Sex before sport does not directly hurt athletes’ performance, says study

Sex before sport

Sexual activity before competition has been considered as a possible cause for reduced performance since ancient Greece and Rome.

However, a recent study published in Frontiers in Physiology shows that this may not be true. Researchers from University of Florence in Italy, University of Split in Croatia, and Queen Mary University of London conducted the study.

They used meta-analysis to investigate if optimal sport performance could be influenced by a variety of factors including sexual activity before competition.

They collected previous findings from large databases like PubMed/MEDLINE, ISI/Web of Science, the Cochrane Collaboration Database, Cochrane Library, and mined literature using Google Scholar.

Only relevant scientific articles reporting outcomes of athletic performance after sexual activity were considered.

Researchers found that the impact of sexual activity before a sport competition is still unclear, but most studies generally seem to exclude a direct impact of sexual activity on athletic aerobic and strength performance.

The most important aspect seems to be the interval between sex and the time of the sports competition.

Sex might affect negatively the performance if the time interval is shorter than 2 hours.

In addition, there are possible negative effects on sport performance from some possible concurrent wrong behaviors such as smoking or alcohol abuse.

Researchers suggest that sexual activity the day before competition does not exert any negative impact on performance. However, future work needs to clarify the effects of sexual activity on competition performance.

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Citation: Stefani L, et al. (2016). Sexual Activity before Sports Competition: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Physiology. DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00246.
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