Is It True Having Sex Before a Game or Workout Can Mess Up Your Performance?
Is abstinence the answer? Here’s what science says.
It’s the night before the 10K you’ve been training for, and as you’re getting ready to turn in for the night your partner starts tempting you to heat things up between the sheets. You want to, but you have a big day tomorrow, and you’re worried that sex could throw you off your game.
This no-sex guideline is something lots of athletes and fitness enthusiasts have long believed. But is there any truth to it?
Former NFL player Garry Cobb seems to think so. Cobb is an Eagles analyst for Philadelphia TV station Fox 29, and in a recent morning newscast, he said the players need to have a “fast” from sex to reverse their 2-3 start to the season. “It fogs up your mind,” he added.
That’s what we in the sports business call a “Bold Strategy” pic.twitter.com/X2BIYPJbGJ
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) 8 October 2018
Cobb isn’t the only one who believes sex can screw with athletic performance. Last year, Kate Upton told E! News that her husband, Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, won’t have sex before or after a big game.
But here’s the thing: Science says that people who skip sex to do better during a race, game, or other fitness competition are likely depriving themselves of pleasure for no reason.
“Sex itself isn’t linked with negative performance,” Ian Kerner, PhD, a New York City–based psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy, tells Health. “It’s less about sex and more about the environment sex happens in.”
What Kerner means is, if an athlete is going out and drinking or doing drugs the night before a game and ends up going home with someone to hook up, they’ll likely perform worse the next day. However, their poorer performance wouldn’t be because of the sex, but because of the substances they used and lack of sleep.