks before a match. But some feel it helps. American football player Joe Namath reportedly had lots of sex before a game.

So which is better? Scientific studies show that sex before a workout usually doesn’t affect energy levels or strength, at least for men. Women’s results have not been widely studied.

Many male athletes who abstain feel that that the sexual frustration makes them more aggressive and gives them endurance. These feelings may or may not be related to testosterone. It is unclear whether abstaining or having sex raises or lowers testosterone levels, and every man is different.

On the other hand, some feel that having sex regularly, even before a sporting event or workout, helps athletes feel relaxed and focused. They can concentrate better because they are not distracted by sexual frustration.

Many experts say that while the actual act of sex will not hurt one’s performance, the circumstances surrounding the encounter might. If athletes are up late and partying, the lack of sleep and effects of alcohol could make them groggy the following day, leaving them with less energy and less ability to concentrate.

Experts have also suggested that athletic performance within a few hours of sex might not be optimal because it takes some time for the heart rate to stabilize. As a result, some athletes tire out more quickly.

Ultimately, the decision to abstain from sex before sports is up to the individual. However, maintaining other healthy habits - like getting enough sleep and following a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains - will benefit short-term performance and long-term well-being.

1 of 7