With over 100,000 condoms ordered in 2010 for the Vancouver Winter Olympics. It's obvious, a little extra physical activity goes on during the games. But, does the sexual excitement before competition influence an athlete's performance?
Many ancient civilizations, including the Greeks believed that semen was divine and contained the man strength. Today, some athletes hold the belief that sexual frustration driven by abstinence ultimately increases aggression. Which is valuable for many sports. Testosterone, in particular is responsible for aggression and sexual desire in both men and women.
There's long been the belief that ejaculation draws testosterone from the body. Mohammed Ali, for example, wouldn't make love for six weeks before a fight.
However, modern science sees things differently. In fact, many studies have shown the exact opposite. Testosterone increases after sex. Go without for three months and testosterone dropped to levels near that of a child.
So, from a biological perspective sex may actually increase performance. Particularly in sports where a bit of extra aggression could be the deciding factor. Like ski-cross, short track speed skating and of course hockey.
So, what about sex tiring the body out? The honest truth is that the average sex session burns only about 50 calories. The equivalent of running a few flights of stairs. On the contrary, studies have found that sex the night before has no noticeable effects on strength, power, endurance or any other fitness variables.
Though sex has been documented to trigger the release of pain blockers in the brain. These can help modulate chronic pain with the facts lasting upwards of 24 hours. The biggest unknown lies in the psychological effects. Which is much harder to study and may actually play a bigger role on major competitions.
- An athlete's best performance is achieved with the particular balance of alertness and anxiety. Of course, staying on night chasing sexual escapades. Tips the scales against alertness the next day.
- On the other hand sex can be a great stress release for nervous athletes. While other personalities simply desire more focus and concentration in which case a good night sleep is ideal.
At the end of the day, science says, it depends how sex affects each individual. If you need that extra kick up testosterone. Then, you might just wanna get your game on a night early.