The influence of sex on the physical performance This has been a hotly debated topic for a long time. There are athletes who are very supportive of masturbate or have sex with other people just before competitions, while others think it will affect them negatively. Great sports personalities have given their varied opinions, the controversy is therefore more than served. After all, the public tends to align itself with what favorite athletes. But what does science say about masturbation and prenatal sex? exercise?
The truth is that there is no clear answer. Here they come in Physiological and psychological factors. In fact, it is perhaps the latter that generate this great variability in the opinions of athletes. There will be those who see sex and masturbation almost as a talisman. And those who think sex can affect their physical performance with such conviction that if they keep it up, they actually perform worse.
And it is true that physiologically there are factors that influence, but there is nothing so clear to prohibit or reinforce the sex before sport. everyone knows your body and your mind and you will know what is best for you. At least masturbation is not considered a form of doping. If someone thinks they can do well, why not take advantage of it?
Conflicting opinions on sex before sport
Already in ancient Greece and ancient Rome it was considered that sex could negatively affect the performance of athletes if they had sex just before exercise. For a long time, this was the only position on the issue. In fact, already in the 20th century, the boxer Mohamed Ali he continued that tradition, maintaining up to six weeks of abstinence from sex before each game. However, times have changed and other athletes have begun to explore the opposite side of this norm.
It is said that one of the first to do so was the coach of the Dutch national football team. Rinus Michels, because apparently during the 1974 World Cup, he encouraged players to take their wives and partners with them to hotels. It was the team’s best athletic performance so far, so the unwritten rule of not masturbating or having other sexual practices before the sport began to loosen its stiffness.
Yet nearly 20 years later, his Swiss national team counterpart, Roy Hodgson, returned to the opposite extreme, forcing his players to abstain before games. This decision was so controversial that it prompted complaints from even Pele, who made the most sensible comment since ancient Greece: “Some people need sex to calm down and other footballers don’t care. Either way, it’s your decision.”
This opened the ban for other athletes to comment more openly on their sexual habits before competitions. For example, following with Brazilian footballers, Ronaldinho He admitted in 2016 that he used to have sex before games. Also, we started talking more openly about masturbation. Indeed, recently the boxer Tyson’s Fury He said part of his success is due to the fact that he masturbates up to seven times a day. We have arrived at the opposite extreme, of the six week sober boxer who enjoys himself almost as much in a single day as the others in a week or a month. Who is right, if there is a correct option? Let’s see what the science says.
Effects on physical performance
In the year 2000, sports medicine experts Samantha McGlone and Ian Shrier wrote an article in which they pointed out that the myth that abstinence improves physical performance may stem from the theory that sexual frustration leads to increased aggression. The testosterone It is associated with aggression and orgasm involves a large release of this hormone, so in his day it was thought that maybe it didn’t give enough time to replenish it.
In fact, it’s been a hot topic, especially in sports like boxing or football, where aggression plays a huge role. It should be noted that all of this would refer only to to men, but these debates began at a time when women’s sport beyond skating or rhythmic gymnastics was considered a minor matter. And, in addition, a time when it was very frowned upon for women to talk about sex. In fact, today, masturbation is considered to be something completely normal, even healthy, for men, but there are still areas where they consider it to be in bad taste for a woman of some age. to speak. But that’s a subject for another article.
Returning to sport, we now know that this testosterone hypothesis was totally false. In fact, sex stimulates the release of testosterone. So, if we stick to the question of aggressiveness, it could be beneficial for physical performance. Whether they are having sex with other people or masturbating solo.
However, in 2016 a review of the scientific literature was published which concluded that there was insufficient evidence to definitively point in one direction or the other. At most, some studies seem to point to a possible negative effect if relationships last less than two hours before exercise. However, it is not excluded that other factors may influence, such as consumption of alcohol or tobacco. In addition, only sexual intercourse with a partner is taken into account, disregarding the masturbation. In short, it is concluded that there is no reason to ensure that sex helps or hinders the physical performance of athletes. Everyone should know what suits them best.
