It’s long been a highly contested argument over whether having sex before playing a sport is good for the athlete. One group of scientists has recently attempted to end this argument once and for all.

A group of scientists, mainly located in Italy, looked at all of the scientific evidence on this matter. This group has concluded that having sex before playing a sport doesn’t necessarily affect performance.

To conduct this study, the scientists picked two independent reviewers to review studies on this phenomenon and judge whether they were valid. After going through all of the different studies, it was determined that there isn’t evidence to suggest that athletic performance is deteriorated by having sex before.

From the present review, doubts remain regarding the possible negative impact of sexual activity the night before competition. This aspect is considered important in sports, but there is insufficient evidence of the possible specific detrimental effect on the sports performance. In addition, no exhaustive data are available about the possible impact of the sexual activity on different kinds of sports, in terms of endurance or resistance performance, or in terms of team or individual sports. There are few scientifically sound data about the effect masturbation (Catania and White, 1982) on sports performance. This is a specific aspect not yet investigated in a scientific fashion. Some anecdotal reports support positive experiences in competitive athletes.

As previously mentioned, this is an issue that comes up time and time again with athletes and their coaches. As the study points out, this argument dates back centuries. In the 50s and 60s, coaches used to give players supplements that would reportedly lower athletes’ sex drive.

But some coaches have gone against the grain on this.

“Another example is Elias Figueroa, a Chilean soccer player, who once said that his coach advised them to have sex the afternoon before an important game, and he even repeated the encounter after the match, because it was relaxing.”

And as we can tell, athletes are determined to have sex whether coaches say they can or not. Just look at this year’s Olympics, where 450,000 condoms were brought just for athletes competing.

While this should settle this argument, I doubt it.

[Frontiers in Physiology]

About Ryan Williamson

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri and has recently returned to his Minnesota roots. He previously has worked for the Columbia Missourian, KFAN radio in Minneapolis and Feel free to email me at rwilliamson29 AT Gmail dot com.