Does Sex Affect Muscle Growth?
Ever wonder if your sex life has to come at the expense of your ability to build muscle mass in the gym? If so, you aren't alone. Many people wonder if regular bedroom time is something that's really going to hurt their progress and some are even willing to make sacrifices if it's true.
While it is definitely true that there is a connection between sex and muscle building, it's important to understand fully what this connection is.
Here are some important factors to think about.
Potentially one of the most critical connections between sex and muscle building is the zinc status within the body. Whenever a male has an orgasm, zinc will be released in the semen. Zinc is a critical nutrient that is required for proper sperm growth and development and when levels fall short, infertility is often the consequence.
In addition to this, zinc also plays a key role in muscle development as well, as it is closely tied in with total testosterone levels. When zinc levels are low in the body there is more likely to be a noticeably lower sex drive as well as a difficulty shown with generating more lean muscle mass.
So then because zinc is lost through orgasm, if you're frequently having sex but not replacing this lost zinc through your diet, it is very likely that you're going to fall into that deficit.
In order to prevent this from happening and make sure you not only maintain healthy libido levels but also keep progressing towards your goal of muscle building, you'll want to fill your diet with foods rich in zinc such as oysters, shellfish, wheat germ, liver, cashews, pine nuts, and pecan nuts.
Sex and Strength Levels
The next connection to know about when it comes to sex and muscle building is the connection it has with your strength levels. If you've ever taken notice of yourself, most guys will find that immediately after sex they feel very relaxed and often want to fall asleep.
At this point there is a very high release of oxytocin in the body, which serves to really relax you and could cause you to feel slightly weaker than before the sex took place. This relaxation phase does not last for an extended period of time, however, and you will return to your usual hormonal levels in the body, but the take home message is that trying to attempt a training session immediately after you're involved in sexual activity may not be the best of approaches.
Aim for at least a 3-4 hour time span afterward to allow the hormones to normalize again and for you to recover your strength and energy.
Impacts Of Sex On Overall Testosterone Levels
With the issue of zinc and the effects on testosterone aside, another correlation to look at is the overall impact of frequent sexual activity on testosterone and libido levels. For most men, the more frequently they are engaging in sex, the higher their libido levels tend to be. If a large break is taken for whatever reason, at first libido will increase, but over time if release is not achieved, levels may begin to drop.
Studies have also demonstrated that when testosterone levels are elevated in the body, it has a positive impact on libido levels. Therefore, when testosterone levels are higher, this will, in return, keep you interested in sex and the act of sex will serve as a positive reinforcement, further maintaining the cycle.
Since testosterone levels are one of the primary predictors of muscle growth and development, having higher levels in the body will help to induce greater muscle gains.
Obviously the workouts must be performed in conjunction to simulate the muscle growth response, but doing everything possible to maintain high testosterone will work to your benefit.
Sex and Focus
Finally, the last impact of sex on muscle building is going to be with regards to your focus levels. Maintaining focus both in the gym and out for the actual gym sessions will be critical to see optimal results. In some extreme cases if you become too fixated on sexual activity, you may prioritize this ahead of regular workout sessions, which will then have a large impact on the overall results you experience.
Obviously this will be to the extreme and most people will have no trouble maintaining a normal balance between the two, but if you feel like you may be pushing the barrier between an unhealthy balance it is worthwhile to seriously consider.
For many people this will never be an issue as their workouts are directly tied in to their desire to become more sexually appealing as they workout for a large part to look good for members of the opposite gender. So by keeping up with their workouts regularly, they will help promote the chances of frequent intercourse.
So next time you find yourself questioning what the impact of sex is on your muscle building efforts, keep these points in mind. The good news is that those who do take a more active role in regular workouts and maintaining a good diet are far more likely to be healthy and thus experience fewer sexual problems such as pre-mature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction, so you won't have to worry about either of those impacting your overall ability to perform in bed.
As with anything in life, balance is key and as long as balance is achieved, you should have no worries about maintaining a healthy sex life while making the absolute most of your muscle building efforts in the gym.
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Very interesting Article, I never considered sexy could have any negative effects in this way. Maybe some porn stars run into the Zinc deficiency.
Its comical to think that a man might need to be like "sorry babe we cant, this is begging to affect my lifts."