The psychological factor
As explained in an article published in National geographic, many coaches threaten their athletes with the risk of having sex before competitions simply because they want them to sleep well. This can lead to some psychological conditioningleading them to think that masturbating or having sex can affect their physical performance.
Instead, on the other side are those who, like Tyson’s Fury, believe that masturbation is essential to their athletic development. In this case, there may be some suggestion, since sex is conceived almost as a talisman.
“In a way, what is called magical thinking happens,” he explains to hypertextual psychologist, sexologist and sex educator Laura Marcille. “If one day I go to an exam with a certain piece of underwear and it goes well, I already think it’s my lucky panties or briefs, because the self-fulfilling prophecy. But if one day I can’t put them on, it’s going to make me very nervous because I think it’s going to go wrong and it goes wrong. But not for not wearing those panties or boxer shorts, but for the mental processes that boiled over in my head because I was unable to meet the demand I imposed on myself.
The same can happen with sex in general and masturbation in particular, so be careful that it doesn’t end in frustration. “If I associate my sporting success with my sexual performance and I don’t get the desired results in sports, in the end what I will do is increase sexual activity thinking that I will improve. Thus, we enter a vicious circle which is not so logical because sporting success does not depend on a single factor. Thus, certain compulsions could be generated which, at one extreme, could lead to a obsessive compulsive disorder (TOC)”.
As the sexologist indicates, this would be the extreme case. However, it is important to keep it in mind, because if masturbation is associated with physical performance, you may not enjoy it as much as before. “Masturbation or any form of sexual intercourse should serve to make us feel good and enjoy“recalls Marcilla. “If we make it an obligation, it may no longer bring us as much and in the long term it can generate problems of sexual desire.”
When do we talk about too much masturbation?
Tyson Fury takes great pride in masturbating seven times a day. To the point of considering it as the cause of his sports success. But does it stand out? Is seven times a day too much?
We also talked about it with Laura Marcilla, who explained to us that there is no magic number when it comes to masturbation.
“It is very difficult, if not impossible, to determine how excessive masturbation is, at least if we want to measure it in numbers. To say that there is an excessive amount, we would have to say that there is a suitable amount, but that depends on each person, on the time they have, and so on. It is excessive when it begins to harm your quality of life or when it generates irritation or physical damage. However, for each person it can be different, because not all masturbations are equally intense or long. Maybe for someone what the body asks for is two longer weeks in which it recreates itself with more intense orgasms and another maybe masturbates three times a day, but they can be faster, seeking a more immediate realization of orgasm.
Laura Marcilla, psychologist, sexologist and sex educator
For all this, the sexologist believes that each person should regulate what works for them and make them feel good and use this emotional thermometer. “When you don’t enjoy it anymore, that’s when it becomes a problem. If it’s not for you painful, harmful or injurious and it is not for the others either, it is that it is not a problem”.
But, finally, one thing must be taken into account and that is that masturbation should not be practiced with more objective than the pleasure. Yes, it is true that it can bring many benefits, even if the physical performance is not so obvious. However, if we focus too much on them, we can distract from what really matters. “Sometimes in my workshops, they ask me if it’s good to masturbate and they generally say yes, because it allows you to relax, to get to know each other, to have more fun as a couple…”, underlines Marcilla. “All of this is true, but even if none of these consequences were true, we must remember that fun for fun is fine, too.”
Therefore, athletes know their bodies like no one else. Everyone will know whether masturbation or sex is positive or negative for them. physical performance. Your coaches may think they have the answers. However, the truth is, if science doesn’t have them, they can hardly be in the possession of anyone other than the athletes themselves. Let everyone make their own decisions and decide if they prefer to relax with sex or use it to celebrate wins or soften defeats. Consensual sex is always fun, the perfect time will depend on who is having it.