There has been an unspoken rule of performance for centuries that encourages athletes to abstain from sex before competition. The theory has been applied to competition since the ancient Olympics back in Roman Times, originating in the idea that sex and ejaculation resulted in a decrease in testosterone, creating a weaker athlete and decrease desire to win.
Support for these studies comes from further research, showing that abstaining from sex for a period of three months of more can significantly reduce testosterone levels. Research recently published this week in the Journal of Sexual Medicine further dispels the idea that you should refrain from sex the night before a significant race.
Running world highlights the study conducted at California State University, San Marcos, in which researchers had 12 men do tests of leg muscle strength on two occasions: once after having had sex in the previous 12 hours, and once after having abstained from sex in the previous 12 hours. Their peak and average performance in a five-set series of knee extension and knee flexion exercises didn’t differ between the sexual active and non-sexually active trial groups.
In ANOTHER study to push the case for pre-workout orgasms, research published in the journal Hormones and Behavior suggests that a healthy porn session leads to a spike in testosterone. And increased testosterone equals increased results in the gym. Taking saliva samples from subjects after watching 4 minutes of porn, the researchers found both an increased testosterone level and an increased 3 Rep Max in squats.
"In conclusion, different video clips were associated with different changes in salivary free hormone concentrations and the relative changes in testosterone closely mapped 3RM squat performance in a group of highly trained males," the authors wrote.
Dr. Lauren Streicher, medical director of Northwestern Medicine's Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause told US News that the only reason sex could affect an athletes performance was through lack of sleep. If an athlete is up all night having sex, being tired will clearly have a negative impact on their athletic ability, but so can staying up and watching Netflix.
With this myth dispelled, it seems that if anything, sex would improve the performance of elite athletes, which will no doubt be welcome news to footballers heading into this month's World Cup in Russia.