SCIENCE: Having Sex Before Events May Result in Improved Athletic Performance

For centuries it has been believed that high-performance athletes should not have sexual intercourse prior to a big competition. This ideology goes back as far as the early Olympic Games in Greece, and has been enforced (to the extent that is possible) as recently as this year. (According to, German coach Joachim Low forbade his players from having sex during the Russia 2018 World Cup.)

But new research on the matter shows that this strict rule might not be necessary. Previously it was thought that semen provided strength to athletes, and that “releasing” it could negatively impact physical performance on the field or court. But it turns out that having sex can actually provide benefits to a person prior to a big event. The calorie expenditure associated with intercourse is minimal (under 100 calories), and is therefore of no concern. But the physical aspect of the act itself can bring “more blood to the tissues, [dilate] blood vessels…[lower] bad cholesterol (LDL), and [increase] good (HDL), [lower] blood glucose …[increase] the synthesis of endorphin, dopamine, [and] substances that generate feelings of well-being and motivation.”

Abstaining from sex for anything longer than a day, thanks to the beneficial side effects, almost seems silly. The doctors interviewed for did mention that intercourse a couple hours before a competition might have a negative effect. So if you’re a high-performance athlete and you have a big game tomorrow — go have some fun!