Does sex really hinder my workouts? “” Does practicing sex often affect my muscle mass gain / athletic performance? … These are some questions that are frequently asked many athletes, especially, elite athletes in the moments before a competition. However, sex and its influence on testosterone levels can affect all types of people at all sport levels, regardless of their age, gender or level of physical activity.
Firstly, it should be said that those who are most concerned about this issue are young male athletes. Women seem to be less concerned, but as we will see later are also susceptible to hormonal changes derived from sex and masturbation.
Many athletes choose to abstain from sex – or masturbate – before a competitive event, believing that this can affect their athletic performance.
Also read: Testosterone therapy
As anyone knows, sex is a necessary and natural part of life. Numerous surveys, in fact, report that for men, sexual satisfaction is synonymous with quality of life. It does not seem very strange when there is evidence that men have a sexual fantasy at least once every 5 minutes (and the other four minutes are waiting for that minute).
It is known that the highest levels of libido in men occur between 20-27 years, while for women, it increases beyond the 30-35 years. Well, high levels of libido are characteristic of high testosterone, which could indicate that who owns them, also has an advantage in the gym, since the levels of testosterone in the body are indicative of the ability to increase muscle mass.
Read Here About Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Men
Therefore, if you ever see a decrease in your usual libido, consider that your performance in the gym or sports of strength and power are going to decrease. The causes of habitual libido decline do not include problems of couple, but of nutrition, rest, stress, etc.
Sexual activity and its influence on hormones
Orgasm has been defined as a release of tension, in which a central release of opioids, cannabinoids, serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline (among other neurotransmitters) produces a sensation of generalized euphoria and pleasure.
– Heart rate, blood pressure, and ventilation reach peak of intensity.
– Muscular control becomes largely involuntary and spasmodic.
A hormone well known and especially related to sports and sex is cortisol (“stress hormone”). During sexual activity, this hormone raises blood levels to allow excitation and activation of the Central Nervous System.
Post-orgasm: refractory period. The main purpose of this phase is the return to basal levels of all those hormones that produce happiness and excitement. For this, significant amounts of oxytocin (mainly in women) and prolactin (mainly in men) are released into the blood.
These two hormones, each at its level, produce effects that include a decrease in libido levels, mood swings, headache, sleep … and more importantly for the subject that concerns us, lower levels of Testosterone
It seems logical, therefore, to find out the duration of this refractory period so that it does not interfere with training.
The few existing studies on the subject have determined that the duration to reach the basal levels is of 3-4 hours (depending on the intensity of the sexual act, duration, etc …).
– Pre-training sex / masturbation: Since pornographic material has been shown to stimulate the production of testosterone and male aggression, it may benefit a strength, power or hypertrophy training session to see this type of material before exercise. However, sexual activity should be avoided before training (at least 3-4 hours).
– Sex practice / masturbation after training: According to the studies, with masturbation or sex (if you have strength) about one hour After training you can increase the functionality of the immune system to aid in recovery from exercise (increased production of satellite cells).
– Long-term and during competitive periods: Having sex is not going to have a negative influence on results at Unless it is done so often that it can not be trained. Moreover, practicing sex usually maintains high testosterone levels, which can be an advantage especially in sports of strength and power.