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Running VS Science

You're a product of science, you run and running is a gift of science. Um blog científico cheio de curiosidades sobre a corrida, conselhos para melhorar a performance e entrevistas fenomenais a casos reais de pessoas comuns que venceram na corrida.


Sex and Performance: Can both coexist?

Nádia Santos





Welcome to the first official article released on this blog written 100% in english! 


For those who don't know Running VS Science, this is a portuguese blog focused on sports (specially running) and their relationship with, of course, SCIENCE!

Everything posted on this blog is written according to scientific articles already submitted to the scientific community. Nothing here will be explained according to common sense, except when I actually decide to give you my personal opinion or other's volunteers opinions. 

Last, for those who don't know me, I am a 25 portuguese biochemist young lady, with master's degree in molecular biotechnology. And of course, I think it's kinda obvious... I'm a runner too! 


So, let's get to what really made you open this article! 


I'm pretty sure you already heard that sexual activity is completly forbidden before an important sport competition. Actually, since ancient Greece and Rome, sex has been considered a possible cause for reduced performance. Moreover, abstaining from sex was believed to increse frustration and aggression, feelings that could lead to a possible boost of energy. Well, I don't know about the athletes, but I'm pretty sure that the Olympics made very wifes unhappy! 


Of course science community couldn't be silent about this issue, so in 2000 a group of researchers published their study on Jornal and Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, that consisted in a two-day experiment of 15 high-level athletes between the ages of 20 and 40. 

The first day, the athletes were forbidden to have sexual activity at least 24h before two stress tests (morning and afternoon) on a bike. In the test, performance was analyzed aswell the concentration of the athletes. 

On the second day, the voluntereed athletes had sexual activity with their partners (all aware of the protocol) and submitted to the same test again. Unlike the expectable, performance was not influenced by sexual activity with an exception for the post-effort heart rate, indicating that sexual activity can influence the recovery capacity of an athlete but only for the morning stress test! 


This results, meets the ones already obtained in 1995 by Boone T and co-workers and also published on the Jornal and Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness that showed that aerobic power, oxygen pulse and double product did not show any difference. 


Reading all of this, it will be awesome to say that sex DOES NOT influence performance. However, we can agree that both articles did not show a significant statistical sampling and for that reason, we can still say that the influence of sexual activity on sports performance is still unclear. 


However, always remember this: The lack of sleep can ACTUALLY influence performance in a bad way, since rest is also part of our training. So, if you are thinking getting your prize before the competition (if you know what I mean!), make sure that you will be able to sleep the hours you need :) 


For any questions, plz comment below! 

Your opinion on this article is also very important to me| :) Make sure you subscribe and pay attention to the next 100% english article! 






Laura Stefani, "Sexual Activity Before Sports Competition: A systematic review", Front. Physiol., 2016 June, vol. 7, article 246 


Sztajel J., "Effect of sexual activity on cycle ergometer stress test parameters, on plasmatc testosterone levesl and on concentration capacity. A study in high-level male atheles performed in the laboratory", Jornal and Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 2000 Sep;40(3):233-9


Boone T. , "Effects of sexual intercourse on maximal aerobic power, oxygen pulse, and double product in male sedentary subjects" Jornal and Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 1995 Sep;35(3):214-7






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