Do athletes really have to abstain from having sex before a big event?
This is a question many athletes are asked throughout their career. The answers are mixed; some answer “no,” while most answer “yes.” Some say it’s okay to have sex as it won’t affect the way they play; however, there are also those who are adamantly against having sex before a big game. In fact, Muhammad Ali reportedly refused to make love for a month and a half before a fight.
So the question is, is having sex before a big event really bad?
Testosterone and Aggression Talk
One explanation as to why having sex is not good for an athlete before a big event is because it draws testosterone away from the body. Testosterone is a hormone related to aggression. After a man ejaculates, there will be a drop in the testosterone level. So if you want the player to be more aggressive and perform better during a game, he should abstain from having sex. The more pent-up his sexual frustration will be, the more aggressive he’ll be on the field.
However, and this is a very big however, the drop is very insignificant that it doesn’t really affect the testosterone level that much. In fact, studies have already disproved this “explanation” and reduced it to a myth. One study has even proved that having sex actually boosts testosterone levels, so the athlete becomes even more aggressive. The study also showed that it is abstinence from sex that actually decreases testosterone level to that of a child’s testosterone level. Not good at all for aggressive sports such as boxing and football.
Another explanation why many athletes refuse to have sex before a game is because the act of ejaculation often times leave some men feeling drained and weak. Now, this is definitely something that we don’t want. After all, who wants their favorite player to be weak-in-the-knees during the game, right?
However, it should be understood that, although having sex can make one feel weak afterward, the activity is actually not a very demanding one. In fact, some say it’s much like walking up a couple of flights of stairs. Also, making love oftentimes makes one feel rejuvenated.
Of note though; a study has shown that making love still has an effect on the heart rate up to a couple of hours after having sex. With the heart rate affected, the performance of the athlete may also be affected. However, who would be making love a couple of hours or more before a big event? The athlete should be preparing for the game then, not making love.
Some coaches urge their players to abstain from having sex before a big game simply because they want their players to be more rested after a good night’s sleep. Sleep can affect one’s level of alertness. The less sleep he gets, the more his alertness and performance levels are negatively affected.
In summary, if having sex before a big game is good for the athlete, then by all means have sex if it’ll make him perform better. If it affected his performance in a bad way, then he should abstain from having sex next time.
Jennifer Dalphonse is a freelance writer for a sports blog. Through this article, she hopes to throw light on whether or not having sex before a big game is bad for an athlete.