GREAT NECK -- A New York urologist debunked the idea that abstaining from sex before a sporting event such as a World Cup soccer game would increase a player’s athletic performance.
During this year’s FIFA World Cup, some teams have been said to be remaining chaste with the idea that they will play better on the field as a result. Bruce R. Gilbert, MD,PhD, an expert in male fertility and male sexual function, discussed the lack of conclusive evidence connecting sex with physical strain.
“There have been numerous studies looking to establish a correlation between sexual activity and athletic activity, with many of the studies focusing on the effects sex can have on testosterone levels,” Dr. Gilbert says. “No correlations have been found, however. While there initially is a possibility of a slight increase in testosterone levels following sex, this effect lasts for a short period of time.”
There are other studies that focus on the psychological effects sexual activity can have on athletes. Some argued that sex can act as a stress reducer, effectively relieving anxiety before a competition, while others viewed it as a distraction from the impending competition. Dr. Gilbert offered his own analysis.
“Athletes performing at the World Cup are at the peak of their game. They have established routines that they have followed for years, some of which may include sex,” Dr. Gilbert says. “Removing sex, or otherwise changing their pregame ritual might alter the mental focus created from their routine.”