Does Sex Affect Athletic Performance? (VIDEO)

May 30, 2014 by Justin Lehmiller

Many athletes abstain from sex before major sporting competitions out of fear that sexual activity might negatively affect their performance. For instance, it was recently reported the British boxer Carl Froch has been abstaining from sex with his wife for three months while preparing for a major fight. In fact, he even made it a point to sleep in a separate room every night to reduce temptation! Likewise, Mexican soccer coach Miguel Herrera has been encouraging his players to avoid sex as they prepare for the World Cup. So should other athletes take a cue from Froch and Herrera? Are sex and sports really a bad combination? Check out the video below from ASAP Science for the answer.

As you will see, there isn’t much to back up the idea that athletes need to give up sex in order to win. In fact, research suggests quite the opposite (i.e., that sex might boost performance)! However, the effects of sex on athletic abilities seem to vary across persons, and the real key to how sex will affect a given individual likely has more to do with psychology than physiology.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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