Sex before a sporting event is a no-no for many athletes, but scientists say that there really is no scientific evidence to suggest that sex the night before will affect an athlete's performance. In fact, one researcher suspects that it could actually be beneficial to female athletes.
Age-old beliefs that sex depletes an athlete's mojo (or testosterone, if you want to be scientific) can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks, according to an article on the Daily Mail. Even in today's day and age where studies have proved that sex has no impact on performance, coaches and managers have encouraged their athletes not to have sex.
In a recent analysis of research published by the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 14 former male athletes were required to perform a grip test twice – once after abstaining for six days and once again the morning after sex.
They found that sex had no affect on the participant's performance in either muscle strength or endurance.
In a separate study by Colorado State University, 10 physically fit, married men were required to take a series of examinations that evaluated balance, oxygen efficiency, aerobic power, reaction time, lateral movement and grip strength. The researchers found that in the men had no negative impact due to sex the night before.
Alexander Olshanietzk, a scientist from Israel, believes that sex might benefit female athletes. During the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Olshanietzk said that he believed women get better results in competition if they had sex the night before.
Ian Shrier, a professor in the department of family medicine at McGill University in Canada said that performance in competition was not only dependant on how the athlete does physically, but also how they are feeling psychologically.
From this perspective, sex the night before could help relieve unnecessary tension and boost important happy chemicals, such as serotonin.
Martin Milton, an expert in psychotherapeutic and counselling psychology at the University of Surrey, says it's all down to what type of sex you are having. Swinging from the chandeliers the night before a big competition is probably not a good idea simply because you need to get proper rest, but that's not to say a gentle orgasm before bedtime is a bad thing.