There’s a lot of misinformation about sex and bodybuilding, which brings up a lot of questions.
Will having sex before working out make me weaker?
Does sex count as cardio?
Fortunately, I’m very familiar with this subject because I workout (4-6 days per week) and have sex a lot (1-2 times per day).
I’ve spotted all the different patterns between sex affecting gym performance and the gym affecting sex — and I’m going to share it all with you.
Well, not ALL of it…
Just so we’re on the same page, when I refer to “sex” in this article, I mean sex with another human, not masturbating. In general, I think masturbation is counterproductive to bodybuilding (for men) for a variety of reasons I won’t get into right now.
First, let’s start with the good news.
Sex and Bodybuilding Go Hand-in-Hand
There’s a lot of talk about how sex can slow your progress in the gym (this mainly applies to guys looking to bulk up). However, sex and bodybuilding do far more to complement each other than work against each other.
For one, bodybuilding raises sex drive in both men and women, and even causes women to have more intense orgasms. Plus, bodybuilding makes you look more attractive — which makes you more desirable to others and more confident in yourself.
Sex also helps you relax by causing your body to release oxytocin. Sleep is an important part of building muscle because your body has to recover properly for you to get stronger and build muscle. Sex before bed is a great way to get a good night’s sleep.
Sex itself is exercise, and it can help you burn some extra calories.
Sex also boosts your immune system, lowering the chances of you missing any gym time from the cold or flu.
For the vast majority of people, sex and bodybuilding are both beneficial activities that support a healthy lifestyle.
Now for the bad news…
Having Sex Can Temporarily Decrease Energy and Strength
Since our bodies release oxytocin when we orgasm, we tend to feel tired and relaxed after having sex. That’s why many fitness experts advise not having sex before a workout.
Personally, I’ve had mixed experiences with this. Most of the time, I can have sex and go straight to they gym (and even train legs) with no problem or noticeable difference whatsoever.
However, I have experienced sluggishness when going to the gym immediately after having sex in the past.
In my experience, this only happens if I haven’t had sex for a while or if I’m already lower on energy from being sleep deprived or not eating adequate nutrition.
Another way that having sex can negatively affect your workouts is from the release of Zinc when a male has an orgasm. Zinc is an essential nutrient that affects testosterone levels, libido, and our ability to build muscle.
When you “release” Zinc, your body becomes low on this vital mineral. Therefore, it’s a good idea to supplement with Zinc if you have sex a lot.
Here is what I use:
The Best Time to Have Sex Around Workouts
Although it’s really no big deal to have sex before training — I understand if you want to do everything in the most optimal way possible.
Technically, researchers have found that having sex within a few hours after training is the best time to have sex.
And I have to agree, post-workout sex is great.
However, try not to overthink this. Just have sex whenever you feel like it.
How Many Calories Can I Burn Having Sex?
The answer to that all comes down to your effort and your stamina.
Scientists claim you men burn 4 calories per minute and women burn 3 calories per minute during sex.
Since we’re dealing with averages here, we can safely assume that you’re burning more calories if you enjoy a more rigorous sex life than “average.”
But for simplicity, let’s just say everyone burns 4 calories per minute.
If you only have sex for 5 minutes, you will only burn 20 calories. That’s not going to make any difference.
Now if you’re having sex for 30 minutes or an hour, you’re burning 120 calories or 240 calories — that’s actually significant.
So to answer the question of “Does sex count as cardio?” — the answer is it depends on how much effort you put into having sex.
In my opinion, if you’re having sex for at least 20-30 minutes, you’re sweating, and your heart rate is up — your sex counts as cardio.
Anything short of that and you’re just having fun and burning a few extra calories at the same time. Nothing wrong with that.
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What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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