Does sex affect an athlete’s performance?
There was a time in the 1950s and 60s, when professional boxers were almost coaxed into a no-sex-before-game regiment, in the fear that their upcoming performance would suffer adversely and inevitably. The popular belief was, that sex before a match would reduce testosterone levels before the big day, thereby reducing their levels of aggression and performance. Some coaches in fact, were known to administer certain chemicals to their prodigies, to prevent erections!
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from there!
And though such beliefs have been safely stowed away as nothing more than mere myths today, the question hasn’t quite stopped doing the rounds just yet.
So, what does research and science have to tell us?
Does sex the previous night have any bearing at all on the field the next day?
Well, research suggests, that physiologically, there is hardly any bearing on on-field performance. In fact, sex increases testosterone production in men, which actually puts them at an advantage the next day. Another study claims that increased testosterone levels can help reinforce leg and muscle power.
Surprisingly not just for men. In women too, an orgasm, it is said, has the potential to help curb a particular kind of pain transmitter for an entire day. …which means, it actually helps in relaxing and easing muscle pain.
As for a psychological impact, not much research has been done there yet. But experts seem unanimous when they say, that whether or not sex before a big match will affect a person, depends entirely on his/her mindset. If he/she thinks their performance will suffer, then it most surely will.
As an expert had once famously said that it’s the brain and not the groin that has the ultimate say!
In fact, studies in the past have pointed out that sex can, in truth; help bring down anxiety levels considerably if an athlete is feeling the jitters before a big day. With not too many outlets for relaxation, players often find themselves tense and unable to sleep well, leading to a state of mental tiredness on the field.
Sex can help them relax, distract their minds and send them off for a good night’s rest, preventing chances of mental fatigue – considered a much bigger problem than mere physical weariness. So, the answer to the question seems clear enough – no, sex has no real bearing on one’s game, provided it is followed by a sound and deep round of sleep and rest!
image source – wikipedia