Sex before a 5k run – sorry, it doesn’t make you go faster [Science: Meta Analysis]
TL;DR – Numerous stories have hinted at the possibility that engaging in sexual activity before a sports event might influence performance. This systematic review in Nature set out to investigate if athletic performance or certain measures of physical fitness are indeed affected by prior sexual activity. The study identified relevant research through Web of Science and Google Scholar, ultimately incorporating nine crossover studies with 133 participants, 99% of whom were male. The results showed that engaging in sexual activity within 30 minutes to 24 hours before exercise did not have a significant impact on aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.
Summary of the Meta-Analysis
The debate surrounding the influence of sexual activity on sports performance has persisted for decades. While past research heavily relied on subjective evaluations, this meta-analysis offered a thorough assessment using objective data. By addressing gaps in existing literature and omitting elements of bias, the paper showed the need for high-quality studies to unravel the relationship between sexual activity and athletic performance.
The authors systematically researched Web of Science and Google Scholar, identifying nine crossover studies with 133 participants, 99% of whom were male. The study evaluated physical fitness parameters, implementing the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool for bias assessment. The results were amalgamated using normal meta-analytic techniques.
The meta-analysis unveiled that engaging in sexual activity within 30 minutes to 24 hours before exercise did not significantly influence aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power. The authors determined that there appeared to be no publication bias or overall differences between studies. The risk of bias assessment raised some concerns, primarily due to the difficulty of blinding participants in such studies (no! blinding not blindfolding)
That said there were small sample sample sizes and the absence of studies involving women or older participants. Just don’t try to understand why women weren’t involved in the studies, it’ll spoil your day.
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