No Sex Before Sports Myth Debunked: Study

Photo via Getty
Photo via Getty

Go get your freak on, because athletes can officially have sex before the big game without feeling guilty. A new study from researchers published in Frontiers in Physiology claims that there “is no robust scientific evidence to indicate that sexual activity has a negative effect upon athletic results.”

This is a huge deal for athletes. As you’ve probably heard before, famous competitors like Muhammed Ali and even entire World Cup teams have implemented no-sex rules before big matches, hoping it would make them more focused and competitive. In recent years, this myth has been called into question, with researchers noting the lack of scientific evidence to support its claims. A new study aims to close the book on this debate and finally declare: athletes can bang before the big game.

“We clearly show that this topic has not been well investigated and only anecdotal stories have been reported,” researcher Laura Stefani said in a news release about the new study. “In fact, unless it takes place less than two hours before, the evidence actually suggests sexual activity may have a beneficial effect on sports performance.”


Researchers reported their findings after sifting through hundreds of studies and whittling down the list to the nine most reliable studies that examined impact of sexual activity on performance. The new study points out that male athletes have been more frequently investigated than females, and there are no comparisons of the effects across genders.

The big takeaway: the findings mean athletes can go back to wearing dirty clothes, talking to inanimate objects, and all of the other weird superstitions they’re already doing anyways—but at least they can have sex before all that.

[Frontiers in Physiology]

Technology editor at Gizmodo.

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Just a reminder eSports athletes that the researcher’s definition of sex involves an additional participant.