Sex Before A Competition: Good Or Bad Idea?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses if sex affects the performance of runners, cyclists, OCR, and other endurance athletes the next day .

Video Transcription:

Does Sex Affect The Performance Of Athletes?

Matt: Good morning, family of fast, Matt Mosman, the Chief Endurance Officer over at EndurElite and welcome to a very romantic edition of endurance fast facts. I hope you're all feeling the love today because we're gonna be talking about sex, aka mattress mambo, and if sex the night before a big race or a competition can negatively affect your performance the next day. Now, there's been a long-standing myth that sex the night before a race or a competition is gonna decrease your performance the next day.

The Myth That Sex Before A Race Or Competition Decreases Performance

Guys like Mohammed Ali abstained from sex for like six weeks before his fights which good on you, man, that's an iron will. Other guys and runners like Marty Liquori said, "Sex makes you happy and happy runners don't run a 347 mile." Now, I don't know if I agree with that or not. And then another case is the Buffalo Bills head coach had his players abstain from sex the night before big games which he had very little success at doing.

The Research Examining Sex Before Exercise

So, today we're gonna look at studies that examined if sex the night before a race or a big competition decreased performance the next day. Now, I want you to watch this video from beginning to end because I have a very, very special treat for all of you at the end that you're not gonna wanna miss. So, let's look at the actual studies behind this.

Study #1: Athletes Who Had Sex The Night Before The London Marathon Ran 5 Minutes Faster

The first study was done by Oxford University and they polled over 2,000 runners after the London Marathon and they asked them, "Did you or did you not have sex the night before the London Marathon?"

And what they found is the people that had sex before the marathon ran about five minutes faster than those that did not have sex, which I'm thinking of really good excuses here to run faster like, "Honey, we need to go in the bedroom real quick because I need to run fast tomorrow." So, guys good excuse for your wife or significant other to hop into bed with you.

Study #2: Sex The Night Before A Treadmill Test Did Not Have A Negative Effect On Performance The Next Day

So, the second study also examined runners. And what they did with this one is they had the runners either have sex or not have sex 12 hours before a treadmill run, in which they measured things like VO2 max, time to fatigue, things like that. I'm not gonna get into the nitty-gritty of all these studies. But anyways, they found no differences in performance between the people who had sex and the ones that did not.

Study #3: Athletes Who Had Sex 2 Hours Before A Graded Exercise Test Did Not Perform As Well And Recovery Was Inhibited

So, so far so good that sex does not decrease performance the next day. Now, the last study examined cross-country skiers. And what they did here is they had the cross-country skiers have sex two hours before a graded exercise test on a cycle ergometer. And what they found, in this case, is sex two hours before actually decreased performance and inhibited recovery a little bit.

The Bottom Line: Athletes Who Have Sex The Night Before A Race Or Competition Should Not Be Worried About Decrements In Performance The Next Day

So, those are just three of the studies that examine sex before exercise. It seems like if it's the night before, you really have nothing to worry about. It's not gonna negatively impact your performance come race or competition day. But if you're doing it in about two hours before, you know, you may have a slight dip in performance, which you know what, some things are just worth performing worse for and probably sex being one of them. So, take-home points here is if you feel like getting lucky the night before a race, it's really not gonna negatively impact your performance the next day.

Now, if it's the morning of two hours before, you wanna may abstain until afterwards where you can just celebrate and then have a good time with your wife, husband or significant other. Good God, I feel like this is sex ed class all over again in a high school. I'm trying to keep a really, really straight face.

So, that is all I have for today, my friends. If you still have a body that believes in the myth that sex before a race or a competition will decrease their performance, please share this video with them. If you want other videos like this on endurance training, nutrition, and supplementation, subscribe to be the EndurElite YouTube channel or head on over to the EndurElite blog at Get social with us on Instagram and the EndurElite Facebook Training & Nutrition Club page. And now for that very special treat that I promised you.