Does sex affect muscle growth? this is a question that every gym goer wants to know. Working out in the gym is not just enough to build an impressive physique? Gymming is not just exercising; it is a whole set lifestyle habits you have to adapt.
You need to follow a proper diet, sleep, and sex routine. Yes! You read it right. An appropriate routine of sex is also necessary to adapt while walking the journey of muscle building.
‘How does sex (or masturbation for solo players) affect our muscle-building capabilities?’ is a common question arising in the mind of every gym beginner.
Does sex (or masturbation) add to the gains of our workout? Does it hurt our muscle-building gains? Every gym beginner, who aims to gain muscle mass to build an impressive physique, asks these questions to himself and his gym trainer.
In this article, we will try to answer all these questions based on facts and researches. We will also learn how sex affect your muscle growth, and it’s positive as well as negative effects on muscle building.
What do Professional Athletes Say
An old myth that ‘sex affects your performance in the ring’ has always prevailed back from ancient times. And the same is still being taught to athletes by their coaches.
Tim Tebow, the NFL quarterback, famously announced that he always abstained from sex until he got married. Marciano, who never lost a match in his entire career (49 – 0, before he retired) and Rocky Balboa would never get laid before any significant game.
Same did the all-time boxing champion, Muhammad Ali. He started abstaining six weeks before every fight.
On the other hand, you can find a bunch of professional athletes who claim and follow the opposite. Joe Namath, the New York Jets quarterback, famously played with his partner before the Super Bowl III game.
Similarly, Prince Amukamara, the New York Giants cornerback, abstained until he got married but had his best season the same year he got married.
Effects of Sex on Muscle Growth
Sex can short gain the benefits of your muscle-building workouts. But these effects are mostly short term and body recovers of them with time.
Sex – Zinc – Muscle Building
Zinc status in the body is one of the most critical connections between sex and muscle building. A certain amount of Zinc is released in semen with every orgasm (ejaculation).
If you have sex frequently and don’t replenish your Zinc levels through your diet, you may go short on muscle building gains of gym workouts. This is because Zinc is essential for testosterone to exert its protein synthesizing effects in muscles.
Some of the natural foods to replenish your Zinc levels are meat, dairy products, oysters, shellfish, legumes, pecan nuts, pine nuts, liver, and cashews.
Sex – Testosterone- Muscle Building
Testosterone is the most critical anabolic hormone both in men and women. Testosterone, by interacting with nuclear receptors in DNA, stimulates the protein synthesis in muscle cells.
Testosterone also upregulates growth hormone, which helps you get most out of your muscle-building workouts.
A lot of research on ‘the effects of sex on testosterone levels in the body’ has been conducted. Some studies show positive impacts of abstinence on testosterone and muscle building gains while others show insignificant differences in workout capabilities in the mornings after a sex night. Further is discussed below in the research section of this article.
Sex and Energy Levels
You may have noticed it of yourself. Most men, immediately after sex, feel relaxed and just want to fall asleep. You may feel as weak as to walk for a bath. This drop in energy levels and relaxation phase are due to the release of oxytocin hormone in high amounts during orgasms. During this phase is when you are unable to do any workout for your muscle building.
But this relaxation phase may not last longer than 3-4 hours, and oxytocin levels start declining after this time. After these 3-4 hours, you may feel your energy restored to previous levels, and you can do whatever exercise and workout of your muscle-building routine.
Sex, if enjoyed in balanced frequency, is beneficial for muscle building and overall health of the body. Some of the benefits of sex in muscle building are as follow
Sex and Testosterone
Studies have shown that testosterone levels may fall below normal if you abstain for more than three months. Regular sexual activities help maintain normal testosterone levels in the body.
Testosterone is a male androgenic hormone that stimulates the development of primary masculine characteristics such as broad shoulders, deep voice, facial hair, and growth of lean muscle mass.
As testosterone is essential in muscle building, regular sex in moderate frequency, but not too much, can help you get muscle gain at a faster pace.
Sex and Fat Loss
Sex is an exercise, and as with any exercise, it burns some calories off your body. I appreciate the fact that sex may not burn as many calories as gym exercises, but studies have shown that exercise alone may not be as effective as we credit them.
Studies show that men burn up to 101 calories, on average, during sex. This intensity is higher than walking but less than jogging. Sex can help you burn enough amounts of fats around your abdominal muscles. This enables you to get your muscles in shape faster.
Sex and Stress Relaxation
Being stress-free is also essential to achieve better gains of muscle-building exercises. During stress, you are high on cortisol, which is a catabolic hormone and hinders the protein synthesis necessary for muscle building. Sex is the best of all to relieve stress.
Sex, and orgasm, cause high amounts of oxytocin, endorphins, and other relaxing hormones to be released into the body, which help alleviate your stress and make you calmer and focused when it is time for your muscle-building workouts.
What Research Says About Sex effect On Muscle Growth
A lot of research has been conducted on the effects of sex or masturbation on testosterone levels and, in turn, its impact on muscle building.
Science has shown sex to have negative impacts on heart rate, recovery, and exertion capabilities, which makes you fatigued quicker and makes it harder for you to perform in the gym.
If you go low on testosterone, you may face effects like impaired recovery, decreased energy and aggression, and reduced force-producing capacities while working out in the gym.
Research shows that abstinence for short periods raises testosterone levels. Abstaining from sex (or masturbation) for about seven days before a workout can help you build muscles at a faster pace. In Chinese research conducted at Zheijang University, men were refrained from masturbating (or sex) for one week.
For the first six days, there was no change in T levels of the participants. But their T levels peaked on the 7th day and started to decline quickly. Another research published in the World Journal of Urology showed that men had higher levels of testosterone after three weeks of abstinence.
Other research also shows the impact of sex being insignificant on muscle building gains. A mid-90s study showed no difference in the performance of men whether they had had sex 12 hours before exercise, or they abstained from sex. Another Swiss study showed the same results on stationary bikes.
In a 1968 study published in the Journal of Sex Research, Warren R Johnson found no influence of sexual intercourse on the muscle strengths of male weight lifters.
The muscle strength of the athletes was tested using dynamometric techniques. Yet another 1995 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that sex has no negative impact on the aerobic performance of men as long as there was a gap of 10 hours between sex and performance test.
However, Sex had some adverse effects on performance when the test was taken within two hours of sexual activity.
Recent studies have made it clear that sexual activities, if anyhow, lower the testosterone levels in the body, yet, it remains above the lower limit of normal testosterone levels (270 – 1070 ng/dL in men).
These temporary, and within the normal range, fluctuations in testosterone levels have no significant effect on muscle building gains because the testosterone levels, although lower but, always remain within normal limits. This means a man with his testosterone levels at 300 ng/dL can have almost the same results as a man with 1000 ng/dL testosterone.
The Bottom Line (Conclusion)
As with all things in life, balance is the key. Having appropriate sex and balanced frequency can enhance the benefits of your muscle-Growth workouts. On the other hand, doing it too much can also languish the muscle-building gains.
To conclude, you need not swear off of sex to build an impressive physique. You can also enjoy your sexual life while building impressive muscles but this should be in balanced frequency. Eat natural foods that are high in zinc and other essential nutrients. Have good quality sleep and the most important, go far with your workouts. Soon, you will have built an impressive physique. So, This is all about Does Sex Affect Muscle Growth.