The ancient Greeks believed athletes should avoid sex before sport, but modern Olympians and scientists are torn over the merits of in-competition sex and whether abstinence improves performance.
Many a high-profile American footballer practices abstinence and their is actual belief that this does help their performance.
Most famously, Muhammad Ali famously said no to sex for the six weeks before a fight and he wasn’t a half bad boxer was he?
England manager Glenn Hoddle also banned all his players during the World Cup in 1998 from having sex during the month-long tournament. Although, you could argue that maybe sexual frustration could be why Beckham lashed out at Simeone. Who knows.
But, the real question is, ‘does sex before a work-out or sport effect performance?’ Well, in all honesty there are conflicting reports for and against.
A small study in the mid-90’s found that men performed just as well on a treadmill 12 hours after getting their freak on, whilst a later Swiss study said the same thing for stationary bikes.
However, several coaches and athletes completely disagree with these studies and say if you have sex 24 hours before a competition does in fact negatively impact performance.
Speaking to Men’s Fitness, Joel Seedman, Ph.D., founder of training studio Advanced Human Performance in Tennessee that anything that could potentially decrease your testosterone during competition should be avoided.
Higher testosterone levels equal better performance and in some sports it’s all about being able to push yourself harder and run faster. So these high levels means more aggression and intensity to channel during a big game or an intenser workout.
The only problem with this is that science isn’t quite sure whether abstaining helps or hinders your testosterone levels.
Some research 100 per cent supports that having sex on a reasonably regular basis is quite healthy and leads to increased T levels, but there is also evidence to suggest going without for a while can give you a much-needed boost.
A study in the World Journal of Urology found that men had higher levels of testosterone after abstaining for three weeks.
Taking science away from the debate, many athletes and coaches believe that orgasms will cause a temporary drop in testosterone associated traits, like aggressiveness, energy, power, focus and recovery.
In short, the jury is still out whether it helps or hinders your performance, but there is no denying that if you want to become a successful sportsman you have to sacrifice a lot for the greater good.