Sex before the game?

A question that has been pondered by the minds of many athletes, coaches, and even regular people like you and I, is whether athletes should have sex before a big game. For decades, coaches have advised their players to avoid sex the night before, or even a couple of nights. But why?

The wisdom behind this superstitious rule was that “nookie” the night before a big game meant distraction and lack of endurance. But people like John Bancroft, former director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction in Bloomington, Indiana, insists that there is no reason to believe this. “There is no physiological basis for it,” he says.

On the other hand, athletes like Muhammad Ali (for one) reportedly wouldn’t make love for six weeks before a fight. However, Ian Shrier, a sports clinician at McGill University, reports, “It is certainly common in many sports… [but] sex the night before does not affect strength, endurance, or the capacity to utilize oxygen.”

Vanessa Micieli, a fourth-year geography student who plays soccer, says, “After sex, I feel energized—on the contrary, I think my performance during a game or during a hard workout at the gym is better than ever.”

Many of the people I interviewed, including soccer and hockey players, agreed that their physical performance during any game was not affected by their intimate encounters the night before.

At last, an answer to the question that has vexed so many people. The answer: have as much sex as you want. It won’t harm your sporting performance—instead it might just give you that extra “je ne sais quoi”.

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