What are the effects of sex on the metabolism, and more specifically on the muscles? Is sexual activity before physical exertion favorable or harmful to performance? Explanations.
Abstinence or not?
Variations in testosterone levels
Top athletes and sports doctors have long wondered question of sexual abstinence before a test : Sexual activity before intense effort would imply a decrease in testosterone levels, the male sex hormone. However, this popular belief is unfounded: a drop in testosterone levels after sex is actually observed, but it is also necessary to take into consideration the fact that this rate increases considerably during the act. As a result, the drop in testosterone levels in the blood does not imply going below a certain threshold, since this drop only compensates for the sharp rise caused by the sexual act. It is therefore obvious that sex does not lower testosterone levels in the blood.
The effects on the body
Sexual activity stimulates the heart muscle: the heartbeat during sex generally increases from 75 beats per minute to more than 100 beats per minute, even 180 beats at the time of orgasm. Making love is an excellent stimulant of the cardiac muscle, as effective as a cardio session.
In addition, some top athletes advocate sexual abstinence before a competition for fear of exhausting their bodies. As with any physical activity, the intensity of the sexual act has more or less marked consequences on the body’s state of fatigue, but it all depends on the context: an entire night of sex obviously risks exhausting the body, who will not be able to rest or recharge. In contrast, having sex once in the evening before a competition will not exhaust you: it will help you relax and even promote your night’s sleep, thanks to the endorphins released by the brain.
For some, abstinence (in other words sexual tension) would promote aggressiveness during a competition and therefore performance. Once again, these effects are not proven, or even denied: studies have shown that the performance of athletes who have had sexual activity before exercise is the same as for those who have not had it.
To burn fat?
Finally, a Scottish study affirms that making love stimulates a hormone believed to promote fat metabolism and muscle growth. This does not imply direct effects on sports performance, but demonstrates that sexual activity stimulates the metabolism in a positive way: one more argument which proves that sexual activity before exercise has no negative impact on the body. body or sports performance.
Its effects on male metabolism
A study of theUniversity of Medicine and Science of Los Angelesindicates the following: the effects of testosterone on muscle performance are specific. She increases voluntary strength as well as strength in the legs during exercisesbut does not affect fatigability or specific strains.
What conclusions can be drawn from this in relation to the sexual act? This study demonstrates the effects of testosterone on the body, without indicating any particularly negative effects in it. As noted, the effects of testosterone on muscle strength are dose-dependent in the body. In this case, we can imagine that the release of testosterone caused during the sexual act does not have negative effects on the metabolism. The sexual act will not necessarily strengthen your muscle strength significantly (too small dose), but it will make you release testosterone, a hormone well known for its effects on muscle mass and fatigue resistance.
Its benefits on the female metabolism
According to some studies, the female orgasm has pain relieving properties.
An American researcher has analyzed the areas of the brain stimulated during female orgasm, through a Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI). It appears from the results that certain areas of the anterior cingulate cortex were activated. These are the same areas that are activated when a subject feels pain. In other words, the pain zone is also activated during intense pleasure.
This correlation suggests that orgasm provides a analgesic effect in womenwhich would relieve muscle pain.
Sex or not before physical exertion?
Abstinence before a competition or intense physical effort is useless. Sex has no negative effect on physical performance, just as having sex before a competition is not going to boost your performance. Sex is above all good for morale, and when morale is high, performance follows..