Research into the effect sex has on sports performance suggests that as long as the interaction occurs 10 to 12 hours before the athlete takes to the field, it makes little to no difference to the athlete’s output.
Of course, indulging too close to competition can adversely affect an athletic performance. “One of the studies showed significantly higher heart-rate readings during a stress test at the five- and 10-minute mark, for subjects who had engaged in sexual activity two hours before. Those higher readings disappeared when the same test was performed 10 hours after sex,” says research author and assistant professor in sports medicine Shahram Mohaghegh.
“The average sexual intercourse is equivalent to 15 minutes medium-to-hard workout on a treadmill, which means burning up between 200 and 400 calories,” says Geoff Thompson, sport physician for several Australian Olympic and Paralympic teams. “There’s a good correlation between the frequency of sexual intercourse and a longer life, in general terms. That’s probably a mixture of the benefits of improved circulation and regular exercise.
“But probably mostly that it’s a significant stress reliever, measured by hormone changes and not just because it feels good. So there’s true physiological changes with a reduction in stress hormones due to intercourse.”
The conference was a multidisciplinary meeting for professionals with an interest or involvement in sports medicine, sports science, physical activity promotion and sports injury prevention.
Benefits of sex
- Improves the immune system and sensory skills
- Improves bladder and bowel function
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps prevent heart disease by keeping estrogen and testoserone levels in balance
- Can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer
- Lessens pain
- Eases stress
- Better sleep patterns