Does abstinence improve sporting performance? 3 Nov 2019
I know lots of my readers take part in sporting competitions and they always want to perform at their peak and win. So is it best to abstain the night before a competition? Certainly here is a myth that abstinence before sporting activities improves performance? But does it?
Researchers at the University of Florence reviewed hundreds of studies to determine if there was any truth in the myth that abstinence helps performance. They found no evidence to support the myth that abstinence before a sporting competition improves performance. In addition they found no evidence that having sex the night before impairs performance the next day. They came across one study that found marathon runners did better the next day after having sex the night before.
All sporting competitions are as much about the mind as the physical activity. So the impact of sex the night before on marathon runners may be psychological. Maybe that is why the organisers of the Rio Olympics distributed more than 450,000 condoms in the athletes' village during the 2016 Olympics.
Stefani Laura, Galanti Giorgio, Padulo Johnny, Bragazzi Nicola L., Maffulli Nicola, 2016, Sexual Activity before Sports Competition: A Systematic Review, Frontiers in Physiology, Vol 7, pg 246